Tag: Biodiversity

  1. Studies Offer Insights into Behaviors of Park Bears

    Bear searching trash for food

    By Steve Kemp

    Four research projects focused on bears in the Great Smoky Mountains are currently underway or have recently been completed. Of the four, the results of two are troubling, one is encouraging, and on the last it’s too early to tell.

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  2. Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    Curiosity Cabinet: Hellbenders

    By Peyton Proffitt

    Growing up in a gateway community, I spent most of my childhood summers swimming in the rivers of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Some of my happiest memories are of looking for salamanders with my friends and sketching the specimens in my notebook. For my first Curiousity Cabinet entry, I decided to feature the biggest salamander of all: the hellbender.

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  3. DLiA’s Science at Sugarlands Focuses on Fish Restoration

    Pat Rakes

    By Frances Figart

    Part of the mission of any national park is protecting and restoring species that were once native. Restoring native fish is an exciting area of Smokies science that goes unseen by those who are not swimming or snorkeling in park waters.

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  4. Science at Sugarlands Features Wildflowers

    Science at Sugarlands Features Wildflowers

    By Frances Figart

    You couldn’t pick a more perfect month than May to head out on the trails to spot wildflowers. to help you learn more about them, Discover Life in America will host Wildflowers: Gems of the Smokies at the Sugarlands Visitor Center Friday, May 17, from 1–3 p.m.

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  5. Gearing up, Branching out

    Roaring Fork early spring photo by Gary Wilson

    Every spring people flock to the Smokies to view our park’s spectacular displays of wildflowers that begin blooming at the lower elevations and creep uphill as the temperatures warm and days grow longer.

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  6. The big and small of it

    Photo by Jessica Hill with Shutterfox Photography

    This month, my Experience Your Smokies class got another peek behind the curtain of park operations and traveled to Twin Creeks Science Center to fish out aquatic invertebrates.

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  7. EYS Exotics & Invasives: Larry and the Lady HWAs

    Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    During my most recent Experience Your Smokies class, I learned the details of a sad story. It all started in 1951, when a seemingly innocent shipment of trees made its way from Japan to Richmond, Va. The trees were intended for used as exotic suburban showpieces. Unfortunately, they carried with them an invasive species that would, in 40 years time, almost completely destroy one of the most ecologically important tree species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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  8. Finding solitude, wildflowers on park's Quiet Walkways

    There's nothing better than waking up in the morning and driving to work inside a national park. Even in July and October, when the park's seams feel as of they might burst with visitors, working on behalf of the Smokies is the best job I've ever had.

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  9. Smokies Life Fall 2018: Stories of History, Culture and Survival

    Smokies Life Fall 2018 Edition

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Great Smoky Mountains Association’s most recent issue of its award-winning Smokies Life magazine features an in-depth look at new groundbreaking bear research unique to Great Smoky Mountains National Park; the first four chapters of Willa of the Wood, a new best-selling fiction set in the Smokies; 10 compelling archival treasures stored at the Collections Preservation Center; and a comprehensive list of essential preparation techniques for staying safe while exploring the backcountry. 

    “Having lived in both Western North Carolina and East Tennessee, I enjoy sharing stories about the natural and cultural history of the Smokies with our readers,” said Frances Figart, interpretive products and services director and the editor of Smokies Life. “One of my favorite pieces in this issue is David Brill’s first-hand account of a recent trail mishap and rescue as it highlights the importance of being prepared while simultaneously expecting the unexpected in the Smokies.” 







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  10. Things get wild at EYS

    On a foggy morning just off U.S. 441/Newfound Gap Road, a park ranger’s truck was spotted hauling an olive green culvert to the back of Chimney Tops picnic area. A few folks had gathered to eat an early lunch and take photos of the river. Two rangers approached the group and pose the following question: “Would you like to see a bear today?”

    The thrilled visitors surrounded the culvert at the rangers’ request. To their delight, the rangers opened the culvert door and a young male black bear bolted up the mountain, heading deep into the woods.

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