Tag: Research

  1. Scientist Uncovers Secret Life of Soil

    Scientist Uncovers Secret Life of Soil Some connections in the vast web of life are little easier to see than others. In the Smokies this time of year, black bears lumber up the swaying branches of native cherry trees to feast on dark, sun-ripened fruit. Wood thrushes swoop down from their perches to snatch fat caterpillars and worms from the forest floor. A hungry snail might Read more...
  2. Data Monitoring Protects Species for the Long Haul

    Data Monitoring Protects Species for the Long Haul Most of the scientists on staff at Great Smoky Mountains National Park contribute in some way to the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), an ongoing catalog of all Smokies life forms. Managed by nonprofit park partner Discover Life in America in cooperation with park service staff, students, community scientists, and researchers from around Read more...
  3. Research Holds Key to Wildlife Crossing Success on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge

    Research Holds Key to Wildlife Crossing Success on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge On November 3, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) announced that when it begins to replace the Harmon Den bridge on Interstate 40 between Asheville and Knoxville later this month, a wildlife underpass will be included in the construction. Just 48 hours later, the House passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill including $ Read more...
  4. Genealogical Research Collection Donated to Park

    Genealogical Research Collection Donated to Park

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are pleased to announce the addition of a new research collection to the park archives. The Donald Bruce Reagan Genealogical Collection is now available to aid genealogists in researching their family history.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 snorkelling in park waters.

  7. 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 travelled to Twin Creeks Science Center to fish out aquatic invertebrates.

  8. 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.

  9. “When the Gales of November Came Slashin’*”

    The hurricane-force mountain wave winds that annually torment residents living in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains and which contributed greatly to the deadly wildfires in late November 2016 are probably as old as the mountains themselves. Yet much about these winds remains a mystery.

    One reason for the mystery is the scarcity of professional-grade wind measuring equipment (anemometers) in the isolated areas where the wave winds occur. Many official weather-monitoring stations are located at airports because the terrain is flat and unobstructed by trees or man-made structures. The foothills of the Smokies are the opposite of that. The equipment and its power source also must be capable of enduring extremely high winds.

  10. Bird Brain? Not so fast...

    By mid-March, birds like the Louisiana water thrush and the blue-headed vireo will be returning to the Great Smoky Mountains. They will have traveled hundreds of miles, mostly at night — perhaps across the Gulf of Mexico — from as far away as Central America, to their summer home in the Smokies.

    The mystery of precisely how birds navigate on these epic journeys has never been completely solved. Plausible theories have included using the stars to navigate, using magnetic fields, watching landscape features like mountain ranges and coastlines, and their sense of smell. Now a new idea from Dr. Jonathan Hagstrum of the U.S. Geological Survey has the birding world chirping.


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