The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to one of the world’s most biologically diverse ecosystems. The park is home to an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 species of wildflowers, trees, bears, deer, squirrels, salamanders, snakes, birds, fish, bats and more. Its diversity adds to its beauty, drawing millions of visitors each year. Along with the many species of plants and animals, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has dozens of streams and unique rock formations.
Discover Life in America will be celebrating its efforts to catalog every living species in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with a conference in Gatlinburg. The All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory Conference will be held from March 21st to March 23rd at Glenstone Lodge.
Experts and volunteers from around the world will participate by focusing on the education, research and conservation of Discover Life in America. The conference will include nature hikes, stream mapping and lectures. Here are some of the things happening at this year’s conference:
- ·Field Trip: Spring (Ephemerals) Wildflowers and Their Fascinating Pollination Schemes
- ·Field Trip: Salamanders of the Smokies
- ·Update on Park Air Resources with Jim Renfro
- ·Crayfish of Hazel Creek and Eagle Creek Watersheds with Zach Loughman
- ·Documenting Ferns of the Smokies Using Citizen Scientists with Pat Cox
- ·Natural History of the Southern Appalachians with Dan Pittillo
- ·Aquatic Insect Adventures with Harold Hayes and Joey Prichard
These are just a few of the things on the schedule. There are many more field trips and events planned, so check the schedule at dlia.org for more information.