Biodiversity Days to be held in Park

by Jun 13, 2012Happenings0 comments

     Biodiversity includes all types of life forms from plants to animals, and estimates are as high as 80,000 species being found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Discover Life in America is hosting Biodiversity Days in the Smokies on June 20-23 to commemorate the amazing biodiversity of the Park  with a schedule of exciting events to include programmed seminars, demonstrations, scientist-led field trips and more.

     Ever since the realization that human activity and population growth have an effect on the ecosystem, the study of biodiversity has become increasingly important. Levels of biodiversity help indicate how healthy an ecosystem is, and they help understand the effects on humans as well. Resources such as clean air, fertile soil, and clean water are all connected directly to the ecosystem and its biodiversity. Diversity is important to human life in ways not easily seen nor easily understood, and biodiversity is needed for humans and all other life on this planet to subsist. Learn about the biodiversity of GSMNP and the on-going All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), and make your reservations early because space will be limited.

     Biodiversity Days will start on Wednesday, June 20 with a webinar entitled “Basic Arthropod Taxonomy- Who, What, Why and How!”  from 1-3pm.  An introduction will be given to the world of arthropods and the science of naming them. Learn how to identify some of the most diverse groups of animals: insects, spiders, centipedes, and more! This online presentation will provide an introduction to the fascinating world of arthropods.

     Then, on Thursday, June 21 from 1-4pm and 4:30-7:30pm, join the Tree Teams Project- Arthropod Sorting Event as the group will volunteer to sort through arthropods collected by the Tree Team at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center for future study and analysis by scientists.

     On Friday, June 22 at 3pm, there will be a presentation entitled Rare Species of the Smokies: The Most Wanted List which will touch on many of these species as we present a few unique stories of missing species and hope to shed some light on these rare and mysterious, yet important Park inhabitants.

     Finally, all day on Saturday, June 23, there will be two events, the Tree Teams Collecting Event (North Carolina and Tennessee) at Indian Gap and Balsam Mountain and the Fern Foray. With the collecting event, you will get a chance to join the Tree Team as they collect samples from the field for research on arthropod and tree relationships. The Fern Foray will involve hiking, identifying and quantifying fern species along the way.

     Info: (865) 430-4757 or

– Discover Life in America