National Park Offers Volunteer Days to Youth
GATLINBURG -- High school students have an opportunity to participate in scientific projects this summer in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
On June 27, July 8, and July 23, students, recent graduates, and their families can participate in hands-on projects in the field. A Park Ranger will conduct the projects which include salamander monitoring, tree identification and mapping, and water quality assessments.
These hands-on projects provide participants with a specialized field experience that will help Park researchers perform important studies. The experience will also provide youth an opportunity to get involved in science and in the National Park in a fun and interesting way.
The activities will last a half day.
Registration is required. For more information and to register for the High School Volunteer Days, contact Park Ranger Emily Guss at 865-436-1713.
On July 13 and August 5 at 2:00-3:30 p.m. young scientists, 10 years of age or older, are invited to become "Special Scientists" and learn about some of the tiny creatures that are part of the amazing biodiversity of the Smokies. A park ranger will set up microscopes and other scientific equipment for participants to collect and view microscopic invertebrates such as water bears, also known scientifically as tardigrades. These eight-legged creatures, the "other bears" of the Smokies, exist in mosses, liverworts, and lichens. Young scientists will be surprised and amazed to learn how these critters move, eat, and live their lives.
The program will be held at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, a 15,000-square-foot environmental-friendly facility that supports the Park's research and science education programs. Registration is not required. Contact Park Ranger Emily Guss at 865-436-1713 for more information.
August 13 – Middle School Volunteer Day – Half Day
Similar to High School Volunteer Days, middle school students and their families can also spend time in the field with a Park Ranger conducting a scientific project such as salamander monitoring, tree identification and mapping, or water quality assessments. This hands-on project will provide participants with a specialized field experience and provide young people an opportunity to get involved in science in their national park in a fun and interesting way.
Registration is required. For more information and to register for the Middle School Volunteer Day, contact Park Ranger Beth Wright at 865-436-1290.
Published June 22, 2011, 5:17 a.m.
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