knoxville news
knoxville news knoxville advertising entertainment knoxville obituaries rss linkedin twitter facebook contact smoky mountains knoxville legal notices knoxville classifieds travel knoxville sports business lifestyle knoxville daily sun

Smokies nonprofit documents life in understudied area of National Park
July 4, 2021

GATLINBURG, TN – Nonprofit partner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Discover Life in America (DLiA), hosted volunteers on June 26-27 for its first in-person BioBlitz since 2020.

Contributing to the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory, an ongoing effort managed by DLiA to identify every species living in the Smokies, the BioBlitz served as a directed opportunity to sample and catalog life in Abrams Creek, a vastly understudied area of the park located in Tallassee, Tennessee.

dr kenneth hobson lecture in great smoky mountains national park
Dr. Kenneth Hobson lecturing; image courtesy of DLIA

With the support from the Tallassee Fund, DLiA was able to collect and curate over 500 insects and other arthropods while also making observations of over 88 species on iNaturalist, a crowdsourced species identification system.

The event attracted not only experienced scientists but volunteers consisting of diverse backgrounds passionately supporting DLiA’s work in cataloging biodiversity in the national park.

“What I am is curious, you know. I want to know. I want to ask questions. I want to learn,” began Bill Sykes, a journalist who started getting involved with DLiA in the Fall. “I love being dropped into a situation like this with people who are experts to just absorb all this information and knowledge.”

Under the guidance of entomologists Dr. Will Kuhn and Dr. Kenneth Hobson, volunteers were familiarized with a variety of trapping and collecting techniques as they hiked in groups around the area surrounding Abrams Creek.

“It’s wonderful to see people getting excited about being in the woods and discovering things,” shared Hobson. “Whether it’s going out at night and looking at blue ghosts [fireflies] floating through the forest or walking along the trails and sampling the different leaves of trees.”

DLiA will be hosting its second BioBlitz of the summer in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority on July 17 at the Cave Mountain Small Wild Area in Guntersville, Alabama. To register and find more information visit the Discover Life in America website.

knoxville daily sun Knoxville Daily Sun
2021 Image Builders
User Agreement | Privacy Policy