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TVA and Smokies nonprofit invite volunteers to explore biodiversity at Cave Mountain
July 9, 2021

GATLINBURG – Smokies nonprofit, Discover Life in America (DLiA), is hosting its eleventh BioBlitz in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority in Guntersville, Alabama, on July 17.

With a focus on community participation, the free, family friendly event serves as an opportunity for individuals to learn from local scientists about the various species found at TVA public sites while also contributing to science.

BioBlitz volunteers will help DLiA find and catalog animals, plants, and other organisms to get a snapshot of the area’s biodiversity. These data will help TVA understand what species are present, so it can better manage and protect these public lands.

With the help of community scientists, BioBlitzes provide a hands-on learning experience for participants of all ages.

“I’ve learned so much just listening to them [DLiA staff] that it has really been very educational and very interesting for me personally,” says TVA program manager Melinda Watson.

On the south side of Guntersville dam, participants will work in small groups to survey the Cave Mountain Trail from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. Then, they will post photos of the organisms they have found to the community science platform iNaturalist, building a list of area species that can be viewed and contributed to later.

No experience is necessary to attend. Participants should download the free iNaturalist app onto their phone or smart device in advance of the event and dress appropriately for the outdoors.

Anyone that cannot attend the July 17 BioBlitz at Cave Mountain is invited to participate in TVA and DLiA’s future BioBlitzes on July 31 at Tellico Lake and September 11 at Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge. For more information and registration, please visit the Discover Life in America website.

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