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Discover Life's goal is to help study, conserve, and enjoy nature. Our founding principle is to forge partnerships among scientists, teachers, students, and other citizens to teach and learn while collecting valuable scientific information. Everyone can contribute to the knowledge we need to understand, manage, and protect the planet's diversity of life and thus improve our environmental health and wellbeing.

Our first project, started in 1997, is a study of all living things of the Great Smokies, which has been written about in Newsweek and Science. As we learn from this regional effort, we'll share our experience and help other studies and educational programs work toward the goal of knowing and saving all life-forms on earth.

This Web gateway has information on living things, identification guides, and checklists. It provides educational material about how to study nature and helps coordinate our events, participants, and research. Its usefulness and links to other sites will grow as we all contribute. We seek your help and invite you to get involved.

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Despite centuries of work, our knowledge about nature is very incomplete. Millions of species are yet to be discovered, named, and studied. We lack a sound understanding of the needs of most species to ensure their long-term survival. Without a worldwide mobilization of a large number of citizen scientists, it will take too long to assemble the knowledge and wherewithal we need to save many species from extinction. Do you want to learn about nature around you, set up study sites, contribute your findings, take photographs, illustrate guides, create school activities, go on expeditions, fundraise? The list goes on. Please register and help. -- John Pickering