Athens-Clarke County, Discover Life

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory

Invitation to the Community

Planning Meeting
Auditorium, Institute of Ecology
University of Georgia, Athens
28 January, 1998
5:00 - 7:00 P.M.

Updated: January 28, 1998

This is your invitation to participate in a workshop that could revolutionize the use of technology in our classrooms, and foster a deeper appreciation of the treasure that is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You have been identified as someone who could make this workshop a success, and we hope you can participate.

Called "Athens-Clarke County, Discover Life," this workshop will be a planning session to bring researchers, park officials, teachers and interested citizens together. Our goal is to develop a local implementation of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP).

Sound intimidating? It's actually fairly simple. The objective of an ATBI is to inventory virtually all the biodiversity within a specific geographic area. The geographic area for this project is the GSMNP. In addition to the basic research of collecting, identifying, describing, and documenting information on each species, we envision strong educational and outreach components that will increase the public's understanding of the diversity of life and the benefits to society of conserving biodiversity within our parks.

The participants at the first GSMNP-ATBI workshop, held in Gatlinburg on December 18-19, 1997, were asked to help develop plans for a program that integrate the following four components:

The Athens-Clarke County Discover Life workshop will focus on developing a program to enhance science education and the use of technology in our local schools. We hope to upgrade our educational and outreach facilities, improve teacher training, and to involve our schools in the biodiversity inventory of the Great Smoky Mountains. By having scientists, teachers, students, and community members working together on the Smoky's inventory, we will transfer technical know-how that will serve teachers and students well in the information age. By coming together at the community level and by linking ourselves to the larger effort and expertise provided by Discover Life and GSMNP, we hope to improve the quality of education in our local schools. It will take the teamwork of many individuals and organizations to achieve this goal. You can play an essential role in this team.

The Athens-Clarke County Discover Life workshop will include formal presentations by a number of agency representatives. Presentations will address the following topics:

Will you join us? We are updating information on "Discover Life in America" on the Web (see ). This site links to a list of workshop attendees. If you are listed as "Invited" rather than as a "Yes" in this list, please let us know immediately whether you plan to attend, to help us plan logistics and develop a detailed agenda for the workshop.

Please share this information with your colleagues and contact us if you have any questions.

Hope to see you at the workshop!

Organizing Committee

Amy Edwards Museum of Natural History 706-542-4137
Stella Guerrero Cedar Schoals High School 706-353-7076
Elizabeth McGhee Museum of Natural History 706-542-3940
Elizabeth Skillen Institute of Ecology 706-542-1388
Up Discover Life