Athens-Clarke County, Discover Life
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory
Invitation to the Community
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
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.
- Scientific Inventory -- document the distribution and abundance of
species in time and space, including collection, identification, curation,
and databasing the occurrence of each species within the GSMNP's natural
- Public Access to Information -- using the Web and other media to
provide interactive species identification guides and home pages that will
contain information on the natural history, distribution, and importance
of each species;
- Education -- develop formal and informal educational opportunities for
all ages and at all levels to give people hands-on experience working with
local natural history and the electronic exchange of information so that
they can enrich their lives, help with the inventory, and share knowledge
- Outreach -- foster the spirit of volunteerism and public involvement so
both experts and non-experts can interact to achieve our goals.
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 http://dial.pick.uga.edu/SITES/GSMNP-ATBI/ ).
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.
- Why a comprehensive biological inventory is needed at GSMNP.
- What ATBI is and is not.
- How the ATBI of the GSMNP can be used to promote science literacy
in our local schools.
- The development of cooperative partnerships that involve experts,
community groups, and non- specialists alike.
- Funding needs and sources in the context of facilitating community
involvement and the spirit of volunteerism.
- The development of an Action Plan that includes specific goals,
organizational structure, timetable, and a list of issues to be resolved.
Please share this information with your colleagues and contact us if you
have any questions.
Hope to see you at the workshop!
||Museum of Natural History
||Cedar Schoals High School
||Museum of Natural History
||Institute of Ecology