Great Smoky Mountains National Park
All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory

Planning Workshop
Gatlinburg, Tennessee
18-19 December, 1997

From: Keith Langdon & John Pickering
To: Workshop Participants
Date: 13 November, 1997


This e-mail provides you with more information on the planning workshop, "Discover Life in America," for the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP). It includes information on the workshop's objectives, travel and lodging, and a request to those of you who haven't already responded to please let us know whether you plan to attend. We plan to put the agenda on the Web and will send you an e-mail version of it when we do so.

By definition the objective of an ATBI is to inventory all the biodiversity within a specific geographic area. 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 from conserving biodiversity within our parks. The program is necessary to provide the sound basis for management, conservation, use, and enjoyment of our natural heritage.

The workshop will be in Gatlinburg on 18-19 December, 1997. Its goals are to coordinate our efforts with other inventories and solicit the support of organizations and individuals to focus a collective effort on inventorying the GSMNP. Participants will be asked to develop plans for a program that integrates the following four components:

  1. 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 communities;

  2. 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;

  3. 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, both so that they can enrich their lives, help with the inventory, and share knowledge with others;

  4. Outreach -- foster the spirit of volunteerism and public involvement so both experts and non-experts can interact to achieve our goals.

The workshop will include formal presentations and break-out groups. Participants will be expected to contribute to the development of the four components listed above and address the following topics:

The workshop will be held in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is on the north side of the GSMNP. Gatlinburg is a major resort town with many restaurants, hotels, and attractions.

Gatlinburg is a little over an hour drive south of Knoxville and its airport. Approaching from the Tennessee side of the mountains, it is best accessed by Interstate 40. Gatlinburg is 30 minutes south via the Sevierville exit (State Route 66). If you are coming from the Entomological Society of America meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, it is about a 4 hour drive to Gatlinburg, via Interstate 40. If making airline reservations from Nashville, remember that you cross into the Eastern Time Zone when you come to Gatlinburg.

Approaching from the North Carolina side of the mountains, Asheville, North Carolina is a little over an hour and a half from Gatlinburg, again using Interstate 40. The Park makes every effort to keep the park road over the Smokies to Cherokee North Carolina, open all winter, but severe snow and ice can force road closures on short notice. U.S. Route 441 going north to Cherokee is a good road.

The workshop will be held at the GLENSTONE LODGE/DAYS INN, on Airport road in Gatlinburg. Stoplights in town are numbered, go to light # 8 and turn uphill, the Glenstone is about a half mile on the right. is being reserved at a reduced rate of $50/night for 1 or 2 beds. The Glenstone has a full restaurant, large indoor pool, indoor patio, jacuzzi, and other amenities. Be sure to state that you are with the "National Park Service ATBI Workshop" when you make your reservations. We will be starting early on 18th so you will need reservations for the nights of the 17th and 18th. If you wish to stay longer, please make arrangements when you call: 800-362-9522.

Who will be at the workshop?
We are updating information on "Discover Life in America" on the Web (see ). This site links to a list of who will participate in the workshop . If you are listed as "Invited" rather than as a "Yes" in this list, please let us know immediately whether you plan to attend. Knowing so will 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,

Keith Langdon
(e-mail: -- tel: 423-436-1705)

John Pickering
(e-mail: -- tel: 706-542-1115)

Up Discover Life in America

Updated: 4 July, 1998