Wednesday, December 8-

1 PM-- Convene Meeting
Welcome-- Phil Francis/Frank Harris
• GRSM park management is committed to supporting the ATBI. Acting Superintendant Phil Francis called the project “one of the most important undertakings in the history of the NPS”.
• The park plans to ask for $100k from the Friends of GRMS, which will be matched to the remaining $95,000 of the Natural History Association’s original grant of $150,000. Congressional funds were approved for planning of a new park lab facility, $450k. Also NPS Directors Natural Resource Initiative will likely help. Make this a model for NPS.

Outline meeting activities and objectives-- Frank Harris
• Provide an overview of the progress DLIA has made to date.
• Get input necessary to complete Strategic Plan and Business Plan for DLIA
• Get feedback from TWIGS regarding how we can better help them in their work.

1:15-- 2:15 1999 Status of Major Activities
Incorporation of DLIA--Mary Williams
• We are now a legal, non-profit organization, thanks to the pro-bono work of Mark Mamantov at Bass, Berry & Sims in Knoxville. DLIA emmisaries also went to Washington, DC to meet with upper level NPS staff to forge a Memorandum of Understanding between DLIA and the NPS.

Public Relations-- logo/stationery --Mary Williams
• Mary introduced a logo, and a slogan, "Bringing knowledge of natural treasures to the world." which was developed and donated by "Target Marketing of the Tri Cities, Tennessee" Mary also put together a packet of information with brochures, stationery, background information on our organization etc. For use in fundraising efforts. Some attendees expressed concern that all major phyla are not represented in the logo. Discussion also included the auctioning of species names - some say it would be a good fundraising tool, others are uncomfortable with the idea.

MOU with NPS-- Frank Harris/Phil Francis
• Keith Langdon has developed a general agreement between the NPS and DLIA. The document shows that the NPS thinks the ATBI is important and it sets us up as an example for ATBIs in other parks. Copy available. In review by attorneys now. The MOU will not affect other existing MOUs and will make future agreements easier. DLIA will draft a MOU specific to GRSM at a later date.

2:15-3:15 1999 View from The Park
Sorting Center--Becky Nichols
• Backy Nichols introduced a draft Collections Management Planand is now seeking any suggestions, criticisms or input. DLIA is operating a Sorting Center in the Cosby area of GRSM where visiting scientists or people working in the park can sort bulk samples. We are currently looking into finding a place closer to HQ. The plan calls for a GS-7 salary level sorting supervisor, with a staff of volunteers and possibly paid sorters. The Aquatic insect TWIG has successfully utilized Clemson U for off-site sortingof samples. Other questions posed by Ms. Nichols include... Which TWIGS are willing to accept specimens? What do we do with specimens for which there is no TWIG? Database is a problem...does not have a web interface, have to make sure we have all the data in one place. Any special requirements for any TWIGS -- what do they need?

Status of Park Proposals-- Keith Langdon, Chuck Parker, Karen Ballentine
• DLIA is providing excellent housing at Cosby and Cades Cove, with several other bunkhouses in other areas of the park. Twin Creeks lab did get planning funds. Park management wants a major state of the art building with lab space, curatorial facilities, space for agencies and university scientists, environmental education facilities, GIS, data mapping, and other ideas (still open to them. The Purchase Knob area is to be developed as a science and education center.
• Ongoing research includes soils mapping, with 6 undescribed types found so far, and vegetation mapping which is expected to increase the number of recognized vegetation types from 12 to 60.
• Keith is also working to secure federal funding to complete work on the vertebrate TWIG and for amphibian research.
• The permitting process is becoming automated, making it easier to get them.
• Chuck Parker discussed his NSF funded project that will look at ways to conduct an ATBI including, structured sampling methods, stop rule development and cost estimate techniques.

• Karen Ballentine gave an overview of ATBI related education programs including new Parks As Classrooms units, the Discovery Center under development at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, the Sevier County summer high school field research program, Smoky Mountain Field School Classes and development of the Purchase Knob science education campus.
• Karen also went over a NSF proposal the Education Committee is putting together to fund teacher training and student involvement in ATBI related research activities.

How are things going?-- Keith Langdon

• Peter White and John Moorse have done an excellent job in writing the draft Science Plan.

• Keith expressed concern that there is a lack of funds coming from corporate donors and private foundations and called for the completion of a Business Plan and a Strategic Plan as well as the hiring of a full time, professional fund raiser.
• There is a problem with communications between and among TWIGs, TWIG Coordinators and DLIA. Keith suggested we draft a functional statement for positions in the TWIG heirarchy , possible funding of TWIG Coordinators and Leaders, and the development of an active, coordinated science proposal writing effort..
• We need to develop a way to recruit, train, and orient volunteers and to assess the best use of these individuals and groups. Keith suggested we find a volunteer coordinator to work with “para-coordinators” (volunteers) to organize the process.

• Chuck Parker reported that the remaining unmapped area of the park is being mapped, at no cost to NPS or BRD, including bedrock and landform geology. The park will be getting digital and hardcopy versions.

• Is there a better time to convene the annual meeting of ATBI? Late January, March, Summer??? Please let us know if you have suggestions.
• Website site needs some quality control and easier user interface.

3:15-3:30 Break- Snacks and beverages provided

3:30-4:30 Science Plan
Overview of Plan-- How is it evolving?-- Peter White

• Five themes:
• An inventory for all taxa and coordination across taxonomic groups;
• Taxonomic Working Groups (TWIGS) and the taxonomic inventory;
• Taxonomic inventory in an ecological and conservation context;
• A Geographic Information System (GIS) as an organizing and analysis tool; and
• Involvement of the public, schools, and volunteers.
• Q&A re scientific peer review of the science plan - yes, open to comment.
• Right now, it sounds like we're cataloging...we need to make the overarching hypotheses that connect the inventories to biodiversity.

Seed Grants-- Process and Feedback-- John Morse

Research Funds Distributed by Discover Life in America, Inc., 1999

Wasps (Lubomir Masner) $ 400.00
Amphibian Monitoring (Charles K. Smith) $ 8,000.00
Amphibian Research ( James Petranka) $ 1,600.00
(Previous two matched by NHA for $9,600)
Wasps (John Pickering) $15,000.00
(Matched by NHA for $15,000)
Annelids Research (Mark Wetzel) $ 2,080.00*
Arachnids (James Cokendolpher) $ 5,000.00*
Mammals (Don Linzey) $ 4,480.00 (including $2,240*)
Myxomycetes (Steve Stephenson0 $ 1,500.00 (including $1,000*)
Ectoparasites (Ralph Eckerlin) $ 720.00*
Crayfish (Roger Thoma) $ 290.00*
Copepods (Jan Reid) $ 1,980.00*
Moths (Eric Metzler) $ 4,020.00*
Plants (David K. Smith) $ 4,320.00 (including $1,820*)
Algae (Rex Lowe) $ 1,500.00
Diptera (Brian Wiegmann) $ 4,600.00
Aquatic Insects (John Morse) $ 4,000.00
Fungi (Lorelei Norvell) $ 6,600.00

TOTAL Research Grants, 1999 $66,090.00

TOTAL DLIA support of ATBI science $73,217.50
(including housing for scientists, NatureQuest expenses,
travel funds, science fair prizes, etc.)

*$20,000 distributed by competitive grants program, 1 Sep 1999.

4:30-5:30 ATBI Information system

Overview of NSF Project-- Norm Johnson
Norman Johnson reporting for the Information Group:
"Participants in the Information Group discussion: Chuck Parker, Becky Nichols, Susan Farmer, Norman Johnson, Luciana Musetti, Frank Harris

The Information Group had a very informal conversation centered around the Information System project approved by NSF. Major points discussed:
- bar-coding strategy for the ATBI
- data submission procedures
- standards for ATBI data submission

Two recommendations from the group:
1) that we adopt the standards proposed by Norman (see handout) as the minimum data requirements for the ATBI;
2) that these standards be sent to all the TWiG leaders, requesting that they add any specific field they might consider necessary and return that to Johnson as soon as possible.

Johnson reinforced the importance of the input from the TWiGS and requested that they send him the specific data requirements for each area of study. After Johnson's report, Harris asked the plenary to adopt the "Standards for Data Submission", listed in the Information Systems handout, as the minumum data requirements for the ATBI."

ATBI Data protocol
• Norm now has a computer that will house the database and software for the project. Setting up and getting the database up and running, and find ways to transfer the many databases into a central data warehouse.
• Need a way to set up some sort of discussion, and a common vocabulary. e.g., Specimen, observation, place, time, methods by which data is accumulated, need for dynamic web pages.
• Concerns exist regarding specimens collected long ago, with poor quality location information.
• May be ready for people to send in data by March or April.


Dinner on your own

7:30-- General Discussion of Strategic Goals and Objectives (2000-2003)
• Topics discussed: overarching scientific philosophy issues; information protocol for data merging; TWIG communication; TWIG organization/coordination.


Thursday, December 9-

7:30-8:30 Continental Breakfast Poolside

Results of last night's discussions:
"Notes on the Dec 8, 1999 evening discussion - Information Group:
Chuck Parker, Becky Nichols, Susan Farmer, Norman Johnson, Luciana Musetti, Frank Harris

We had a very informal conversation centered around the Information System project approved by NSF and, as far as I remember, no one took detailed notes. Some of the major points discussed included:

- bar-coding strategy for the ATBI
- data submission procedures
- standards for ATBI data submission

Frank suggested that we adopt the standards proposed by NFJ as the minimum data requirements. Susan suggested that these standards be sent to all the TWiG leaders, requesting that they add any specific field they might consider necessary and return that to NFJ."

Keith Langdon -- TWIGS
• TWIG leadership -- there are 21 TWIGS.
TWIG members responsibility -- must be committted to research in the park and be deeply involved in the organization and operation of the TWIG. TWIG members should also gather agreed upon data, participate at some level in curation and specimen identification, and submit appropriate reports of activities to TWIG leaders.
TWIG leader responsibilities - maintain a list of members and their expertise, develop a budget, interface with the larger taxonomic community, track and coordinate TWIG activities, data filter,
TWIG (if TWIG leader position is eventually funded by DLIA) -- distribute specimens to TWIG members (sorted to family if provided with a funded tech position), maintain the (Biota) database, represent the TWIG at annual meetings, develop an active field program, coordinate training and orientation of volunteers.

Peter White (scientific issues)
• What is biodiversity, and how does the ATBI fit in?
• Why do an ATBI? For the people potential benefit, enthuse people, early warning system, people love to name, because we rarely go beyond the human scale
• for science to support Univ., students...others (too fast), never been done, focus away from the human scale
• for the NPS - can’t protect or manage what you don't know. Provides an image for the NPS (not just for tourists)
• Why the Smokies, now? -- have a past research history, research interest, old growth in the east, hotspot of diversity, enabling legislation (abundant wildlife), are changing, and info will help in the future, for the benefit of the creatures we are studying.
• All of these are on the website.
• First Tier -- what, where when about spps. How do you do this point of diminishing returns...hard to get the rare ones. Spps effort curve.
• Second Tier - explanations -- space vs. environment. isolated places could have evolved differently. Dispersal may be spotty for different species. How is diversity distributed in different environments. Does diversity in one group affect diversity in another group? umbrella spps, indicator spps, etc. markers for change in other groups. Old growth vs. disturbed sites (good reason to do this at the Smokies. Logging history is good for comparative studies.
• Third Tier - Questions for mgmt what are spps endemic to the park, exotic spps, hot spots, can we map spps distribution, then predict for other areas. How do you do a bio inventory? How does diversity map against known threats?

Norm Johnson (info we need for each data contribution)
• looking for comments on what they did - last page of his handout.

8:30-10:00 Reports by TWIG Leader/Representatives- Reports will be available on the website.
Each report
What has been done?
What are near term goals?
What are the immediate and 3-year needs? (Realistically speaking)

Botany Dave Smith
(Click Botany for the progress report.)
• evolved a coordinated structure at UT herbarium plant collection. Major charge is dealing with legacy specimensdating from 1897-- 7000 records already of mosses, liverworts, and hornworts. - forms the core of information for the dataset.
• now working on the ferns -- est. 80 spps in the park. Have had 2 undergraduate students working on the data stream.
• have created their own database that the workers can use,
• TWIG is a fairly cohesive group of people.
• talent and time are their main constraints.
• have had $20K in support directly, and another 50-60K peripheral support.
• Tapoco are relicensing, a park neighbor, and are looking for rt&e spps, important for the park.
• Harold Keller is proposing a canopy study in the park, looking at bryophyte epiphytes. Proposal is in limbo right now.
• TWIG cooperators- NPS, NC Department of Environmental Conservation, TN Dept of Environmental Conservation.
• TWIG needs to be able to hire a masters-level technician person to help out. they can capture matching funds.
• Need to look at functional units of information -- e.g., woody plants, flashy flowers, etc.
• Fern database should be completed by June, work is ongoing to build webpages.

Aquatic - John Morse and Chuck Parker, Becky Nichols
(Click Aquatic for progress report.)
• 4 collecting methods, mostly close to roads.
• been collecting by disturbance history, stream order, geology,
• plans - ID what was collected last summer, working on webpages, map, find distributional contributions
• working on a major NSF grant to compare the biota of old growth vs. cut area
• NPS team collects at 4- sites each summer. 100 meter section of stream
• Plans for 2000: ID 1999 samples, create webpages, map with GIS, develop distribution correlation, collect in NC, offroad and at high elevations, rear larvae and pupae to adults in order to associate.

10:00-10:30 Break- Snacks and beverages provided
10:30- Noon Continued TWIG Reports

Diatoms/Algae - Susan Makosky

• Working on her Masters, with diatom biodiversity, could be 4-5 new species new to science, 18 new park records so far.
• diatoms fix about half the carbon on earth and supply 20-35 percent of the oxygen on earth. great water quality indicator,
• discusses some diatoms she found in the park
• 485 known spps of algae known in the park.
• needs more taxonomists to work with -- she's basically working alone
• need more funding for researchers.

Fungi - Jim Johnson, Duke U
Cordyceps report
(Click Fungi for progress report)
• past surveys - now know over 2000 spps
• now have a large number of volunteers and 40 scientists and grad students, 30 amateur parataxonmists.
• started training parataxonomist, installed and sampled pilot transects, some collecting,
• need to distribute collected specimens to the experts, updating the checklist, planning for the next collecting season, need systems for interactive identification, would like to have an identification program, but its expensive, need cheap motorcoach hookups, need maps, samples from sorting stations, distribution of specimens, and communication among other twigs, need a air conditioner and fridge BADLY. need admin support for coordinator to get stuff out to experts
• Problems: too focused on mushrooms, diverse collection techniques, database standards, inadequate communication between twig leaders and members
• inadequate communication between DLIA and TWIG
• working on 8 grants to fund work.
• TWIG is currently updating fungal checklist, distributing specimans for Idand planning for next field season.

Mammals - Don Linzey
• 67 spps of mammals now living in the park. found some fungi in the guts of some mammals. Some others no longer live here.
• We know a lot about the mammals - published in a journal
• not expecting a lot of new species of mammals...maybe 4-5 over the whole ATBI. Would develop webpages for the mammals. Have 14 spps accounts. Don Wilson has a photo of every mammal in the park. Have range maps, (potential range, and collecting points, in the park)
• Had never trapped at Andrews bald before...brought in 120 traps,
• looking for specific species...some should be here but haven't been found before
• one June 9th, found a new spps of bat not previously found in the 68 spps found in the park. Last new one was 29 years ago.
• don't want loose careful of who traps.
• Have volunteers help out
• needs: money or assistance putting the spps accounts together; mammal traps (approx 600@ $15-$20 per)), money for travel, lodging, food

Lepidoptera - Brian Scholtens
• historically, one major project, published in 1996, about 700 spps, Tremont moth center,
• This springfound 60 new spps in 5 days...lots more work left to be done. Mostly just lists now
• 8-10 people in TWIG
• need travel and lodging for key people
• need butterfly-watching teams to know where spps are in the park.
• long-term, would like to hire 2-3 people to stay over the field season, positioned at different places in the park.

Noon-1:30 Lunch on your own
1:30- 3:00 Continued TWIG Reports

Nematodes Ernie Bernard
• TWIG includes folks from Poland, Belgium, Spain, and US. has 1200 slides, Some of these experts are old, and may die off before then end of this project. Editor in Chief of Journal of Nematology
• Web pages are being developed for 2 spps, an upcoming thesis, and other progress.
• presented slides of nematodes

Apterygote TWIG Ernie Bernard
• mostly US, but also France and Sweden
• some information is very low confidence.
• progress - estimates of time to sort samples (will help give a better estimate of cost of the project); developing web pages of several species;
• slides of springtails. -- very pretty before their scales fall off in alcohol.
• protura - no antennae, no eyes,

Wasps - John Pickering, Elizabeth Skillen
• been making good progress with wasps, ants,
• Concerned about funding...need to get them to get scientists involved. Like Coast Rica ATBI...lack of funds...get a realistic budget and get the money.
• asked that every ATBI related e-mail be sent as a cc to
• There is good publicity and momentum now, but we need to take advantage of it. Need to be able to show other people how to do it. Wants 1000 taxonomists. Need to captivate another generation of taxonomists...we are losing people with these skills.
• completed some work in a burn site, showing how insects change after a fire. Some animals don't like it, others like it, others are indifferent. Should be able to tell us a burning schedule to impact different spps.

Elizabeth Skillen presented update of her dissertation work.
• 1997 work started in Smokies looking at parasitic wasp diversity in different habitats
• do old growth forests ever recover after logging?
• discussed her dissertation methods- 16 malaise traps in four areas of the park
• have 672 samples, with 90,000 ichneumonids 57 spps, many not in existing literature , many may be new to science.
• key point is managing the samples...lots of data,
Pickering -- we need far more people working on this than we have now.
Peter White - sampling methods are important to maximize the species per unit effort.

Diptera TWIG - Will Reeves
• In May, had a flyquest, only a few have been identified so far.
• have a database of dipterists, but haven't done a mass mailing, because they're not that far along
• webpages, 16 new spps at least, new park and state records,
• big problem will be 78% of all fly spps will be in the park.
• range of spps is not well known
• innovative traps - dry ice brings in flies, road kill,
• lots of legacy material

3:00-3:30 Break- Snacks and beverages provided
3:30- 4:30 Report from Education Activities-- Susan Riechert/ Glen Bogart

Glenn Bogart - Principal of Phi Beta Phi Elementary
• Ed committee is an active standing committee of DLIA
• Mission to develop educational programs and projects that will educate people about the ATBI and its results, train teachers, involve students and volunteers, raise funds.
• Needs- 2-4 TWIGs willing to participate in NSF grant and a brief video presentation from each TWIG leader.

Susan Riechert
• Sticks -- granting agencies, DLIA grants, public opinion,
• Problem - integrity of the scientific mission when students are involved studies; this committee needs to know from the scientists which education projects would be the most useful.
• Correlated studies- Students can provide useful data/observations of species ranges, behavior, populations, respource needs and species composition change.
• Carrots (why should TWIGs work with education efforts): public visibility; granting agencies will like it; grad student cost support; video presentation by leaders; useful data
• NSF Proposal- teacher training - team is 2 teachers and an administrator- training in ATBI background, biodiversity research, hands on projects
• student experience - research in classroom, science fair, field research, school clubs
• needs: more interaction with scientists
• working towards April 2000 preliminary deadline

Other TWIG Reports
Arachnid - Frederick Coyle and James Cokendolpher
Non-acarine Arachnida Progress Report - James Cokendolpher
Copepod Crustaceans - Janet W. Reid
Ectoparasites - Ralph Eckerlin
Slime Mold

Glen: we're in the business of training your replacements. Are we meeting your expectations?
Pick is disappointed that the scientists have not responded to the education folks.

4:30-5:30 Wrap Discussion
What we have heard (Listing of needs)
Frank Harris
• we are now legal entity, but need to finish a business plan.
• need specific and large funds from private sources on the national level. private individuals with strong interests in what we're doing may be a good source to tap. Want to build an endowment fund
• within first quarter we should look locally to build financial support, and do more extensive marketing.
• need to develop list of who has sought, received or applied for funds, where they looked, results etc...
• Need an E newlsetter to inprove communications. Put together a team to look at such a device- Norm Johnson, John Morse, Jody Flemming, Chuck Parker, Nancy Seaberg.
• Need a workshop to asess the needs of ATBI plot placement/ installation

6:00-- Poolside Reception- Dinner provided

Friday -- Our planning meeting will be followed on Friday by Discover Life
in America's Board of Directors' meeting.


Glenn Bogart
George Briggs
Norm Johnson
Tom Kiernan
Frank Harris
Charles Maynard
John Morse
John Pickering
David Scanlon
Elizabeth Skillen
Peter White
Mary Williams

Phil Francis
Larry Hartmann
Keith Langdon
Luciana Musetti
Becky Nichols
Daniell Noon
Chuck Parker
Meryl Rose
Susan Sachs

Jody Flemming