Citizen Scientist: Help Conduct Field Research in the Smokies

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Friends of the Smokies has a news release posted on their Facebook page announcing that there will be another Citizen Scientist opportunity in the Great Smoky Mountains this weekend.

Here's the announcement:

Researchers at Great Smoky Mountains National Park are inviting people to volunteer as Citizen Scientists on Saturday, October 3, and join Park biologists and educators in developing scientific data in the national park.

The scheduled field activity will involve mapping locations of ash trees on the Tennessee side of the Park’s backcountry from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Volunteers will learn how to identify ash and other common trees found in the Smoky Mountains, read a topographic map, and use a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. The ash trees are at risk from the invasive, non-native Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that can travel undetected in firewood and nursery stock from quarantined areas of the country into new locations in the Park. The data that is collected will help Park staff map the locations of ash trees parkwide to monitor the health of the forest and detect future infestations.

The volunteers should be prepared to hike up to 5 miles on Park trails and in rough terrain off the main paths. It is recommended that participants wear long pants and comfortable closed-toe shoes or boots for hiking and bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, and rain gear.

Reservations are necessary and participation is limited to 16 people (children 12 and under must bring an adult).

Contact Ranger Susan Simpson at 865/436-1200, ext. 762 for the meeting location and directions.

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