• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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  • Trail Advisory

    Several trails in the park are temporarily closed. Please check the "Backcountry Facilities" section of the Temporary Road and Facilities Closures page for further details. More »

Teacher Workshops

Teachers examine organisms found in leaf litter during a teacher workshop
Teacher workshop participants examining the organisms found in leaf litter.

Most workshops are offered free of charge or at a reduced rate. See below for details on upcoming workshops.

Upcoming Workshops

Weather, Climate and Technology - 2 separate workshops
November 16, 2013 at the Knoxville Zoo
December 7, 2013 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville

Experience technology we can bring to your classroom as we live video chat with Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks. Presenters from Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the National Weather Service will also share STEM lessons and classroom activities on weather and climate. The workshop is FREE and lunch is provided.

To register for the Nov. 16 Knoxville workshop, e-mail us.
To register for the Dec. 7 Asheville workshop, e-mail us.

Salamanders and Storms: Climate Issues in the Smokies
February 21-23, 2014 at Tremont
Teaching about climate change issues can be challenging. Learn the science of what is happening in the Smokies so you can bring current and relevant information from guest speakers and citizen science activities back to your students. This weekend workshop lasts from Friday supper to Sunday lunch. $50 non-refundable registration fee includes all instruction, meals, lodging and classroom materials. Register through Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

Spring in the Smokies
May 2 - May 4, 2014 at Purchase Knob
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is world renowned for its diversity of wildflowers and salamanders. Explore a high elevation cove forest and stream-side habitat for salamander as well as the blooms of spring. Sign up for this workshop through the NC Museum of Natural Science. The cost is $75 but it includes lodging at Lake Junaluska and several meals for the weekend.

Smoky Mountain Science Teacher Institute
June 16 - June 24, 2014 at Tremont

Immerse yourself for one week in the biological diversity of the Smokies and return home with exciting new ideas for involving your students in hands-on STEM science. Throughout the week, we will visit different Smokies habitats with research experts to learn about the park's amazing natural resources as well as the environmental problems threatening them. All lodging and meals for the week are provided free of charge. A $50 non-refundable registration fee is required. Register through the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont.

Got Elk? Fall Research in the Smokies
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014
Spend the weekend exploring fall in the beautiful Cataloochee Valley, home to the new elk herd in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We will also participate in several citizen science studies designed to monitor the impacts of air pollution to park resources. These studies can be replicated back in your schoolyard or other nearby natural area. Sign up for this workshop through the NC Museum of Natural Science. The cost is $75 but it includes lodging at Lake Junaluska and several meals for the weekend.


Education Facilities

The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont is a residential environmental learning center located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tremont offers workshops and programs for everyone, from teachers to grade school children to Elderhostel groups. Several special programs for teachers are offered including Teacher Escape Weekends, a Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification series, and Science Teacher Institutes, to help you improve your teaching skills while enjoying the beauty of the park. For more information, call (865) 448-6709 or visit the Tremont website.

Tremont also offers the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program (SANCP) in partnership with the University of Tennessee. Complete eight courses to earn a certificate in natural history and interpretative skills.

The Smoky Mountain Field School offers high-quality workshops, hikes, and adventures for people who want to enhance their enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of the Smokies and the great outdoors. For more information and a schedule of programs, call (865) 974-0150.

Did You Know?

President Roosevelt at the park's Rockefeller Memorial.

Money to buy the land that became Great Smoky Mountains National Park was raised by individuals, private groups, and even school children who pledged their pennies. In addition, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial Fund donated $5 million to create the park. More...