Salamander Study: This project has students collect data on the proximity of salamanders to a stream. During the field portion, students check under "wood cookies" for salamander locations. What are the abiotic conditions when salamanders are found further from the stream? Explore our data to find out.
Ozone Bio-monitoring Study: Ground-level ozone creates visible symptoms on sensitive plants that are exposed to this invisible air pollutant. Students collect data on the percent of ozone damage covering leaves on plants growing in our monitoring garden. Explore the data to find out what the symptom looks like, how quickly it progresses and how you might be able to monitor in your schoolyard.
Terrestrial Invertebrate Study: Changes in climate can result in subtle shifts in phenology (life cycle events such as when an insect emerges or when a plant blooms). Students collect data on insect orders found living in decaying leaves in our study plot. Explore the data to find out if the appearance of certain insects is shifting over time.
Water Quality Study: All streams in the Smokies originate in the park but even they are not pristine because of acid deposition and recreational activities in the park. Compare data collected by students in the park with a stream near your schoolyard. How does the pH differ, which location gets the most Stonefly larvae?
Lichen Monitoring: Lichens absorb nutrients from the air when they are wet which makes them sensitivie to acid deposition. Data is collected on the perecentage of coverage of three different lichen growth forms on selected trees throughout Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Are sensitive lichen growth forms being replaced by more tolerant groups?Using the databases, students can compare changes over time and geography.
Hands on History: Search photos, transcribed interviews and other first hand personal accounts of life in the region before Great Smoky Mountains became a National Park. There is also a database containing information from every cemetery and every gravestone located in the Smokies. Check out the teacher resource section for classroom activities.
Click any of the database links to explore our student citizen science research projects.
Are you doing a similar study in your own schoolyard? Add your location to the Hands on the Land database to track your own research findings. Just become a member of the Hands on the Land network of educators.