Spring Road Status
During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
Meet the Managers: Inventory & Monitoring
NPS photo by Laura Carnal.
This month, meet the people and projects in Inventory & Monitoring.
What is Inventory & Monitoring (I & M)? Scientists in the park’s Inventory & Monitoring program have two important roles:
The Smokies covers over 500,000 acres, so scientists choose small areas called plots that represent the huge range of habitats and elevations in the park. Plots are in forests, grasslands, wetlands, and even sections of streams and cliff faces. Park geographers, biologists, botanists, foresters, and entomologists all take part in this work. Depending on what they’re studying, park staff may record
This information serves as a quantitative baseline. Over time, scientists return to the carefully mapped plots to watch for changes from this known baseline, which might be the first sign of a problem in the park ecosystem as a whole. Why inventory and monitor park life? Go to page 2 to find out.
Did You Know?
The wispy, smoke-like fog that hangs over the Smoky Mountains comes from rain and evaporation from trees. On the high peaks of the Smokies, an average of 85 inches of rain falls each year, qualifying these upper elevation areas as temperate rain forests. More...