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?
More than 240 species of birds have been found in the park. Sixty species are year-round residents. Nearly 120 species breed in the park, including 52 species from the neo-tropics. Many other species use the park as an important stopover and foraging area during their semiannual migration.