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

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

The Southern Appalachians: The Perfect Place for Research

weather ballon

Meteorology researchers from Duke and UNC-Asheville release a weather balloon from Purchase Knob, Great Smoky Mountains NP.


Research Needs:

Although most prospective projects offer value to the park's mission, we especially solicit applications that relate to the following topics:

  • Assessing risk for habitats potentially endangered by climate change—where are the refugia likely to be located in within the park?
  • Emerging wildlife and forest pests and pathogens.
  • Ecology and control of non-indigenous species
  • Watershed- and landscape-scale analysis of ecosystem functions.
  • Long-term ecological monitoring complementing existing monitoring programs.
  • The effects of atmospheric pollution, noise, and light pollution—establishing of critical loads for pollutants.
  • The effects of human activities and habitat fragmentation in and around the park.
  • Documenting and describing species diversity; modeling species distributions and factors controlling it using data now available.
  • Wetland classification, function and formation—assessing contaminants.
  • Pollination biology—especially for endemic plants and invertebrates.
  • Amphibian declines—pathogens and environmental factors.
  • Soils and geological studies building on our recently completed soils and geological maps of the park.

Click here for a more detailed research needs catalogue.

Note: research involving significant experimental manipulation or taking of large numbers of organisms may not be appropriate for within a National Park area.

Return to research home page.

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