• 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

Twin Creeks Collections Room

Natural History Collections room at Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN

NPS


Collections:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The park's collections of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, lichens, fungi, and other natural history objects now reside in a new and spacious facility at the Twin Creeks Science and Education Center. There are currently 50,000-60,000 catalogued specimens and a backlog of three to four times that number of uncatalogued material. The collections are especially rich in insects, with material dating back before the formation of the park to much more recently accessed material from the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. To arrange access to the collections for research purposes, please contact the park curator, John McDade, at (865) 436-1295.

University of Tennessee Herbarium
This herbarium, located on the Knoxville Campus of the University of Tennessee, houses extensive plant and fungi collections from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as from Big South Fork, Obed, and the surrounding area. For research access, please contact the Herbarium Director, Dr. B. Eugene Wofford, at (865) 974-2256.


North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
Much of the natural history collections for the Blue Ridge Parkway are housed at the museum's collections in Raleigh, NC. For general inquiries about the Museum of Natural Sciences' research and collections division, please contact Director of Research and Collections, Karen Giroux, at 919.733.7450, ext. 701. For inquiries about specific collections, please contact section curators or collection managers.

Georgia Museum of Natural History
Over 20,000 mammals and amphibians, from 1905 to present, currently reside in Coweeta's GNMH Mammal/Amphibian Collection. Listed at the following web site are the individual species represented in this particular collection, currently housed at the Georgia Museum of Natural History.

 
Twin Creeks Science Center

Twin Creeks Science and Education Center, Great Smoky Mountains NP, TN.

NPS


Laboratory/Work Space:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Most laboratory and work space in the park is limited to two locations: The Twin Creeks Science and Education Center in Tennessee and Purchase Knob in North Carolina. There is also a limited amount of work space available at Tremont for those researchers working with the education programs of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute. The University of Tennessee Greenbrier Field Station, just outside the park, has limited work space for those who stay at the Greenbrier facility.

  • Twin Creeks Science and Education Center is a 15,000 square foot facility located just outside of Gatlinburg, TN. It was dedicated in November of 2007. Besides housing the park’s natural history collections, it features a wet lab with a fume hood, a biological safety cabinet, a rearing room, space for working with the collections, and cubicles for visiting scientists. Contact the Research Coordinator for copies of the standard operating procedures for the use of this facility and information about how to reserve space.
  • Purchase Knob is located just north of Maggie Valley, NC, along the Cataloochee Divide, at 4,900 feet (just under 1,500 meters) elevation. There is a small laboratory space and office work space available for visiting researchers, as well as lodging on site. Contact the Research Coordinator for copies of the standard operating procedures for this facility and information about how to reserve space.
Note that the park requires a strict "pack in, pack out" policy for toxic chemicals.

Highlands Biological Station
The Station, located in the town of Highlands, NC, an hour’s drive south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers laboratory space as well as lodging. Contact (828) 526-2602.

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