Winter Road Status
During winter, roads in the park may close due to snow and ice, especially at night when water from melting refreezes on roads. For road status information please call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow road updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »
High School Student Opportunity with Maryville College and Tremont
Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced a new opportunity for high school students to enroll in a two-week "Great Smokies Experience" course offered by Maryville College and Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (Tremont).
Since 1969, Tremont has provided outdoor experiences in Great Smoky Mountains National Park that have given participants life-long memories and provided unique educational opportunities connecting young and old with the great outdoors. Now, thanks to a partnership between Tremont and Maryville College, rising high school juniors and seniors can enroll in a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure course and receive college credit hours in environmental issues at the same time.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for students to explore, study, and learn in a very unique and remarkable 500,000-acre classroom," said Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson. "We are pleased that Maryville College is partnering with Tremont staff and Park Rangers to offer high quality instruction enabling students to receive college credit for the experience."
The first-ever "Great Smokies Experience" will take place July 18 to July 31 at Tremont, located inside the national park, and on Maryville College campus. The two-week course is divided into three sections and includes activities and topics that range from hikes to history and ecosystems to nationalism. Students will spend about half of their time camping at Tremont and the other half living on campus at Maryville College.
"High school students can be powerfully affected by outdoor experiences, but especially if they have the opportunity to do so with an adult who can model enthusiasm and lead them to a deeper understanding of the natural systems at work," said Ken Voorhis, Tremont's Executive Director.
Although the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the cornerstone of this experience, students will take trips to parts of the Cherokee National Forest, to a hydroelectric dam, and other significant sites.
"We are excited about this new program and know that the kids will learn through experience. The course follows our tried and true format - get the students out in the park", said John DiDiego, Education Director at Tremont. "We know we can provide powerful educational experiences in the natural world," he continued. "Partnering with the College brings us expertise from a variety of disciplines, as well as the prestige of working hand-in-hand with top-notch professors and motivated students. Through this partnership, we combine our strengths to raise the bar for education and offer students a world-class course in a world-class national park."
In addition to DiDiego, instructors include Dr. Doug Sofer, Associate Professor of History at Maryville College and Coordinator of the Great Smokies Experience, Dr. Mark O'Gorman, Associate Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of Mayville College's Environmental Studies Program, Bruce Guillaume, Director of Mountain Challenge, and Park Rangers.
Space is limited during the 2013 inaugural year, so interested students should register now.
For more information, contact Doug Sofer or visit the "Great Smokies Experience" web page at http://www.maryvillecollege.edu/academics/learn-by-experience/gse/.
Did You Know?
At 480 feet, Fontana Dam, located on the southwestern boundary of the park, is the tallest concrete dam east of the Rocky Mountains. The dam impounds the Little Tennessee River forming Fontana Lake and produces hydroelectric power. More...