Smokies biodiversity nonprofit receives grant to continue education programs

Local News

Source: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE) – Discover Life in America has received a grant from East Tennessee Foundation as a part of their Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund.

DLiA will use the funding to continue the summer internship program by paying for housing and intern stipends in 2021 and to hold several virtual workshops for teachers about their iScience and Snapit and Mapit projects.

iScience is DLiA’s schoolyard biodiversity program in cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority. It aims to increase appreciation for Tennessee’s biodiversity, and foster student’s interest in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Snapit and Mapit is a community science-based project using iNaturalist to gather data about priority species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. They currently have 16 partner schools and hope to add more in the coming years.

DLiA focused on recording the biodiversity in the Smokies. More than 20,100 species have been documented there so far, but there are an estimated 60,000-80,000 total species living in the park.

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