Science Cafe: From Bacteria to Black Bears
Discovering New Species and Documenting Life in the Great Smoky Mountains
Is it possible scientists have discovered more than 900 new species to science in our most visited National Park? Every aspect of life in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is being studied extensively by scientists. The goal is to discover and catalog every type of living organism in the park, from bacteria and slime molds to black bears and elk. This project is called the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (or ATBI) and it is being coordinated by Discover Life in America (DLIA). In the past twelve years a remarkable 922 species new to science and more than 7,000 species new to the park have been documented by teams of DLIA scientists and volunteers. Please join us to get an update on this amazing project.
About the Speaker
Todd P. Witcher is the Executive Director of Discover Life in America, the non-profit coordinating the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Prior to this, Witcher worked as an educator for 16 years at Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, TN. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee in Biology (1987), a Master’s in Business from Lincoln Memorial University (1991), and a Master’s in Education from the University of Tennessee (1997).
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