This amazing project has already discovered more than 890 new species which have been totally unknown to science.
ATBI is a co-operative effort between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the international science community. This Park is one of the most bio-diverse areas in the world and has been declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Teams of experts and volunteers from around the world have come to Great Smoky Mountains National Park in an effort to catalogue all species of living things in the Park - birds, bats, snails, moths, salamanders, slime mold- the list is hard to imagine!
This is a study of an amazing extravaganza of life and will take 20 years to complete! The ATBI has been called the biological equivalent of putting a man on the moon. These discoveries will help us to know more about what man can do to better partner with nature. Results of the study could be widereaching including finding new cures for illness, as well as solutions for such natural problems as air-pollution, loss of trees, and disappearing animal habitats. The ATBI study of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is serving as a model for the formation of ATBI projects in other locations.
I would like to encourage you to get your students excited and involved in science and to also get involved in supporting this 20-year project.
Many people do not understand that funding for scientific research is very difficult to find. The ATBI project is no exception; therefore, I have introduced “ the Dollars for Discovery” concept. In the 1930’s, school children collected “ Pennies for the Park” which helped in the purchase of land for Great Smoky Mountains national Park. Because of the efforts of these children, this Park is the only admission free National Park in the United States. I hope that your students will get excited about becoming involved in this most worthy ATBI project. Perhaps you can help your students create a program to volunteer their time or to raise funds to help support the Discover Life in America Foundation (DILA). This foundation was set up to assist in fundraising for this study, and would be pleased to receive any assistance you would like to offer.
Today children hear about so many negative circumstances. Isn’t it encouraging to know that there are dedicated people still making a difference in our world?
If you would like to introduce your students to the great new ATBI discoveries go to: Discover Life in America- All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory