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Explore the hidden backbone of the mountains while immersing yourself in this overlooked — yet vital— aspect of Smokies’ natural history. In this course, you’ll use field geology techniques to investigate both popular and lesser-known locales in the park, examine sedimentary and metamorphic outcrops, and discuss geologic structures like folds and faults. The workshop will conclude by compiling our collective observations to illustrate the geologic history of the Smokies.

Throughout the weekend workshop, we will engage other branches of natural and cultural history, focusing on the influence of geology on biodiversity within the region. Hands-on explorations will include a two-mile roundtrip hike to a waterfall and several short (< 1/4 mile) off-trail hikes.

This elective course is perfect for Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program participants and graduates, as well as those who are simply interested in further developing their naturalist skills.

Cost: $420
Registration includes instruction, food, and lodging in our dorm inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Register Online

Already Registered? Check out the welcome letter for required readings, a tentative itinerary, and other essential details for your stay.

Important Information Regarding Programs During COVID-19

During this prolonged period of pandemic and isolation, our work of connecting people and nature has never felt more essential. We are making safety a top priority for visitors and staff — for the latest details about our COVID-19 response and policies, visit our COVID-19 updates page.


Cover photo by Jason Deck.

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