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Sorry, this program is FULL. Please email [email protected] to be added to the wait list.

This course is an elective of the Southern Appalachian Naturalist Certification Program.

Explore the hidden backbone of the mountains while immersing yourself in this overlooked yet vital aspect of Smokies natural history. Using field geology techniques, we will 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 workshop we will engage other branches of natural and cultural history, focusing on the influence of geology on biodiversity within the region. During this course we will explore a two-mile roundtrip trail to a waterfall and several short (< 1/4 mile) off-trail hikes.

Goal: To provide students with skills to investigate the geology of the southern Appalachian mountains and interpret how geologic history affects cultural history and biodiversity in that region.

Cost: $390 – includes instruction, food and lodging in our dorm inside Great Smoky Mountains National Park.



Important Information regarding Programs during COVID-19

Thank you for your interest in our program! During this prolonged period of pandemic and isolation, our work of connecting people and nature has never felt more essential.

We are planning to move forward with our field programs in 2021, as we keep a close watch on trends and best practices. Given the uncertainties right now, we are holding off on the specific details we normally include in a welcome letter, i.e. arrival time and procedures, etc.

We feel very good about the safety procedures we put in place during fall 2020 and will likely keep them the same for our 2021 programs. But we also know that things will change during the year, so we are asking you to check back at this website for more specific information as we get closer to the date of your program.

If you have any questions or concerns between now and then, please feel free to get in touch by email or phone: [email protected] or 865-448-9732 ext. 18.


Photo by David Bryant