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Wednesday, 31 July 2013 14:26

Students and teachers make the Smokies their classroom

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out classroomThis summer was no waste for teachers and students who enrolled in a Great Smoky Mountains Park program that put them on the front lines of park management.


The Teacher-Ranger-Teacher and the High School Student Intern programs are six-week paid work experiences in which participants learn about the park through on-site training exercises and helping with regular ranger duties.

Teachers worked alongside Park rangers in the field, assisting with resource management activities and education programs. They also developed park-based curriculum for their classrooms. Six local teachers signed up from Tennessee and North Carolina this year, including Rich Harvey from Swain West Elementary.

Twenty-three high school students also signed up, heralding from Haywood, Swain and Jackson counties, Cherokee and other schools in the region. The interns assisted scientists and Park staff with field research and education programs while exploring possible careers. They gained knowledge about wildlife biology, fisheries science, botany, forest and stream ecology, geology, Cherokee history and culture, Appalachian history and park management.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00