“The Smoky Mountain Field School will enter its 36th year of providing excellent educational programming in 2013. The Field School is a successful partnership between the University of Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offering high-quality workshops, hikes and adventures for people who want to learn more about their beloved Smokies. These non-credit, weekend programs are taught by UT professors, naturalists and other experts at various locations in the Park.”
Below are classes being offered in March:
Introduction to Orienteering
March 9, 2013 :: Neal Buckingham :: $49
In the simplest terms, orienteering is the process of using a map and compass to travel from one place to another. Traditionally, orienteering has been associated with competitive events where participants race cross-country with map and compass to find targets in the shortest period of time. Through lectures, classroom activities and field exercises, you’ll learn the fundamental skills of both competitive and wilderness orienteering.
Advanced Wilderness Orienteering
March 10, 2013 :: Neal Buckingham :: $49
Prerequisite: Introduction to Orienteering
Do you have some outdoor and/or orienteering experience? Then here is a chance to get in-depth instruction on using a map and compass to navigate in remote areas. Lectures and classroom exercises emphasize the advanced aspects of map reading, using an orienteering compass, declination, route projection and improvisation. Practical field exercises enable you to learn first-hand how to navigate from one point to another in the wilderness.
Early Settlers – Their Heritage and Dialect
March 16, 2013 :: Sam Venable :: $49
Journey back to the days of early cove and hillside settlement with award-winning author and columnist Sam Venable and his wife, Mary Ann. This session covers mountain ways, traditions and southern Appalachian dialect. These talented speakers share their views of a past way of life as you sharpen your skills in expressing your perspective of the culture and traditions of the southern highlands. The session includes an easy one-mile (round-trip) woods walk to nearby Cataract Falls as we swap stories and learn from each other.
Hiking – Just Getting Started
March 23, 2013 :: Joey Holt :: $49
Learn from a pro the proper clothing to wear and necessary gear for beginning hikers. Time will be spent on trip planning details and then you’ll hike to see some of the wonders that lie ahead with proper planning and gear. The instructor brings knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to make for an exciting day of learning valuable skills and useful outdoor techniques!
Polliwogs, Eggs and Singing Frogs
March 23, 2013 :: Elizabeth Domingue :: $35
You and your children are in for a treat! Visit various ponds in Cades Cove and help find Spotted Salamander and Wood Frog eggs, tadpoles and salamanders. Weather and frogs permitting, we’ll hear choruses of singing frogs. If we’re fortunate and have quick hands, we’ll catch and get a close-up look at three stages of amphibian development – eggs, larvae and adults. We’ll discuss amphibian biology, ecology and research throughout the afternoon. You’ll leave a little wet but with new friends and life-long memories!
Animal Tracking and Nature Observation
March 24, 2013 :: Wanda DeWaard :: $49
Tracking is an ancient survival skill but it can open up a whole new world to the inquiring mind. Tracking is a focus that enables us to be so much more aware, to experience and to see much more on the natural landscape. We do not need to see the animals to tell that they were there, what they were doing and when they might come back. We’ll learn their stories from the traces they have left behind. Slow down, look closer and accept the challenge of tracking in the Smokies. You may be surprised by what you find.
Public & Private Lands – Providing Habitat Buffers for Our Smokies
March 30, 2013 :: Bill Clabough :: $49
Join Foothills Land Conservancy (FLC) as they present an overview of public and private land projects that provide valuable habitat buffers for our national park. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a guided hike by a FLC staff member to see firsthand the benefit of protecting corridors between the park and neighboring Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests. Bring your walking shoes, curiosity and questions as we explore the land management side of wilderness and learn what you can do to protect the landscape.
Visit the UT website for more information and to register for classes.