School Partners: Cherokee Middle School, Cherokee High School, New Kituah Academy
In Phase 1 of this project, students investigated the impacts of acid deposition and air pollution on park
resources through a variety of citizen science projects designed to provide the park with long-term
monitoring information. The projects were designed by park resource management staff in conjunction
with local teachers, park resource education staff, and collaborating researchers. Students learned how
to utilize various forms of technology to collect data while in the park that will be entered into long-term
monitoring databases housed on the Hands on the Land website (ozone bio-monitoring, water quality,
salamanders, terrestrial invertebrates, and lichens).
In Phase 2 of the program, four middle school students and two middle school teachers from each of the
participating 21st CCLC school systems in Western North Carolina attended a two-day, three-night
retreat at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. At the retreat, students participated in a
variety of citizen science projects and teachers collaborated on developing a series of citizen science
projects that they then set up on their own school campuses. After the retreat, the students and
teachers visited each school campus to help collect data for the various projects. The projects were then
teacher-led and available to any student attending the participating schools. This portion of the project
created a community of practice for participating teachers and schools.