Blogging – Not something I ever saw myself doing. The rest will likely be about photography or locations for taking photos. But this one is a bit more serious, and is about something that nature photographers are interested in – nature. It is about those people who dedicate their life, or a portion of it to learn more about nature, and strive to preserve it for all of us. The more we know about the natural world around us, the better equipped we are to preserve it.
Back in the … well let’s say decades ago, I graduated with a major in biology with plans to teach. Often life has other plans for us, and it did for me. At the risk of giving away the decade mentioned above, I will say that Ecology was a big thing at that time, and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was still resonating in the classrooms. The EPA was formed shortly after my graduation and actually took EPA-like actions to protect the environment. Though I never got to teach Biology, I have always maintained an interest in the natural world around me.
In late 2012 I learned of Discover Life in America (DLIA) and I was amazed by what I learned. But first a brief explanation of the organization - very simply put, the organization began around 15 years ago and joined with the National Park Service in a joint effort to identify and record all species that exist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This part of their mission involved a project called the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). That project strives to identify all species and to examine their inter-relationships, habitats, and many other aspects of the populations in order to better understand the organisms and eco-system they occupy. I encourage you to review the brief and informative explanations on their website, which will provide a more on-the-point explanation of their missions.
Now the part that amazed me: not only have they found numerous species living in the Smokies that were not previously known to be there, they have also identified a lot of species that are new to science. In fact an August 31 review of their website showed their current Species Count – new to the park 7,736, and new to Science – 923. I would never have guessed that these numbers would have occurred. I would have been impressed with dozens of new species. My hats off to all of those dedicated employees and volunteers. Visit the website, and if you are also into their work, review their donation page and give that some thought.
DLIA – Discover Life in America (www.dlia.org)