Classroom Presentations


Wildflowers, Wildflowers, Wildflowers

Wildflowers are all around us throughout our Smoky Mountain spring, summer, and fall. Learn some identification tips, medicinal and edible uses, and where and when you can find the many colorful varieties of wildflowers, and flowering trees and shrubs. We’ll also enjoy sharing some interesting stories about the life histories and the names of various species. This presentation is easily adapted to areas outside of the Smokies as well.

Amphibians and Reptiles of the Smokies

Find out why the Smokies is known as the “Salamander Capital of the World”! Come and enjoy a slide presentation highlighting the identification, general biology, ecology, and life histories of various species of amphibians and reptiles found in the Smokies. Learn about these interesting animals and how they play a vital role in many ecosystems. This presentation is easily adapted to areas outside of the Smokies as well

Introduction to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

This presentation provides a broad informative overview of the incredible diversity and beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It includes a discussion of the various habitats, plants, and animals found in the Smokies as well as seasonal changes and highlights. Some cultural aspects of this region (so rich in human history) will also be addressed. Information will be presented on the ongoing All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), a very important large-scale inventory project conducted by the Park Service and many cooperating scientists, students and volunteers.

Elk, Back in the Smokies

Are elk here to stay? A large member of the deer family, elk are native to the eastern and western United States. Learn about the general biology, ecology, and history of elk in the United States. We’ll also discuss results of the experimental restoration of elk conducted in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Introduction to Birdwatching

Become better acquainted with birds as we investigate the basics of bird identification, behavior, and ecology. This presentation provides information on the tools of the trade (binoculars and field guides), the skills needed to become a birder (such as patience and the ability to be still and quiet), and the importance of knowing what to look for (such as the various field marks). Bird behavior, flight patterns, habitats, birdsong, and birding etiquette are all discussed in this presentation. The topic of “attracting birds”, or “how to make your yard a better habitat for birds” can also be included.

Fall in the Smokies

Experience Fall in the Smokies through pictures and discussion. Highlights will include wildflowers, fall foliage, the activities of bear, elk and other wildlife and other wonders of this grand crown jewel of our national parks.

Photography For Naturalists

As Naturalists we have the opportunity and desire to show others the many natural wonders that intrigue us. At times we are asked to present our knowledge regarding particular subjects. The next best thing to being in the field is a well-done slide presentation. Photography is an important tool for many Naturalists and one worth pursuing both for the presentation of our subjects and for the pure enjoyment of this creative outlet. We will explore basic techniques and skills of photography for Naturalists and how to use these skills to showcase your specific natural subjects. Topics discussed include equipment, lighting, exposure, composition, ethics and animal behavior.

This program works well when followed by an outdoor session where skills and technique can be practiced in a more hands-on fashion.

Salamander Capitol of the World

More salamanders can be found in this southern Appalachian region than anywhere else in the world (if you know where to look)! Join us for a slide presentation and discussion highlighting the identification, general biology, ecology, and life histories of various species of salamanders found in the Smokies, and the vital role they play in many ecosystems.