Observe plants and animals on the Appalachian Trail



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Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a national not-for-profit corporation that was established in 1925 in order to help protect and manage the Appalachian Trail (A.T), ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow and for centuries to come.  The ATC cooperatively manages the A.T., working closely with the National Park Service, the USDS Forest Service, other state and federal partners, and the 31 volunteer Trail maintaining clubs.

The ATC has been working to establish monitoring sites along the Trail where volunteers and citizen scientists can go to monitoring phenology.  The ATC is interested in monitoring phenology as both an education and outreach opportunity and as a means of gathering useful ecological data.  Learn more about the Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is America’s oldest conservation and recreation organization. A private non-profit with more than 100,000 members, advocates, and supporters in the Eastern U.S., the AMC’s mission is to promote the protection, enjoyment and stewardship of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region. We believe that mountains, forests, and waters have intrinsic worth and also provide recreational opportunities, spiritual renewal, and ecological and economic health for the region.

The AMC Research Department began monitoring phenology in the alpine areas of the Northeast in 2003.  The program now includes citizen science opportunities above and below treeline along the A.T. corridor.  Learn more about the AMC


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Much of the research and citizen science activity within the park, including the park’s phenology monitoring, is coordinated by the Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center (AHSLC).  This Research Learning Center is a National Park Service Program with the mission to increase the amount and effectiveness of research in the Appalachian highlands network parks that meet management needs while increasing public access to and understanding and appreciation of these research activities.  The park began monitoring tree phenology plots in 2010.  Learn more about the AHSLC