Many people are responsible for the early and continuing success of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) project, especially the members of the Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Panel of Discover Life in America, Inc. (DLIA), and the administrative and scientific staffs of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) (National Park Service-NPS), Friends of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Great Smoky Mountains Natural History Association.

Dr. G. Thomas Watters (Ohio State University) kindly initiated my interest and participation in this project. I extend my appreciation to Drs. John Morris (Clemson University), Keith Langdon (GRSM), Franklin Harris (Chairman, Board of Directors-DLIA), Chuck Parker (U.S.Geological Survey), and Jody Flemming (formerly with DLIA), and Peter White (and other members of the DLIA Board), for their initial and continuing support of this research, and for their tireless and continuing efforts to maintain this outstanding research initiative.

NPS / DLIA / ATBI personnel Keith Langdon, Jeanie Hilten (emeritus), Nancy Keohane, and Janice Pelton were instrumental in facilitating scientific collecting and research permits for this field work when we first became involved in this project. Drs. Becky J. Nichols, Keith Langdon, and Chuck Parker (GRSM-Twin Creeks Center), L. Rick Phillippe (botanist, INHS), as well as Wayne Frankie (Illinois State Geological Survey), Liz Domingue (Outdoor Adventures, Sevierville, TN), and Paul Super (GRSM - Appalachian Highlands Science Center), continue to provide valuable insight into the choice of collecting sites within the Park. Dr. Nichols assisted us with the collection of samples from several sites within the Raven Fork drainage basin in September 2000. Several GRSM Park personnel (Steve Kloster, Dean Mihelich, Kent Looney, and others) have provided assistance to us both during and after our field work. Susan Sachs and Paul Super (Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob) assisted me during my short stay at the 'Purchase' in August 2002, and in particular were instrumental in arranging and hosting a day-long outreach opportunity (lab and field time) with an enthusiastic group of Native American science students and their instructor (Miki Powell) from Cherokee High School (Cherokee, NC). Susan, and Jonathan Mays (NPS) assisted us in September 2003 and again in October 2004, during field trips to the Park by science classes from Cherokee High School. We also thank Ken Voorhis, Michelle Prsysby, and Jennifer Arnold of the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont for their invitation to demonstrate our field methodologies to their program staff members in August 2005.

Pat Cox was instrumental in organizing a special session on the ATBI, that convened during the annual meeting of the Association of Southeastern Biologists in March 2006; many of the research papers presented during this session were published in the journal Southeastern Naturalist - Special Issue 1, in November 2007, including our paper on aquatic oligochaetes in the Park (Wetzel and Morgan 2007; citation included on the 'Literature Cited' section of this website, accessed via a link from the navigator bar at the bottom of this page).

Will K. Reeves provided specimens of and locality information for aquatic oligochaetes he collected from diverse habitats within the Park during the course of his study of aquatic flies and other macroinvertebrates during the first few years of this ATBI in the Park. We extend our appreciation to Polly and Bob Stetler, who have kindly provided accommodations for use as a home base during our years of working in the Park. Drs. R. D. Kathman (College Grove, TN) and Ralph O. Brinkhurst (Lebanon, TN) provide lodging and fruitful discussions during my trips to and from the Park. We also remember Dolly Culver, a life-long resident of western North Carolina who passed away on 5 July 2005. Dolly lived along Horse Creek, adjacent to the Stetler cabin; during our visits to the Park, she enthusiastically shared her wonderful historical perspectives on rural lifestyles (Appalachian culture) along the southern border of the Park, especially her memories of the Pilkey Creek area on the north side of Fontana Reservoir prior to its impoundment, and how the siting of this impoundment forever divided families and social structure in the area. We shall forever remember her kind soul, her trust of us (in spite of our northern roots), and her unselfish, thoughtful gifts of ramps and other local foods and flavors.

I thank the administrative staffs of the Illinois Natural History Survey (Mary Lou Williamson, Kay Moran, Angie Young, Vicki Bohlen, Sue Voegtlin, Michelle Lewis, Lyda Smith, Jason Butler, Linda Riggs, Karen Baumann, and Margaret Wingard), and INHS CBD Center {now DBEE} Director Dr. Geoff Levin), and the numerous professionals associated with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Grants and Contracts office for their assistance in expediting my research proposals. Dr. Christopher A. Taylor (ichthyologist and crustacean systematist, INHS) provided identifications for crayfishes collected during this study - those hosting branchiobdellidans (crayfish worms). Cynthia Briedis, Pamela Carrillo, Joel Dexter, Jacquelyn Hannah, and Mike Knapp (graphic artists, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign), Charlie Warwick (Editor, INHS), Jim Keys (Network Administrator, INHS), and Dr. Steven J. Taylor (aquatic entomologist, INHS) assisted in the production of maps, report photos, slides, and digital images for this project. Current and former INHS Lab technicians Russell Heinrich, Heidi Stuck, Anne Dennett, Maricella Arce, Jessica Jakubanis, Sarah Reisse, Tiana Sudduth, Tara Lynch, Andrea Appleton, Vanessa Block, Karen Baumann, and Kristi Moss assisted with the sorting and processing of macroinvertebrate samples and the databasing of project information. Karyla Trester (INHS web designer and database manager) provided considerable assistance and advice during my long-overdue reorganization of this present website; hopefully, it now loads through your web browser more quickly, and is easily navigated from one page to the next. Karyla has also been assisting me (in collaboration with Chuck Cooper, Michael Kunze, and Chuck Parker, ATBI Database Specialists) with the transfer our project information to the ATBI database. We also thank Jenny Marie Johnson and her staff in the UIUC Map and Geography Library for their assistance each year in pulling (and returning) numerous USGS topographic quadrangle maps.....making our work so much easier when we are in the Park.

We extend our appreciation to Betsy and Jim Froyd for the loan of their 2-person Zodiac and its 'trimmings' during 2002 and 2003, allowing us direct access to remote streams flowing south from the Park into Fontana Reservoir. Rebecca Shiflett and Kevin Fitz Patrick, ATBI photographers and DLIA Board members, provided valuable field assistance, advice on unique habitats to consider for future research, and has enhanced the ability for us to convey our research to others through her incredible photographic documentation of our work and that of other DLIA and ATBI researchers, staff, and volunteers.

The ATBI researchers and DLIA staff extend our continuing appreciation to donors for their direct monetary gifts, leveraged contributions, and in-kind support of this project! If you are interested in contributing in one or more ways to DLIA, to support ATBI research, science education, and/or public outreach, please contact Todd Witcher, the new DLIA Executive Director, via *E-Mail: toddwitcherijams{AT}yahoo.com, or via telephone: (865) 430-4757.

Finally, I acknowledge the invaluable assistance of my co-investigator, M.A. Peggy Morgan (Environmental Specialist II, Florida Department of Environmental Protection [FDEP], Tampa); without her professional expertise and the hundreds of hours she has volunteered during the conduct of our fieldwork, the objectives and goals of this research project could not have been realized.

I encourage you to use the site navigation bar, below, to familiarize yourself with the various aspects of this project, the research and educational opportunities associated with Discover LIfe in America and the All Taxa Biodiversity program, and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

* The '@' symbol has been replaced with '{AT}' to deter the 'sweeping' of active webpages by tractor programs initiated by spammers; you must switch these again in order for your email message to be sent and received].

page update: 11 January 2008.
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Homepage - Project Introduction | Site Map, Locality Information
Project Highlights: --> | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 |
Field Methodology | General Introduction to the Oligochaeta
Checklist of Aquatic Oligochaetes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Classification and Checklist of the Freshwater Oligochaetes occurring in North America North of Mexico
Classification and Checklist of the Leeches occurring in North America North of Mexico.
Goals | Research Sponsors, Funding | Acknowledgments | Literature Cited
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