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The Appalachian Highlands Science Learning Center (AHSLC) is part of a network of research learning centers in the national park system established to increase the amount and effectiveness of research and research-based education. Located in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and serving the parks of the Appalachian Highlands Monitoring Network (Blue Ridge Parkway, Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Obed Wild and Scenic River), staff at the AHSLC often collaborate with researchers to develop ways to extend their field season using citizen scientists. One of the longest running citizen science projects sponsored by the AHSLC is an ozone biomonitoring garden project.
This project is a direct offshoot of research originally funded through a grant from the National Geographic Society (project no. 6617-99) and later continued under funding from the National Park Service’s Natural Resource Preservation Program (NRPP) (PMIS no. 66941). The research was headed up by a team of five researchers, but the two who specifically assisted National Park Service staff in developing the student monitoring program were Howard Neufeld, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, and Arthur Chappelka, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.