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Smoky Mountain Field School


Bear U

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and everyone can take part in the celebration!

The centennial will kick off a second century of stewardship of America’s national parks and engaging communities through recreation, conservation, and historic preservation programs.

In 1916, Congress created the National Park Service, also known as “America’s Best Idea.” Today there are 409 park units, which encompass 84.5 million acres in all 50 states and four territories. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses 522,427 acres and is the nation’s most-visited park, with over 10 million visitors annually.

The University of Tennessee partnered with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 39 years ago to create the Smoky Mountain Field School, an entity which promotes learning in our natural world. Enthusiastic experts share their passion for learning with participants in Field School courses.

SMFS Courses

As a cooperative effort between Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the University of Tennessee, the Field School offers unique opportunities to Explore, Learn and Enjoy in one of the nation’s premier national parks through indoor workshops and outdoor field adventures. Participants may choose from over 30 experts teaching more than 80 sessions to enhance their appreciation of nature and the wealth of diversity within our Smokies and southern Appalachians.

The environment for learning found within the 800 square miles of these Great Smoky Mountains and the dedication, enthusiasm, knowledge, and experience of the Field School staff, comprised of college and university professors, park personnel and retirees, naturalists, wildlife advocates, and other professionals, is unparalleled.

Come join us for a day or more to Explore, Learn and Enjoy and become part of the following of more than 700 individuals who participate annually in a multitude of offerings on flora and fauna. Get to know your national park, its landscape, wildlife, and intrinsic value to humankind while renewing the family spirit, making a new friend, or simply fulfilling a desire for a wilderness learning adventure.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The National Park Service

Photography for the Smoky Mountain Field School website has been graciously provided by Appalachian Bear Rescue, Kent Cave, James Mayo, and Field School instructors Wanda DeWaard, Liz Domingue, Kendall Chiles, Butch McDade, Sam and Mary Ann Venable, and Kathy and Joel Zachry.

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Questions? E-mail us at or call (865) 974-0150.

Bear U
In response to a growing interest in the icon of wilderness, the majestic black bear, the Field School is offering three varied and informative courses for 2016. Each course will be taught by a different instructor, providing diverse and personal perspectives on this amazing animal, with some class time and easy to moderate hiking.

Bear U
Join this new opportunity to become a certified Junior Naturalist as the Smoky Mountain Field School offers a unique and fun learning adventure as we celebrate the National Park Service’s 100th year of service!

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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System