UT Hosts Great Smoky Mountains National Park Photography Exhibit; Public Invited to Opening

The Smoky Mountain Field School is hosting a new photography exhibit celebrating Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 75th anniversary. Free and open to the public, “Smoky Mountain Field School: Images from the National Park’s 75th Anniversary” will be on display weekdays through the end of December on the fourth floor of the UT Conference Center.

The exhibit features 17 photographs taken by field school instructors Kent Cave, Kendall Chiles, Liz Domingue and Kathy Zachry as well as two historical photographs from the national park’s archives, including one of an animated President Franklin D. Roosevelt who participated in the park’s dedication in 1940.

“Not only are our field school instructors knowledgeable about the park, they’re also extraordinary photographers,” said Norvel Burkett, assistant provost of the University of Tennessee’s Division of University Outreach & Continuing Education. “Their photographs certainly show the beauty and diversity of our great national park.”

“We’re pleased that the University of Tennessee is celebrating the park’s beauty with a photography exhibit,” said Dale Ditmanson, superintendent of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. “Our educational partnership with the Smoky Mountain Field School allows us to offer enriching opportunities for participants to learn about the resources of the park in an intimate way. This exhibit will showcase a few of those magnificent resources.”

Now in its 31st year, the Smoky Mountain Field School is an educational partnership between the University of Tennessee’s Division of University Outreach & Continuing Education and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The field school is an integral partner in the park’s Resource Education program, which reaches more than 3 million people each year, including more than 79,000 in formal, ranger-led programs.

The field school serves another 800 or so in a more in-depth manner with a variety of instructors with specialized expertise in the natural and cultural resources of the Smokies. The 2009 season continues through October.

Cave is a 28-year veteran of the National Park Service, currently serving as the Supervisory Ranger for North District Resource Education in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. His photographs have appeared in numerous books, brochures and other materials published by Great Smoky Mountains Association.

Chiles is a freelance nature photographer with more than 20 years of experience. His photos have appeared in numerous books and magazines, and he is a frequent instructor at photography workshops.

Domingue is a naturalist, educator, photographer and writer whose photos have appeared in a variety of books, magazines and brochures.

Zachry, who has more than 50 combined years of backcountry identification and hiking experience with husband Joel, has taught field school courses since the early 1980s.

Visit http://www.outreach.utk.edu/smoky for a 2009 course calendar, or call UT Professional & Personal Development at (865) 974-0150 for a free Smoky Mountain Field School catalog.