The National Park Service kicked off the New Year by breaking ground on their Twin Creeks Science and Education Center. The First-of-its-kind facility will support all of the Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI); an initiative to document all of the life forms within the , enabling scientists to make educated decisions about protecting and preserving the park’s precious ecosystem. The 15,000 square-foot facility will not only house research laboratories, but will also play host to a curatorial space for specimens collection, and a teaching space for students. As part of the National Park Service’s project mission, they have adopted the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED rating system, and is targeting LEED Certification upon its completion this fall.
The Twin Creeks Science and Educatio Center provides not only a research and education center, but an opportunity to build interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers – taxonomists, biologists, botanists, and ecologist from the National Park Service; other govnerment agencies; and partner colleges, universities, and museums. As stated by Keth, Langdon, the park’s supervisory biologist, The Twin Creeks Science and Education Centr will dramatically increase our ability to discover, understand, and protect the more than 100,000 species throught to be living in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.