Discover Life in America was organized in 1998 after over one hundred researchers, educators, government officials and other interested parties met to discuss the idea of an All Taxa (species) Biodiversity Inventory of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Conference attendees agreed that an umbrella organization would be needed to manage the logistics of such a project. DLIA was born to address the needs of coordinating the research, raising and administering funds, developing facilities and infrastructure, and reaching out to the public through education and volunteer programs
On February 17, 1998 the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy hosted a meeting with Discover Life in America and members of the National Park Service in support of the Smokies All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI).
Spring of 1999 marked the inaugural field season of the Smokies ATBI and saw DLIA host researchers from around the world; providing free housing, logistical support and funding. Public interest in the project soared after articles appeared in publications such as Science, Newsweek, National Parks and on National Public Radio. As a result, DLIA began volunteer training days and hosted Nature Quests during which researchers and volunteers combed the park for fungi, flies, soil invertebrates and algae. The data collected during the Nature Quests yielded new species records for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as well as species completely new to science.
Today this research is still ongoing and DLIA has currently cataloged nearly 1,000 new to science species and over 9,000 new to park species.
DLIA is a non-profit organization coordinating the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We work with scientists locally and around the globe in an effort to catalog all life within the park.
DLIA in coordination with Great Smoky Mountains National Park is conducting the most ambitous biodiversity survey thus far, called the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). The ATBI seeks to locate and identify every species living in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. So far, with the work of scientists from around the globe, DLIA has inventoried roughly 1,000 new to science species and over 10,000 new to the park species.
Discover Life in America will develop a model for research in biodiversity. DLIA will use this knowledge to develop and disseminate information to encourage the discovery, understanding, preservation, and enjoyment of natural resources