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Discover Life in America

Bumblebee on coneflower. – Charles Wilder

Discover Life in America is a small non-profit organization based in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is our goal to learn all we can about the estimated 100,000 species of life in the park, and share that information with scientists and the public.

The main mission of DLIA is the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. A joint effort with the National Park Service, the ATBI is a concentrated effort to identify and record every single species within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is the first effort of its kind, and organizations all across the US and Europe are following our example.

Discover Life in America funds and organizes the ATBI, bringing some of the world's top researchers into the Smokies. We also try to engage the public with educational programs and volunteer "citizen-science" opportunities.


One of the most exciting elements of the ATBI is the ongoing discovery of organisms that are new to science or are new records for the Park.

Consider this ...

1) It is amazing to think there are living things all around us that have gone undetected.
2) Finding new records is just the first step in this ambitious project aiming to document all life forms in the Park.
3) So far we have discovered 923 species new to science and 7,636 species new to the Park.
4) The ATBI provides understanding about distributions of organisms, as well as their abundance and ecological roles in the Park.
5) From this inventory knowledge, the National Park Service builds monitoring, stewardship protection, education, and research efforts, targeting its decreasing resources to the most needy species.

How to Support

There are many exciting ways you can support our ongoing mission of discovery and education. Participate in citizen science as a volunteer, and join in the discovery with Great Smoky Mountains National Park staff and visiting scientists. Take a look around our store, sponsor your favorite species, or maybe donate something on our wish list. If you have a company, maybe you'd like to become one of our corporate sponsors. Or, have you ever considered what it would be like to name a new form of life?

As a corporate funder, private foundation grant-maker, or individual donor, your support enables Discover Life in America to fulfill its mission as a leader in providing scientific information, education and conservation expertise to help guide effective action.

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