Afternoon of Day 11: The Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center
After leaving our friends at Tremont, we started driving back to Maryville College. First, though, we stopped by the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center to talk more about the ecological history of this region and specifically to discuss the Native American experience in Appalachia. After touring both the inside and outside portions of the museum, we were given the opportunity to hurl darts using an atlatl.
Day 12: Exploring the Ocoee River
One of the running themes in the Great Smokies Experience is to compare and contrast different philosophies and institutional approaches to the management of natural resources. For this reason, we understood from the beginning that our time outside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in other parts of Appalachia are as important as our time within the Park. On Day 12, we looked at two other U.S. Government agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the Tennessee Valley Authority and examined how they attempt to reconcile and balance a wide variety of environmental, economic, social, recreational, and other interests.
Days 13-14: Saying goodbye
Students spent the morning studying for the final examination. Though taking a two-hour examination may not be as fun (or photo-opp worthy) as hiking by a waterfall or kayaking, the students knew from the beginning that they were earning college credit and that the final exam was the last significant academic challenge of the Great Smokies Experience. As with every other challenge they faced, the students rose to the occasion and did top-notch work; we couldn’t be prouder of them. I simply could not have imagined the pilot year of the Great Smokies Experience having gone any better.
Looking forward to 2014
That’s it for 2013. Bruce, John, Mark and I going to miss these students and we hope to see them again in the future. (Feel free to drop by when you’re in the neighborhood!) Meanwhile, it’s time to start preparing for the second year of the Great Smokies Experience. If anyone reading this would like more information about this program, please feel free to email me at doug.sofer[at]maryvillecollege.edu and thanks for checking us out.