Learn about the environmental research projects in which TRGT plays a role!
TRGT has been tracking the migration of two songbird species (Louisiana Waterthrush and Worm-eating Warblers) with light-level geolocator tracking devices. This project is part of a large-scale study alongside the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, University of Toledo, and Harding University. The TN River Gorge is one of four study sites where the migratory songbirds are captured and tracked. TRGT partnered with La Paz Chattanooga to use the science to spark a cultural exchange program with communities in Guatemala.
TRGT established a water quality program in 2015 to monitor perennial streams in the Gorge. We partner with the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and GA Adopt-A-Stream to certify employees as chemical, bacterial, and macroinvertebrate monitors.
Yellow-billed Cuckoo Migratory Tracking
The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is working to track a variety of migratory bird species with innovative technologies. The project aims to advance the understanding of migratory wildlife and promote conservation efforts by learning more about the birds’ entire annual cycle. The Tennessee River Gorge served as one study site in an affiliated project to track Yellow-billed Cuckoos. The TRGT avian research team assisted the Smithsonian field crew with survey work, logistics, and property access.
University of Tennessee Chattanooga- Graduate Research
TRGT partners with UTC professors and students on various environmental research projects. Our involvement can vary from property access to our staff conducting the research itself. In 2016, UTC graduate student and TRGT Avian Technician Holland Youngman completed her thesis research on the post-fledgling habitat of Worm-eating Warblers in the Gorge. Currently, graduate student UTC Eliot Berz and TRGT staff member is working on his thesis research on the migratory behaviors of Louisiana Waterthrush and Worm-eating Warblers. Additionally, Dr. Jennifer Boyd and graduate student Jared Odell are conducting research on the endangered Large-flowered Skullcap in the Gorge.
in 2017, TRGT took part in the first ever Orianne Society’s Bioblitz. The team of professionals and committed volunteers combed the Gorge for all of the amphibian and reptile species they could find, totaling 39 species and over 100 individual animals! TRGT’s volunteer, Rob Ritchie, also regularly conducts surveys throughout the Gorge.