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Outdoors

Two faculty members from Western Carolina University’s geology program have been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to use in examining the learning benefits of group undergraduate research while also investigating how water is routed through the ground in Western North Carolina.

The three-year federal grant of $199,099 will fund the project “Testing the Benefits of Undergraduate Research-Based Learning at Various Curricular Levels Using Authentic Research Questions in Hydrogeomorphology.” The project will be directed by Dave Kinner, assistant professor of geology, and Mark Lord, professor of geology and head of WCU’s Department of Geosciences and Natural Resources.

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The USDA Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina announced that it will hold open house at the Highlands District Ranger’s Office from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 11. A previous open house was held Aug. 7.

The open house will give the public a chance to review the building and two-acre property prior to auction on Sept. 28, 2011. The Forest Service will auction the Highlands District Ranger's Office by sealed bids at the Nantahala Ranger District Office, 90 Sloan Road, Franklin, NC, on Sept. 28, 2011 at 11 a.m.

The Forest Service closed the ranger’s office about four years ago as part of an effort to streamline operations. The Highlands Office is situated off 2010 Flat Mountain Road (State Road 1544), approximately 2.5 air miles northwest of the Town of Highlands, NC.

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The public is invited to participate in a field trip to Spring Valley Nursery on Monday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m.

Horticulturist and Master Gardener Bill Messina (pictured) will outline plants favored by birds, butterflies and other wild critters.

The nursery tour is sponsored by the Friends of the Rickman Store as part of the “Gardening for Wildlife Series” led by Debby Boots to promote a better understanding and care of wildlife habitats.

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The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) Rocky Top Trail Crew is searching for horse packers and crew volunteers this fall to help maintain the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The ATC will provide food, tools, equipment and professional Trail Crew leaders to aide volunteers.

The Rocky Top Crew, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, works exclusively on the 35 miles of the A.T. through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park that is open to horse use.

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published: 10/18/2013
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