Great Smoky Mountains National Park, GIS

Current AmeriCorps Member: Russell Fulcher & Marjorie Jerez


Recruiting for the 2018-2019 service year starting on August 6th, 2018

Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Ridge upon ridge of forest straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. World renowned for its diversity of plant and animal life, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and the quality of its remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture, this is America’s most visited national park.

Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Geographic Information Science (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present all types of spatial or geographical data. The park engages in numerous infrastructure development and maintenance activities which require GIS data  for planning and natural resource management. The GIS team assists planners and resource managers in creating and evaluating data used by the park to ensure National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance as well as effective use and management of spatial and non-spatial data in support of park facility management operations, law enforcement systems and public safety. This includes development and deployment of data which supports visitor services such as campground facilities, Emergency Action Plans (EAP), trail maintenance, and emergency spill response. The goal of this project is to provide the park with a comprehensive Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the use of GIS data in park planning that compliments service-wide facility planning and resource conservation initiatives such as “Foundation” and “NPAtlas”.

All publicly available GIS datasets are posted online at the NPS IRMA Portal with more are added every month. For example, data on landslides and other disturbances was recently posted. You can access the Smokies data by selecting “Great Smoky Mountains National Park” from the NPS Unit dropdown. The same can be done for other NPS sites. GIS themes currently or eventually available include vegetation cover, bedrock geology, disturbance history, fire history, atmospheric deposition models, and topographic indices. The data for the Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS soils map that was just completed for the Park also can be downloaded at the Soil Data Mart under “Tennessee”.

Position Description

Partner Website:

Published by

Jason Scott

CAC AmeriCorps Program Director Since 2015.