- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (AP) - Great Smoky Mountains National Park rangers say they are seeking volunteers for a research project about the passage of time in nature.

The park says it is recruiting people who are willing to adopt a tree monitoring plot in areas throughout the Tennessee side of the park for a project related to phenology, or the tracking of nature’s calendar.

A tree monitoring training will be held Feb. 28 at the Twin Creeks Science & Education Center in Gatlinburg. After training, volunteers will be assigned to a phenology plot, for which they will collect data multiple times throughout the growing season.

According to the park, information collected by volunteers will go into a national database to help park rangers understand how earlier spring seasons and cold snaps affect mountain forests.

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