MC Students evaluate the health of Great Smoky Mountains National Park streams

MC Students evaluate the health of Great Smoky Mountains National Park streams

Students from Maryville College spent a beautiful Saturday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park with Dr. David Unger and Dr. Nathan Duncan of Maryville College and Dr. John Enz of Jacksonville University (Jacksonville, Florida) learning about macroinvertebrate sampling and identification. Dr. Enz is a NABS (North American Benthological Society) certified aquatic entomologist.

Students sampled two separate streams, one of which possesses introduced Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and one that contains only native brook trout. Data collected by students mark the beginning of a pilot study for a research project collaboratively developed by Dr. Unger, Dr. Enz, and Dr. Duncan (MC Assistant Professor of Chemistry) and recently permitted by Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

This workshop is part of an ongoing collaboration between Maryville College and Jacksonville University to enhance to the curricula at each institution. Maryville College students have traveled to Florida to study coastal birds while Jacksonville University students have traveled to MC to perform herpetological (amphibians/reptile) studies in both the college woods and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

During spring break 2014, Dr. Enz was a co-leader on Maryville College’s first Natural Sciences specific study abroad to Bonaire, Municipality of the Netherlands. Later this spring Dr. Unger will return these efforts by traveling back to Bonaire with Dr. Enz and students from both Jacksonville University and Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia). Dr. Enz plans to return to Maryville College with this herpetology class again in the fall 2014.


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”