Discover Life in America

1998 General Planning Meeting

Invitation & General Information

Emailed to selected individuals
November, 1998

Subject: INVITATION -- Gatlinburg, 14-17 December


Greetings. This email gives you information about Discover Life in America's up-coming general planning meeting in Gatlinburg,14-17 December. While we hope that you have already been invited by our committee chairs and team coordinators, this is our way of formally inviting you to participate and including those of you whom may not have been contacted. For those of you who haven't already put this meeting on your schedule, please forgive the short notice. While we have developed a "brain" since last December's meeting, we're still very much a new volunteer organization that is learning to work with our growing "body."

The goals of our meeting are to (1) develop and write a long-term strategic plan for Discover Life in America, including a mission statement and timeline, (2) develop detailed written 1-year plans for Discover Life in America's Science, Education, Development, Information Management, Communications, and Finance committees and the ATBI's Design, Taxonomy, Collecting, Sorting, Curation, Web, Database, Business, Education and Outreach teams, (3) assign responsibilities for accomplishing and evaluating the success of these plans, (4) develop outlines for several funding proposals, and (5) get to know each other and share ideas.

Here is some information to help you plan for this meeting. Updates and details will be posted as they become available under "Events" at <>.

Monday, 14 December -- Assemble, Field Trips, Open House, Get-to-Know Reception 8:00 - 17:00 -- Twin Creeks "Research Park" will host an open house all day. This will include visits to our demonstration plot. This open house is being organized by Chuck Parker <>. Although appointments are not necessary, you may wish to drop him a line if you have special interests.

Starting 12:00 -- Field trip to spruce-fir habitat
Starting 13:00 -- Field trip to old-growth cove hardwood habitat
Starting 14:00 -- Mystery tour -- by popular demand, suggestions being accepted.
If you wish to go on a field trip, please contact Dana Soehn <>.

Starting 19:00 -- Get-to-know reception at Glennstone Lodge.

Tuesday, 15 December -- Overview, charges, working groups
8:30 -- 12:00 -- Overview of Discover Life in America & ATBI; charge to working groups
13:00 -- 17:00 -- Working Groups -- Outlining issues and problems
Starting 19:00 -- Informal Dinner

Wednesday, 16 December -- Working Groups
8:30 -- 17:00 -- Real work -- Formulating solutions and plans
Starting 19:00 -- Informal Dinner and Social

Thursday, 17 December -- Pulling it all together. Press invited
8:30 -- 12:00 Working Group Reports and Discussion
13:00 -- 5:00 Plenary Session, Distinguished Speakers
Starting 19:00 -- Banquet

Friday -- Our planning meeting will be followed on Friday by Discover Life in America's Board of Directors' meeting in Knoxville. Details of Friday's agenda and venue will be posted on the Web for Board members and others of you who wish to attend.

The meeting held the Glennstone Lodge/Days Inn in Gatlinburg. Details on travel and lodging will be placed on the Web under "Events." We ask that you MAKE YOUR OWN reservations by calling the Glennstone 800-362-9522 or 423-436-9361. Charles Maynard has arranged for us to have a block of rooms. Please tell them that you are with Discover Life in America. Although the exact price is still under negotiation, for those of you who will be contributing your own funds, we expect that double rooms will be between $45 and $55 per night. Please contact Nancy Keohane <> (phone: 423-430-4740) if you need help making travel arrangements.

Please R.S.V.P. to Heather Alley letting her know if you plan to attend. Let her know when you will arrive and leave so that we can better plan our logistic needs. She can be reached via email at <>, phone: 706-542-6676, or FAX: 706-542-3344. For those of you who can afford it, we intend to charge a registration fee of between $50 and $75 to cover the cost of food and beverages.

We have limited funds to cover the costs of this meeting and are asking those of you who have grants, travel budgets, and who can otherwise afford it to cover your own costs. For those on limited budgets, we have some funds to cover your lodging and food, thanks to the generosity of the Natural History Association and the Friends of Great Smokies. They have raised this money through their grass-roots efforts -- the Park's gift shop, chocolate sales, benefit concerts, etc. If enough people contribute to the cost of the meeting by covering their own expenses, we should be able to cover the expenses of all those in need of help. Our goal is to enable everyone who wishes to attend to do so. What we save on this meeting we will use to support science and educational projects this spring and summer. If you need free lodging, we can provide you a room, so long as you are willing to share it with a roommate. Please let Heather know if you need free lodging. She can help you select a roommate from our large selection of heavy-smoking, noisy, eccentrics.

Discover Life in America has set aside $3,000 to help invitees with airfares. We intend to divide this amount equally among those invited who request travel assistance. If 60 people ask for support, it's only $50 each. If only a few folks ask, then we can cover their full fares. We hope that this is fair. We wish to avoid value judgements of whether one taxonomist, for example, is or isn't more important than another, or an teacher, or a databaser. In an ALL taxa study, we hope to support the study of all taxa. Clearly, we need to work together to raise funds, sell our vision, and expand the resources that we can thus share. Again, we ask that you please try to contribute to your own travel expenses and request support from us only if you have no other means of support. Again, please let Heather know if you need help with travel costs.

The deadline for making hotel arrangement at our block rate is THURSDAY, 3 DECEMBER. Please call the Glennstone Inn and email Heather with your plans by then.

Our Web site <> has a "Get Involved" link that allows you to enter your name, address, phone numbers, etc. Please go to this site and fill in our less-than-5-minute form. Doing so will make our logistics much easier. You can retrieve such information on others through our site's "Who's Involved" link.

For those of you on a tight schedule and who wish to contribute the most to our planning efforts, we urge that you to participate on Tuesday and Wednesday. For those of you who wish to get the best overview of our vision and activities, we urge you to attend on Thursday.

We ask that our committee chairs and team coordinators please forward this invitation to their members in the likely event that we will miss some key individuals in our mailings.

We look forward to seeing you all.


Don, Keith, Mary & Pick

Don Barger <>
Keith Langdon <>
John Pickering <>
Mary Williams <>