Discover Life in America receives a grant from East Tennessee Foundation Neighbor to Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund

Discover Life in America (DLIA) is excited to announce a grant from East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) from their Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund.  East Tennessee Foundation’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund provides timely disaster response grants to organizations in the 25-county service region in East Tennessee.

The Fund was created in 2011 after parts of East Tennessee experienced devastating storms. Its goal is to provide prompt and effective services to communities in need after experiencing the effects of disasters. When disasters occur, these funds allow the Foundation to respond in a timely fashion to support nonprofit organizations that provide critically needed services. Using ETF’s longstanding relationships with area agencies, local nonprofits, churches, schools, and municipalities, grants from the Fund aid nonprofit organizations and other exempt entities in providing relief and rebuilding their communities.

The Neighbor-to-Neighbor Disaster Relief Fund was activated for the COVID-19 national emergency in March 2020 to meet critical, immediate, and long-term needs created by COVID-19, and DLiA is lucky enough to receive this funding to help us continue our impactful work in the region.  Most of the funding from this grant will be used to continue the summer internship program by paying for housing and intern stipends in 2021.

In addition to the intern funding DLiA has utilized part of the grant to hold several virtual workshops for teachers about our iScience and Snapit and Mapit projects.

iScience is DLiA’s schoolyard biodiversity program in cooperation with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The program aims to increase awareness of and appreciation for the incredible biodiversity around us, as well as foster young people’s interest in STEM fields. This program uses the ATBI (All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory) model, bringing ATBIs to schoolyards within the TVA iScience Program Area (see map below). Students conduct ATBIs at their schools using iNaturalist, acting as community scientists and collecting real scientific data about their local biodiversity. We currently have 16 partner schools and hope to add more in the coming years.

Snapit and Mapit is a community science-based project using iNaturalist to gather data about priority species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

DLiA manages the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) in the park, aimed at cataloging all the animals, plants and other organisms living in the Smokies. More than 20,100 species have been documented there so far, but there are an estimated 60,000-80,000 total species living in the park, and so the work continues. Insight gained from the ATBI helps park management to better understand and protect the species that make the Smokies so special.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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