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Appalachian Teaching Project

Center of Appalachian Studies & Services

Young Harris College

Young Harris College


Students in Young Harris College’s Ichthyology course collaborated with the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition to address the issue of sustainable water quality in Appalachian communities by developing the Southern Appalachian Snorkeling Trail Project. The project linked fish biodiversity to the water quality of local streams, through the recreational and experiential learning activity of snorkeling. The project was designed to encourage the intersection of fisheries science, environmental sustainability, and ecotourism in the region. The central focus of this project was to create a Southern Appalachia Snorkeling Trail. To accomplish this, students conducted research, both at the college and in the field, and used the findings to develop informational materials including a guidebook that contains maps, directions, site descriptions, and fish descriptions. These materials will be made available to the public, both online and through the Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition and local Chambers of Commerce. The project was intended to use the snorkeling experience to link the public to ongoing water quality issues and highlight the need for preserving and protecting water quality in southern Appalachian streams. The project hopes that it will help to increase appreciation for the waters of Appalachia as a unique natural and cultural asset.  


2018 Final Report

2018 Project Proposal


Contact Information

Johnathan Davis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science
Department of Biology
Telephone: (706) 379-5228


Young Harris College
1 College Street
Young Harris, GA 30582



Past Conference Participation





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