Taxonomic Working Group Information

Taxonomic Working Groups (TWIGs) have been established to organize the efforts of scientists working the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI). Depending on practical considerations of research, some TWIGs are composed of individual orders, such as Lepidoptera or Coleoptera. Other TWIGs are combined into broader groups such as aquatic insects, or larger taxa such as vascular plants or fungi.


TWIG Groups & Leaders
For more information, or to participate in a TWIG, contact Dr. Becky Nichols, Great Smoky Mountains National Park entomologist, at 865-436-1702, or


Summary of TWIG Functions:

Twig Members:

  • deeply involved in organization of the TWIG
  • or
  • committed to research in the Park


  • gather data agreed upon in Park
  • have some level of ID, curation
  • report activities to TWIG leader and submit appropriate reports
  • assist in orientation/training of volunteers
  • provide input for proposals to TWIG leader

TWIG Leaders:

  • maintain list of members and their expertise
  • develop a budget for the TWIG
  • interface with larger taxonomic community
  • track and coordinate TWIG activities
  • on a trial basis, serve as first filter for data authorization
  • coordinate proposals for funding among members and with “gatekeepers”
  • distribute timely info on volunteers to members
  • help select/orient volunteers

With Funding:

  • distribute specimens to TWIG members (sort to family, etc.)
  • develop active field program for TWIG
  • maintain Biota database
  • represent TWIG at the annual ATBI conference
  • coordinate training of volunteers


  • administration of all TWIGs
  • keep all TWIGs and “Branch Leaders” informed
  • contribute to newsletter
  • gather information from each TWIG, organizes it, and disseminates to all
  • track or lead proposal development from TWIGs

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