Are you a researcher looking for a field site in the Southern Appalachian Mountains?

Research and education have been a hallmark of Trust operations since it was founded in 2000. To date, the Trust has facilitated more than forty research projects on Balsam Mountain Preserve.

The results of inviting world-class researchers (including a Nobel Laureate) to perform studies on the Preserve:

  • Scientists have unique access to safe, protected, and diverse Southern Appalachian environments to conduct their work.
  • The Trust gleans exciting, useful information which helps fulfill its mission of natural and cultural resource stewardship and conservation education.
  • Balsam Mountain Preserve members get a chance to learn from field experts who participate in our Trust Talks lecture series and renew their sense of place and wonder.

For more information on research projects or if you would like to apply to conduct a study, contact Director Michael Skinner at


Balsam Mountain Trust Undergraduate Research Award with University of North Carolina-Asheville

This endowment was funded by the Trust and Mr. Charles Atkins to support student research and inspire the next generation of life scientists. For more information contact Michael Skinner at

Walk for Wildlife Grant

For the second year running, the Trust has sponsored a step challenge with Balsam Mountain Preserve members to raise money for local conservation projects and research. In 2015, the $1,500 raised was awarded to the Wildlife Science class at Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva, NC to rehabilitate and restore an outdoor classroom and natural area. For more information on the Walk for Wildlife Grant contact Education Directors Rose Wall and Jen Knight at