I had the great opportunity to work on the 2017 Solar Eclipse event here at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and on the best spot to see it, Clingmans Dome. We were expecting thousands of people, and for our surprise (and a very good thing), the event turned out pretty chill. It turned out so perfect, that the garbage cleaning around the park scheduled for the next day got cancelled! Apparently visitors turned out to be more conscious on leaving the park better than they’ve found it.
My supervisor along the Air Quality technician and I, set up a telescope exploration area to observe the Sun. It was pretty fun to help visitors observe the Sun and the Eclipse events as it came closer to totality.
I also had the opportunity to talk and show visitors, specially kids about my natural sounds project. The Natural Sounds & Night Skies Division had the project of setting up sound recording equipment across 22 national parks that were found around the totality region with the purpose of gathering data of animal activity during the eclipse. People were very interested on these topics and on my project. It felt great to be able to share information with people and see that they were curious into knowing more.
From Totality, we were able to note some changes: Temperature dropped, it got a lot cooler, bees that you could hear around suddenly stopped buzzing, birds got more active and we saw near us a snake that got out to rest on a plaque on the ground, from which we could assume it was searching for heat. It was very interesting to be able to notice all these changes as these events are unique; they don’t happen on the same spot everytime for at least a long time.
This Solar Eclipse event made me realize how fortunate this summer has been for me. It is coming to an end, as this is my last week. I’ve learn a lot and events like this reminds me that doesn’t matter at what point we are in our lives, we never truly stop learning.
“Always walk through life as if you have something learn to new, and you will” – Vernon Howard