LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Roan Mountain Highlands

Interior of Spruce-Fir Forest

Roan Mountain Highlands

By Dirk Frankenberg and Jennifer Godwin-Wyer

This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” explores the natural beauty and geological and ecological diversity of the Roan Mountain Highlands that straddle the border between North Carolina and Tennessee. The rocks of Roan Mountain are interesting because of their age, their mineralogy, and the evidence they provide about the geological processes that formed them. The plant communities are interesting because they are southern examples of communities usually found much further north, and because the origins of one type, the grassy bald, remains an unsolved scientific mystery.

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