Current Projects

Take a look at the most recent research on the mountain:

  • Ginseng Population Genetics Study – University of North Carolina Asheville and other research partners

A comparison of ginsenoside potency and efficacy across populations in the Southern Appalachians.

  • Ramp Harvest Study – North Carolina Arboretum and other research partners

A long term study of sustainable harvesting methods for ramps.

  • Bobcat Population Survey – Western Carolina University, Forest Stewards

Using camera traps to establish the population of bobcats on BMP lands as part of a larger regional effort. Click here to view camera images


  • Water Quality Survey – Trust Field Biology Intern

Determining water quality on Preserve lands through the observation of aquatic macroinvertebrate indicator species.

  • Roadside Wildflower Project Monitoring – Trust Field Biology Intern

A survey of roadside wildflower plots on the Preserve to inform subsequent planting efforts and management

  • Monarch Larva Monitoring Project – Trust Staff

A citizen science project headed by the University of Minnesota that records milkweed and monarch butterfly populations throughout the Americas.

Living Laboratory

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 third year running, the Trust has sponsored a step challenge with Balsam Mountain Preserve members to raise money for local conservation projects and research. In 2018, the $1,200 raised was awarded to Montreat College to support hellbender salamander (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis) conservation research. For more information on the Walk for Wildlife Grant contact Education Directors Rose Wall and Jen Knight at