Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont and Southern Piedmont Wildlife Coloring Book Raise Science Awareness and Interest in Region’s Natural Habitats

August 9, 2018 at 4:36 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – The Piedmont region of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia is comprised of ecologically diverse ecosystems, providing abundant habitat for numerous plant and animals species.  Two cross-disciplinary projects at the University of South Carolina Upstate are helping to bring science awareness and interest in the region’s natural habitat to children, parents, and educators alike.

“These project came to fruition through a collaboration between faculty in the Division of Natural Sciences and Engineering and the Department of Fine Arts and Communications, and students in the School of Education, Human Performance, and Health,” said Dr. Jeannie Chapman, interim dean of the College of Science and Technology at USC Upstate. “This is an excellent example of cross-disciplinary work that not only serves as a resource for outdoor enthusiasts, schools, and parks and recreation organizations but also puts science at the fingertips of school-age children.”

Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont” is an e-book that covers the entire gamut of what someone might encounter in nature and features images of more than 700 common organisms found in the Piedmont region of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. The free, online field guide is divided into 15 categories and highlights amphibians, birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, fungi, plants, rocks and even slime molds. Photos, sound clips and hyperlinks to additional information are also included in the guide, which won the prestigious William F. Palmer Award from the South Carolina Science Council, the South Carolina chapter of the National Science Teachers Association. The Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont is available at

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for our contribution to science education in South Carolina and to know that teachers around the state are finding it to be a useful resource. That means a lot to us,” said Dr. Jonathan Storm, associate professor of biology at USC Upstate, who collaborated with Dr. Briget Doyle, Julie Smoak, Melissa Storm and education student Rachel Furman on the publication. “We wanted to create an easy-to-use field guide that would help the general public identify common, distinctive organisms they might find in this region of the country. We also wanted it to be free.”

Storm, who serves as board president of the Spartanburg Science Center, also recently collaborated with education students Ashlyn Westmoreland, Alexis McAllister and Mariya Dmitrienko, art student Michael Weeks, and art faculty member Bridget Kirkland to produce the “Southern Piedmont Wildlife Coloring Book.”  The coloring book is a fun and free way to learn about local organisms and it can be downloaded in two formats: single page sheets or as a booklet. An associated Teacher’s Guide links each coloring page to South Carolina Science Education Standards, which includes additional information on each organism and a worksheet for kindergarten and second grade students. This publication can also be found at

“Working together, USC Upstate faculty and students created a resource that furthers the teaching and appreciation of science, and helps classroom educators make nature relevant and accessible,” said Dr. Laura Reynolds, dean of the School of Education, Human Performance and Health. “By connecting the coloring book to the South Carolina Science Education Standards makes this a valuable resource for classrooms across the state.”

“Hopefully the coloring book and field guide will help educate the next generation of biologists and nature lovers here in the Piedmont,” said Storm who hopes these publications will help encourage people to spend time outdoors and develop an interest in nature.  

For more information, contact Dr. Jonathan Storm, associate professor of biology at USC Upstate, at (864) 503-5753 or or follow him on Facebook Instagram, and Twitter to learn more about local natural. Visit to download the items for free and follow on social media.


About USC Upstate

The University of South Carolina Upstate is a regional comprehensive university offering more than 40 undergraduate and graduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, business administration, nursing, and education. Located along the I-85 corridor in Spartanburg between Greenville and Charlotte, USC Upstate is ranked by U.S. News & World Report at #2 among Top Public Schools. It serves as a major talent producer for the region, with more than 6,000 students, approximately 1,300 new graduates a year, and nearly 30,000 alumni, many of whom live and work in the state. The USC Upstate Spartans compete in 17 NCAA Division 1 sports as a member of the Big South Conference. For more information, visit




Jessica Blais

Associate Vice Chancellor

Strategic Communications and Marketing

USC Upstate



Tammy Whaley

Chief Communications Officer

USC Upstate