thanks for your suggestions. I have not loaded the UART program yet, I am still stuck on part 1.
I was just hoping to see a glimpse of the EDBG (or the ARM) in a terminal window to confirm I have communication with the board.
I also didn't have the terminal embedded in Atmel Studio yet. I have installed that now, but it seems a lot more primitive than Tera Term. It looks like that terminal does not even know what a DTR line is. In Tera Term I could at least choose a flow control (Hardware / Xon/Xoff / none) that would likely have an effect on the DTR line.
There are simply too many things that can be wrong between Atmel Studio and the connected board. A simple test to check the communication could help me to divide the problem into a "hardware + driver" side and an "Atmer Studio + configuration" side.