2013 Summer Course Schedule

The Station offers several courses each summer at the advanced undergraduate/graduate level dealing with the ­special biological features of the southern Appalachians and with areas of study that are appropriate for investigation at a mountain field station.  Credit for all courses is available through either UNC-Chapel Hill or Western Carolina University.  Students may take courses for credit through these institutions and then transfer the credit to their home institution.  In addition to our regular summer courses, HBS often schedules one-week workshops that are tailored for non-traditional students.  These workshops provide opportunities for in-depth study of special topics of relevance to the southern Appalachians and are open to the general public.  Workshops, costs, and additional information can be found on this page below the course offerings.  Special events and occasional one-day educator workshops are also offered for teacher recertification credit (Science CEU), or NC Environmental Education Critera II credit, by the Nature Center.

Note: Workshops have the option to meet on the Saturday during the week that they are scheduled.  Please check the syllabi that interest you for questions about scheduling.

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On this page:

  1. Course schedule
  2. Workshop schedule
  3. Costs

Courses

Vascular Plants of the Southern Appalachians

May 13-25Paul Manos, Duke University

The vascular flora of the southern Appalachians is extremely rich.  This course will introduce students to the full diversity of vascular plants through field observations of southern Appalachian flora, emphasizing basic distinguishing features among lycophytes, ferns, and seed plants, and focusing on field characteristics of different species and their habits.  We will use keys and field collections to identify species. Upon completion of the course, students will better understand the ecology of the major plant communities of the region.  Lectures and activities will start at 8:30 am every morning, with field trips every day.  Lab activities include work on collections and discussions on plants as often as possible.  There will be occasional lectures on mountain flora, plant communities, and plant interactions.  The class will go on several full-day field trips to sites in the Blue Ridge Parkway, Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forests, and local sites.  Field trips will involve some moderate to strenuous hiking.  Assessment includes quizzes in the field and lab practical.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Biology of Southern Appalachian Fishes

May 20-June 1Mollie Cashner, Austin Peay State University

This class is full. The southern Appalachians supports one of the richest fresh water fish faunas in North America and is part of an extensive southern/southwestern area that has well over 600 species. This larger region has been compared to a tropical rain forest in terms of its diversity, which is not equaled by any other temperate area. The course will focus on the biology, evolution, biogeography and diversity of fishes primarily in the Southern Appalachians. During this course students will collect fishes from Appalachian streams, identify fishes in the field and lab, and conduct behavioral observations both underwater and at bank side. Daily lectures will enhance and compliment the field experiences.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Southern Appalachian Mayflies, Stoneflies, & Caddisflies

May 27-June 8John Morse, Clemson University

Natural history and taxonomy of mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera), including systematics, ecology, and behavior of larvae and adults, with emphasis on those aspects important in ecological studies, biological monitoring of water quality, and sport fishing.  Insects will be collected from diverse mountain stream habitats, and identifications will be performed in the laboratory.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Conservation Biology of Amphibians

June 3-15Ray Semlitsch, University of Missouri

This course is designed for advanced students and wildlife professionals who are interested in understanding the basic processes that regulate natural populations of amphibians, as well as contemporary problems associated with the conservation of amphibian diversity.  Students will participate in a class field project on the effects of forest management practices on woodland salamanders and sharpen their communication skills through individual presentations on selected topics.

Prerequisites: herpetology or vertebrate biology, ecology or population biology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Southern Appalachian Mayflies, Stoneflies, & Caddisflies

June 10-22John Morse, Clemson University

This class is full. Natural history and taxonomy of mayflies (Ephemeroptera), stoneflies (Plecoptera), and caddisflies (Trichoptera), including systematics, ecology, and behavior of larvae and adults, with emphasis on those aspects important in ecological studies, biological monitoring of water quality, and sport fishing.  Insects will be collected from diverse mountain stream habitats, and identifications will be performed in the laboratory.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Principles of Conservation Biology

June 17-29Peter White, UNC-Chapel Hill

This course presents the major biological principles that are important in our efforts to conserve biological diversity.  The setting of Highlands Biological Station will allow us to examine and illustrate those principles through field work in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Highlands area.  Topics to be covered include: the history and philosophy of conservation goals, the definition and measurement of biological diversity, island biogeography and conservation, communities and ecosystems, natural disturbance and patch dynamics, the special problems of islands, exotic species, and ecological restoration.  Students will explore computer simulations of ecosystem and population dynamics, population genetics, and island biogeography.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor.  Syllabus.

 

Forest Ecosystems of the Southern Appalachians

July 1-13Alan Weakley, Julie Tuttle, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Stephanie Jeffries, NC State University

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to patterns and processes in forested ecosystems of the southern Appalachian Mountains.  The focus is on natural vegetation, with an emphasis on vascular plants.  Through lectures, readings, and discussions, students will be introduced to a series of topics, including biogeography, paleo-ecology, classification of vegetation, regional environmental patterns, succession and community dynamics, vegetation/environmental relationships, and current threats to the integrity of these systems.  Trips to a variety of natural areas will illustrate these topics in the field.  Students will be expected to participate fully in all group activities and to maintain personal journals summarizing the information presented.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor. Syllabus.

 

Field Methods in Medical Entomology

July 8-20Brian Byrd, Western Carolina University

This course focuses on the natural history, taxonomy, collection, and preservation of arthropods of medical importance that are found in the Southern Appalachians.  Students will participate in a class field project investigating the ecology of rock pool mosquitoes within the Chattooga River watershed. Intensive field and laboratory exercises will accompany didactic instruction.  This course is designed for advanced students and K-12 educators with a strong biological background. Students should be prepared for moderate hiking and traversing some riverine environments.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor. Syllabus.

 

Terrestrial Arthropods and Their Role in Southern Appalachian Ecosystems

July 15-27Kefyn Catley, Western Carolina University

The extraordinarily rich arthropod communities of mountain ecosystems will be explored using the lenses of systematics, ecology, evolution, and behavior. Through a combination of lecture, lab work, discussions, and extensive fieldwork students will sample a wide array of microhabitats. These will range from valley soil and leaf litter to high elevation spruce fir canopy and include rock outcrop and bog communities. A collection will be required. This class is also suitable for K-12 educators with a strong biology background.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor. Syllabus.

 

Conservation Genetics of Salamanders

July 29-Aug. 10Joseph Apodaca, Warren-Wilson College

This class is full.  The field of conservation genetics is rapidly emerging as an exceedingly vital component of conservation biology. This course focuses on salamanders, one of the most endangered vertebrate groups in the world, to immerse students in the fundamentals and cutting edge techniques, theories, and issues surrounding conservation genetics. Throughout the course, students will become familiar with how to design, carry out, and interpret a conservation genetics study. Students will also become acquainted with commonly used laboratory techniques and current literature pertaining to the conservation genetics of salamanders.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor. Syllabus.

Workshops

Note: Workshops have the option to meet on the Saturday during the week that they are scheduled.  Please check the syllabi that interest you for questions about scheduling.

Observing and Exploring Nature Through Art and Science

Nancy Lowe, Discover Life

May 6-10 – Journaling Nature a Day at a Time

Illustrating and writing in a nature journal can help you and others you work with connect to nature.  Basic drawing techniques and ideas for setting up themes in a nature journal will be presented.  We will learn a drawing or painting technique briefly each morning, then venture out into the field to journal.  Not offered for credit.  Syllabus.

July 1-5 – Sharing the Stories of Science (for science educators, Nature Centers, and others)

A workshop for K-12 biology, life science, environmental science teachers and for university biology faculty, environmental educators, and the public. Telling the stories of science in creative ways, including drawing and other visual arts, sculpture, photography, video, and writing.  Syllabus.

Cost and credit information: The course fee for this class is $150.  It can be taken for one graduate credit (BIOL) through WCU ($85 plus a one-time $50 application fee) or 3 CEU’s.

Aug. 12-16 – Small World: Drawing insects and other small organisms (advanced drawing and watercolor)

An advanced drawing and watercolor class for those with some basic drawing experience who want to learn a bit more about drawing insects, fungi and myxos, mosses, small plant parts, including drawing through a microscope, and some special problems like iridescence and transparency.  Not offered for credit.  Syllabus.

 

Bryophyte Identification

May 13-17 - Paul Davison, University of North Alabama

This class is full.  The Highlands area harbors an incredible diversity and abundance of bryophytes and is the perfect setting for an identification workshop. The workshop aims to give participants an in-depth appreciation for this often overlooked group of plants.  Our focus will be learning the skills needed to make identifications to species.  In addition to morphology and ecology, the workshop will cover conservation concerns for regional species.  Field trips will emphasize field recognition of many species.  Methods of collecting, herbarium preservation, and laboratory dissection will be practiced.  Taxonomic keying will rely on microscopic characters.  Participants will build a personal herbarium of reference specimens.  This workshop is suitable for naturalists and professionals.

Prerequisites: field botany, plant taxonomy, or permission of the instructor. Syllabus.

 

Literary Journeys through the Western North Carolina Landscape: An exploration in cultural and natural history through fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

July 1-5 - Brent Martin, Wilderness Society

This class is full.  The purpose of the course is to introduce the participant to the rich literature of a particular Appalachian landscape, and, in a general sense, to explore the role of landscape within the literary arts.

Prerequisites: none.  Syllabus.

Credit information: This workshop can be taken for one undergraduate credit (HIST 493) or one graduate credit (HIST 593)  through WCU ($85 plus a one-time $50 application fee).

 

Grasses, Sedges, and Rushes of the Southern Appalachians

August 12-16 - Dwayne Estes, Austin Peay State University

This class is full.  This course focuses on the graminoids (grasses, sedges, rushes, etc.) of the Southern Appalachians with emphasis on understanding the morphology of several difficult monocot families including the grass (Poaceae), sedge (Cyperaceae), rush (Juncaceae), bur-reed (Sparganiaceae), cattail (Typhaceae), and yellow-eyed grass (Xyridaceae) families; field identification of regional genera and species; habitat requirements of these taxa; the use of technical manuals and keys; and the preparation of reference collections. This course is designed for professional biologists, naturalists, and upper-level undergraduate/graduate students that have had at least some formal coursework in plant taxonomy or field botany and who are experienced with dichotomous keys.

Prerequisites: general biology, ecology, or permission of instructor. Syllabus.

Costs

Course fee:  $700 per two-week course ($600 for students from HBS member institutions in good standing)

Workshop fee:  $350 per workshop ($300 for students from HBS member institutions in good standing)

Courses for science educators: The course fee for “Mountain Biodiversity” and “Sharing the Stories of Science” class is $150.  It can be taken for one graduate credit through WCU ($85 plus a one-time $50 application fee) or 3 CEU’s.

Course credit fee: Summer courses can be taken for 3 semester hours credit and workshops can be taken for one hour credit.

Courses are offered for 3 semester hours of credit through UNC-Chapel Hill (undergraduate credit) or Western Carolina University (undergraduate for current WCU students only; or graduate credit for all students).

Workshops may be taken for one semester hours of credit through Western Carolina University.  The fee is $55 per workshop plus a $50 application fee for non-WCU students.  “Small World: Drawing insects and other small organisms” and “Journaling Nature a Day at a Time” are not available for credit.

Undergraduate credit:

UNC-Chapel Hill (non-UNC students may receive transfer credit):  $55

Western Carolina University (WCU):  $55 (for current WCU students only)

Graduate credit:

WCU: $85 per course plus an additional $50 application fee that applies to non-WCU students (for a total of $135)

Housing fee:  $75-125 per week, depending on accommodations (optional)

Financial Aid:  The Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc. offers limited financial aid, typically a subsidy for a portion of the course fee, available to qualified students.  Contact the Station at 828-526-2602 for further information.

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