Summer Courses & Workshops

Earn 3 credit hours in 2 weeks!

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 own school.  It is the responsibility of students taking courses for academic credit to request credit transfer to their home institution from the credit-awarding school (WCU or UNC-Chapel Hill); this can be done by making a request through the Registrar’s office at the students’ 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 for NC Environmental Education Criteria II credit, by the Nature Center.


2014 Schedule

Course descriptions

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Biology & Conservation of Birds (May 12-24) with Dr. Richard Bierregaard, UNC-Charlotte

Mammals of the Southern Appalachians (May 26-June 7) with Dr. Edward B. Pivorun, Clemson University

Climate Change Ecology (May 26-June 7) with  Dr. Robert J. Warren, Buffalo State

Biology of Plethodontid Salamanders (June 9-21) with Dr. Joseph Pechmann, Western Carolina University, and Dr. Kenneth Kozak, University of Minnesota

Biology of Southern Appalachian Fishes (June 23-July 5) with Dr. Mollie Cashner–Woltmann, APSU

Conservation Genetics of Salamanders (July 7-19)  Dr. Joseph Apodaca, Warren-Wilson College

Spiders of the Southern Appalachians (July 7-19) with Dr. Kefyn Catley, Western Carolina University

Southern Appalachian Mayflies, Stoneflies & Caddisflies (July 21-Aug. 2; or Aug. 4-16) with Dr. John Morse, Clemson University

*full* Fleshy Fungi of the Highlands Plateau (Aug. 4-16) Dr. Andrew S. Methven, Eastern Illinois University



Intro. to Natural Science Illustration (May 5-9) with Dr. Lore Ruttan, Lore Ruttan Illustration

*full* Sedges (Carex) of the Southern Appalachians (May 19-23) with Dr. Dwayne Estes, Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and Austin Peay State University

Literary Journeys through the Western North Carolina Landscape: An exploration in cultural and natural history through fiction, non-fiction, and poetry (June 2-6) with Mr. Brent Martin, Wilderness Society

Buds, Berries & Bark: Wild shrub identification and natural history in the Highlands region (July 21-25) with Dr. Larry Mellichamp (UNC-Charlotte)

Butterflies & Moths of the Southern Appalachians (July 21-25) with Dr. David Alsop, Queens College (Emeritus)

Southern Appalachian Insects (July 28-Aug. 1) with Dr. David Alsop, Queens College (Emeritus)



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2014 schedule

2013 schedule

2012 schedule



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

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

course credit fee:   summer courses can be taken for 3 semester hours credit and workshops can be taken for one hour credit.  Courses are accredited by your choice of UNC-Chapel Hill or Western Carolina University, and are usually transferable to other universities and colleges.

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 $85 per workshop plus a $50 application fee for non-WCU students.

Undergraduate credit:

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

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

Graduate credit:

WCU: $85 per course plus an additional $55 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.