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.


2015 Schedule

Course descriptions – coming soon

Download the poster – coming soon

Apply/FAQ – coming soon


2015 Tentative Schedule (Updated Oct. 24, 2014)

Courses (2 weeks)

Flora of the Blue Ridge (June 1-13) with Dr. Paul Manos, Duke University

Southern Appalachian Mayflies, Stoneflies & Caddisflies (June 15-26; June 29-July 10) with Dr. John Morse, Clemson University

Principles of Conservation Biology (June 22-July 3) with Dr. Peter White, UNC-Chapel Hill

Southern Appalachian Mayflies, Stoneflies & Caddisflies (June 29-July 10) with Dr. John Morse, Clemson University

Forest Ecosystems (July 20-Aug. 1) with Drs. Stephanie Jeffries & Alan Weakley

Evolution in the Blue Ridge (Aug. 3-14) with Drs. Jim Costa, Weezie Mead, and Kefyn Catley


Workshops (5 days)

Molelcular Methods (May 25-29) with Dr. Indi Bose

Myriapod Identification (May 31-June 6) with Dr. Bill Shear

Rare Lichen Identification (June 11-13) with Dr. James Lendemer and Jessica Allen

Lichen Identification (June 15-19) with Dr. James Lendemer and Jessica Allen

Introduction to Natural Science Illustration (June 29-July 3) with Dr. Lore Ruttan

Advanced Natural Science Illustration (July 6-10) with Dr. Lore Ruttan

Literary Journeys Through the Western North Carolina Landscape (July 13-17) with Mr. Brent Martin

Wildflower Identification (July 20-24) with Dr. Larry Mellichamp, UNC-Charlotte

Mushroom Identification (July 27-31) with Mr. Jay Justice, professional mycologist; Dr. Richard Baird, Mississippi State University

Bryophyte Identification (Aug. 3-7) with Dr. Paul Davison



Apply now

2014 schedule

2013 schedule

2012 schedule


Costs *2015 fees will change – stay tuned*

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.