Explore all of our offerings this year! These workshops are open to all audiences and are not for academic credit. Unless posted, all workshops begin at 9am. 

Courses and 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.

May Workshops

Moss Gardening: May 17

with Annie Martin, Mountain Moss Enterprises $120

May 17

Journey into the Magical World of Moss Gardening and discover the magic of mosses in today’s landscapes with Annie Martin, aka Mossin’ Annie, nationally-recognized moss gardening expert and author of the Magical World of Moss Gardening. Your journey will include a visual tour of impressive moss garden photographs, moss ID samples, and valuable tips on how to succeed as a moss gardener. Hands-on experiences include making your own moss dish garden to take home and in-depth instructions culminating in the HBS Learning Moss Garden.

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June Workshops

Ferns: Identification and Ecology: June 15

with Dr. Joey Shaw, UT-Chattanooga $100

June 15

Come join Dr. Joey Shaw of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga for a beginners crash course on ferns.  This one-day workshop will contain a large, indoor display of our areas most common and interesting ferns.  From that display we have discussions of “what makes a fern a fern,” “what are their parts, “how can you tell species apart from one another,” “how do ferns reproduce,” and “what are the best places to find different species”?  You do not need to have any prior experience with ferns or other botany; all you really need to have is curiosity about ferns!



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July Workshops

Gardening with Native Plants: July 8-11

with Dr. Larry Mellichamp $400

July 8-11

This workshop will focus on what habitat factors define where plants grow, and look to see how these factors can be found (or created) in the botanical gardens of the Highlands Biological Station. Students will examine the underground parts of plants and see how they grow, followed by thinning-out and transplanting as part of a limited exercise in garden maintenance. Of primary concerns are site selection and propagation for showy native species of the Highlands region. Participants in this workshop will need to have Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.

Larry is a well-known native plant enthusiast. Having served as the Executive Director, UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens and worked in the region for many years, Larry is the author of the popular book Native Plants of the Southeast


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Gardening with Ferns: July 12

With Dr. Larry Mellichamp $100.00

July 12

This day-long workshop will cover identification and gardening of native and non-native ferns: How to tell them apart, how to choose the best ones for the right garden situation, how to propagate them, how to make them happy, and which ones to avoid. We’ll use the books The Fern FInder by Barbara G. Hallowell, and The Plant Lover’s Guide to Ferns, by Richie Steffen and Sue Olsen.

A well-known native plant enthusiast and expert, Larry Mellichamp served as Executive Director of the UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens for many years. He is the author of the popular book Native Plants of the Southeast.

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Introduction to Natural Science Illustration: Cancelled

with Lore Ruttan $300.00

July 8-10

In this course you will gain an appreciation for some of the main types of science illustration and develop your own skills at representational drawing. Beginning students will be given instruction in graphite and colored pencil. Intermediate and advanced students can also work in watercolor. Our primary subject matter will be wildlife illustration, particularly birds, using items in the natural history collections and materials found on the Biological Station campus.

Lore Ruttan is an Atlanta based science illustrator, artist, and teacher. Her training includes a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis, a certificate in Botanical Drawing from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and coursework in the nationally acclaimed Program in Natural Science Illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has been shown at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta and the Telfair Museum in Savannah among other places and she has created commissioned art for clients in the United States and Europe. Lore has extensive teaching experience and firmly believes that anyone can be taught to draw.




Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Exploring Western North Carolina through Bartram's Travels: July 10-12

with Brent Martin, ALARKA Institute $300

July 10-12

The renowned 18th century naturalist and artist William Bartram provides western North Carolina with one of our most important literary and artistic renderings of the landscape with his 1791 publication, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactawes.  Participants will explore the western North Carolina landscape and writings of William Bartram through daily field trips, readings, and meeting with authors.  At the end of the course, students will have experienced the landscape of Travels firsthand and will have gained insight into the 18th century literary and intellectual world of Bartram, along with the cultural and natural history of western North Carolina at that time.

Brent Martin lives in the Cowee community in western North Carolina where he and his wife Angela Faye Martin run Alarka Institute, a nature, literary, and art based business that offers workshop and field trips. He has served as the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society, Executive Director of Georgia Forestwatch, Associate Director of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, and Executive Director of the Armuchee Alliance. Brent has an M.A. and ABD in History from Georgia State University and is a recipient of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Environmental Leadership Award. In his spare time, he writes poetry and essays, and is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry. His poetry and essays have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Pisgah Review, Tar River Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Eno Journal, New Southerner, Kudzu Literary Journal, Smoky Mountain News, and elsewhere. 

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August Workshops

Mushrooms of the Carolinas: August 12-16

with Alan & Arleen Bessette, and Mike Hopping $400

August 12-16

This course will focus on the varied mycological diversity of North & South Carolina. Macro and micro-morphological features will be emphasized to aid students in identifying specimens to Family, Genus & Species. 

Activities will consist of lectures on topics such as: Key Identification Features, Major Groups of Fungi, Ecology, Edibility and Toxicity; field work (forays); and laboratory identification/study during which students will improve their skills in the use of field keys and microscopy, as well as photographic techniques as a means of documentation. Participants will also gather and record a field collection showcasing the rich diversity of fleshy fungi found in the Carolinas.

Designed for the beginner who wants a solid introduction to mycology and fleshy mushrooms of the SOuthern Appalachian Mountains, as well as for those participants looking for the opportunity to pursue their personal mycological interests, this seminar allows for individual guidance in a relaxed group setting with fellow mycophiles. 


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