The Highlands Biological Station (HBS) was founded in 1927 as a small private research facility by a group of amateur and professional biologists and concerned citizens in the Highlands, North Carolina area. In the mid-1970s The Station was acquired by the University of North Carolina and is now administered on behalf of the university system by Western Carolina University. At that time the original non-profit research laboratory was reorganized into the Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization that remains closely associated with HBS.

One of the core missions of the Highlands Biological Station is to promote scientific research, and there is a long history of Station-related research available here.

Information for Researchers

We are excited you’re considering making the Station part of your research! Please review the information on the webpages below to ensure that our facilities meet your needs. For more information or to make a reservation, please contact our Program Assistant at

Permits and Documentation

Your team will need to ensure that all required documentation and permits are on file prior to your arrival. Click here for more information. If you’re still unsure what documentation you’ll need, contact our Executive Director ( or Associate Director ( Not sure where you’ll be researching yet? The Station can facilitate research opportunities in multiple field sites in the nearby area and ensure you have everything ready to go.

On-Site Facilities

We have a variety of on-site housing options to meet your needs and budget. In addition, we have multiple lab spaces, ranging from private offices to a molecular lab. Finally, please review our selection of research equipment and resources to make your trip a success!

Financial Aid

Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation, we are able to offer a limited number of financial awards to faculty and graduate students to complete their research in or around Highlands. For more information on this program, visit the GIA page.

Making a Reservation

Are you ready to make Highlands Biological Station a part of your research? Then don’t delay! The link below will take you to our reservation form to begin the process. Your request will be sent to the program assistant who will determine whether we’ll be able to accommodate your team. We do our best to accommodate everyone, but your reservation is not confirmed until you receive an email from our program assistant. 

Research Reservation Inquiry