In accordance with Western Carolina University’s policies in response to Covid-19, Highlands Biological Station is currently closed to the public with the exception of the Botanical Garden trails, but does remain open to researchers and faculty on a limited basis; please contact the HBS office (828-526-2602) for information on reservations, rates, and Covid-19 policies.  We currently plan to offer our field courses, workshops, Grant-in-Aid program, and HBS Nature Center programs in summer 2021, with Covid-19 safety protocols in place (TBA).​ Please bear in mind, however, that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this winter and spring, and those interested in attending HBS courses or programs or utilizing HBS facilities in spring or summer 2021 should check the HBS website regularly for updates.

Endowed Awards in Support of GIA Research

The HBS Board of Scientific Advisors may elect to fund especially meritorious GIA proposals in the name of one of the Station’s endowed awards.  These do not provide additional stipends at present, but represent a mark of distinction for selected proposals. 

Thelma Howell Memorial Scholarship “Doc”  Howell served with distinction as Executive Director of the Station from 1946 to 1972. Upon her death in 1979, the Highlands Biological Foundation, Inc., established a scholarship fund in her memory in support of investigators at HBS.

William Chambers Coker Fellowship in Botanical Research Dr. W. C. Coker, Professor of Botany at the University of North Carolina, served as the second Director of the Highlands Biological Station from 1936 to 1944.  His wife, Louise V. Coker, through a bequest of her will in 1983, established the William Chambers Coker Fellowship in Botanical Research to be awarded annually for an outstanding proposal entailing research with plants or fungi.

Ralph M. Sargent Memorial Scholarship Dr. Ralph Sargent, Professor of English at Haverford College, was a naturalist, botanist, and conservationist who had a long association with the Station.  Upon his death in 1985, a scholarship was established by Dr. Sargent’s family and friends to support students conducting research at the Station.

Lindsay S. Olive Memorial Scholarship – Dr. Lindsay Olive of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was a distinguished botanist and mycologist.  A scholarship was established in his memory in 1993 by Ruth Gershon and Sanford Cohn of Atlanta and has been supported through generous gifts from Ms. Gershon, Mr. Cohn, and Anna Jean Olive.  The scholarship is awarded annually to a student whose research reflects the botanical and mycological interests of Dr. Olive.

Charles W. Ash Memorial Scholarship Dr. Charles Ash was a statistician who had a strong interest in the natural world.  Following his death in 1993, a scholarship was established in his memory through the efforts of his family and friends.  The scholarship is awarded annually for proposed research demonstrating exceptional experimental design or statistical sophistication.

Bruce Family Scholarship in Herpetology Dr. Richard C. Bruce served as Executive Director of the Station from 1972 to 1999, assisted by his wife Elizabeth.  In 1997 they established a scholarship to support the research of graduate students, as well as postdoctoral investigators in the early stages of their careers, in the area of southern Appalachian herpetology.

Martina Wadewitz Haggard Memorial Scholarship This scholarship was established in 2005 in memory of Martina Wadewitz Haggard of Asheville NC, who assisted Doc Howell at the Station in the early 1960s, was instrumental in establishing the Botanical Garden, and long served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the Foundation.  It was established through generous contributions by Hugh A. A. Sargent, Lydia Sargent Macauley, and William Haggard.