In accordance with Western Carolina University’s policies in response to COVID-19, the Highlands Biological Station is currently closed to the public, but is open to researchers and faculty on a limited basis. Researchers and faculty interested in reserving research and residential space should contact the HBS office (828-526-2602) for information on availability, rates, and reservations. Field courses, workshops, and HBS Nature Center programming are cancelled for the 2020 season. The HBS Botanical Gardens remain open, except for trails that are closed due to construction.

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CANCELED: Lichens Course Begins (June 29th – July 3rd)

June 29 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Biology & Conservation of Lichens June 29 – July 3

Dr. Jessica Allen, Atlanta Botanical Garden & Dr. James Lendemer, New York Botanical Garden (download syllabus)

Lichens grow all over the world, from the arctic to the tropics, where they are important in a multitude of ways including serving as shelter for small invertebrates, and food for animals from snails to caribou. In this course you will have a chance to learn about lichens in one of their centers of diversity, the southern Appalachians. We will take field trips to a variety of habitats to explore the species and ecological diversity of lichens. Lab work will cover lichen chemistry, morphology, and identification. At the end of the course you will have a new perspective on the diversity, evolution and ecology of lichens.

* We will go on field trips to explore a variety of lichen communities characteristic of the southern Appalachians. Field trips will take place in natural areas up to 1.5 hours drive from HBS. Up to a total of 5 miles of hiking per day can be expected on days we go in the field. For all-day field trips you will need to pack a lunch.

Prerequisites: General biology, ecology, basic understanding of evolution, and prior experience with basic skills of microscopy is strongly recommended.

Click here to apply.


June 29
8:00 am - 5:00 pm