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.

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CANCELED: Lichens Workshop

May 16, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Learning to Understand and Appreciate Lichens with Jennifer Love

May 16th, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Lichens—these mysterious organisms have fascinated people for years. Spend the day delving into the enchanting world of lichens as we learn their basic ecology, identification, and natural history during this workshop.

Learning objectives:

The student will learn the characteristics of different growth forms so they can identify these growth forms in the field.
The student will be able to recognize the different reproductive structures and conspicuous features that are helpful in identifying lichen to genus and species.
The student will be introduced to the various lichen keys, tools, chemicals, and resources used in identification.
The student will be introduced to the role of lichens in an ecosystem.
The student will be introduced to the use of lichens as bio-indicators of an ecosystems health.
We will begin in the classroom for a presentation (roughly 2 hrs.), break for lunch, and then head outside to practice growth form identification.

Jennifer Love is the Macon County Schools STEM Coordinator who has been participating in a lichen distribution database in Georgia. She has taught her basic lichen class at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont, NC Arboretum, and Coweeta Hydrologic Lab. Jennifer and her husband Jason enjoy searching for these unique and complicated organisms while exploring their North Carolina home.

Click here to apply.


May 16, 2020
10:00 am - 3:00 pm