Highlands Biological Station buildings remain closed to visitors with the exception of limited visitor hours for the Nature Center.  HBS Botanical Garden trails remain open, and in accordance with University policy masks and physical distancing are required on the HBS campus.  Highlands Biological Station currently plans to offer academic and public programming in summer 2021, observing University mandated Covid-19 safety protocols.  For the safety of the HBS summer community, before being permitted to work or study at HBS prospective summer students, teaching faculty, and researchers must provide documentation of (1) having received a Covid-19 vaccine or (2) a negative Covid-19 test taken within 3 days of planned arrival.  Please see the HBS website for full summer 2021 Covid-19 safety policies and procedures, and bear in mind that University policy and HBS program plans are subject to change in light of developments with the pandemic this spring. 

Oconee Bell in bloom at HBS. Photo by Jason P. Love.


Field Equipment

HBS maintains an extensive menu of field equipment available to researchers and visiting classes.  Contact Associate Director Jason Love (jlove@email.wcu.edu) for inquiries and reservations.  Fees apply for some equipment.


  • GPS units (Garmin GPSmap 62s & GPSMap 66i)
  • Kestrel 5500 hand-held weather meters (temp, barometric pressure, wind speed)
  • Geological hammers
  • Tape measures
  • Flagging tape, pin flags
  • Counters
  • Timers
  • Thermometers
  • HOBO stream temperature loggers
  • Sieves
  • Snake gaiters
  • Snake hook


  • Aerial and sweep nets
  • Kill jars
  • Pinning equipment (pinning blocks, spreading boards; insect pins not provided)
  • Hand lenses
  • Black lights
  • Light traps
  • Berlese funnels
  • Malaise traps
  • Emergence traps
  • Beat sheets
  • Aspirators


  • Kick nets
  • D-nets
  • Seines
  • Surber Sampler
  • Secchi disks
  • Buckets, specimen trays
  • Two ISCO automated stream samplers, including pressure transducers for measuring stage
  • Waders
  • Hach 2100Q turbidity meter
  • Orion pH meter
  • Self-leveling rotary laser kit for measure stream gradients

Botany / Forest Ecology

  • Plant presses (blotting paper, frame, straps)
  • Pressed plant dryers
  • Hand lenses
  • DBH tapes
  • Tree corers – up to 32” length
  • Spherical densiometers


  • Binoculars
  • Mist nets (must have banding license to use)


  • Sherman small mammal folding traps