Highlands Biological Station is open to visitors. Masks are still required in the Nature Center, but are no longer required on campus, including the Botanical Garden. Highlands Biological Station is offering academic and public programming this summer. 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.

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.  Email our Associate Director at jlove@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