An Extraordinary Outdoor Laboratory
Near campus, the Wolf Creek Biological Preserve, Highlands Biological Station, the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and the Tuckaseegee River system provide an extraordinary outdoor laboratory which supports student coursework and research. Open, but still under development, is Jackson County’s Pinnacle Park, a county natural area.
Western is home to the most complete library in the western part of the state. In addition to its own collections, Hunter provides computer access to catalogs from libraries throughout the University of North Carolina system. Their virtually unlimited support offers both student and faculty the highest levels of research opportunity.
Departmental facilities available to undergraduate and graduate students in the Stillwell Building include:
- An herbarium of more than 25,000 specimens
- A plant biotechnology laboratory
- Instrumentation for research in phytochemistry and biochemistry
- An aquatic research facility equipped for live animal studies
- A mammalian cell culture facility
- Nikon C1 Scanning Laser Confocal Microscope
- Zeiss photomicroscope with bright field, phase, Nomarski, and incident fluorescence capabilities
- Applied Biosystems 7500 RT-PCR machine
- 3130 Applied Biosystems Genetic Analyzer Capillary Sequencer
The department also is home to the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity and Ecology Center (SABEC).