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WCU Stories

Portrait of rivercane

Master's Degree in Biology Cultivates a Career

Rivercane was once plentiful in Western North Carolina. The tall, slender plant, a member of the bamboo family, still grows in thick stands along some riverbanks, but not in an abundance as in years past. Increased development and intentional removal throughout the region have reduced its presence on the local landscape, in some instances quite dramatically.   

Students in a socially distant classroom

Teaching: COVID-19 Style

There was a time when faculty members spent most of their days preparing their lectures, presenting them to their students and being available during office hours for extra instruction. Some also had the additional task of preparing for laboratory work or work outside of campus, such as hospitals and nursing homes. Then came the coronavirus, COVID-19, and a new way of teaching was born.  

Sapphire Lake

Professor announces annual fall color forecast for mountains

Autumn leaves and the natural beauty of fall colors across Western North Carolina are a seasonal sensation that draw thousands of visitors and locals alike - and prompts an annual prognostication by biology professor Beverly Collins.  

Kathy Mathews NSF Grant

NSF grant will aid in preserving several biological collections

Grant will allow WCU to preserve and display its herbarium, arthropods and birds and mammals collections.  

Discover the Grant  

Amy Fagan, associate professor of geology at Western Carolina University,

NASA institute honors geology faculty member for early career accomplishments

Amy Fagan, associate professor of geology at Western Carolina University, is one of two winners of a NASA award given annually to scientists from around the world who make significant contributions to the science or exploration communities early in their careers.  

A photo of the overpass on I-40

Alumna Helping Local Wildlife

Anyone who has ever traveled along Interstate 40 through the Pigeon River Gorge near the North Carolina-Tennessee border knows how dangerous that stretch of highway can be. With its narrow lanes, twisting and winding curves through the mountains, rockslides, and speeding drivers, that portion of highway has been notorious for accidents. Well, just imagine what it must be like for wildlife living in those beautiful mountains that make up Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and Pisgah and Cherokee national forests.  

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Highlands Biological Station begins bird banding project

In conjunction with an international effort, the Highlands Biological Station has initiated a bird banding project in the high-elevation mountain community.  

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Cherokee Center presents Jerry Wolfe 'Gadugi" Award

WCU's Cherokee Center recently selected Class of 2020 Cherokee High School graduates Tierney Bradley and Brandon Wolfe to receive the Dr. Jerry Wolfe 'Gadugi' Award as part of its efforts to connect with the community.  

Annalee Blanks

Alumna Annalee Blanks named UNC System Presidential Scholar

Annalee Blanks, a May 2020 graduate of Western Carolina University, has been selected as one of three University of North Carolina System presidential scholars. Blanks, who graduated from WCU in three years with a bachelor of science degrees in history and political science, and a certificate in public history, will begin her one-year appointment in July.  

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