Science Education Club Travels to Highlands

Science Education Club Travels to Highlands Biological Station (17-19 April 2015)

Southern Appalachian Mountains

In April, students and faculty enjoyed an educational, yet fun filled, retreat to Highlands Biological Station, located in North Carolina’s Southern Appalachian Mountains.  On Friday night, students enjoyed a walk in the dark for a salamander hunt, led by undergraduate student, Lindsey Ebaugh.  Several specimens were found and identified; Dr. Andrew Ash (salamander ecologist) would be proud!  Participants enjoyed a presentation by Dr. Bruce Ezell on gravestone history, as well as a presentation by UNC Pembroke alumnus, Grant Pilkey, on his doctoral research.


The fun continued on Saturday with a hike up Whiteside Mountain, followed by information sessions given by Drs. Rita Hagevik and Bruce Ezell on invertebrate collection and identification.  Everyone searched the stream and lake around the station, egged on by the challenge to see which group could collect the most specimens.  Ghost stories were shared by campfire, making for a sleepless night for some participants. 

Highlands Group

Horticultural specialist, Russell Funderburk, gave an interesting presentation about medicinal plants on Sunday.  This led to the collection of two of the local medicinal herbs -- yellowroot and St. John’s wort.  Participants made their own tincture of yellowroot and tasted a sample of yellowroot tea.  They visited the area’s beautiful waterfalls. And they had a grand time mining for gems.  Despite the horrible weather on Saturday and Sunday, people had a fabulous time.  A special “thanks” is extended to the Biology Department for helping to sponsor the trip. 

Mining for gemsWhiteside Mountain Trail

For a complete itinerary of the trip, please click here (PDF file).

Sunset Rock

Article submitted by Anna Sanford of UNC Pembroke's Graduate Science Education Program.

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