Facilities and Resources


The I.W. Carpenter, Jr. Herbarium

The I.W. Carpenter, Jr. Herbarium was established in 1958 as part of the Department of Biology contains approximately 25,000 specimens. The Herbarium provides a comprehensive teaching resources to University faculty as well as servicing as a research center for the flora of the Southern Appalachians.

The Appalachian State University Nature Preserve

The Department of Biology oversees several natural areas, including a 67-acre Appalachian State University Nature Preserve in the heart of campus. The Nature Preserve consists of 67 acres of recently protected woodlands. The Preserve is interlaced with a network of hiking trails and includes sites with low-ropes courses and a climbing tower utilized by Appalachian's Outdoor Programs. There is a high diversity of plant communities in various successional stages that are utilized by the faculty and students in the Department. The Preserve affords Appalachian students the unique opportunity of being able to walk to outdoor labs in introductory and upper division biology classes, such as Concepts of Biology, Botany and Ecology.

The Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway is just minutes from campus, and the Department has cooperative agreements with the Parkway for doing research within this and other units of the National Park System.

Highlands Biological Station

The Department of Biology also participates in the running and maintenance of the Highlands Biological Station located in Highlands, North Carolina; this field station is available for research purposes, classes, meetings and field-trips.

Robert Gilley Field Station

The Department of Biology also includes the Robert Gilley Field Station which encompasses over 200 acres, extending along a mile of the South Fork of the New River in Watauga County, North Carolina. There is a high diversity of spring wildflowers on the slopes above the New River. Research projects from the Anthropology and Biology Departments include archeological surveys of the sites, a reconstruction of an early Native American hunting camp, experimental plots investigating the feasibility of uplands hops production, and an established Cornetum. The Cornetum houses a diversity of dogwood species from temperate regions throughout the world that have been characterized at a molecular level toward discerning their taxonomic status.

Elicia Caroon Johnston Biological Reserve

Elicia Caroon Johnston Biological Reserve was also established by the Department of Biology and is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Aho Gap, North Carolina. The Reserve consists of approximately 100 acres including a deep gorge with mountain streams and cliff faces. The Reserve includes a rich diversity of wildflowers, shrubs, and trees typical of the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Tater Hill Lake Basin

Tater Hill Lake Basin is a North Carolina state-protected high elevation lake basin houses numerous wetland species within its 126 acres. It is managed by the Department of Biology which, after initial plant and animal surveys. The high elevation wetland habitats are among the rarest of biological communities in the southern Appalachians.

The Dewel Microscopy Facility

The Microscopy Facility is a College of Arts and Sciences research and teaching facility located within the Department of Biology. The facility provides light microscopy, laser scanning confocal microscopy, and electron microscopy equipment and technical support to ASU and Appalachian communities. An adjoining darkroom is available for doing standard photography. A full-time director of the laboratory provides both academic and technical support services.

University Farm

University Farm is a focal point for the University Sustainable Development Program. The University Farm is a Teaching and Research Farm and Agroecology Laboratory located in Valle Crucis, N.C.. Students utilize the farm to enhance their classroom lessons about agroecology, agroforestry, and sustainable farming practices. Results from research on the farm are shared with local community members to encourage sustainable agricultural practice in the region. The Agroecology Laboratory is just down the road from the farm in the historic "Apple Barn." The bottom floor has been renovated to serve as lab space and provide a graduate student office. This floor also features the original 100-year-old cork-lined cold storage room.

Appalachian State University Enology and Viticulture

The Enology and Viticulture program at Appalachian State University provides an analysis lab, research, and support to the North Carolina wine industry. Chemical analysis of grapes, must, and wine provides winemakers and winegrowers with vital data that informs decision making from harvest through bottling. Research topics and workshop series are conducted with the input of key personnel from wineries and vineyards and in collaboration with other Enology and Viticulture programs across the state.

The wine and craft brewing industry in North Carolina is a significant tourism-based economic driver, centered on profitable agricultural Value Added Products. Small businesses account for the majority of growth in the wine and brewing industries in the Southeast. Many wine grape growers, winemakers, and hop growers find themselves at a similar stage of development; either in establishment, expansion, or in the early stages of viable yields.

QEP Global Learning


Dr. Nicole Bennett
Interim Director, Research Institute for Environment, Energy and Economics
401 Academy Street
234 IG Greer Hall
Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32131
Boone, NC 28608

ph: (828) 262-2764
fax: (828) 262-6553