Field Station Resource Guide

Students in the Department of Environmental Sciences are encouraged to identify opportunities for field research to complement their Emory experience.  For undergraduate students who are interested in gaining field research experience or for graduate students who require field research to gather thesis data, there are a number of meaningful opportunities. Below, please find information on a few of the field stations where Emory students have gained valuable field research experience:

1. HIGHLANDS BIOLOGICAL STATION (Highlands, NC)
Today HBS realizes its mission of education and research broadly through (1) support of scientific research and graduate training, (2) academic field courses in diverse areas of biology, (3) hosting visiting academic groups, and (4) offering diverse outreach programming for regional K-12 schools, the local community, and life-long-learners.  Each year dozens of scientists and hundreds of students flock to HBS to conduct research and learn immersion-style about aspects of the unique southern Appalachian environment and biota.

Nearing its 90th year, the Highlands Biological Station (HBS) has a long tradition of supporting field-based research and education in a full spectrum of organismal, ecological and evolutionary disciplines. Operating as a research non-profit supported by a consortium of regional universities for its first 50 years, since 1976 HBS has been a University of North Carolina institution, ably administered by Western Carolina University. In keeping with its roots, the institutional consortium remains an active and vital part of HBS today in the form of the HBS Member Institution Program.

Emory is an HBS Member Institution.

2. JOSEPH W. JONES ECOLOGICAL RESEARCH CENTER at ICHAUWAY (Newton, GA)
The Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center at Ichauway seeks to understand, to demonstrate, and to promote excellence in natural resource management and conservation on the landscape of the southeastern coastal plain of the United States.

The Jones Center was founded on a long-standing ethic of conserving land and water resources. Ichauway is maintained as the tangible expression of this natural resource management philosophy. Central to this philosophy is the conviction that management and research inform each other and are partners in their contribution to knowledge. One of the Center's most important products is people who combine a rigorous understanding of ecological principles with proficiency in natural resource management.

To understand the natural systems of the southeastern coastal plain, the Center assembles information from respected practitioners and the scientific literature and conducts targeted research to expand the knowledge of the field. Through a rigorous and creative research program the Center aspires to improve management and stewardship of resources of the southeastern coastal plain and also to contribute to natural resource science at the national and international levels.

To demonstrate excellence in natural resource management, the Center manages Ichauway to protect and enhance the diversity of natural communities and their component species. The practical and economic aspects of proper stewardship are fundamental considerations of this work.

To promote excellence in natural resource management and conservation, the Center develops and conducts education and outreach programs for undergraduate and graduate students, interns, land owners and managers. The Center serves as a science-based resource for public officials, policy makers and the public.

3. FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY COASTAL & MARINE LABORATORY (St. Teresa, FL)
The mission of the FSUCML is to conduct innovative, interdisciplinary research focused on the coastal and marine ecosystems of the Wider Caribbean that contribute to solving the ecological problems of the region by providing the scientific underpinnings for informed policy decisions. The Wider Caribbean includes the large marine ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, and the southeast U.S. Continental Shelf (thus covering both Florida coasts) – an area that is both enormously underserved and of high economic and geostrategic value.

Research is conducted by faculty, postdoctoral associates, graduate students, and undergraduate investigators from the FSUCML, from the main campus, and from other universities throughout the world. We have strong ties with scientists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Fisheries, the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, as well as with a number of environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, the Apalachicola Riverkeeper, and the Pew Charitable Trust.

The laboratory welcomes investigators and educational groups from all over the world, and provides a wonderful site for working retreats. Read about our facilities and marine operations, and then make your reservation.

4. ROCKY MOUNTAIN BIOLOGICAL LABORATORY (Crested Butte, CO)
Home to one of the largest annual migrations of field biologists, RMBL provides logistical support for scientists and students, including access to living quarters, research laboratories, and protected research sites. RMBL focuses on the importance of preserving and providing access to historical data about the local ecosystems. As scientists address ever more sophisticated questions about a dynamic world, RMBL is a vital resource for discovering nature’s fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes.

5. UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA MOUNTAIN LAKE BIOLOGICAL STATION (Pembroke, VA)
Mountain Lake Biological Station is a full-service residential field station located on the remote, but easily accessible, mountaintop of Salt Pond Mountain (1,160m) in the southern Appalachians of southwest Virginia.  The station is surrounded by sharp ecological gradients and fine-scale changes in habitat - ideal conditions for the studies of ecology and evolution.  MLBS offers the full range of scientific, instructional, and communications support expected at a modern field station. Programs at MLBS range from a variety of summer field courses, to a long-standing National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, to numerous faculty-driven research projects.  Biologists and students from around the world come to the station to explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Southern Appalachians.