We house archaeological research collections from the following periods: Archaic South East, Hopewellian (Biltmore Estate), Late Prehistoric (North Carolina), Protohistoric (Broyhill Property), and Historic (Fort Defiance and others).


The Department of Biology has twenty-three specialized laboratories to support a wide range of research activities. Faculty and students utilize these laboratories for the research on plant ecophysiology, plant-animal interactions, animal physiology, molecular biology, microbiology and virology, behavioral ecology, mycology, immunology, cell biology, developmental biology, parasitology, freshwater and marine ecology, molecular systematics, conservation biology, conservation genetics, endocrinology, science education, biogeography, evolutionary biology, environmental toxicology, ecosystem ecology, and landscape ecology.

Multiple specialized facilities and natural areas are integral to faculty and student research in the Department of Biology. These include:

Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences 

Laboratories with instrumentation for: 

  • Analytical Separations
  • Elemental Analysis
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Fluorescence Spectroscopy
  • Fuel Lubricity
  • Electrochemistry
  • Computational Quantum Chemistry

Geography and Planning

The Department of Geography & Planning occupies the second and third floors of a modern science facility and contains two computer laboratories for work in computer-aided cartography, image processing, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The department presently houses maps, atlases, journals, and periodicals in the Map Library.

Geological and Environmental Sciences

The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is housed in the Rankin Science Complex.

Our facilities include:

  • Air quality monitoring and research facilities (APPALAIR)
  • The F. Kenneth & Marjorie J. McKinney Geology Teaching Museum
  • A comprehensive rock, mineral, and fossil repository
  • The Fred Webb Jr. Outdoor Geology Laboratory
  • The William C. and Ruth Ann Dewel Microscopy Facility 
    • JEOL JSM-IT-300LV low vacuum scanning electron microscope with LaB6 filament, with an Oxford AZtecEnergy integrated silicon drift energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) system and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) capabilities, and a Gatan ChromaCL2 color cathodoluminescence (CL) detector
    • JEOL JEM-1400 TEM with an Oxford EDS detector
    • a Zeiss LSM 510 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope
    • additional light microscopes (oil immersion, etc.) with digital imaging and video capabilities
    • sample preparation facility with Leica microtome, Polaron critical point dryer, etc.
  • A fission track laboratory with Autoscan Systems fission track image capture and processing software (FastTracks, and TrackWorks), and Autoscan Systems automated stage mounted on a Zeiss Axio Imager.M2.m transmitted and reflected light petrographic microscope with 10x, 20x, 50x, and 100x objectives, and 10x binocular multiplier. 
  • A computer modeling lab
  • A wellfield with 16 monitoring wells and a stream gauge (all with In Situ AquaTroll real-time monitoring instruments), and two additional stream gauges on Boone Creek with web-based real-time monitoring data
  • An state-of-the-art optical microscopy laboratory with HD digital photography
  • A RELION cathodoluminescense (CL) microscopy system
  • An X-ray diffraction laboratory (with a Shimadzu 6000 XRD system)
  • A Keyence 3-D Digital Microscopy System
  • A Los Gatos liquid water isotope analyzer
  • A Dionex ICS-1600 Ion Chromatograph
  • A GSSI Geoprobe with 50 MHz & 100Mhz antennae, with an AGI SuperSting resistivity array
  • A Cole Parmer EW-83057-10 UV/Visible Spectrophotometer
  • The Johnny A. Waters Undergraduate Research Laboratory (a state-of-the-art computing facility, for geology majors only)
  • A wide variety of field equipment, wet chemistry equipment, and fossil preparation equipment

Physics and Astronomy


Research Labs: