Spider Course

Spiders (and Opiliones) of the Southern Appalachians (July 23 – August 3, 2024)

Highlands Biological Station, Highlands NC

Instructors: Dr. Sarah Stellwagen (UNC Charlotte), Dr. Alexander Sweger (Hartwick College, NY), with guest Dr. Mercedes Burns (UMBC)

Spiders of the Southern Appalachians Syllabus

This course will present a comprehensive introduction to spider biology and an additional arachnid order, Opiliones (daddy-long-legs). Lectures and discussions will cover systematics, morphology, behavior, physiology, and ecology. Afternoons are devoted to fieldwork and evenings will be spent identifying specimens, with the objective of assembling a collection of the extraordinarily rich local arachnid fauna while studying their ecology and behavior. This 3-credit course satisfies the UMBC BIOL BS Column B or BA Elective 1 with department petition.

At Charlotte, this course transfers as four credits and fulfills a BIOL 4000 – Special Topics in Biology through a substitution/waiver. For other universities, please contact your administration for details about transferring credit.

We have limited NSF grant funding to support student attendance for 4 students at this field course, covering tuition, travel, and housing! We have also received a generous donation from Illinois photographer Jo Ann McNaughton-Kade to help fund an additional attendee.

Applications for scholarships to Spider Camp 2024 have now closed. We will contact applicants with funding decisions beginning on May 20, 2024.