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Centers and Institutes

College Office of Undergraduate Research

The College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR) is active on both the Armstrong and the Statesboro Campuses. The mission of the office is to further the Undergraduate Research Experience in the College of Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University by supporting and enhancing existing faculty-undergraduate research, facilitating the creation and support of new faculty-undergraduate research initiatives, and showcasing faculty-undergraduate research. The office manages awards, grants, and undergraduate research symposia on each campus.

James H. Oliver, Jr., Institute for Coastal Plain Science

The Institute for Coastal Plain Science facilitates interdisciplinary research and education toward understanding the physical and biological resources occurring below the fall line and their sustainable use and management.

The Institute for Coastal Plain Science houses the Applied Coastal Research Laboratory (ACRL), which is a field laboratory located on Skidaway Island near Savannah, Georgia, providing logistical support for field trips from inland areas, and access to large and small research vessels, geological and geophysical field sampling equipment and full GIS capabilities. Campus partners on Skidaway Island, including Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Grays Reef National Marine Sanctuary and the University of Georgia Marine Extension Service, provide opportunities for a variety of collaborative interactions.

The Institute for Coastal Plain Science is also home to the U.S. National Tick Collection. It is the largest tick collection in the world with more than a million specimens including representatives of most of the world’s ca. 850 species. The collection remains the property of the Smithsonian Institution but in 1990, the entire collection, its curator, assistant curator, and associated literature files, were moved to Georgia Southern on a long-term enhancement loan initially funded by the National Institute of Allergy and infectious Diseases. The collection is a national treasure that allows tick identifications and related research to be carried out on a worldwide basis. This vital function allows ticks that are medically important or that parasitize livestock or pets (including those that transmit pathogens such as the agents that cause Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever) to be distinguished from species having less economic importance. Short tours of the collection can be arranged by appointment.

Sustainable Aquaponics Research Center (SARC)

The Sustainable Aquaponics Research Center (SARC) is a joint venture between Georgia Southern University and the FORAM Foundation. Our aquaponics system is located in an approximately 4100 square foot greenhouse that supports student and faculty research in areas of Biology, Chemistry, Economics and Engineering.

The SARC facility is a state of the art system designed to research the economic and biological sustainability of aquaponics systems. SARC has four independent recirculating systems, each containing 900 gallon tanks capable of holding over 100 mature tilapia (1-2 lbs/each) and 224 square foot runways for growing plants. This proprietary system was uniquely built to conduct controlled scientific research. This allows the center to develop targeted experiments with the goal of improving the economic viability of large-scale aquaponics as a means of sustainable food growth requiring less resources and space.

Mission: To conduct cutting edge research, and to develop technologies and best practices that improve the sustainability and profitability of soilless farming techniques. 


The Georgia Southern University Planetarium is an immersive astronomy laboratory in the Department of Physics within the College of Science and Mathematics. It is used to teach university courses and labs daily, as well as an independent study planetarium course for university students.

The Georgia Southern University Planetarium offers full-dome presentations for Georgia Southern University students, public/private/home school groups, grades Pre-K – 12, scout groups, and adults by reservation only on certain weekdays.

There are also monthly public events on exciting astronomy topics and full-dome presentations scheduled each year with telescopic observing outdoors, weather permitting.

The Georgia Southern Planetarium is housed within the Department of Physics.

Botanic Garden

The Garden features over 11 acres of gardens on the early twentieth century farmstead of Dan and Catharine Bland. Wander the trails, paths and courtyards and explore the intriguing natural and cultural wonders of the southeastern coastal plain, where persistence, ingenuity, and a deep respect have bound people to the land. Discover a significant and growing collection of native and heritage plants, including over 20 of the state’s protected species. Peer down a pitcher plant, gaze upward at the gnarled branches of a magnificent longleaf pine, and inhale the heavy scent of confederate jasmine. Wrap your hands around the handles of a plow or admire the 1929 cover of Georgia Magazine, which features Mr. Dan and Ms. Catharine’s farm as an inspiration for all of Georgia. Enjoy the past, wonder at the present and learn for the future at the Botanic Garden.

The Garden offers woodland trails, a landscape garden of coastal plain natives, a native azalea collection, an arboretum, a children’s garden, a complex of early 20th century farm buildings, the Rural Life Museum, the Whelchel Camellia Garden, heritage gardens, a bog and sandhill, and the Kennedy Outdoor Classroom. The Garden is a research and educational resource for faculty and students and provides undergraduate and graduate programs, projects, and internships as well as continuing education programs of interest to the community.

Last updated: 12/21/2023