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Centers and Institutes

College Office of Undergraduate Research

The College Office of Undergraduate Research (COUR) is a new initiative in the College of Science and Mathematics at Georgia Southern University. The Director of COUR, Dr. Michele McGibony, is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry. The Director has the responsibility for overseeing the mission objectives, facilitating specific responsibilities to achieve these objectives, and managing the COUR budget. The Director reports Dr. Lance McBrayer, Associate Dean of Faculty and Research Programs.

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.


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 available 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.

Last updated: 7/12/2016