The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is housed in the brand new, state-of-the-art Charles Townes Science Center. This center is the product of four years of planning and construction. The $62.5 million project boasts all new, state-of-the-art classrooms and labs and has added more than 75,000 square feet of teaching and research space to the existing 138,300- square foot Plyler Hall. The building will be LEED-certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. It incorporates many cutting-edge sustainability features such as energy recovery wheels, chilled beams, and a solar aquatic wastewater treatment system housed in a teaching greenhouse.

The theme of the Rock and Botanical Garden located in the area immediately north of the Townes Center for Science is the Southern Appalachians. Rock and botanical specimens represent the various geologic terranes and botanical zones in the Southern Appalachian mountain belt along a traverse from the Coastal Plain (Milford Mall side) through the Piedmont and into the mountains (Townes South). This web site currently has only the geologic information.

We wish to gratefully acknowledge rock specimens donated by Jack Herbert, Nantahala Talc and Limestone Co.; Henry Cauthen, Georgia Stone Co.; Elliott Boltz and Jim Netherton, Vulcan Materials; Jim Anthony, Cliffs Corporation; Mark Adams, Unimin Corporation; and Jeff McKinney, Jacobs Creek Co.