Welcome to the UNC Institute for the Environment. IE has the exciting and challenging responsibility to lead collaborations with faculty, students and staff across the university in research, education and outreach endeavors to solve the world’s pressing environmental issues and advance the health and well-being of the planet and its people.

At IE, we focus on multidisciplinary collaborations to understand major environmental issues and interface with many academic disciplines, public and private partners, and an informed and committed community. Through our air and water research centers including a research partnership with UNC’s Center for Environmental Medicine, Asthma and Lung Biology (CEMALB), our public service and outreach, our field sites and experiential education programs, we provide interdisciplinary forums for faculty, students and community partners to create innovative solutions to today’s environmental challenges.

Our focus is broad, from communities in North Carolina and throughout the globe. We define our environment as including the full range of remote wilderness areas through dense urban regions. The health and sustainability of all are equally dependent on environmental processes and what we do as individuals and institutions. Therefore, the stakes are high; as we are part of our environment, our environment depends on how we live our lives. The way we build and manage our homes and communities, use (and reuse) water, travel, and produce and use energy are all key ingredients in environmental health and sustainability.

We have great advantages at Carolina in the outstanding environmental and clean tech faculty carrying out research and teaching in basic science, social science, medicine, public health, law and other areas vital to sustaining and improving our environment. Equally impressive are our students who arrive with the commitment, motivation and talent to learn and integrate across these fields, to identify emerging environmental issues, and work creatively towards their solution. It is our responsibility to provide Carolina students with the tools, experience and opportunities to take the study and understanding of the environment to the next level.

We invite you to join us in developing and utilizing new environmental knowledge and creative solutions for improving the sustainability of our ecosystems and quality of life for our communities.

David B. Peden, MD, MS
Interim Director, Institute for the Environment