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Focus on Water

Water quantity and quality are crucial to ecological and community health. We work with researchers and communities to develop programs and materials that help North Carolinians protect and improve their water resources. We conduct a variety of water-related outreach and education activities for communities, local organizations, and government agencies throughout the state.


Five teens on a boat

GEO Explorers

A one-week geoscience-focused summer institute during which middle and high school youth explore the hydrology of Eastern North Carolina from local river basins to the ocean, learning about climate impacts and solutions in their local community and investigating geoscience careers along the way.

three students monitor water quality in a stream in the woods.

Geoscience and Environmental Health Internships

This high school student science enrichment program is a partnership between the UNC-Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment, UNC-Pembroke, and Robeson Early College High School. This program is free for students; financial support is provided by Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

People look at a sediment core in a pond.

Geoscience Teaching Outdoors in NC

Geoscience Teaching Outdoors in NC is designed to engage middle and high school STEM teachers and their students in hands-on, inquiry-based activities to support student learning about earth and environmental science.

teachers working in a group

IDEA Learners Teacher Fellowship

Iterative Design to Engage All (IDEA) Learners Teacher Fellowship Program is a long-duration professional development program for grades 9-12 science teachers to incorporate the science of PFAS into classroom instruction.

Megan Lane in lake measuring elevation for LOCSS project

Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists & Satellites (LOCSS)

We are enlisting citizen scientists to collect lake height measurements all over the world. These measurements, paired with satellite imagery of lake area, are helping us learn how water storage varies regionally.

Jordan Lake

Nutrient Management Study

As part of the Jordan Lake Nutrient Management Study, the Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) engaged key stakeholders.

Mason jar with water sample

Superfund Research Program

With leading roles in the Community Engagement Core (CEC) and Research Translation (RT) team for the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP), CPES increases understanding of harmful environmental exposures such as inorganic arsenic and develop solutions to prevent exposure to these contaminants in well water.

Water Resources