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The Center for Public Engagement with Science provides community engagement and research translation on a variety of topics for research centers within UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, including the UNC Center for Environmental Health and Susceptibility (CEHS) and the UNC Superfund Research Program (SRP). By informing the public about these environmental health issues, we aim to enable North Carolinians to make informed decisions regarding their exposure to specific environmental influences upon disease and reducing risk.

Lake Observations by Citizen Scientists & Satellites (LOCSS)

With support from NASA, Dr. Tamlin Pavelsky, Associate Professor of Global Hydrology in the Department of Geology, is teaming up with the Center for Public Engagement with Science to gain a more accurate picture of water storage in lakes around the globe. 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.


Private Well Protection

In partnership with the UNC Superfund Research Program, CPES increases understanding of harmful environmental exposures such as inorganic arsenic and develop solutions to prevent exposure to these contaminants in well water. Through our work with private well users, we responded to private well contamination in environmental justice communities in NC. Over six years, we tested wells and reported findings to over 1,500 private well users.

Past Projects

Caterpillars Count!

Citizen scientists participating in Caterpillars Count!, a project developed by Dr. Allen Hurlbert, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, conduct surveys on trees and shrubs to aid in measuring the seasonal variation and abundance of arthropods like caterpillars and beetles. With funding from the National Science Foundation, the Center for Public Engagement with Science worked with Dr. Hurlbert to expand this project to new sites throughout the United States.