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Leah Morrissey looks for the elusive male Blue Ridge two-lined salamander under a footbridge in the botanical garden of the Highlands Biological Station.

Environmental Field Site Network

UNC IE Field Site Network

Learn more about each of the field sites by clicking on the location in the map or in the table below.

A network of field sites in North Carolina and abroad advance UNC’s missions in undergraduate education, environmental research and community engagement. The Institute for the Environment, in partnership with the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program and the UNC Study Abroad Office, has established site locations that offer ecosystem settings ranging from mountains to coasts to urban environments and tropical rain forests. Students experience a combination of indoor and outdoor classroom time and fieldwork at all the field sites. Each site focuses on themes relevant to their community or region and provides a semester-long opportunity for students to explore real-world issues through a combination of course work, field trips, group research projects and internships with local organizations. Learning happens in the field, but students are also attending seminars and directly engaging with leaders in relevant science fields.

IE offers a variety of scholarships and awards to attend field sites and for other opportunities after you return. There are also awards to support attendance in international Study Abroad Programs being led by an IE faculty or staff. Learn more.

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Field Sites

For more information on each site and a link to apply, select from the table below.

Discover which field site is right for you!
Field Site NameLocationConcentration Area
HighlandsN.C. MountainsEcology and Environmental Infrastructure
Outer BanksN.C. CoastIntegrative sciences and policy
Morehead CityN.C. CoastEstuarine Ecology and Human Impacts
Sustainable TriangleN.C. UrbanSustainability and Environmental Infrastructure
ThailandUrban, TropicalEnergy, Environmental Infrastructure and Sustainability

Field Studies

Coral Reef Ecology + Management

Location: St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Contact: Brian Naess

UNC Environmental Studies in Ecuador

Location: Ecuador
Contact: Rada Petric, Troy Walton

For more information on environmental field education at Carolina, contact:
Susan Cohen
Associate Director
UNC Institute for the Environment