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Andrew George

Well water test history must now be shared with home buyers (Environmental Factor | July 1, 2024)

Members of IE’s CPES made recommendations to require sellers to disclose well testing results.

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Students in front of solar panels.

Energy LEAP engages N.C. high school students in latest energy science 

Students participated in a range of hands-on STEM activities throughout the week.

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Students present in front of classroom.

Capstone students propose hypothetical small modular reactors to replace fossil fuel power plants in N.C., including one for UNC-Chapel Hill 

Students spent the semester researching different small modular reactors.

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Lindsay Dubbs

Anchoring Communities

Lindsay Dubbs conducts research in the Outer Banks to protect marine ecosystems.

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2023 Year-in-Review

Please enjoy our year-in-review highlighting our top news stories of the year. Read More

Ecological restoration industry generated $9.6 billion and supported more than 53,000 jobs, according to new UNC study

Wetland and stream restoration market is a full-blown industry, according to study. Read More

Urban habitats mitigate coastal flooding impacts, UNC study finds

The study found urban estuarine habitats to be effective at permanently removing nitrogen. Read More

IE Center explored droughts, floods, infectious disease and extreme temperatures at 7th annual retreat

The retreat convenes people from a broad range of backgrounds to advance research.   Read More

A home near campus

We’ve moved and are excited to advance our work closer to campus. Come see us at Carolina Square. Read More

Carolina global leader in oyster reef research, study finds

Carolina and several researchers are internationally prominent in the field of oyster reef research. Read More

Amid abundant growth, IE launches new website

The new website features the inspiring stories of our people, programs and projects. Read More

Meet the 2023 Molchanov Scholars

Over the summer, eight UNC students were paired with environmental organizations across the state to build their skills for a future in an environmental field through internships. Read More

UNC research team awarded $1.5 million NASA grant to explore disparities and solutions to urban heat stress and climate justice in U.S.  

Researchers will harness the power of satellite remote sensing data and machine learning. Read More

Join us for University Research Week Oct. 23-27

Join us at University Research Week for a host of events on the environment. Read More

Darden ’76, ’92 receives Distinguished Alumnus Award on University Day (UNC News | Oct. 12, 2023)

UNC IE Board of Visitors member Tom Darden was honored on University Day. Read More

Champion Sustainability Game Recap

The Champion Sustainability Game celebrated Carolina’s many sustainability accomplishments. Read More

UNC Research Impact in North Carolina (UNC Research | Oct. 11, 2023)

UNC’s research touches every part of North Carolina. Discover the benefits to our state. Read More

Geo Interns install air quality monitoring stations in Robeson County

In July, six participants in the Geo Interns program built solar-powered air quality monitoring stations at two locations of the Boys and Girls Club of the Lumbee Tribe. Read More

Students immersed in urban planning, clean energy on six-week European Burch Seminar

This summer 20 UNC students spent six weeks in Europe studying urban planning and clean energy. Read More

Meet BOT Chair John P. Preyer (UNC News | Sept. 26, 2023)

The new leader of the University’s Board of Trustees calls his service to Carolina a labor of love. Read More

Measuring Water from Space (Endeavors | Sept. 14, 2023)

A new NASA satellite is recording the first global survey of Earth’s water cycle. Read More

Bat to Nature: UNC study aims to track bat populations and break down misconceptions about this keystone species

Bats are a keystone species in our ecosystem and contribute to the success of our economy. Read More

Naess marks 20th trip with students to St. John to study coral reefs

For the past 20 years, students from UNC-Chapel Hill have traveled to St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, gaining first-hand experience studying the diverse marine ecosystem that surrounds the island.   The program began in 2002 as Read More

Carolina Strong: Resources for the Carolina Community

No one at Carolina is in it alone. Keep reading to find tips and advice from mental health experts on how to process traumatic events and support all Tar Heels, including yourself. Read More

UNC hosts ITM, a prominent international air quality modeling forum to advance global air quality

The 39th annual International Technical Meeting on Air Pollution Modelling and its Applications (ITM) hosted by the UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) brought more than 100 scientists and stakeholders from across the world to the Friday Conference Center in Read More

Engaging communities in Carolina research (UNC Research | Aug. 8, 2023)

The Center for Public Engagement with Science gets North Carolinians involved in UNC-Chapel Hill research — including a unique project with NASA that educates volunteers about lakes in their own communities. Read More

For people on private wells, race and income often determine whether water is safe to drink (NC Newsline | Aug. 7, 2023)

Roughly 2.4 million North Carolinians rely on private wells for their drinking water. But unlike public water systems, private wells are not regulated under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. Read More

A new, long-term study by researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill finds nitrogen fixation hotspots in Atlantic seaweed

Sargassum mats in the Atlantic ocean. Photo by John McCord. A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill examined nitrogen fixation among diazotrophs—microorganisms that can convert nitrogen into usable form for other plants and Read More

New UNC study identifies disparities in testing and treating well water among low-income, BIPOC households in N.C.

Photo credit: “A Tall Glass of Water” by StuffNThings is licensed under CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit North Carolina leads the nation for most households relying on private wells as a primary source Read More

From U.S. Marine Corps to UNC-Chapel Hill, Walton brings drone expertise to environmental research

Troy Walton is one of the newest senior research associates at the UNC Institute for the Environment, leading research and growth in the Carolina Drone Lab, where he is helping to pioneer the use of drones to study ecosystems and Read More

UNC students turn downed trees into art

Since the fall of 2021, the Carolina Tree Heritage (CTH) and Jim Hirschfield’s wood sculpture class have given downed trees on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus new life. CTH provides students in the introductory wood sculpting course with wood from trees that Read More

New UNC study quantifies disparity among minority communities exposed to traffic-related air pollution across the U.S.

Traffic-related air pollution is a pervasive problem across the United States. Vehicle emissions are highest near major roadways with around 19% of the U.S. population living in the vicinity of a major roadway. In more densely populated states, like California, Read More

SURF grant advances UNC microplastics research in western North Carolina

For Chloe Hall, receiving summer funding for her research meant she got to return to the place she loves—the Appalachian Mountains. Read More

Joint study from UNC and Boston University finds air pollution from oil and gas production responsible for $77 billion in annual U.S. health damages including thousands of early deaths, childhood asthma cases nationwide

These health impacts affected communities in states with high oil and gas production, as well as states with limited or no gas activity, underlining the need for comprehensive regulatory action to protect Americans from the pollutants generated by this sector. Read More

UNC dual-degree student teams up with Institute researcher to validate communications strategies to combat climate change in North Carolina

A lifelong resident of Apex, NC, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill dual-degree student Jessica Reid watched her community experience rapid growth. Construction made way for new roads, homes, businesses, shopping and everything that comes with an influx of Read More

Remembering Adel Hanna

Adel Fahim Hanna, 77, founding director of the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development (CEMPD) and Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) died April 23, 2023. Hanna a beloved professor, colleague and mentor served the Read More

New UNC study quantifies $562M in financial risk from Hurricane Florence using novel modeling approach that evaluates risk of mortgage default and property abandonment

When Hurricane Florence made landfall on North Carolina’s coast in 2018, it brought record rainfall causing catastrophic flooding and damages to communities across the eastern portion of the state. Estimating the financial impacts of household flooding is complex because direct Read More

Thank you for helping the UNC Institute for the Environment have the “best day ever” for GiveUNC

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) had the “best day ever” Mar. 28 for GiveUNC—Carolina’s 24-hour giving challenge. The Institute recorded its most successful GiveUNC effort to date, raising more than $375,000 from 110 donors in 24 hours. GiveUNC, Read More

IE BOV Member Seymour ’81 spends semester as Yale’s McCluskey Visiting Fellow in Conservation; selected to U.S. Department of State’s Science Envoy

Every Monday morning last fall, Frances Seymour boarded a train from Washington, D.C. to New Haven, CT, a five-hour trek that delivered her to Yale University where she was a Dorothy S. McCluskey Visiting Fellow in Conservation at the Yale Read More

Ninth annual UNC Cleantech Summit to feature leaders in business, public sector for keynotes, panels and networking

The 2023 UNC Cleantech Summit is set to take place on Mar. 27 and 28 at UNC’s Friday Center for Continuing Education in Chapel Hill, NC. The annual event is open to students, educators and members of the cleantech industry. Read More

Kryston examines sanitation in NC communities with IE’s inaugural Environmental Justice Graduate Research Award

Amy Kryston, the inaugural recipient of the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Environmental Justice Graduate Research Award, studies the relationship between on-site sanitation, health and social drivers of health in North Carolina communities. “Sanitation is a human right,” Kryston, a Read More

Help us reach our GiveUNC goal on Mar. 28!

Mark your calendars for Mar. 28 and help the UNC Institute for the Environment exceed our fundraising goals for GiveUNC—UNC-Chapel Hill’s 24-hour giving challenge. The Institute has consistently landed on the leaderboards in multiple categories for number of gifts raised Read More

Carolina’s field sites featured on

At field sites in North Carolina’s mountains, coastline, cities and even the tropical rain forests of Thailand, undergraduates have a semester-long opportunity to explore real-world issues through a combination of coursework, field trips, research projects and internships with local organizations. Read More

The potential of mentorship, Graves and Johnson forge powerful bond

Neasha Graves enthusiastically shows a model of a human airway fashioned from a toilet paper roll, rubber bands and pink and red foam craft sheets to Mitierra Johnson. Graves is simulating a healthy airway and contrasting it with the airway Read More

One Tree Planted Partners with Vets to Drones and Carolina Drone Lab (One Tree Planted | Jan. 27, 2023)

Vets to Drones, One Tree Planted, and UNC Chapel Hill’s Carolina Drone Lab are proud to announce the creation of the Veterans in the Forest Program, a partnership to train veterans and provide on-the-job experience in drone-based forest monitoring technology. Read More

Hunting for Hemlocks (Endeavors | Jan. 20, 2023)

“It’s just a little further,” Ken Donny-Clark promises. The UNC-Chapel Hill senior crawls on his hands and knees, pushing aside branches and small plants as he squeezes his way to his destination. After a few more minutes of struggling through Read More

Desperately Seeking Salamanders (Endeavors | Jan. 18, 2023)

About an hour after the sun sets over the ridgeline of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Kristina Hefferle and Leah Morrissey hike to a nearby creek in total darkness under a tangle of rhododendron, dog hobble, and towering pine trees. The Read More

All Creatures Great and Small (UNC Research | Jan. 17, 2023)

As the last remnants of the sun streak the sky with purple and peach hues on this hot summer night, the trees by the Eno River fall silent. It’s one of those Carolina evenings that’s so humid, it’s as if Read More

How to live more sustainably in 2023 (UNC News | Jan. 12, 2023)

It’s possible to go green even when surrounded by Carolina blue. UNC Institute for the Environment Director Mike Piehler is an expert on how human activity affects natural systems and is helping the University be more green as Carolina’s chief Read More

UNC Institute for the Environment surpasses $12 million goal in historic Campaign for Carolina

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) has surpassed its $12 million campaign goal in Carolina’s campus-wide fundraising campaign. The Campaign for Carolina, launched in 2017, raised a record-setting $5 billion before closing Dec. 31, 2022. In addition to public Read More

Arter, Gorelick named AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows

Left: Calvin Arter; Right: David Gorelick Former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill postdoctoral researchers Calvin Arter and David Gorelick recently were named to the 50th cohort of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Read More

‘It is good to be back in person,’ CMAS Center hosts 21st annual conference to tackle complex air quality issues

The Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Center has served the air quality modeling and analysis community for more than two decades by providing access to open-source software that can be used to analyze air quality impacts and develop policies Read More


Using drones to study the Galápagos Islands, Cohen adds to summer study abroad experience

The Galápagos Islands’ unique landscape and topography provide the backdrop for a five-week program with the UNC Study Abroad Office and a partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Galápagos Studies and Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Ecuador. Read More

Institute awarded $2.3 million from National Science Foundation to implement and study program empowering Latino and Indigenous youth to seek solutions to climate impacts

UNC researchers, collaborators in NC and WA receive funding to engage diverse youth in exploring climate impacts and solutions in their communities. The Center for Public Engagement with Science in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment (UNC Read More

Haine named Outstanding Informal Educator by RePowering Schools

In May 2022, Dana Haine, K-12 science education manager for the UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science, was awarded the 2022 Outstanding Informal Educator Award from RePowering Schools. REpowering Schools is a national non-profit organization dedicated to building Read More

Meet the 2022 Molchanov Scholars

…made possible by the Pavel Molchanov Scholars Program, an endowed internship program that provides students with a $5,000 stipend to support their summer employment. Since its inception in 2019, 18… Read More

Robeson County high school students gain experience in geology and marine science through IE’s Summer Geoscience Internship Program

Photo by Matthew Ng This past summer, high school students from Robeson County spent time on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus to participate in the Summer Geoscience Internship program, a five-week program that allows prospective college students to gain experience in Read More

IE, CE3 launch Energy Transition Initiative

The UNC Institute for the Environment and UNC School of Law’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3) have teamed up to launch a new program called the Energy Transition Initiative (ETI). The program, led by UNC law professor and director Read More

CMAS Conference returns to Friday Center for its 21st event Oct. 17-19

The Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Conference will return in person this fall after more than two years of virtual programming. The conference hosted by the Institute for the Environment will be held Oct. 17-19 at UNC’s Friday Center.   The CMAS Read More

UNC-Chapel student team wins inaugural North Carolina Sea Grant’s Coastal Resilience Team Competition

In March, a team of UNC-Chapel Hill students was named the winners of the North Carolina Sea Grant’s first Coastal Resilience Team Competition for their research on ecosystem function in New Bern. Now, led by Anne Smiley, the team will Read More

Meet the Inaugural CRCE Scholars

The Center for Resilient Communities and Environment Scholars Program, led by Philip Berke, director of Center for Resilient Communities and Environment and research professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning, recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the development Read More

MEDIA INVITED: Teachers from NC communities impacted by PFAS contamination to convene at UNC to create health-focused science lessons

Media invited Eight high school science teachers from five North Carolina counties will convene at UNC June 20-22 to design lessons about an emerging environmental contaminant, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). First developed in the 1950s, PFAS are found in Read More

New UNC-Chapel Hill study finds stormwater infrastructure inundation contributes to high tide flooding in coastal communities

High tide flooding via the stormwater network on Front Street in Beaufort, North Carolina on November 8, 2021. Images by the Sunny Day Flooding Project. Throughout human history, coastal residents have enjoyed the benefits of living near the ocean while balancing Read More

IE partners with the Center for Hybrid Approaches in Solar Energy to engage STEM teachers in learning about chemistry innovations in the energy sector

Energy Literacy Fellows, Denise Renfro and Julia Little, who teach in Fayetteville, look for bubbles as they use battery power to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Fourteen STEM teachers from across North Carolina convened in the Blue Makerspace in Carmichael Read More

Kathleen Gray, Ph.D. – Improving Environmental Risk Communication Through Interdisciplinary Collaborations

Kathleen Gray, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) has long held a passion for increasing understanding of environmental exposures in communities affected by contamination. After completing her undergraduate degree, she worked with community-based organizations in southern Louisiana Read More

Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy—UNC’s eighth annual Clean Tech Summit advocates for economic and environmental advancement

The UNC Cleantech Summit took place in person on March 29-30, drawing more than 800 industry leaders, students, and policymakers from across the Southeast to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. This year’s theme, “Transitioning to a Low Carbon Economy,” gave attendees Read More

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers find significant health benefits to air pollution reduction policies in NYC

New research demonstrates how reduced emissions can save lives and save money A new study from scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates reducing emissions in New York City could save more than 400 lives every Read More

Thank you for helping the UNC Institute for the Environment have a “day like no other” for GiveUNC

The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) had a day like no other on Mar. 29 for GiveUNC—Carolina’s 24-hour giving challenge. The Institute partnered with the Senior Class to raise money and awareness for a new environmental justice research program Read More

UNC-Chapel Hill Class of 2022 campaigned for the Environmental Justice Undergraduate Research Program on GiveUNC

As a part of their annual Senior Campaign, UNC-Chapel Hill’s graduating class of 2022 campaigned to raise money and awareness for the Environmental Justice Undergraduate Research Program, a program administered by the UNC Institute for the Environment. The Senior Campaign, a Read More

UNC study reveals surprising benefits of invasive marsh grass 

Phragmites australis (P. australis), an invasive marsh grass that many consider a nuisance along the North Carolina coastline, may have surprising benefits, according to new research conducted by Mollie Yacano. Yacano is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina Read More

Help us reach our GiveUNC goal on Mar. 29!

Mark your calendars for Mar. 29 and help the UNC Institute for the Environment exceed our fundraising goals for GiveUNC—UNC-Chapel Hill’s 24-hour giving challenge. Last year, the Institute had a “day like no other,” raising more than $325,000 from more Read More

Electric school bus research project leads to publication and research partnership benefiting Sustainable Carolina

Melanie Elliott hadn’t planned to become a sustainability analyst for Sustainable Carolina when she first arrived at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after leaving a career in restaurant management. With a desire to do something she felt would Read More

New grant supports partnership with Durham Public Schools and Museum of Life and Science to develop hands-on STEM activities to engage students in learning about extreme heat

Durham heat map from the afternoon of July 23, 2021 (Image credit: The Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) in the UNC Institute for the Environment (IE), in collaboration with the Community Engagement Core (CEC) of UNC’s NIEHS-funded Read More

“Transitioning to a low carbon economy,” 2022 UNC Cleantech Summit features in-person event, virtual career fair

WATCH: See how this annual event connects the next generation of cleantech innovators with global, national, and regional industry leaders. The 2022 UNC Cleantech Summit will be held in person on Mar. 29-30 at UNC’s Friday Center for Continuing Education Read More

Molchanov Scholars gain valuable experience amid pandemic

Over the summer, five UNC students were paired with environmental organizations across the state to build their skills for a future in an environmental field through internships. These experiences were made possible by the Pavel Molchanov Scholars Program, an endowed Read More

Molchanov Scholars gain valuable experience amid pandemic; apply now for Summer 2022

Over the summer, five UNC students were paired with environmental organizations across the state to build their skills for a future in an environmental field through internships. These experiences were made possible by the Pavel Molchanov Scholars Program, an endowed Read More

Petric named director of IE’s Highlands Field Site

Rada Petric’s love for nature and animals stems from a place of comfort amid tragic events in her childhood: a civil war. Born in Bosnia, Petric was separated from her parents when she was seven years old. Her mother was Read More


CMAS Conference celebrates 20th anniversary with record attendance at 2021 virtual event in November

The Community Modeling and Analysis System (CMAS) Conference at the UNC Institute for the Environment held its 20th annual event Nov. 1-5, 2021 with a record number of registrants representing 19 countries and more than 360 attendees. This is the second year Read More

Geoscience interns explore Battle Park Water Lab (Photo Essay)

Over the summer, students in the Summer Geoscience Internship Program spent time exploring labs and sites around UNC and Chapel Hill, NC for their summer internship experience. Students in this program are from Robeson Early College High School in Robeson County, Read More

December Updates: IE Cleantech Corner

Green hydrogen is the focus of an entire track at the 2022 UNC Cleantech Summit on March 29-30. Cleantech intern Yutong Qiu shares a blog about this clean technology. Her article provides uses for green hydrogen such as steel production Read More

With $1.25 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, IE launches Iterative Design to Engage All (IDEA) Learners Program

First developed in the 1950s, per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are found in a variety of household items. They are used to create water-repellant fabrics, non-stick cookware, and a host of other products that repel grease, oil, and water. While Read More

Is your well water safe to drink? New resource from UNC-Chapel Hill, partners can help you decide

People who rely on private well water in North Carolina have a better chance of learning whether their well water is safe to drink thanks to an initiative of the UNC School of Law Well Water Pro Bono Project, the Read More

New study finds alternative jet fuels decrease health impacts near airports and downwind

Photo credit: dsleeter_2000 Press contact: Emily Williams,, 919-962-0965 Airplane emissions are estimated to be responsible for 16,000 premature deaths around the world each year. Driven by a 3.5% growth in passenger flights, aviation traffic is expected to rise over the next Read More

Carolina Tree Heritage program brings new life to downed tree

South Building, which opened in 1814, just gained a new detail that has been in Chapel Hill longer than the historic building itself: A 5-foot wide, 400-pound table made from a 251-year-old post oak tree that stood behind Old West Read More

Bradley steps on to UNC System Board of Governors; steps off IE Board of Visitors

It may seem unintuitive for a real estate developer to serve on an environmental board, but through a series of chance encounters turned friendships, Kirk Bradley did just that. Bradley, chairman, president and CEO of Lee-Moore Capital Company, served on Read More

Salvesen to retire after two decades at Carolina

This month, David Salvesen will celebrate retirement after a career spanning two decades at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His professional story tells of the importance of people in the environmental field, as he leaves behind a legacy of Read More

YES-Resilience youth science enrichment program wraps up with in-person summer institutes

The UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) concluded its 10-month-long science enrichment program, Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience in Urban and Rural NC (YES-Resilience) Teen Climate Ambassadors Program in June with two, in-person summer Read More

UNC capstone students engage Greater Duffyfield residents regarding beloved recreation center

Stanley White dressed in New Bern baseball uniform (Loaned by Cleo White and Pamela White-Holloway to New Bern-Craven County Public Library) UNC students in one of last semester’s environmental studies capstones sought to help a historically Black community strengthen its Read More

EcoStudio provides professional development through coursework, internships

The EcoStudio at UNC-Chapel Hill began as an idea to pair students with UNC environmental and sustainability entities to give students workplace experience and a chance to make a difference at Carolina. Now in its fourth year, the EcoStudio has expanded beyond Read More

IE energy educators contribute to first-of-its-kind renewable energy education summit

The UNC Institute for the Environment’s role in training the next generation of clean energy professionals is garnering national attention once more. Lindsay Dubbs, co-director of the Outer Banks Field Site, who recently was recognized for her energy education work and Dana Brown Haine, the Read More

New study identifies leading source of health damages from vehicle pollution in 12 states and Washington, D.C.

Press contact: Emily Williams,, 919-962-0965 Tailpipe emissions caused an estimated 7,100 premature deaths in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in 2016 A new study finds that ozone and fine particulate matter from vehicle emissions in 2016 led to an estimated 7,100 Read More

MEDIA INVITED: Summer program to engage youth in learning about climate resilience, Whiteville, NC

The Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) at the UNC Institute for the Environment, in partnership with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (NCMNS) – Whiteville will host a three-day summer institute June 8-10 for youth enrolled in the Youth Engaging in the Read More

Piehler presents preliminary findings to NC Senate Select Committee on flood resilience

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Senate Select Committee on Storm-Related River Debris and Damage in NC met in April and heard from a host of entities from academic, government and non-profit organizations working on flood resilience in the state. UNC Institute for Read More

Youth learn about resilience to wildfires, prescribed burns and air quality impacts

Erin Apple, Coordinator of Youth Programs at the NCMNS and a member of the YES-Resilience Project Team, connects with program participants over Zoom in preparation for demonstrating a prescribed burn at the Prairie Ridge Ecostation in Raleigh, NC. On Mar. Read More

Institute has “A Day Like No Other” on GiveUNC

The UNC Institute for the Environment had a “day like no other,” raising more than $325,000 from more than 70 donors in 24 hours on GiveUNC on Mar. 30. The Institute placed among the top four campus units from across Read More

UNC launches CARDNL, Carolina’s first Drone Lab

Photos by Peggy Mullin.     From characterizing floodplains and mapping invasive species to forest management, Carolina’s Drone Lab, or CARDNL, works with interdisciplinary teams to tackle emerging research questions. Recently launched to provide a hub for innovative drone and Read More

Piehler testifies before U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on flooding and resilience in NC

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Mike Piehler, director of the UNC Institute for the Environment, was a witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. Piehler gave testimony and answered questions about research at Carolina and Read More

UNC wins first ever EPA contract through U.S. GSA for up to $11.2 million over five years

(Photo by Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)     The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Institute for the Environment (IE) recently won an award for up to $11.2 million over the next 5 years from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Read More

Dubbs to use prestigious award from U.S. Department of Energy to promote women in clean energy

Research associate professor and Outer Banks Field Site director Lindsay Dubbs recently received a prestigious award from the United States Department of Energy. The U.S. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Initiative (C3E) honored nine women from a range of clean energy fields. Dubbs Read More

IE, partners receive more than $500,000 to fund environmental health sciences internships

Starting in February 2021, a new collaborative initiative between the UNC Institute for the Environment, the Curriculum in Toxicology and Environmental Medicine in the UNC School of Medicine, and the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences at North Carolina Central University (NCCU), will provide research Read More

Intern Leticia Tuset combines English and environmental public health to change lives through community resilience

Leticia Tuset has always harbored a love for English. In fourth grade, she just knew she wanted to be a writer. Now a Morehead-Cain Scholar and junior at UNC-Chapel Hill, Tuset has designed a vigorous academic path pursuing her interests Read More


IE makes hands-on geoscience learning possible for Northeastern NC’s students and teachers

The UNC Institute for the Environment recently received $319,000 to connect students and teachers in Northeastern North Carolina with field-based geoscience learning opportunities. Geoscience Teaching Outdoors in NC, also known as GET OUT in NC, will take advantage of the Read More

As IDEA program for underrepresented students concludes, new program funded and in development

Janina Millis planting spartina grass for a shoreline restoration project. The UNC Institute for the Environment hosted its final cohort of six IDEA (Increasing Diversity and Enhancing Academia) students this summer, matching a total of 78 students with geoscience internships Read More

Giving new life to historic trees

The Carolina Tree Heritage program is giving second life to downed campus trees by transforming the trunks and branches into furniture, sculptures and other wooden creations, with the proceeds going toward student scholarships. Read More

Reflecting on remarkable career, CMAS Center honors retirement of Adel Hanna

When the air quality modeling community thinks of CMAS (Community Modeling and Analysis System), they instantly think of Adel Hanna. Hanna has been the director of the CMAS Center since 2003. Institute for the Environment Director Michael Piehler announced at Read More

Preyer completes term on IE BOV, begins service to UNC Board of Trustees

John Preyer grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina with a zeal for being outdoors. He got hooked on fishing and hunting by his older brother and some of his friends. But the Preyers lived in town and didn’t own land. Read More

UNC researchers receive grant to study potential benefits of beaver dams

Photo credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill recently received a grant to study the relationship between beaver dams and water quality. The grant, which is funded by the National Science Read More

Energy LEAP summer program still meaningful during time of social distancing

While the energy camp is usually based in Phillips Hall on UNC’s campus, this year the program consisted of a daily 1.5-2 hour Zoom instruction period followed by hands-on activities and experiments with materials provided by the CPES. Guest speakers Read More

How much geoscience can fit in a box?

Megan Hughes unloads boxes at the post office. Photo by Micah Hughes <she/her/hers>. This summer, the Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) launched a new K-12 initiative called “STEM Experiences in the Lab and Field (SELF)” for high school students in Read More

Meet the Field Site Directors

Engaging students in a semester of transformative hands-on learning and research are key aspects of the experiences offered at all of UNC-Chapel Hill’s field sites. A partnership among the Institute, the  Environment, Ecology and Energy Program and the  Study Abroad Office, Read More

After 18 years as Morehead City Field Site director, Noble passes the helm to Rodriguez

Gathering together for lunch on day one of each semester is Rachel Noble’s tradition. She aims to get to know students from their first day together at the Morehead City Field Site and she said she enjoys seeing many of Read More

BenDor named Institute’s distinguished chair of sustainable community design

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was Todd BenDor’s first job choice back in 2007 after finishing graduate school at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a Ph.D. in regional planning. Fast forward more than a decade and Read More

IE, NCMNS youth program on climate resilience to begin Aug. 29 virtually

Youth learn about air pollution research taking place at UNC during the 2017 program that inspired YES-Resilience.     On Aug. 29, 37 youth from North Carolina will begin the Youth Engaging in the Science of Resilience (YES-Resilience) Teen Climate Read More

Former field site student awarded prestigious NSF Fellowship

Claire Johnson, a student in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E3P) and former IE field site student,  recently was awarded a competitive Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Read More

Stories of Innovation: Clean tech interns launch series’ on start-ups and SMEs

This summer, interns for the Institute’s Cleantech Program have been engaging with startups and small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to tell their stories of cleantech innovation—digitally. The student interns have been writing whitepapers about cleantech disruption and blog posts that Read More

IE to guide $2 million flood resilience study

Hurricanes Matthew, Florence and Dorian caused billions of dollars in economic losses over the past four years. Six of the 7 largest rainfall events over the last 120 years in North Carolina have occurred in the last 20 years. These Read More

Meet the 2020 Pavel Molchanov Scholars

The 2020 Pavel Molchanov Scholars discuss their summer internships amid a global pandemic. Interns and organizations have adapted to the new normal as the world navigates how to continue work with new guidelines and standards to protect public health. Funded Read More

UNC Institute for the Environment takes actions to advance racial equity

UNC Institute for the Environment Director Mike Piehler shared a statement with faculty, staff, and students outlining the actions the Institute is taking to become a racial learning organization. “At IE we know that systemic racism has and does pervade both our Read More

NC Energy Literacy Fellow receives fellowship award to study grid resilience at home and abroad

Denise Renfro, NC Energy Literacy Fellow and member of the program’s Teacher Advisory Committee Denise Renfro, a CTE teacher and Director of the Academy of Green Technology at Douglas Byrd High School in Fayetteville, NC, and participant in the UNC Read More

Berke rejoins Institute to lead Center for Resilient Communities and Environment

Research professor Phil Berke recently returned to Chapel Hill and was selected to lead the Institute’s newly launched Center for Resilient Communities and Environment. “The Institute for the Environment, by its nature, cuts across the campus. We will be doing Read More

CMAS hosts fourth air quality conference in South America

This past July, researchers from all over the globe gathered in Brazil at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte to attend the CMAS (Community Modeling and Analysis System) South America Conference. This year’s event marked the fourth CMAS Read More

UNC IE’s Center for Public Engagement with Science recognized with a 2020 Best of Green Schools Award from the U.S. Green Building Council

The UNC Institute for the Environment’s Center for Public Engagement with Science (CPES) was recognized this year with the 2020 Best of Green Schools Award for Higher Education for their Outdoor Wonder and Learning (OWL) Initiative at Northside Elementary in Read More

Book Release: “Managing the Environment, Managing Ourselves, 3rd Edition, A History of American Environmental Policy” by Richard N. L. Andrews (’70, ’72)

In a new book to be released Mar. 17 by Yale University Press, Richard N. L. “Pete” Andrews examines the 50-year history of the modern environmental policy era against the background of the four centuries of American environmental policies that led to it. Read More

Have an internship or research project opportunity? EcoStudio has students!

EcoStudio pairs outstanding undergraduate students with faculty advisors for environmentally-focused internships, client-based research and applied learning projects. Students not only gain real-world experience, but they also can earn academic credit. Here’s how it works: 1) EcoStudio solicits internship opportunities and independent Read More

Innovating to a clean economy, UNC hosts 7th annual Clean Tech Summit for industry, government and research leaders from around the globe

The seventh annual UNC Clean Tech Summit, co-hosted by UNC Institute for the Environment and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, took place on Thur. and Fri., Feb. 20-21 at UNC’s Friday Center. Despite winter weather conditions, the event attracted nearly 900 registrants.   “The UNC Clean Read More

Postcard from the Field: Claire Bradley ’22 – OBX Field Site

Name: Claire Bradley Major: Environmental Studies Expected graduation date: 2022 Why did you want to go to the Outer Banks? I was interested in the Outer Banks field site because it offered so many opportunities in one. I was also excited to be Read More

UNC scientists, partners to develop new modeling system to pair emissions and health impacts at local scale for city, state of New York

A team of scientists has partnered to create a new modeling system to assist the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in estimating the public health benefits of adopting clean and renewable energy and reducing energy demand in both Read More

Celebrating summer interns

As the summer came to a close, so did internships for dozens of students at the Institute for the Environment (IE) and organizations across the Triangle. On August 15, students who worked with IE and its partners such as the Read More

Preparing the next generation of energy leaders

JD Jorgensen, a teacher from Onslow County and NC Energy Literacy Fellow, led a team of students from Dixon High School (pictured above) to a first-place win in the wind energy competition at the North Carolina Renewable Energy Challenge, and Read More

Registration now open for 2020 UNC Clean Tech Summit

This UNC event is now the largest clean tech conference of its kind in the Southeast. The 2020 Summit, set for February 20 – 21 will feature a diverse mix of tracks including: Circular Economy, Ag Tech, The Rise of Read More