Skip to main content

The UNC Institute for the Environment focuses its research on critical issues that lie at the heart of our most pressing environmental challenges. Each issue is addressed by campus-wide collaborations between Institute faculty and essential disciplines, integrating research, education and engagement in solving the world’s pressing environmental issues and advancing the health and well-being of communities in North Carolina and around the world.

The Institute’s critical areas of study focus on:

  • Financial risk in environmental systems.  The Center on Financial Risk in Environment Systems is a newly launched partnership between UNC’s Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, a part of the Gillings School of Global Public Health, and the UNC Institute for the Environment. The center seeks to demystify the financial risks that environmental events impose on society through developing integrated models of the environmental, economic and engineered systems related to each sector to more fully understand their financial vulnerabilities.
  • Air quality modeling. This area of study is coordinated through the Institute’s Center for Environmental Modeling for Policy Development, focusing on the development of advanced computational and visualization tools needed to understand the relationships between environmental policies, environmental processes and key indicators of environment and health.

These programs build on UNC’s long and distinguished tradition of environmental research. You can learn about the Institute’s work in these areas, as well as that of collaborating campus centers, programs, and institutes, departments and individual faculty, by visiting any of the links above.

Faculty and fellows can utilize the Institute’s Research Services to complete their research in the above topics. The Institute’s affiliations with several research facilities across North Carolina bring access for faculty and fellows at those locations as well.

Latest Research News

wind farm

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 … Continued


Institute launches environmental justice graduate research award; Kryston inaugural recipient

In summer of 2020, the UNC Institute for the Environment reconstituted its diversity, equity and inclusion committee known as the Institute for the Environment’s Inclusion and Equity Committee or IEIE. The group facilitated discussions about what the Institute can do … Continued

research team

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 … Continued

Carolina Discoveries: recent research and why it matters (The Well | June 30, 2022)

A study led by Adam Gold, a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute for the Environment, looks at the relationship between the inundation of urban stormwater infrastructure and high tide flooding in East Coast communities. The study found that it … Continued