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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

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

Throughout human history, coastal residents have enjoyed the benefits of living near the ocean while balancing the associated risks. Coastal flooding, exacerbated by sea level rise, whether from the ocean, rivers, or rain is an ongoing challenge for many coastal … Continued

New York City

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 … Continued

Dylan Morgan

#GDTBATH: Dylan Morgan (UNC News | Apr. 20, 2022)

Carolina senior Dylan Morgan has always had a strong connection with nature and he turned to UNC Institute for the Environment and the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory as a Tar Heel to gain the skills and experience to turn that … Continued

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 … Continued