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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

Life After the Storm

Earth Day Feature! April 22 | LIVE: Life After the Storm: Building Resilience in North Carolina

How do we address extreme environmental events from all perspectives to build resilience in North Carolina? Join Director of the UNC Institute for the Environment Mike Piehler for a conversation with Carolina experts Elizabeth Frankenberg, Diamond Holloman and Greg Characklis. … Continued

Sustainable Carolina

Chancellor’s Spotlight: Sustainable Carolina

In my time as chief sustainability officer, I have quickly come to appreciate the deep and broad expertise and commitment around sustainability at Carolina. Our operational experts are effectively running a small city and working to do so as efficiently … Continued

Environment at Carolina

Celebrate Earth Month at Carolina!

From energy shortages to water scarcity, Carolina is tackling environmental problems with expertise from every discipline. Building on the collaborative spirit of UNC-Chapel Hill, we offer multidisciplinary programs in research, education and service while integrating environmental studies and outreach opportunities … Continued

Lindsay Dubbs

Paying Tribute to Female Trailblazers in Waterpower (National Hydropower Association | March 2021)

Meet Lindsay Dubbs, PhD, who was honored in late 2020 by the U.S. Department of Energy with a U.S. Clean Energy Education & Empowerment Initiative (C3E) Award. Dr. Dubbs is the associate director of the Coastal Studies Institute’s North Carolina Renewable … Continued