The UNC Institute for the Environment has joined the UNC Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology to establish a network of field sites in North Carolina, such as Highlands, Morehead City and the Outer Banks, as well as in Ecuador and Thailand. Undergraduate students participate in semester-long programs, choosing from six diverse locations that offer a rich variety of research and community outreach opportunities.
Through coursework, field trips, group research projects and internships with local organizations. Host communities help shape the curriculum at each site, and our faculty and students share their research results with community partners.
These field sites provide a valuable complement to on-campus education and fulfill UNC’s experiential education requirement for graduation. We need support to increase student access by offering scholarships to offset expenses not covered by student fees and to enhance programmatic operations.
“I wanted an opportunity to get more hands-on experience and physical involvement in what I’m learning in a typical classroom setting. As a science major, I also wanted to see what field work and independent research would be like. The program so far has already given me ample opportunities for me to explore not only the area and nature but personal interests in terms of what I may or may not enjoy in a future career. Shark tagging was certainly a neat experience, along with watching my first sea turtle excavation this evening – a dream come true! There is much to learn, from the amazing professors to the surrounding marshes and islands with beautiful horses on them.” – Hannah Lee Slep ’18 on her experience at the Morehead City, N.C., Field Site.