Mary Lide Parker

Mary Lide’s love for science journalism started the first time she held a juvenile Kemp Ridley sea turtle, but it really kicked into high gear when she spent 10 days filming a research expedition on the Llaima volcano in southern Chile.

From a remote mountain town in South America, to a farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California, to a laboratory on UNC’s campus, Mary Lide always carries two things: her camera and her curiosity for how the world works. As an alum of the UNC School of Journalism, she has lots of tools to tell science stories effectively including photography, multimedia, writing, and a little social media savviness.

Posts by Mary Lide Parker:

Eyes in the Sky

Ever since the Wright brothers flew at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina has proudly proclaimed to be “first in flight." Less well-known is Carolina’s connection to deep space — from the first astronomical observatory on a college campus, to the first planetarium in the south, to one of the first administrators at NASA, UNC scientists have long been connected to and inspired by the night sky.

Striking a Balance

People with cerebral palsy (CP) are now living longer than they ever have before. But a longer life with CP can include more complex health issues that providers are struggling to accommodate. One physical therapist at UNC wants to change that.

Disruptive Driving

While car manufacturers and tech companies around the world work to make autonomous vehicles a reality, two UNC researchers are raising some important questions about the impacts — both positive and negative — that this massive change will have on our daily lives and public health.

The 0.3 Percent

From the basalt lava fields of Hawaii to the vast white expanse of Antarctica, UNC alumna Zena Cardman has ventured to some of Earth’s most unique and remote places. Now she’s setting her sights on the ultimate frontier — space. Over 18,000 people applied to be in NASA’s newest class of astronauts, and Cardman found out on May 25 that she was among the top 12 accepted. She reports to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in August to begin her training.

A Volcanologist’s Vigilance

As director of Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute, Mario Ruiz has monitored some of the most active (and potentially destructive) volcanoes in South America. After earning his PhD at UNC 10 years ago, Ruiz has come back to Carolina to sift through data from the recent eruption of the Cotopaxi volcano.

Gaining a Community’s Trust

The revitalization of Old East Durham has resulted in a dramatic increase in property values over the last 10 years. What does this growth mean for housing affordability, equity, and environmental quality in one of North Carolina’s fastest growing areas? To find out, the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning is listening (and lending resources) to long-term residents of Durham.

Keepers of Our Coast

North Carolina’s barrier islands are dynamic landforms in a state of constant change. UNC researchers want to better understand how those changes happen and what they mean for the future of our coast.

A Day in the Field

How does a beach recover after a hurricane? What are the outcomes of natural processes versus man-made interventions? These are some of the questions posed by Elsemarie deVries, a PhD student in the UNC Coastal Environmental Change Lab. Using a variety of approaches, deVries investigates the interactions between different dune-building processes. Now she is taking her expertise to a South Carolina beach recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew.