Environmental Science

In Sync

12,340 miles separates the North Pole from the South Pole. But many geophysicists believe the two points are connected. How has always been a mystery, but UNC geophysicist José A. Rial has a hypothesis — they actually “talk” to each other through a natural process called synchronization.

Conserving Rare Plants: It Takes an Army

Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in North Carolina, spans 500 square miles packed with sand dunes, longleaf pines, and a handful of rare and endangered plants. To protect the vital vegetation covering training lands, the army base has partnered with the North Carolina Botanical Garden to reintroduce four species endemic to the region.

Measuring the Health of a Marsh

Carter Smith, a PhD candidate at the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, uses underwater sonar to count fish in low-visibility environments — a good indicator for the overall health of a marsh ecosystem.

Rachel Willis

Rachel Willis is a professor of American studies, global studies, and economics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Her research focuses on how sea-level rise, drought, and increased storm severity threaten port communities, influence migration, alter global food sheds, and impact future access to work through complex water connections related to infrastructure for global freight transportation.

A RAPID Response to Hurricane Matthew

In the months following one of the most destructive hurricanes of the past decade, UNC researchers had to act fast. Using a unique grant from the NSF, they’re testing water quality in Lumberton — one of the hardest-hit places during the storm.

Celebrating Darwin Day

For over a decade, UNC scientists have committed to sustaining and protecting the unique species and ecosystems in the Galápagos Islands. In honor of Darwin Day — a celebration of the renowned naturalist's research — here’s a look at some of the iconic wildlife and cutting-edge research found in this archipelago. (photos by Mary Lide Parker)

World of Wonder

The North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Katie Stoudemire brings the outdoors inside, making nature safe for children with compromised immune systems