Marine Sciences

Decades of Discovery

For 70 years, the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, located in Morehead City, has provided a home for Carolina scientists — from undergraduate students to tenured professors — to study the complex marine and coastal systems of North Carolina and beyond.

The Earth is Our Laboratory

UNC earth scientists have crossed oceans and traveled to far-away continents to pursue their research, as well as studied natural systems right here in North Carolina. In celebration of Earth Science Week, check out where they’ve been and what they’ve been up to.

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.

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.

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)

Sequencing the Sea

Marine scientists at UNC are taking a new approach to figuring out why and how microalgae blooms occur in the Neuse River Estuary.