Earth

Earth: Exploring Our Planet

Anna Fraser

Anna Fraser is PhD student in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She designs, synthesizes, and characterizes polymers for water purification.

The Storm that Changed Her

A hurricane in 2010 turned Caela O’Connell’s dissertation plans upside down. It continues to affect her and her research 11 years later as a UNC-Chapel Hill anthropology professor.

A Project of Her Own

Most UNC-Chapel Hill PhD students oversee their own research projects for their dissertations. But Kriddie Whitmore did it in a foreign country — and with the added challenges of a language barrier, bad weather, and limited equipment. This past summer, Whitmore traveled to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, tackling their demands with incredible tenacity and creativity.

Sifting Through Schoolyard Memories

This summer, UNC-Chapel Hill PhD student Colleen Betti and 80 volunteers rushed to uncover a historic schoolyard that was about to be paved over and transformed into a parking lot. Their mission: to illuminate the overlooked, everyday lives of African American school children from the 19th century.

In Hot Water

Warming ocean waters are one of many climate change consequences, and scientists have observed fish migrating to stay within their preferred temperature range. Janet Nye, a UNC-Chapel Hill marine scientist, wants to understand how a warmer environment will affect these animals to help fisheries better prepare for the future.

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith is a PhD student in the Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. By observing squid, she researches how bacteria acquire and exchange DNA from other bacterial cells — a process called horizontal gene transfer — to improve our understanding of bacterial evolution.

Perseverance in the Páramo

This summer, UNC-Chapel Hill research technicians Liz Farquhar and Tessa Davis traveled to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador for a project in the páramo, a beautiful but challenging ecosystem. While the high altitude and unpredictable weather took time to adjust to, they discovered that the resilience they gained during the pandemic aided them in all the obstacles they faced.

Searching for Sheepshead

Commercial and recreational fishing are important contributors to the North Carolina economy, but there are still lots of unknowns about many fish species. UNC–Chapel Hill PhD student Lewis Naisbett-Jones is trying to unravel some of that mystery by tracking the migration of one popular species in the fishing community: sheepshead.

It Runs in the Family

What do you get when a research psychologist marries a clinical psychologist? Two Carolina chemists. UNC-Chapel Hill psychologists Eric and Jen Youngstrom both joined the faculty in 2006. Through their research and global travels, their daughters Diane and Kay have developed a love of science, immense school spirit, and a deep desire to help the world.

Empowering Youth for a Resilient Future

As climate change continues to impact daily life, researchers at the UNC Institute for the Environment want to discover the best way to teach the next generation to build a more equitable, resilient society. To do this, they are studying how young people learn about the environment and enact change in their communities.