The UNC Coastal Studies Institute Concept
Northeastern North Carolina is home to a unique array of ecosystems and a rich and varied culture and history. The area's desirability means it is also a home to an ever-increasing number of residents and visitors. This influx of people to the previously sparsely populated region brings both positive and negative impacts. The economic gains provided are substantial and important to the region and the state. The pressures and degredation of the natural resources that bring about this economic boon are also significant and a cause of considerable concern to local residents, visitors and the scientific community. The importance of the area's ecosystems call for a sustained, intensive and collaborative consideration of water quality, fisheries, lnad and water habitat, tourism and other human interaction with the environment. the thousands of shipwrecks and rich maritime history of the Outer Banks also provide a wealth of opportunity for scholarly pursuit.
The combination of factors make Northeastern North Carolina an ideal place for a coastal and marine research institute, but prior to 2002, none existed. As a result, the Coastal and Ocean Science and Policy programs of the UNC system had limited access to the area for research purposes. A research base was needed to provide a platform upon which academics from the UNC system and beyond could initiate and expand their research. Such a facility could also provide the opportunity for the UNC system to coordinate and collaborate more in its own approach to research, educational and outreach programs.
The Coastal Studies Institute was conceived to fill the research gap in this part of the state, address the area's pressing issues related to development and pressures on its natural resources, and increase inter-institutional collaboration within the university system. CSI is the product of a partnership between the UNC Office of the President, East Carolina University, Dare County and its citizens and other universities of the UNC system. First proposed in 2000, CSI was established in 2002 as a progam allowing collaboration, resource sharing, and research program initiation and enhancement.
The following documents assisted in the planning and formation of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. Click on each to download.
>>Task Force on Marine Science in Northeastern North Carolina by the University of North Carolina (PDF)
>>Proposal for a UNC Coastal Studies Center by ECU (PDF)