A Weekly Newsletter of Environmental, Ecology, and Sustainability Events at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents:






Apply Now for the UNC McNair Scholars Program


Apply by March 8, 2019 with Rolling Admissions Prior

The Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program is a federal TRiO program designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The mission of the McNair Program is to provide underrepresented students, as well as students from low-income and first-generation backgrounds, with the preparation needed to succeed in graduate school. Scholars receive up to $5,000 to complete a summer research program and are expected to apply to graduate programs.

Register for an upcoming interest session here: https://goo.gl/forms/XE1IX0ndWF5No6uh1

Visit http://mcnair.web.unc.edu/ or email mcnairprogram@unc.edu for more information.




My Spiritual Awakening Speaker Series: Dr. Stan Meiburg, February 12


Join us on Tuesday, February 12at 5:30 p.m.at Chapel of the Cross Chapel for our next distinguished speaker. Dr. Stan Meiburg is the Director of Graduate Studies in Sustainability and associated dual degree and certificate programs at Wake Forest University. He works with the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and the Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability (CEES). From 2014 to 2017, Meiburg served as Acting Deputy Administrator for the EPA, capping a 39-year career with the agency he joined in 1977. He is known for leading efforts to protect the nation’s air and water, clean up hazardous and toxic waste sites, build collaborative relationships with state and tribal environmental programs, and promote sound management in the EPA. This event is open to students of all backgrounds, and dinner will follow at 6:30.




Screening of The Devil We Know


Toxic Free NC and NC Botanical Garden presents The Devil We Know: The Chemistry of a Cover-Up
February 26th, 2019, 6-8 pm
Reeves Auditorium, NC Botanical Gardens, Chapel Hill, NC
Snacks and refreshments provided. Free and open to the public. Donations accepted but not required. Run time 88min.

Unraveling one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time, a group of citizens in West Virginia take on a powerful corporation after they discover it has knowingly been dumping a toxic chemical – now found in the blood of 99.7% of Americans – into the drinking water supply.




Undergraduate Research Society Journal Club


Wednesday, February 20 | 6:00 – 7:00 PM | Dey 301

The Undergraduate Research Society is excited to announce that we’ll be hosting another Journal Club! The format will be a 20-minute paper presentation given by two undergraduates, followed by an informal group discussion. The paper selection is The history, geography, and sociology of slums and the health problems of people who live in slums (Ezeh et al.), and faculty guest Dr. Ilene Speizer from the Gillings School of Public Health will be joining us to facilitate the exciting Q&A!

If you are interested in presenting at future journal clubs, please contact urs@unc.edu. Presenting at journal clubs is a great way to build up your application for graduate school or to be more involved in our organization!

Please RSVP here if you are interested in attending (this is NOT a commitment, we just want to get a general head count).




“Mud and Bugs Under Stress: Compression of Marine Sediments Below the Seafloor.” 


On Thursday February 21,Julia Reece from Texas A&M University will be giving a talk in Mitchell Hall 005.  Refreshments are available in room 005 starting at 3:30, the talk goes from 4-5.  The talk is titled “Mud and Bugs Under Stress: Compression of Marine Sediments Below the Seafloor.”

Julia is particularly interested in the interaction between sedimentary or detrital particles transported into the ocean and microorganisms, microfossils, and pore fluid, and how they are together converted from sediment into sedimentary rock.  Read more about the talk and Julia’s research here: https://usoceandiscovery.org/julia-reece/




Duke Ecology Symposium on Long-Term Research


On Saturday April 13, the Duke University Program in Ecology is hosting a public research symposium with the theme “Insights from long-term research: from individuals to ecosystems.” The symposium will feature work from researchers in behavioral, population, community, and ecosystem ecology.  External speakers include Tim Clutton-Brock (University of Cambridge), Tim Wootton (University of Chicago), and Katie Suding (University of Colorado Boulder), and internal speakers include Susan Alberts, Jenny Tung, Bill Morris, and Emily Bernhardt.

The symposium begins at 8:30 and will include complimentary lunch, dinner, and snacks for all attendees who RSVP. We are asking all those who plan to come to RSVP as soon as possible, but no later than March 23 at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1n1Jx-Rq1wrOchIVmZ1Ehsk0HSc6HsV80RspCPnVtaKk/




Earn Graduate Credits in Public Administration as a UNC Undergraduate Student


The School of Government is currently allowing UNC undergraduates to enroll in State Government, Federal Government, Non-Profit Management, and Community and Economic Development masters level courses.  All of these options can be taken for graduate credit as long as their undergraduate requirements are met, they are wonderful options for exposure to the field of public administration.




Gittman Coastal Ecology Lab seeks motivated undergraduate researcher


We are seeking a motivated undergraduate researcher for hands-on marine ecology research based in Morehead City, NC. The Gittman Coastal Ecology Lab supports students through UNC’s Institute of Marine Science and ECU’s Department of Biology. The research for this position broadly focuses on how facilitation between marine organisms can promote ecosystem resilience to disturbance. The primary project the undergraduate will work on is investigating the ability of bivalves to promote recovery of seagrasses after physical disturbance. Seagrass restoration has proven to be both challenging and costly, so this project supports a demonstrated research and management need.

Students must relocate to Morehead City for the summer position. We have 1-2 paid summer positions and volunteer or for-credit positions in the summer, fall, and spring. Ideally, the candidate will begin in May and end in August, but dates are flexible. Research may involve long days on the water in somewhat taxing environments; the student must be able to complete many field days during the summer. Preference given to students interested in continuing the research (on location or remotely) past the summer. Applicants will be encouraged to develop their own projects related to this research, or other topics of interest to the Gittman Lab.

Applications or additional questions should be directed to Sarah Donaher at sdonaher@live.unc.edu




Study Abroad in Eurasia – Environment and Sustainability


SRAS is pleased to highlight two unique programs we are very excited to be offering in Eurasia this summer.

Georgian Footways: Human Geography of the Caucasus

In the northwest corner of Georgia lies the fascinating region of Svaneti, where the surrounding mountains have helped to protect and preserve the region’s distinct language and culture over the centuries.

Under the Soviet Union, Svaneti faced many environmental, economic, and demographic pressures that had lasting effects, as did the chaos of the post-Soviet period. More recently, Svaneti has been the focus of government efforts to develop tourism and large-scale hydropower projects.

This course examines questions surrounding economic development, the current environmental and social issues facing the region, and efforts to preserve Svaneti’s unique natural and cultural heritage.

You will spend half the course working with the Transcaucasian Trail project, an effort to build trail infrastructure that benefits local communities and trail users through the development of sustainable tourism. While with the project, you will live and work in the mountains, designing and building the trail and engaging with local communities, learning first-hand what it takes to implement a sustainable development project and gaining insight into the practical implications the project has for the people who live along the trail.

The Caucasus mountains are a spectacular setting and our living laboratory as we use the lenses of political ecology, human geography, and critical development studies to engage with some of the most pressing issues facing our planet.

Program Dates: June 30 – July 14, 2019
Credits: 2 (4 with internship extension)
Application Deadline: April 15, 2019
Cost: $3,195 (no credit) / $3,695 (credit)
Includes: Tuition, accommodation with at least 2 meals/day, insurance, transportation within Georgia, transcript (Stetson University)

More information: http:www.sras.org/Foodways

2-WEEK EXTENSION! Internship

This NGO internship is hosted at Tbilisi’s Impact Hub where you can engage in mapping/GIS related projects, collection of interviews with the people in Svaneti, multimedia/website content production, and sustainable economic environment/tourism.

More information: https://www.sras.org/Footways


Russia and the Environment

This unique, hands-on learning experience is based in Irkutsk, near the majestic Lake Baikal. The program explores Russia’s vast and unique ecosystems and the challenges they face today. Students will focus on Siberia’s history from its first colonization, to its Soviet industrialization, to its current transition to a market economy. Students also critically consider Russian policies in environmental management and mitigation.

  • Study environmental history and policy.
  • Visit sites of environmental and cultural significance at and around Lake Baikal.
  • Contribute to sustainable tourism by working with the Great Baikal Trail group to build and maintain a section of trail.
  • Participate with the biology students of Irkutsk State University at their base camp on Lake Baikal as they engage in field studies.
  • Learn how Russians interact with nature – their views as inhabitants of the largest country on earth, nature-based traditions and beliefs of the Buryat ethnic group, trends in environmental activism, and more.
  • Learn “survival Russian” or professional language (more advanced students of Russian).

This program is conducted in English and does not require prior knowledge of Russian. It is eligible for six US semester credits total. Students may extend their time in Irkutsk with additional weeks of Russian language study.

Program Dates: May 31 – July 17, 2019
Application Deadline: March 15, 2019
Credits: 6 US semester credits
Cost: $5,695
Includes: Tuition, dormitory accommodation, insurance, Russian visa, airport transfers, extensive site visits/excursions/cultural events in the Irkutsk and Lake Baikal area and a transcript for the program.

More information: https://www.sras.org/environment




Carolina Global Food Program Summer Scholars


The Carolina Global Food Program, an initiative within the Global Research Institute, is announcing its fourth annual competitive scholarship program in the summer of 2019.

In the program a select number of Carolina Global Food Program “Summer Scholars will be awarded up to $5,000 each to support food related summer research projects. Each awardee will explore a food topic relating to food or agriculture, broadly conceived. The topic may have an academic or policy focus or an emphasis on public service. As such, projects can be archivally based or involve field work or engagement experiences. Preference will be given to projects that are responsive to the goals of the university initiative “Food for All” and the long-term advancement of food studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The awardees must be rising junior or senior undergraduate students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Application requirements:

  • A current resumé
  • A statement of intent, which should also reveal the applicant’s writing ability (1,000 word limit)
  • A detailed budget
  • Listing of other scholarship or award funding
  • A reference from a UNC faculty member willing to serve as a mentor throughout the project

End of award period expectations:

  • A written piece demonstrating the knowledge gained during the summer research.
  • The scholar may be required to share a presentation in a group setting.
  • The scholar may be asked to serve in the screening process for future applicants.
  • The scholar must acknowledge scholarship in any presentation, paper or award relevant to their research.

Application Screening Committee

Peter Coclanis, Director, Global Research Institute
Amy Cooke, Director, Undergraduate Studies Environment, Ecology and Energy Program
James Ferguson, Director, Carolina Global Food Program
Samantha Buckner Terhune, Associate Director, Carolina Global Food Program

Award timeline:

Application deadline – March 1, 2019
Interviews – March 18-22, 2019
Finalist notification – March 29, 2019
Acceptance Deadline – April 5, 2019

Please email carolinaglobalfoodprogram@unc.edu for further information.




Garden Intern – Carrboro High School Eco-Action Community Garden 


Carrboro High’s garden program is about to start its fifth year and our mission is to get kids outside working with their hands and learning about sustainable systems both ecological and human. It is meant to be an empowering experience and students grow vegetables, native plants and trees as well as work on light construction projects. This last year we started selling our produce at the Chapel Hill Farmers Market. Other garden related projects such as cooking or discussions about food security or globalization are highly encouraged. About 10 – 15 students regularly attend our weekly work days. An emphasis of our program is to grow student leaders and several students return as garden leaders their second year.

We are presently looking for an intern who will coordinate our weekly garden work days after school from late August until Late May. These work sessions are from 4 to 6 pm on whichever day works best for our intern. Our intern would also be expected to help mentor our student leaders. We are looking for someone with an interest in outdoor education and sustainable systems who is excited to work and help empower young adults. Knowledge of bio-intensive gardening techniques are certainly a plus. Please contact the teacher/adviser of the program, Stefan Klakovich, if you are interested at 919-260-1302 or sklakovich@chccs.k12.nc.us




Is climate change a factor in the recent migration events from the Northern Triangle in Central America?


Lecture by Edwin Castellanos, climate scientist from the Universidad del Valle, Guatemala
Friday, February 22, 2019, 6:00pm
FedEx Global Education Center, 301 Pittsboro St. Chapel Hill
Followed by a reception and performance by Charanga Carolina

Thousands of migrants continue to arrive in North Carolina after fleeing poverty and violence in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. How does climate change factor into this migration? Edwin Castellanos, leading scientist on climate change, will discuss recent changes in rainfall patterns in Northern Central America that have added additional stress to small farmers in the region and have increased the food security and poverty problems. He will talk about future climate models and what’s at stake for the region and the planet in the coming decades.

For more info, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/769734233391655/

Co-sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for the Study of the American South, and the College of Arts and Sciences. This event is free and open to the public as part of The North Carolina Conference on Latin American Studies. To register and learn about additional conference activities, visit https://jhfc.duke.edu/latinamericauncduke/nc-clas-conference-2019/




“Blue Heart” Documentary Screening


“Blue Heart”, the fight for Europe’s Last Wild Rivers, is a documentary produced by Patagonia, following activists and NGOs across Europe fighting against the development of over 3,000 ecologically devastating hydropower dams and diversions. Local corruption and foreign investment is responsible for the threat of devastation to the culturally and ecologically significant river regions of Europe, in a case where the environmental rights of local people are being ignored. The stories of activists in Albania, Macedonia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, shown in this documentary are inspiring success stories. Their lessons in practices of activism and petition can be helpful and uplifting for our local environmental activists in Orange County and North Carolina. Patagonia has generously given us access to their documentary to show to UNC students in a film screening setting, this showing is on 2/20/19 at 7PM in Chapman 211.




Highlands Biological Station


HBS Summer 2019 Course Lineup

We have a really nice mix of 1- and 2-week courses on offer this year, including exciting new offerings like “Rock Pool Community Ecology” (with a medical entomology angle), “Biology and Conservation of Snakes,” and “Wilderness and the Anthropocene” — in addition to solid standards like conservation biology with Peter White, vascular plants with Paul Manos, amphibian conservation with Bill Peterman, EPT with John Morse, and ornithology with Rob Bieregaard, among others.  * Please encourage your students to take advantage of these unique field-based course offerings and their institutional member course fee discount!*

HBS Summer Internships and other positions

Applications are now open for our annual Assistant Naturalist, Botanical Garden, and Non-Profit Administrative Internships.  Detail and application information can be found on our website:http://highlandsbiological.org/positions/  (the site remains clunky, as we’re still working on the new website…)

You will note on this page, too, that we are presently searching for a new Nature Center Education Specialist, and will soon also be gearing up a search for a new Associate Director at HBS.




One-day workshop for undergraduate women interested in earth systems and environmental science careers


Are you an undergraduate woman interested in a career in the earth systems and environmental sciences? The earth systems and environmental sciences include topics such as the earth, its atmosphere and oceans, energy, air quality, climate, water and natural resource management, and natural disaster forecasting.

If yes, then we would like to invite you to participate in a one-day professional development workshop at North Carolina A&T State University (meals and transportation provided).

I am leading a study to identify ways to support women’s interest in earth systems and environmental science careers through the National Science Foundation funded PROGRESS (PROmoting Geoscience Research Education and SuccesS) professional development workshop. Workshops will be held on either the Saturday or the Sunday during the weekend of February 16 and 17, 2019. 

If you are interested in participating in one of these single-day workshops, please complete the following brief online application (less than 5 minutes to complete):


Clicking this link will take you directly to the application and the instructions.

As the professional development workshops are part of a study, you will be asked to complete two other surveys about your experiences and interests at a later time (one before and one after the workshop).




Register to teach a SPLASH class this semester


Splash UNC is an educational enrichment program that lets intellectually curious high school students explore new subjects in classes taught by students of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Splash students get a taste of college by spending a day on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus and have the opportunity to discover new interests in short, fun classes about anything from neuroscience to origami. Splash UNC hosted 80 students at its first program in Spring 2015. At its most recent program, Splash UNC hosted more than 800 students!

The ultimate goal of Splash UNC is to impart students with a love of learning in a stress free, dynamic, and fun atmosphere. The program aims to expand the academic horizons of high school students through fun classes that emphasize the passion and enthusiasm of our student teachers. We hope to encourage young adults from North Carolina and beyond to explore their interests and engage their curiosities, and in doing so, develop a genuine love of learning. We are strong believers that the pursuit of knowledge can be contagious and that our student teachers can make a genuine difference in the lives of our Splash students.

We are currently looking for student teachers, both graduate and undergraduate students that are passionate and want to share their enthusiasm with hundreds of high school students. Student teachers can create as many or as few classes as they wish to teach. **For graduate students, this is a great opportunity to present your ongoing research projects to excited high school students!** Student teachers can teach a class on Absolutely anything, and some examples can be found on our website here: www.splashunc.com.

Teacher registration is now open, and Splash Day is Sunday March 30, 2019! Student teachers can register to teach here: www.splashunc.com.
**Teacher registration closes on February 20, 2019, so register now before you forget

If you have any questions at all, please contact us at: teacher@splashunc.com




Regeneration Field Institute Summer Internship Opportunity

Regeneration Field Institute (RFI) is an LLC based in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and the province of Manabí in coastal Ecuador. We provide students with hands-on, innovative courses exploring regenerative bamboo building, design, and agricultural practices. In Ecuador specifically, our work focuses on bamboo construction through our community-led movement “Bahia Beach Construction” and our organic agroforestry farm, Los Arboleros. Bahia Beach Construction is an Ecuadorian coalition of architects, engineers, carpenters, builders, and community members modeling green infrastructure through reconstruction efforts in earthquake-stricken regions of coastal Ecuador. Los Arboleros Farm is a 71.5 acre organic farm in Chone that focuses on the production of bamboo, banana, plantain, citrus, cacao, moringa, and native hardwood species. Our mission is to create jobs in the post-earthquake economy of Coastal Ecuador and to teach rural communities how to add value to native bamboo species and other crops such as cacao. Through bamboo building training and the promotion of bamboo architecture, RFI promotes sustainable land management and beautiful seismically safe buildings.

Internship Position Announcement: Campus Representative
Location: Your Respective University Campus
Duration: 1-2 semesters

  • 100% program scholarship + airfare and insurance ($2,500-$3,000 value) for reaching a minimum quota of students recruited for winter and/or summer sessions (approx 14 students)
  • Unique experience working at home and abroad
  • Opportunity to create connections to with faculty and international researchers to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration and participate in an innovative startup


  • Focus in architecture, environmental sciences, engineering, global studies, business, or other relevant fields
  • Meticulous attention to detail
  • Strong organization skills
  • Self-starter, flexible and able to manage multiple tasks
  • Strong writing and oral communication skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Excel
  • Effective interpersonal communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team and independently
  • A positive attitude

WORK REQUIREMENTS: 10-15 hours/week of active promotion on campus including mandatory weekly phone meetings with Program Manager. Recruit X# of students (or Y# over 2 trips with 2 reps) to reach minimum quota and earn the scholarship to travel to Ecuador for the program. Some sessions have two different universities participating and therefore have limited spaces available.

Interested applicants, please send your resume and cover letter to loshunintl@gmail.com and mayaboone@berkeley.edu.




Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa—Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellows


We seek to recruit 2 undergraduate students as Undergraduate Energy Poverty Fellows (UEPFs), for the summer of 2019. Students will spend the summer (early May through mid-August) preparing for and engaged in research on energy poverty in Southern Africa. Students will work with EPPSA faculty and the broader research team on social or natural science, or engineering aspects of planned impact evaluation studies in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, on population-level socio-demographic and spatial analyses, or on engineering or forest biomaterials topics related to  EPPSA. We seek students from a broad range of disciplines including public policy, geography, sociology, anthropology, environmental science, engineering, forestry, and forest biomaterials. We are open to applications from students in other disciplines, but some familiarity with the substantive topics of environment, international development, or energy is preferred. Students will receive a $6,000 summer stipend in addition to travel expenses to Southern Africa.

Visit https://eppsa.cpc.unc.edu/training-opportunities/undergraduate-energy-poverty-fellows-uepfs/ for more information on the fellowship, eligibility requirements, and how to apply. The application deadline is February 15.

Please contact Ryan McCord, EPPSA Project Manager (eppsa@unc.edu), if you have any questions.