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

Table of Contents:




Green New Deal Town Hall


There will be a Sunrise North Carolina Town Hall on Wednesday (4/24) from 6:30-8:30 PM! The town hall will feature leaders in our community as they share about how the Green New Deal is the biggest opportunity of our lifetime to invest in the American people. We’ll be hearing from community leaders to explore what the Green New Deal looks like for us at home and what this means for our community: our jobs, climate, infrastructure, and more.

When: April 24th, 6:30 PM

Where: Hayti Heritage Center/St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc. (804 Old Fayetteville Street Durham, NC)





Music and the Environment (MUSC 286) offered Summer Session 2


MUSC 286 (Music as Culture) | Summer Session II | Music and the Environment | Monday through Friday | 1:15–2:45 pm | Instructor: Samantha Horn


This five-week course introduces issues concerning music and the natural environment. Through creative projects, short written assignments, and readings on topics from birdsong in medieval music to Childish Gambino’s “Feels Like Summer” and the local Festival for the Eno, we will explore the following questions and more:

  1. Is music an effective mode of environmental activism?
  2. How is the natural world represented in popular and classical music?
  3. Have musicians and the music industry contributed to the present environmental crisis?


3 credits. No prerequisites. No prior music experience required.

This class fulfills the VP requirement and counts towards the Music minor.


For more information, contact: schorn@live.unc.edu




Romanticism, Nature, and Catastrophe (ENGL 249) offered Fall 2019


Romanticism, Nature, Catastrophe with Professor Moskal, English 249.001, Fall 2019, Tu/Th, 12:30-1:45 pm, Greenlaw 305


Mary Shelley began Frankenstein in July of 1816, dubbed the “year without a summer” because of global cooling from a recent volcanic eruption. In English 249, we’ll study Romantic-period literature, like Mary Shelley’s novel, that reflects on Nature’s more fearsome prospects, placing it in conversation with the maternal Nature posited by her contemporary William Wordsworth. We’ll trace the history behind both views (such as the volcanic eruption noted above) as well as their implications for gender relations, for colonization, for human land-use, and for dietary practices (like vegetarianism). All along we’ll be pondering: “What do we talk about when we talk about nature, and what difference does it make?”


Textbooks: The Norton Anthology of English Literature, tenth edition, Volume D (The Romantic Period); Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein.


Graded Assignments: Two 1000-word expository essays (each 30% of grade), one of which may be rewritten for a higher grade; final examination (30%); and class participation (10%).


English 249 will count toward the Department’s Social Justice Concentration upon petition to the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Interested students may direct any questions or concerns to the instructor, moskal@unc.edu.




Summer Courses at Highland Biological Station including Biology and Conservation of Birds


We’re gearing up for a busy summer here at the Highlands Biological Station, including over a dozen 1- and 2-week field courses on tap.


Biology & Conservation of Birds, May 13-24 2019, with raptor specialist Dr. Rob Bierregaard. Bird diversity is extremely high in the southern Appalachian mountain and Blue Ridge Escarpment region, an area that includes a wide range of plant community types over nearly a 4000-foot range in elevation. This basic course in ornithology covers morphology, systematics, ecology, conservation, and behavior of birds. Numerous field trips in the local area will acquaint students with the rich bird fauna of the region. Academic credit is available for the course, 4 credits for BIOL 459 through UNC.


More information about this course and other courses is available at https://highlandsbiological.org/2019/01/01/summer-2019/




Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Global Health (ENVR 525) offered for Fall 2019


ENVR 525 Water, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Global Health Semesters Offered: Fall | 3 Credit Hours | Instructor(s): Fisher | Tu/Th 3:30-4:45  | Syllabus: https://sph.unc.edu/files/2013/08/ENVR-682-Syllabus-2018.pdf


This course explores global challenges and opportunities related to the delivery of safe, sustainable, and adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) services. We review the occurrence and transmission of hazards and contaminants in the environment, their health consequences, and their control through WaSH engineering, management, and policy solutions at local, national, and international levels. We further explore distal factors (e.g. water scarcity, climate change, etc.), and consider human rights and implementation science approaches to WaSH and health.




DOE Launches Challenge to Seek Innovative Ideas for Improving the Electric Grid’s Use of Technology and Practices


Contest to Award $1 Million for Ideas That Advance the Resilience and Reliability of the Nation’s Bulk Power System

February 4th 2019, Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity, Bruce J. Walker, announced the launch of the “Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge,” a contest that seeks innovative ideas on how to modify or replace existing procedures and practices to improve grid operations, with the goal of making the nation’s electric grid stronger and more resilient. Furthermore, industry, academia (including students), and other innovators are encouraged to submit ideas for developing technologies and solutions that can address new and evolving vulnerabilities, counter emerging threats, and mitigate cross-sector dependencies.

“A secure and resilient power grid is vital to national security, a strong economy, and the services that Americans rely on every day,” said Assistant Secretary Walker. “This Challenge will leverage America’s wealth of innovation for the next wave of technologies and solutions that will lead to a more reliable and resilient electric grid.”

Proposed technologies should enhance the planning, construction, or operations of the bulk power system. Technologies that incorporate fuel delivery infrastructure for generation (including hydropower) will also be considered, as long as those have a direct and substantial effect on the reliability and resilience of the bulk power system. A total of $1 million will be awarded to up to 25 selectees. The due date for applying is April 30, 2019. Potential participants must register by April 26, 2019, to receive access to the Challenge Submission Portal.

This Challenge builds on DOE’s efforts with the private sector and academia to continue advancing the resilience and reliability of the nation’s critical energy infrastructure.

More information on the Electricity Industry Technology and Practices Innovation Challenge is available HERE. More information about DOE’s efforts to ensure the nation’s critical energy infrastructure is secure and able to recover rapidly from disruptions is available HERE.




Environmental & Science Documentary Television (MEJO-562) offered for fall 2019


If you’ve ever wanted to produce, write and/or report a television documentary with an environmental focus, here’s your chance.

Next fall Dr. Tom Linden will be teaching MEJO 562 (“Environmental & Science Documentary Television”), Thursdays, 4:00 – 6:45 p.m.

Students will work in teams to produce video reports on environmental issues within the state.

Last fall students produced and voiced three video reports on environmental challenges facing N.C. state parks, all of which aired on North Carolina Public Television (UNC-TV). If you want to view the three reports, follow this link: http://mj.unc.edu/news/student-produced-reports-north-carolina-state-parks-air-april-2019-unc-tv

In producing the stories, students work closely with a professional videographer at UNC-TV. Students assume the roles of producers, researchers, and scriptwriters. If students have the requisite skills, they can also contribute as videographers and video editors. However, no prior video or television experience is required.