The Environmental Community

The rapid growth of the world's population and an increasing demand for consumable goods and services are depleting natural resources and placing stresses on the environment. At the same time, vibrant economies and social justice bring important qualities of life to the table. This creates a challenge, and opportunity, to build a society that balances environmental quality, economic vitality and social justice.

The Carolina campus is responding to this challenge in a variety of ways. With environmental expertise in literally every discipline on the campus, we were faced with a question: How can we bring together these diverse groups, forming them into an interdisciplinary community, and focus them on the most significant environmental issues?

Our solution is the Institute for the Environment (IE), building on the collaborative spirit of Carolina. Through it, faculty, students and staff from across the campus have joined together to offer multidisciplinary programs in education, research and outreach, while retaining the disciplinary strengths of our College of Arts and Sciences, Kenan-Flagler Business School, School of Public Health, School of Medicine, School of Law, School of Government and School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This unique arrangement allows our students and faculty to move smoothly between the participating disciplines, and to adapt quickly to the ever-changing terrain of environmental studies. These schools and their departments are integrated through the Institute, which has three missions:

  1. To act as the "public face" of all environmental programs on the campus, providing information on these programs and a way to celebrate their success and expertise.
  2. To bring these programs together to tackle interdisciplinary environmental problems that lie at the intersection of their interests.
  3. To create new interdisciplinary areas of study, and to bring to campus the resources and expertise needed to tackle these areas.

All of the faculty, students and staff are organized in a number of ways through the activities you will find on this web site. Find more information on: