Outer Banks Field Site (OBXFS)
UNC's Outer Banks Field Site (OBXFS) offers a semester-long program that combines a multidisciplinary approach to the sustainable management of coastal resources with a rich set of experiences set in the ecology and culture of North Carolina's coastline and estuaries. Students receive a strong grounding in applied policy and ecology and a unique experience in integrating diverse academic and community perspectives to issues of immediate relevance. The support of OBXFS faculty, community leaders, and internship mentors in a small group setting have provided a valuable and memorable complement to on-campus education for a decade of UNC students.
The OBXFS is based on Roanoke Island, North Carolina, which is surrounded by two small sounds, Roanoke and Croatan, to the east and west, and the two largest sounds in North Carolina, the Albemarle and Pamlico, to the North and South. Roanoke Island is four miles from the Atlantic Ocean at Nags Head and about ten miles from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore. OBXFS students will explore the Outer Banks and other parts of northeastern NC through OBXFS activities, but the majority of classes will be held at the new UNC Coastal Studies Institute that features a new, state of the art campus that overlooks the Roanoke Sound.
Students will live in the Roanoke Island Festival Park guest house in Manteo (also on Roanoke Island), which is within walking distance of downtown Manteo and biking distance of UNC CSI. The guest house offers shared bedrooms that are arranged in suites and ample common space, including living areas with couches and televisions, a fully-equipped kitchen, and a laundry room.
The proximity of the OBXFS to these sounds and the ocean provides students opportunities to learn about and experience multiple coastal ecosystems and observe human interactions with them during activities, internships, and classes. OBXFS students also enjoy surfing, kayaking, beach bonfires, fishing, and flying kites on Jockey's Ridge in their spare time.
OBXFS participants benefit from frequent interactions with the community, which is facilitated by a Community Advisory Board (CAB). CAB members are residents of the Outer Banks and Eastern NC who bring a diversity of disciplines, professional practices, and experiences to enrich the student experience.
Currently, the OBXFS is offered during the fall semester.
OBXFS also offers the following short-course during Maymester and/or Summer Session II:
ENST490 (Maymester 2013)/ENST 369 (SSII short course 2013). Energy and the Environment: A Coastal Perspective. 3 credits. Registered UNC-CH Students are responsible for additional housing fees upon arrival in Manteo.
Please visit the Institute's Awards & Scholarships page for more information on these awards
Students typically spend two days per week in classes, two days per week at internships, and one day per week participating in an extended laboratory exercise, field work, or field trip.
Students who enroll at the OBXFS take the following courses:
Coursework at this field site would be suitable for students pursuing interests in environmental decision-making, public policy, law, natural resource management, and city and regional planning. The required internship with a local organization or independent study with an OBXFS faculty member provides students real world experience working in local, state, or federal government agencies, non-profits, or research institutes.
Recent Capstone Reports
Faculty and Staff
The following faculty and staff are involved with the OBXFS:
For more information, please get in touch with Site Associate Director, Lindsay Dubbs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.