Earth, Marine and
Environmental Sciences

From the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences at UNC! This new department brings together more than 30 faculty, nearly 70 graduate students, and numerous researchers and technical staff from two departments on campus, Geological Sciences and Marine Sciences, and the Institute for Marine Sciences in Morehead City, N.C. The merger leverages the natural alignment between earth and marine sciences and strengthens connections among faculty to grow interdisciplinary research and build new student programs.

The new department of EMES launched on July 1, 2021, and I am honored to serve as its inaugural chair. Tony Rodriguez at IMS will be associate chair. In the coming weeks and months, we will be working on filling other leadership roles, developing departmental policies and procedures, and working collectively as a faculty to build out vibrant academic programs. As we do, we will update this site, so please check back frequently for news and updates.

Finally, as we embark on this new endeavor, I wish to speak for all members of the EMES community in expressing our sincere gratitude to Drew Coleman, Rick Luettich and Harvey Seim for their leadership at the helms of the Department of Geological Sciences, the Institute for Marine Sciences and the Department of Marine Sciences, respectively. Their stewardship of these units and engagement in the hard work of planning over the past year has been instrumental in enabling the process to move forward.

Eric Kirby
Professor of Geological Sciences

Graduate students perform research on local living shorelines through the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. Graduate students perform research on local living shorelines through the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences. (photo by Mary Lide Parker)

College Launches New Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences Department

“Merger of three units will strengthen interdisciplinary research, expand curricular offerings, and promote experiential learning opportunities for Carolina students.”

Read more about the impetus behind creating EMES in the article by the College of Arts and Sciences!

Mission

The Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences (EMES) at UNC-CH advances understanding of the earth and ocean processes that govern our planet, shape diverse ecosystems, sustain life, and drive environmental change. We promote exploration and discovery of the natural world by engaging students in research-based learning at all levels. Our graduates are equipped with the strong science foundation, critical thinking skills, and interdisciplinary perspectives required to tackle current and future environmental and resource challenges. We encourage engaged service that translates knowledge for the public good. We support a welcoming and inclusive environment, foster diverse identities and perspectives, and encourage collaboration with all segments of society.