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Institute of Marine Sciences

Our History

Since 1894 UNC-CH has been bringing students to Carteret County to take advantage of the unique nature of the North Carolina coastal environment. Formal laboratory space was acquired in Morehead City in 1947, and today boasts a thriving academic and research community.

What We Do

The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is an off-campus research, education, and service unit of UNC-CH that, together with the on-campus Department of Marine Sciences, forms the Marine Sciences Program.

The Institute’s mission is to serve the State and the Nation by conducting cutting-edge research, training young scientists, providing expertise to governmental agencies and industry, and promoting new knowledge to inform public policy.

Who We Are

Housed at IMS are:

  • 12 resident faculty
  • 3 research associates
  • 2 post-doctoral scientists
  • ~ 28 graduate students (both Master’s & Ph.D.)
  • 25 technicians
  • 15 staff

In addition, there are a number of transient numbers of the IMS community – undergraduate students (here for the fall semester with the Morehead City Field Site Program, or as summer intern, or technician), temporary technicians and field assistants, visiting faculty and scholars.

Where We Are

The Institute is strategically located in Morehead City, NC on 6.33 acres of waterfront property on the central North Carolina coast – an ideal site to study the ecology, conservation and restoration of coastal marine resources and to develop and apply new technologies in research.

IMS facilities include:

  • ~ 60,000 sq ft of research space
  • a running sea water system that feeds both indoor & outdoor experimental facilities
  • outside experimental ponds
  • a small on-site dormitory (suitable for short stays)
  • meeting rooms
  • maintenance & fabrication facilities
  • a small fleet of trucks and motor-powered boats ranging in length from 17-25 feet and a 48ft vessel, the R.V. Capricorn

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