Charles H. “Pete” Peterson
Alumni Distinguished Professor
Marine Sciences, Biology, and Ecology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(252)-726-6841, ext 130,

Peterson has a split professional personality, pursuing traditional academic goals of research and teaching, while also serving on governmental policy-making boards in environmental and natural resource management and contributing to processes that better implement environmental stewardship.  He was trained as an undergraduate working under Robert MacArthur at Princeton University, as a graduate student by Joe Connell at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and as a postdoctoral scholar with Bill Murdoch also of UCSB.  His research interests can perhaps be best described as interdisciplinary marine conservation ecology.

In his academic persona, Peterson has published 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.  This work is dominated by experimental assessments of processes in estuaries and the nearshore coastal ocean but also addresses such curiosity-driven exotica as community ecology of deep-sea vents.  He is currently focusing on developing a better conceptual basis for environmental restoration and defining and quantifying ecosystem services provided by various habitats.  His collaborations involve physical oceanographers, geologists, economists, anthropologists, and social scientists.

In the management arena, Peterson has worked largely but not solely at the state level.  He served two terms (8 yr) on the NC Marine Fisheries Commission, four terms (19 yr and counting) on the NC Environmental Management Commission, where he remains Vice Chair and Chair of its Water Quality Committee, one term (2 yr) on the NC Sedimentation Control Commission, and an open-ended appointment (5 yr to date) on the Steering Committee for the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plans (CHPP) for fish.  Internationally, Peterson served for 6 yr as US representative to ICES (International Council for Exploration of the Sea) Shellfish and Mariculture Committees.