Areas of Environmental Research
CEP Research Approaches
CEP Research Initiatives



The Carolina Environmental Program serves as point of contact for learning about both individual faculty and group environmental research on the Carolina campus. But, because our most pressing environmental problems tend to be large-scale and complex, it actively fosters the development of interdisciplinary teams and projects involving researchers from across the entire campus.

Since its inception in 1998, the CEP has coordinated the submission of multidisciplinary project proposals in the areas of environmental modeling, sustainable transportation and sustainable communities, teleworking and risk assessment. Six of the projects have been funded and will bring a total of $2 million to the University over the next three years. A number of other proposals are currently under review by potential funders.

In addition, three large research initiatives are being developed. They received planning support from the Ford Motor Company Fund and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. A primary goal of all of these initiatives is to implement projects that will help build a more sustainable society. These initiatives are the Earth, Environment and Society Initiative, the Center for Sustainable Enterprise and the Rural Sustainable Mobility and Sustainable Rural Communities Project.

Earth, Environment and Society Initiative

The Earth, Environment and Society Initiative is led by Voit Gilmore Professor and Department of Geography Head, Larry Band. The initiative examines various aspects of how natural systems work and how human activity affects and is affected by those systems. Initial emphasis has been placed on questions of water quality and water resources, especially in the context of the massive flooding in Eastern North Carolina in 1999 and, to a lesser extent, in 1996. These questions focus primarily on watershed changes, their causes and impacts. Methods for mitigating related problems are also being explored.

Center for Sustainable Enterprise

Initiatives in sustainable development, sustainable enterprise and the business "triple bottom line" are a joint endeavor with the Kenan-Flagler Business School led by Professor and Co-Director Stu Hart of the Center for Sustainable Enterprise. The Center’s initiative in sustainable development and sustainable enterprise started by identifying faculty strengths and by building teams. Now that the Center is operational, its work focuses upon sustainable enterprise and development under Stu Hart, and on rural poverty, underdevelopment and environmental equity under Center Co-Director Jim Johnson. Research projects target problems with a high degree of salience, both for North Carolina and the world.

Rural Sustainable Mobility and Rural Sustainable Communities Project

The Rural Sustainable Mobility and Rural Sustainable Communities Project (RSMP) is designed to derive and test innovative mobility approaches that will assist rural regions of the world in achieving economic prosperity and social welfare. The Carolina Environmental Program is organizing the RSMP, with participation from Kenan Institute Asia, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, the UNC Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning and its Carolina Transportation Program, and North Carolina State University's Department of Chemical Engineering. The CEP's Thailand Field Site and Albemarle Ecological Field Site (Manteo, North Carolina) will serve as field bases for the RSMP.

Carolina Environmental Program
CB# 1105, 100 Miller Hall, UNC-Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1105
Phone: 919-966-9922 | Fax: 919-966-9920 | E-mail: