Water, Water – and Arts – Everywhere

Hans Paerl, Kenan Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, dressed to impress for his presentation at the March 23 meeting of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. Flipping the bottom of his colorful tie at the trustees, Paerl told them, “I’m wearing a tie with blue-green algae on it.” Paerl’s lab is based in Carolina’s Institute for Marine Sciences in Morehead City, where he and his colleagues do research with local and global impact. Paerl studies blue-green algae, which can make water toxic, in China and in North Carolina’s Neuse River and New River Estuaries and the Pamlico Sound.  Continue reading

FAA Awards Grant to IE to Examine Air Quality Impacts of Commercial Aircraft Emissions

The Institute for the Environment will continue to study air quality impacts from commercial aircraft emissions with extended funding from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This grant provides $424,988 for the next year and charges IE to use its sophisticated air quality models to identify thresholds for various pollutants and inform policy decisions to achieve the national ambient air quality standards. Continue reading

Celebrating Neuroscience During Brain Awareness Week

When people hear the word “nutrition,” they often think of eating healthy fruits and vegetables, counting calories, and constant exercise. At the Nutrition Research Institute (NRI) and across the North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, NC, these are frequent topics of scientific inquiry. But to scientists, “nutrition” is a word with a subtly different definition, one that is expansive, just like the variety of research we do at the NRI. Continue reading

Science Network Links Researchers, Teachers

Third-grade Bogue Sound Elementary School teacher Amy Byrd, with the command to “Go,” begins grabbing red M&M’s candy out of a bowl that recent University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate Joseph Townsend has in his hands. The goal of the game is to understand why cells can only get as big as they are. Cells and M&M’s? What’s the connection? The activity is one of many found on the tables of the SciREN, or Scientific Research and Education Network, Coast event held Feb. 16 at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. Continue reading

A Refocus on Disaster Recovery

“In my opinion we are not investing nearly enough on the front end,” said Gavin Smith, professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Coastal Resilience Center of Excellence. “Government agencies should be planning before disasters occur for how the recovery from them should look.” Continue reading

High-Quality Birth-to-Five Programs Produce a Greater Return on Investment

Professor James Heckman and colleagues have just released The Lifecycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program, the results of a new analysis demonstrating that high-quality birth-to-five programs for disadvantaged children can deliver a 13% per year return on investment—a rate substantially higher than the 7-10% return previously established for preschool programs serving 3 and 4-year-olds. Continue reading