Coastal Engineering

Salvo

Barrier island are dynamic systems that present challenges to the residents who live on them. This aerial image is of the village of Salvo viewed from the south.

Coastal Engineering Research Program

The Coastal Engineering program at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute is focused on investigating  coastal processes that potentially have a significant effect on residents of Northeastern North Carolina. The barrier islands that make up the Outer Banks are both dynamic and complex systems which can be greatly affected by storm events and erosion. As our natural environment continues to change, new challenges arise for existing and future infrastructure along the economically important and developing coastline.

The coastal engineering program studies both human-induced and natural changes to coastal systems by investigating the complex interactions between land and ocean processes.  Applied research on these important help policy and decision makers gain a clear understanding of what is happening to our dynamic coastal environment, and support their decision basis with meaningful engineering and science.

Research Focus: North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Research Program

Oregon InletOcean waves, tides and currents offer significant potential for electrical power generation.   The development of ocean energy technology is a critical step in the expansion of our nation’s energy portfolio. The UNC Coastal Studies Institute, along with the Colleges of Engineering at North Carolina State University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, UNC Charlotte amd East Carolina University are leading a research program designed to bring together the coastal, electrical and industrial engineering needed for the research and development of technologies to harness this form of energy and develop a strategy for future integration into the energy needs for the state of North Carolina.   MORE INFORMATION

Latest News
  • Scientists Study Current Interactions at Cape Hatteras

    By Meghan Savona The waters off North Carolina’s Outer Banks are an extremely dynamic area. With colliding currents of varying origin, temperature, and salinity, the coast of Cape Hatteras is a hotspot for studying the way that different currents interact. “North Carolina is kind of like the Mason-Dixon line of physical oceanography,” researcher Mike Muglia …Read More

  • Researching Sargassum and Phytoplankton in the Gulf Stream

    By Meghan Savona, First Flight High School Intern With the possibility of harnessing energy from our oceans becoming an increasingly feasible idea, it’s important to look at how alternative energy development may affect other marine life and impact open ocean ecosystems. The North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) has identified the Gulf Stream as …Read More

  • Dr. Lindsay Dubbs Featured on Clean Energy Podcast “More Power to You”

    Dr. Lindsay Dubbs, Research Assistant Professor at UNC Chapel Hill and Research Associate at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, was recently featured on the new podcast, “More Power to You”.  The podcast is dedicated to a sustainable clean energy economy and is hosted by Josh Cohen, former mayor of Annapolis Maryland and former Deputy Administrator …Read More

  • UNC CSI and Partners Release Satellite Tagged Sea Turtles to Track Dispersal and Habitat Use

    Researchers at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute (UNC CSI) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently released juvenile and adult sea turtles into the Gulf Stream in partnership with the North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island and the University of Central Florida (UCF). The project, led by Drs. Lindsay Dubbs (UNC CSI) and Larisa …Read More

  • Continental Shelf – Deep Ocean Exchange: The Hatteras Story

    By Glen Gawarkiewicz Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution One of the main science goals for PEACH is to understand how waters from the shallow continental shelf intermingle with the waters of the deep ocean.  The Cape Hatteras region is particularly complicated because there is southward flow that comes down from New Jersey and Maryland and northward flow that …Read More