Coastal Studies Institute’s dive team recently partnered with a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences (NCCOS) underwater habitat study off the coast of North Carolina in Onslow and Raleigh Bays.  The study was conducted aboard the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster, a 187 ft. oceanographic research vessel dedicated to improving the understanding of the marine environment. The studies conducted on this research cruise included echosounder surveys of the ocean floor from the ship, and fish counts and structure-from-motion modeling conducted by dive teams.

The new structure-from-motion technique tested allows for the construction of three-dimensional models of the rocky reef, shipwreck or artificial reef, through the use of thousands of photos from GoPro cameras linked together in multi-camera arrays.  The collection of this data will help scientists link characteristics of specific habitats with the fish species that are found there.

Led by East Carolina University (ECU), The Coastal Studies Institute is a multi-institutional research and educational partnership of the UNC System including North Carolina State University, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC Wilmington, and Elizabeth City State University.


ECU’s Integrated Coastal Programs (ECU ICP) is a leader in coastal and marine research, education, and engagement.   ECU ICP includes the Coastal Studies Institute, ECU’s Department of Coastal Studies, and ECU Diving and Water Safety.


The ECU Outer Banks campus is home to the Coastal Studies Institute.
Located on Roanoke Island along the banks of the second largest estuary
in the United States, this coastal campus spans 213 acres of marshes, scrub wetlands, forested wetlands, and estuarine ecosystems.




The faculty and staff at the Coastal Studies Institute come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, as well as departments and organizations including ECU Department of Biology, ECU Department of Coastal Studies, NC Sea Grant, the North Carolina Renewable Energy Program, and the UNC Institute for the Environment.


The CSI Board of Directors consists of professionals with strong backgrounds in coastal issues including research, development, outreach, education, and policies that affect coastal communities. The Board promotes the UNC System’s mission in helping it serve the people of North Carolina at a high level of excellence in every area of endeavor at the Coastal Studies Institute. The Board meets twice a year to discuss the projects and progress of CSI.


Contact Us

Contact Info

The Coastal Studies Institute
850 NC 345
Wanchese, NC 27981



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