The Coastal Studies Institute is pleased to offer the public two different, free-of-charge opportunities to learn about coastal research next week. One program will highlight the Capstone research project findings of the 2022 Outer Banks Field Site, while the other event will feature ECU Department of History faculty member Dr. Chris Oakley. Please see below for more information about both exciting events.

On Monday, Dec. 5, 2022, at 5:30 PM, the students of the 2022 UNC-Chapel Hill Outer Banks Field Site will present their Capstone research project, “Vegetation Change and Community Perceptions of Buxton Woods”, at the Dare County Fessenden Center Annex in Buxton.

The OBXFS is a semester-long, interdisciplinary residential learning experience for UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students hosted by the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) on the East Carolina University (ECU) Outer Banks Campus. Each fall, students from the UNC Institute for the Environment spend a semester at the OBXFS where they take classes, engage in internships, and complete a Capstone research project. The 2022 Capstone research is a follow-up on the 2021 Capstone research project focused on changes in vegetation within the Buxton Woods Reserve (N.C. Coastal Reserve) over the last 34 years and residents’ values and perspectives of the Buxton Woods.

The audience will hear about the students’ research process and their findings regarding the community members’ perspectives on the Woods and the type, extent, rates, and reasons for change in the plant community since 1988. The presentation will be followed by a question and answer session and light refreshments will be provided.

For those unable to attend, the program will be live-streamed, as well as archived for later viewing, on the CSI YouTube Channel.

The final Science on the Sound event of 2022 will take place on December 8, at 6 PM on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. The in-person, lecture series brings perspectives from all over the state and highlights coastal topics in northeastern North Carolina. This month’s guest is Dr. Chris Oakley, Professor of History in the Department of History at ECU and a 2022 Integrated Coastal Programs (ICP) Coastal Fellow. He will share his research on coastal Algonquians native to the region in a presentation entitled “Maritime Indians: The Coastal Algonquians of the Outer Banks”.

The Outer Banks is littered with references to American Indian history and culture, yet very little is known about the original inhabitants of the Outer Banks, and most of what is known is directly related to the interaction between Algonquians and English colonists in the late 16th century. Most well-known is the romanticized mystery of the Lost Colony of Roanoke, but, in short, Algonquian history itself has been colonized. Moreover, there is also a tendency to think of Native Americans as exclusively terrestrial people and cultures. Although the Carolina Algonquians did not develop extensive ocean navigation and exploration, evidence strongly suggests that their culture was heavily influenced by the sea and the coast well before the arrival of Europeans. In fact, a significant portion of their culture and society was based on an environment that was dominated by the presence of water, especially the large sounds created by the barrier islands of the Outer Banks.

This facet of Dr. Oakley’s research examines the maritime history, culture, and legacy of the Carolina Algonquians of eastern North Carolina, and his study as an ICP Coastal Fellow employed a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating history, anthropology, archaeology, geography, and biology.

For those unable to attend, the program will be live-streamed, as well as archived for later viewing, on the CSI YouTube Channel.

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.



Based at the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI), the North Carolina Renewable Ocean Energy Program (NCROEP) advances inter-disciplinary marine energy solutions across UNC System partner colleges of engineering at NC State University, UNC Charlotte, and NC A&T University.  Click on the links below for more information.




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 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.


Tour the ECU Outer Banks Campus and learn about the research, education, and engagement projects of CSI and ECU Integrated Coastal Programs through our 360 virtual tour.


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.