Written by Lauren Colonair.

Over the past few months, the Public Engagement and Outreach team at the Coastal Studies Institute has been working to bring the experiences of CSI to the virtual realm. Before the era of social distancing, CSI provided many programs and opportunities to the public. However, since the start of COVID-19, things have had to change.

In order to continue to engage the public, CSI set out to create virtual content such as their Kitchen Science series and Summer Science on the Screen series on Youtube. Now, the Public Engagement and Outreach team, along with Heidi Hannoush, a CSI photojournalism intern from the Outer Banks Field Site, are working on a new way to bring CSI online.

Within the next month, a virtual tour of the CSI facilities will be available on the CSI website. The team will be working with 360 cameras and computer programs to capture the essence of CSI. So far, they have begun to photograph lobby spaces and hallways, as they start to stitch the building together.

By the end of the project, users will be able to move through outdoor spaces, research labs, classrooms, and more. While participating in the tour, users will also have easy access to links, extra pictures, and videos which will provide even more information about the spaces they are in.

The Public Engagement and Outreach team is excited to continue to offer opportunities, such as this virtual tour, to the public in order to accommodate the new norms of life. Keep an eye on our website for the release of the tour, it is not something you will want to miss!

Virtual Tour Preview

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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