60-degree days in December? We’ll take them! Faculty, staff, and students enjoyed favorable weather conditions for the Coastal Studies Institute’s two most recent Brown Bag Lunches. During the first December session, Dr. Sid Mitra led a discussion called “Buzz: The Science and Lore of Caffeine, Alcohol, and a Few Other Drugs.” This engaging discussion, that even had the audience participate as water molecules, left listeners informed about how different substances we ingest interact with our body and the environment. Then during the second of the bi-monthly occurrences, Dr. Mike Muglia, a self-proclaimed surf junkie, almost divulged some of his coveted sea secrets in a presentation called “Secret Session: OBX Wave and Water Temperature Observations to Maximize Your Shredding!”. During both the talks we laughed, listened, and learned, all of which are the goals of the Brown Bag Lunches at the Coastal Studies Institute.
“We were looking for an opportunity to come together and learn, without the pressure of a formal presentation,” states Alex Nolte, the University Program Associate on the ECU Outer Banks Campus. “Many of us come from different backgrounds, so there is ample opportunity to learn from one another. We decided to seize it in the best way possible.” Nolte has been working with Dean Reide Corbett to coordinate these lunches.
“I appreciate everyone coming together with the desire to learn. This is at the very center of our mission at CSI,” shares Corbett. Besides the fact that the Brown Bag Lunches offer an opportunity for CSI faculty, staff, and students to dine together outside, the informal talks are also very much in line with the interdisciplinary nature of the Coastal Studies Institute and the Department of Coastal Studies at ECU.
Department of Coastal Studies faculty span several disciplines and the researchers at the Coastal Studies Institute work to address coastal-related topics from a variety of angles. One of the unique features of the truly interdisciplinary research at CSI is that it allows scientists from universities across NC the ability to address the same problem with a variety of solutions. These Brown Bag Lunches are meant to be a way to facilitate this kind of interdisciplinary thinking and create an opportunity for faculty, staff, and students to share their current interests with one another.
Although fall and winter weather on the Outer Banks certainly varies from 60 degrees and sunny to 40 degrees and rainy, the attendees of the Brown Bag Lunches are eager to utilize the Coastal Studies Institute’s outdoor classroom whenever possible. The “classroom” is a covered space outside that comes complete with a portable computer for presentations. This space, just one of the many unique features of the LEED Gold-certified facility, acts as the perfect arena for all members of CSI to come together, lunch, and learn.