Oceanographic & Coastal Processes

Research Focus Aea
Research Focus Area Overview

The coastal ocean, from the estuarine shoreline to the edge of the continental rise, is perhaps the most important and yet vulnerable areas of the world’s oceans. The chemical, physical, and biological processes that affect these coastal seas are intertwined and complex. Our researchers use interdisciplinary approaches, modeling and empirical, to obtain a quantitative understanding of these processes.

Research Labs

Marine Geochemistry & Coastal Dynamics
Oceanography & Marine Hydrokinetic Energy Ocean Lab
Coastal Engineering & Adaptation
Coastal Marine Processes & Geomorphology Lab
Ecology & Biogeochemistry
in Marine & Coastal
Systems Lab
Geosocial Systems Lab
Coasts & Oceans Observing


The Midpoint:  Moment, Memories, and More

The Midpoint: Moment, Memories, and More

Written by Lauren Colonair.Recently, my classmates and I have reached the midpoint of our semester at UNC’s Outer Banks Field Site. This year, due to COVID-19, the final half of the semester came earlier than we expected. It has been a strange experience with August...

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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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