Annual Open House

Open House

Have you ever wondered what is inside the Coastal Studies Institute as you pass by the ECU Outer Banks Campus on your way to or from Wanchese, or wished you could visit it another time? Though we are open to the public year-round, a great time to visit is during our annual Open House.

During this yearly event, visitors have the opportunity to tour the campus, learn about current research and education programs, take part in family-friendly activities, and interact with faculty and staff from ECU, CSI and partners such as NC Sea Grant, NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research.

Open House visitors will be able to chat with:
    • Coastal geoscientists who are researching the processes that drive coastal change, their effect on our communities and ways we can become more resilient in the face of increasing hazards that threaten our coast.
    • Ecologists who are studying our estuarine systems, their inputs and how we can ensure healthy coastal ecosystems for the future.
    • Oceanographers and coastal engineers who are exploring ways to harness the power of the Gulf Stream, waves and other renewable ocean energy sources, using new technologies to broaden North Carolina’s energy portfolio.
    • Social scientists who are working with coastal residents, visitors and relevant social statistics to better understand the impacts coastal change has on communities while working to develop new and prosperous economies for the future.
    • Maritime archaeologists who are researching and discovering new shipwrecks using advanced technologies while celebrating the maritime heritage of eastern North Carolina.
    • Faculty and staff who are engaging the local community and the next generation of scientists and decision-makers in education programming that fosters student interest in the fields of technology, engineering, art, math and science.

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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