The Outer Banks Field Site (OBXFS) is a collaborative program between the UNC Chapel Hill Institute for the Environment and the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. The program is an undergraduate semester-long program focused on coastal environmental decision making. The curriculum offers coursework and real-world experiences in several disciplines, including environmental economics, coastal ecology, coastal law and policy, and social science research methods.
Students in the program earn 17 credit hours through classes, seminars, internships and a Capstone research project. This year, the Capstone project focused on the landscape for predators on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula. A public presentation on the students research was held at UNC CSI on December 15, 2016 at 2pm.
In this program, students from the OBXFS presented their findings at a public Capstone presentation on December 15, 2016 at the UNC Coastal Studies Institute. The presentation, entitled “What Comes with the Territory: Predators and Their Place in Northeastern North Carolina”, highlights the students’ semester-long research project on the landscape for predators on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula.
The students reported on their qualitative interview-based research and geospatial analysis of habitat for predators, including black bears, red wolves, and coyotes, on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula. The students’ research involved documenting and understanding local perceptions of the peninsula’s landscape and the black bears, red wolves, and coyotes it is home to through qualitative interviewing.
OBXFS students also presented their geospatial research into large predator habitat. They collected and analyzed data from several sources, including satellite data and the Carolina Vegetation survey, to characterize landscapes and patterns of human use in five northeastern North Carolina counties. They then combined this information with ecological research findings to map habitat quality for black bears and red wolves.