“This water is a global issue. It isn’t an issue that can be imagined, really, in a smaller scale,” she said.
Folt gave the lecture “Water in Our World: Past Is Present, Future Is Fragile, But We Can Make a Difference” on Thursday night.
The lecture was part of the campus theme “Water in Our World,” which ends this school year. Folt spoke about the next steps in water research and preservation.
She studied aquatic ecosystems and toxicity as a biology professor at Dartmouth College before coming to UNC in 2013. Although the pan-campus theme was established in 2012, before Folt became chancellor, she said being able to contribute to the theme was the “icing on the cake.”
“In some ways, I don’t know that they told me about it in the search process,” she said in an interview. “But when I found out they were doing the University theme, I said, ‘Oh, Carol, you really picked the right place.’”
Because humans are affected by water pollution, Folt said it is important to make conscious decisions about what goes into our water supply.
“Basically what goes in stays in. When it does get flushed out, it goes somewhere else,” she said
Folt said she dedicated her professional career to these ecosystems because water is a sensitive resource. What is put into water on one side of the world, she said, can affect people on the other side of the world.