Faculty, students and community members held a community open house on Saturday to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences.
The Institute of Marine Sciences is a research and educational unit of UNC in Morehead City that offers cutting-edge marine sciences research opportunities for UNC professors and students.
Rick Luettich, director of the institute, said the proximity of the institute to the coast and coastal waters is very important for the 75 ongoing research projects.
“We are in a special place," Luettich said. "In many cases I think of laboratories and research on campus – on campus we have buildings, and we have a laboratory inside the buildings. Here at the coast, we kind of have our giant laboratory – which is the coast and the coastal waters, and we have a building that is inside our laboratory. It’s a bit inside out – a very kind of special arrangement.”
Michael Piehler, professor of coastal ecology and biogeochemistry at the institute, said living on the coast allows faculty to gain a different perspective and serve North Carolina by better communicating with their community about sustainable ways of living.