Long-awaited Coastal Studies campus dedicated

By on January 17, 2013

The Research and Education Building at the UNC-CSI Campus. (CSI)

Thomas Ross, UNC System president. (CSI)

Many years in the making, the UNC Coastal Studies Institute research and education facilities were dedicated and officially opened in Skyco Tuesday.

Local and state dignitaries, university officials, UNC-CSI federal and state partners and UNC-CSI board members attended the dedication.

The President of the University of North Carolina System, Thomas W. Ross, was the keynote speaker.

“The work that will take place here will have an affect on the lives of people all over the world. We hope to bring the best minds from the UNC system to come here and to work alongside members of this community,” Ross said.

State Rep. Paul Tine, Dare County Commissioner Warren Judge, Nags Head Mayor Bob Oakes and UNC-CSI Director Nancy White also spoke.

A self-guided tour of the 83,791 square-foot facilities followed the dedication speeches.

Early site work began in the summer of 2010, with construction starting in November of 2010. Construction was completed on Dec. 12.

The new facilities are sustainably designed to take advantage of the site’s natural assets, including the southern exposure for sunlight and use of natural plants for low maintenance landscaping.

The UNC-CSI campus in Skyco is on 240 acres of uplands and marsh, and will provide easy access to the coastal ecosystems. (CSI)

Research and education facilities, including classrooms, labs, multi-media spaces and a marine services building are designed to be low-impact, efficient and economical. The new facility uses many green building strategies and is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. 

The UNC Coastal Studies Institute is an academic research and education organization with deep roots in the coastal communities of northeastern North Carolina. It was founded in 2003 as part of the University of North Carolina system as an inter-university institute to undertake research, offer educational opportunities, provide community outreach programs and enhance communication among those concerned with the history, culture and environment of the state’s maritime counties.

UNC-CSI university partners include East Carolina University, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina State University, UNC Chapel Hill and UNC Wilmington.

The dedication of the site by the University of North Carolina kicks off a series of community events to take place throughout the spring, including a public open house on February 2, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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Larry D

January 23, 2013 7:13 pm

This should really cut down on thier commute to the NPS

Nags head bob

January 23, 2013 6:24 am

Sure hope they are wrong about the whole sea level rise thing, because this place will be under water.


January 22, 2013 6:41 pm

Hope they leave the commercial fisherman alone. Focus on how the developement in the area has killed our enviroment. Wasn’t the land it was built on marsh land? Just sayin…

Bob Samuels

January 22, 2013 7:44 am

@Vballer, The King is all-knowing, the Earth is flat and cigarettes are good for your health.

I drove around this facility a couple of days ago. Not only does it incorporate some low cost construction ideas to save energy, similar to Jeannettes Pier, it has run-off and sewage filtering systems on property. My only criticism (from the outside) is about the width of the entrance/exit drive. Seems a bit narrow for the busy season with vehicles coming & going. In any event, it’s an excellent addition to our community and I’m looking forward to seeing and hearing about the great learning that will occur there.


January 21, 2013 12:14 pm

More over educated idiots telling us how we should live is all!


January 19, 2013 10:58 am

This s perfect fit for the region and something we as a community should encourage and support. Its a chance to develop an industry based on our geographic strengths (coast, wind, environment). Its also complementary to the tourism industry and an opportunity to grow the eco-tourism segment. rather than relying on the gas guzzlers driving on the beach. Its time to look forward, not backwards and this is a good start.


January 18, 2013 10:40 pm


“Any guesses!”

I’m putting my $$ on another post from ekim………….

KDH Rezident Evil

January 18, 2013 4:38 pm

@oylander: Keep an eye on their website (scroll down a bit and it’s on the left). There are none listed at this time, but I expect that will change.


January 18, 2013 1:29 pm

As an unemployed resident, where are the jobs? Haven’t seen any advertised?


January 18, 2013 10:43 am

Coastal studies I can already see the BAMBOOZL thats coming, Any guesses!

KDH Rezident Evil

January 18, 2013 9:21 am

This is such good news. More jobs, an important facility of higher education, and hopefully the cornerstone of bigger and better things for Dare County.


January 18, 2013 8:10 am

Clean energy may be expensive now, but I believe we need to move in that direction even while we keep depending on carbon based energy for most of our energy needs. Eventually the costs for clean energy will come down and make it more viable.

Bob Samuels

January 18, 2013 7:37 am

@JimH – The state and CSI are trying to be proactive in reducing our carbon footprint. This building epitomizes the perfect union of environmental/scientific education and stewardship of our local/global environment. In the long run, the cost of building LEED should make up for the costs of energy consumption. It would be a good study for the state or CSI to conduct.

I think this new CSI building awesome! What a great base for college/university students around NC to come to study the local environment & wetlands. Our local economy will benefit from the influx of money and it provides much needed professional-type jobs. Local Elementary, Middle and High School students & teachers will be able to access and use the knowledge of the staff and the wonderful facility. It’s a win-win-win situation!


January 17, 2013 1:52 pm

I see that the state was bamboozled into building a LEED building at what is a significant higher cost versus a non-LEED building. A little research will show that builders game the system to get the point rating that they need to meet certification and several of the items are of dubious value.

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