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UNC-Chapel Hill moves forward with environmental policy collaboratory with state appropriation
Will study environmental, economic aspects of natural resources management
(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Aug. 26, 2016) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a new $1 million appropriation from the N.C. General Assembly as part of the 2016-17 state budget to develop and launch the North Carolina Policy Collaboratory.
The collaboratory will facilitate the dissemination of the policy and research expertise of the University for practical use by state and local government officials in the area of natural resources management policy.
The appropriation includes the opportunity for an additional $3.5 million for the first year, pending matching private fundraising by the University, to help launch the program.
The collaboratory will be managed by the office of Brad Ives, the University’s chief sustainability officer and associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. Serving as a clearinghouse and coordinating entity, the collaboratory will connect the academic and research expertise of Carolina faculty who specialize in environmental and related public policy areas with state and local governments on environmental policy issues.
Ives will serve as interim director of the collaboratory during its launch phase. A faculty advisory committee, under the guidance of Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr., will be appointed to help provide input for the program. The advisory committee will participate in project selection, grant making and project review. Within the next three months, Ives said he expected to create and initiate a search for two new staff positions in the areas of research coordination and community engagement.
“We have a strong tradition at Carolina for conducting research and outreach to help the citizens of our state,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “We will use this extra funding from the N.C. General Assembly to support academic-influenced, scientific research to help create solutions for natural resources challenges that are important to the citizens of North Carolina.”
“The collaboratory has been charged with examining environmental and economic aspects of natural resources management and new technologies for habitat, environmental and water quality improvement,” said Ives. “By developing innovative projects, facilitating groundbreaking research and disseminating best practices, we believe this initiative can make a very positive impact on our state.”
While planning for the program is in its early stages, one recent example of the type of “living-learning laboratory” project that would fall within the mission of the collaboratory is the Battle Grove stream restoration project (http://gazette.unc.edu/2016/05/10/a-holistic-approach/), which turned a frequently flooded field on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus into a small above-ground stream with a filtration process that will naturally filter pollutants and contaminants out of runoff water.
About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.
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