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The Sustainable Carolina Podcast

Sustainable Carolina

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We bring you to the center of the sustainability conversation at UNC-Chapel Hill as we explore the technologies, partners, and exciting happenings that make our campus sustainable. From the North Carolina Piedmont to around the world, we seek out and discuss the latest in sustainability.
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Ileana Fenwick is both a marine scientist and a data scientist. Pursuing her doctorate in the UNC Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences, she searches for patterns in fisheries ecology data. Because she strongly believes that greater data transparency and inclusion will help solve the climate change puzzle, she challenges herself to…
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Ella Feathers, a senior at Carolina, wears many hats in the sustainability space at Carolina. She has served on the Carolina Sustainability Council and currently co-chairs the UNC Student Government Department of Environmental Affairs. She also works as a science communicator for the Data Driven EnviroLab, led by Angel Hsu. In her episode, Ella tal…
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On Earth Day 2024, Chief Sustainability Officer Mike Piehler gives an update on the University's sustainability initiative, Sustainable Carolina. He walks through Carolina's Climate Action Plan, Water Plan and progress made from 2020 - 2024. This audio comes from a video, shared on the UNC Institute for the Environment's YouTube Channel: https://yo…
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Between his day job and his passion projects, Will Freund gets the best of both worlds. As the community engagement specialist for Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, he leads programs for adults, teens and our youngest North Carolinians. And every April when Morehead's Science Expo rolls around, he runs the show. Freund has a natural curiosit…
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Julie Jacobson Vann made her way down to North Carolina to pursue her passion — and Ph.D. — in public health. She grew up in Wisconsin knowing the importance of water quality and recycling. So when she began her career at the UNC School of Nursing, it only made sense that she would incorporate environmental health and sustainability into the course…
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In this episode, Assistant Professor and Voit Gilmore Fellow Amanda DelVecchia talks about her lab's work in understanding greenhouse gas flux — the natural release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — in rivers and streams. Then Drew Coleman, chair of the UNC Environment, Energy and Ecology (E3P) program talks about balancing Earth's ecosyste…
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In the third of four bonus episodes, we bring you a conversation about water and air quality from two centers based out of UNC Institute for the Environment. First, Megan Lane talks about the work the Center for Public Engagement with Science is doing, especially as it has to do with water quality. Then Sarav Arunachalam, director of the Center for…
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In the second of four summer bonus episodes, we talk with Xuewei Wang of Data Driven EnviroLab and Noah Kittner of Gillings School of Global Public Health. The Data-Driven EnviroLab us using both large data sets and citizen science to analyze the impacts of urban heat islands within different communities. Kittner has also worked with the Data-Drive…
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This is the first of our four summer bonus episodes. In this episode we hear from experts at the Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems (CoFiRES) and the Environmental Finance Center (EFC). With two different lenses, they talk about infrastructure, the environment and affordability of public services. Most of us don’t think about everyth…
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John Richardson isn't sure his career path existed when he was in college. Inspired by his parents, who coupled environmental stewardship with municipal service in their careers, Richardson earned a master's degree in urban and regional planning. Since 2007, he's been the Town of Chapel Hill's go-to person for sustainability. In the 16 years since …
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In 2022, UNC Institute for the Environment and UNC School of Law's Center for Climate, Energy, Environment & Economics (CE3) launched the Energy Transition Initiative (ETI). After just a few short months working for the ETI, Alex Hopkins became interim director. Mike Piehler guest hosts this episode of the Sustainable Carolina Podcast, in which Ale…
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When Melanie Elliott graduated from Carolina, she had no idea she'd be playing a big role in one of the University's greatest challenges: achieving carbon neutrality by 2040. In this episode, she talks about tracking campus emissions, understanding the latest trends in the energy transition, and working with students to pass on knowledge (and excit…
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Green roofs enhance sustainability by slowing rainwater runoff, reducing energy consumption, and more. The Carolina Drone Lab (CARDNL), housed within the UNC Institute for the Environment, is taking a closer look at Carolina's green roofs through its Islands in the Sky project. The project, made possible through the Center for Faculty Excellence (C…
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In this episode, we sit down with David Gorelick, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems (CoFiRES). Gorelick and Abigail Brewer (podcast host) begin by reflecting on their time studying abroad together on the Galápagos Islands as undergraduate students. They discuss Gorelick's academic journey, and how, n…
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*Please note: This episode contains discussions around anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. Some individuals are making food choices based on carbon footprint, according to Melissa Munn-Chernoff, assistant professor for the Center of Excellence for Eating Disorders (CEED) at UNC-Chapel Hill. After UNC CEED Founding Director Cynthia Bulik appr…
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In the first episode of the new season, Chief Sustainability Officer Mike Piehler talks about the collaborations and partnerships that make campus sustainability work possible. Piehler discusses the significance of the team's two recently published plans, the Climate Action Plan and the Water Plan. The episode concludes with a conversation about ho…
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I’m Vik Agabekov, the Program Manager for Sustainable Carolina and this week I am joined by our Chief Sustainability Officer and Director of the UNC Institute for the Environment, Mike Piehler. We are going in depth on the flurry of sustainability news that happened in April and unpacking the transition to sustainable Carolina, outlining the Climat…
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