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Our History

Since 1894 UNC-CH has been bringing students to Carteret County to take advantage of the unique nature of the North Carolina coastal environment. Formal laboratory space was acquired in Morehead City in 1947, and today boasts a thriving academic and research community. In 2021 IMS became part of the new department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences (EMES).

What Do We Do

The Institute of Marine Sciences (IMS) is an off-campus research, education, and service unit of UNC-CH and part of the Department of Earth, Marine, and Environmental Sciences.

The Institute’s mission is to serve the State and the Nation by conducting cutting-edge research, training young scientists, providing expertise to governmental agencies and industry, and promoting new knowledge to inform public policy.

Who Are We

Housed at IMS are:

» 11 resident faculty

» 60-75 Staff, researchers, postdocs, and graduate students.

In additional there are a number of transient numbers of the IMS community – undergraduate students (here for the fall semester with the Morehead City Field Site Program, or as summer intern, or technician), temporary technicians and field assistants, visiting faculty and scholars.

Where Are We

The Institute is strategically located in Morehead City, NC on 6.33 acres of waterfront property on the central North Carolina coast – an ideal site to study the ecology, conservation and restoration of coastal marine resources and to develop and apply new technologies in research.