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A new Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry will soon be offered in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, tentatively beginning in the fall of 2024. 

The degree, which was approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors this month, will help prepare students to enter a career in chemical engineering, the medical field, as well as provide a foundation for students seeking advanced degrees in health-related programs. (more...)

From sustainable energy to weather-resilient transportation infrastructure, two UNCW Seahawks will be using their marine science expertise to inform state government decision making. Kathryn Little, a Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy (MCOP) graduate student, and Aaron Ramus, an alumnus who earned his doctoral degree in Marine Biology, are recipients of the NC Sea Grant STEM Fellowship. (more...)
UNCW recognized faculty who have made significant contributions in teaching, research and service during its Fall Faculty Meeting on Sept. 14. (more...)

During Alison Loftis’s final year as a UNCW undergraduate, she was tuning into her virtual marine mammal biology course when marine mammal stranding research caught her eye. Little did she know that in two short years, she would be back at her alma mater, heading a position as Assistant Stranding Coordinator of the University of North Carolina Wilmington's (UNCW) Marine Mammal Stranding Program.

Loftis graduated from UNCW in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Upon graduation, she utilized her recently piqued interest in the marine mammal stranding field to pursue two consecutive internships with hopes to gain hands-on experience in the field. As a result, Loftis's work with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Rescue Team and the International Fund for Animal Welfare Marine Mammal Rescue and Research team exposed her to many stranding response experiences, preparing her for a full-time position in the field.

When asked what led her back to UNCW to continue her career in marine mammal stranding research, Loftis highlighted the 28-year history of the university's Marine Mammal Stranding Program (MMSP). Initially created and led by Dr. Ann Pabst and Mr. William McLellan, the program has made a shift into new leadership.

"I was very excited to potentially be part of a program with such a history and reputation as the UNCW MMSP. As Dr. Pabst and Mr. William McLellan transition to retirement and entrust program leadership to a new set of leaders, I hope to learn all that I can from their foundation and help continue the important work of the MMSP," said Loftis.

UNCW MMSP serves as a part of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program, working in a network of regional stranding response teams to protect NC's marine mammal community. Now led by director Dr. Michael Tift and stranding coordinator Dr. Tiffany Keenan of UNCW's Department of Biology and Marine Biology, the university's MMSP coordinates responses to sick, injured, distressed, or deceased marine mammals stranded on our local beaches.

Through this role, not only does the program save marine mammal lives, but staff and student volunteers can conduct and participate in valuable research that can better help humans understand the lives and behaviors, and overall ecology of these creatures.

"The stranding program here at UNCW is unique in that it is directly tied to a university. This creates so many opportunities to be directly involved in research projects with our stranding cases and learn about the health and life history of species in our area, which is vital for their protection and conservation," said Loftis when discussing what she hopes to learn at MMSP.

In early March of 2023, Loftis began her role as Assistant Stranding Coordinator of UNCW MMSP and has already hit the ground running. Taking on many different roles, her duties range from stranding response and necropsy, to operating the program's 24/7 stranding hotline and ensuring the readiness of response equipment and lab facilities, to developing training events for the 200+ student volunteers, along with facilitating outreach within the community. Loftis also manages the program's social media accounts to keep followers up to date with news and events held by the program.

“Though I did not expect to be back at UNCW in a professional capacity so soon, I have absolutely enjoyed my time back here so far, and I am excited to continue to learn and grow in this position,” said Loftis.

- Arden Lumpkin

UNCW is partnering with several institutions including lead university, the University of Oregon, on a new multi-institution earthquake research center. The National Science Foundation will fund $15 million over five years for researchers to study the Cascadia subduction zone and bolster earthquake preparedness in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. (more...)
Students from the University of North Carolina Wilmington are recipients of North Carolina Sea Grant’s Resilience Team Competition funding for a new study of reef ecosystems in light of climate change. (more...)
UNCW’s psychology program received a STEM designation, furthering the university’s commitment to STEM-focused curricula. (more...)
Dr. Brian Arbogast, professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology, is the recipient of the American Society of Mammalogists 2023 Joseph Grinnell Award. (more...)
UNCW is among four institutions of higher education selected to join the fast-growing ranks of the Carolina Cyber Network, an organization dedicated to closing the critical gap in cybersecurity workforce needs and available workers. (more...)
Juan Zuluaga is the 2023 North Carolina Coastal Research Fellow. His research will look at how birds regulate their temperature through behavior and biological processes during summer. (more...)

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