Environmental Sciences

Department News

EVS Fall 2021 Virtual Departmental Commencement Ceremony

The EVS Faculty and Staff would like to congratulate the graduating class of Fall 2021! You succeeded in earning your degree through major hurricanes and a pandemic; we know you now can accomplish anything you set your mind to! We wish you the best of luck in your next steps in your career. In the meantime, we have made a virtual commencement ceremony for students, friends, and families to view. Watch below or on YouTube!


Congratulations to the 2022 John Taggart Applied Research
Scholarship in Environmental Sciences Award Winners

Congratulations to Marley Smith and Katie Barton as recipients of the 2022 John Taggart Applied Research
Scholarship in Environmental Sciences. The scholarship is intended to encourage research and scholarship in undergraduate Environmental Sciences students by funding research-related expenses. Students who are actively engaged in research supervised by a Department of Environmental Sciences faculty member are eligible to apply. This year, two excellent students were recognized: Marley Smith (Assessing factors associated with northern saw-whet owl (Aegolius acadicus) detection probability on surveys conducted by autonomous recording units) and Katie Barton (Indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on wildlife activity on an urban campus).

2022 John Taggart Research Scholars

EVS Faculty Dr. Rachael Urbanek Receives 2020-21 CTE Award

UNCW EVS Faculty Dr. Rachael Urbanek received a Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Award for 2020-21, during a recent 2021 Fall Faculty Meeting held on September 9, 2021 at 4pm.  The purpose of the CTE awards is to recognize all aspects of excellence in teaching and in teaching-related activities that foster students' desire for lifetime learning and success. Up to five Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Awards are given, consisting of two for the College of Arts and Sciences, one for the Cameron School of Business, one for the Watson College of Education, and one for the College of Health and Human Services. The Colleges/School forward the name(s) of the recipient(s) to the Provost's office based on specific criteria and procedures.  Recipients of the Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Awards receive a medallion to wear at official ceremonies (the University Convocations and Commencements), and a one-time stipend. For more information on the award criteria go to: https://uncw.edu/aa/awards/chancellors_teaching_excellence.html

EVS Faculty Dr. Christopher Dumas on Project Team for Recent NASEM Publication

UNCW EVS Faculty Dr. Christopher Dumas was on the project team that recently authored a study on saltwater recreational fisheries management published by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.   The title of the publication is "Data and Management Strategies for Recreational Fisheries with Annual Catch Limits" and it can be read online or a pdf downloaded for free at: https://www.nap.edu/catalog/26185/data-and-management-strategies-for-recreational-fisheries-with-annual-catch-limits 

EVS Lecturer Amy Long and Lead Graduate TA Kayla Hoopes Win 2021 Silver Telly Award 

The Department of Environmental Sciences is proud to announce that Lecturer Amy Long and Lead Graduate TA Kayla Hoopes have been awarded the 2021 Silver Telly Award for their video "Ft. Fisher Field Trip" in the general non-broadcast category. This video was produced in conjunction with UNCW's Office of Distance Education and eLearning. Created to support student success in the EVSL 195 Environmental Sciences Labs during the pandemic, the video was a component of a significant effort to revise the traditionally face-to-face lab course to accommodate remote learning.

The Telly Awards is the premier award honoring video and television across all screens. Established in 1979, The Telly Awards receives over 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Entrants are judged by The Telly Awards Judging Council—an industry body of over 200 leading experts including advertising agencies, production companies, and major television networks, reflective of the multiscreen industry.

Congratulations to both Amy and Kayla! 

Dr. Rachael Urbanek Recognized as 2021 Fellow of The Wildlife Society

Rachael Urbanek, associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Environmental Sciences, has received The Wildlife Society Fellows Award. The Wildlife Society Fellows Program recognizes members who have made exceptional contributions to wildlife resources and the wildlife profession. More information here.

EVS Diversity and Equity Action Plan

The Department of Environmental Sciences condemns the ongoing acts of racism and violence toward black individuals, families, and communities across the nation. We support the principles of justice promoted by the Black Lives Matter movement and stand with citizens who are angered, saddened, and frustrated by the systemic social injustice ingrained in the fabric of our society. Disenfranchisement on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, or ability cannot be allowed to continue. We resolve ourselves to seek meaningful, long-lasting political, economic, social, and environmental equity for all people, now. We, as a faculty, are prepared to take action, and have unanimously committed ourselves to the framework found here.

EVS Bumper Stickers & Magnets

Celebrate graduation, declaring your major or minor in EVS, or just your love for the EVS department by purchasing an EVS bumper sticker or magnets! Contact Dr. Chris Dumas for more information.


Dr. Troy Frensley to serve as Co-Principal Investigator of NSF Grant

Dr.  B. Troy Frensley of the UNCW Environmental Sciences department will serve as a Co-Principal Investigator on the funding program "NSF Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL)" along with colleagues from Clemson University (Dr. Bob Powell, Principal Investigator; Dr. Ryan Gagnon, Co-PI) and Virginia Tech (Dr. Marc Stern, Co-PI) to conduct a study of environmental education (EE) programs for youth across the United States. The project titled "What leads to better outcomes in informal STEM-based environmental education programs for youth?" will examine the characteristics and outcomes of a large sample of EE programs for youth to elucidate program characteristics that most powerfully influence 21st century learning outcomes.  The award amount is $1,944,846 and duration of the project will be October 1, 2019 to December 31, 2023.  EE programs for youth, particularly day-long school field trip programs, are popular and reside at the intersection of formal and informal STEM education. Such field trips provide opportunities for diverse audiences to participate in shared learning experiences, but current understanding of what leads to success in these programs is limited. This large-scale study will address this gap in knowledge by investigating the linkages between program characteristics and participant outcomes for at least 800 single-day EE field trip programs for youth in grades 5-8, particularly programs for diverse and underserved audiences. This study will result in the identification of evidence-based practices that will inform future program design for a wide variety of settings, including nature centers, national parks, zoos, museums, aquaria, and other locations providing informal EE programs. 

EVS Undergraduate Program Earns National Ranking

The EVS undergraduate programs were ranked 32nd in the nation by EnvironmentalScience.org. EnvironmentalScience.org considered a variety of federally reported data as well as the percentage of students graduating with degrees in disciplines closely related to the environmental sciences. To learn more, click here.