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Students stand in a river and check nets set to catch oysters

Marine Science Research

CMS Research Programs

ARC is focused on the growth and maintenance of harmful algal species with special emphasis on the toxic taxa. ARC presents the opportunity for academic, commercial, and industrial research to explore the use of living marine microalgae for a variety of applications such as nutraceutical, pharmaceutical or biomass studies.

learn more about ARC


Charles Wingert
ARC Curator & Lab Manager

Bob York
Mass Culture Specialist

The Aquaculture Program leverages UNCW’s strategic coastal location and Center for Marine Science expertise to teach environmental responsibility and mariculture technology. We develop and transfer cost-effective, environmentally sound technologies for marine food production, mitigating depletion of marine populations through commercial cultivation or stock enhancement.

Learn More About Aquaculture


Md. Shah Alam
Interim Program Director and Research Associate Professor

CORMP, established in 2000, operates nine mooring stations in North Carolina and South Carolina. Data and information collected is used to:

  • Increase maritime safety
  • Improve better forecasting of coastal hazards
  • Support ecosystem based management and living marine resources
  • Understand local coastal climate patterns through CORMP's long-term data set

Program Missions 

  • To establish a regional ocean observing network that will provide observations of oceanographic and weather information in near real-time.
  • To establish partnerships and to provide products and programs that meet both identified and anticipated needs of regional data user-groups.

Learn More about CORMP


Lynn Leonard
Project Principal Investigator

The Lower Cape Fear River Program is a large-scale water quality and environmental assessment initiative covering the Cape Fear River estuary and much of the lower Cape Fear River watershed. We aim to understand fundamental scientific processes shaping and controlling the ecology of the river system, supporting information exchange and public education.

Learn More About the Lower Cape Fear River Program


James Merritt
CMS director emeritus

Matthew McIver
Research specialist

The NC PFAST Network leverages the expertise, analytical instrumentation and technology that exists in the public and private North Carolina higher education institutions to study PFAS toxicology, occurrence in drinking water, atmospheric transformations/occurrence and removal technologies.

To understand the extent of PFAS contamination across the state, the North Carolina General Assembly funded a statewide research study. This study is a collaboration among universities to document the presence of PFAS and understand its impacts on the environment and our health.

Learn more about NC PFAST

PFAS data analysis tool


Ralph Mead
Project Director

The Shellfish Research Hatchery is a state-of-the art facility for propagating early-life-stage marine bivalves. Current projects involve selective breeding of oysters, research on the performance advantages of triploidy, and crop diversification through culture of bay scallops, pen shells and sunray Venus clams.

Learn More About the Shellfish Research Hatchery


Amy Wilbur

Amy Finelli
Hatchery operations manager

The UNCW Undersea Vehicle Program (UVP) supports undersea research with a variety of robotic vehicles. These fly-away, medium-sized remotely operated vehicle (ROV) systems can be deployed rapidly and are operated by two experienced staff.

The Mohawk ROV can provide georeferenced HD video and digital still photography documentation, in addition to multiple sample collections for a variety of scientific objectives including:

  • Multibeam Ground Truth
  • Habitat Characterization
  • Marine Archeology
  • Biological Behavior Monitoring
  • Site Reconnaissance

Learn More about UVP


Jason White
ROV Pilot/Technician