Presented by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the Lunch & Learn series brings together Carolina researchers to share their work addressing and mitigating the impact of climate change in North Carolina. Each session will feature a distinct theme and panel of experts presenting their latest research in that area.
- Monday, October 23: Flooding and Our Future
- Tuesday, October 24: Health and Heat
- Wednesday, October 25: Economics and Environment
- Thursday, October 26: Communities and Climate
- Friday, October 27: Climate Change and Global Health
Click the session title above for more information
CLE credit is available for this event.
Flooding and Our Future: The Impact of Flooding on Coastal Ecosystems
Monday October 23rd
Presented by: UNC Institute for the Environment & NC Collaboratory
Mike Piehler, Professor and Director, UNC Institute for the Environment; Chief Sustainability Officer and Special Assistant to the the Chancellor, Sustainability
Mike Piehler is a professor, director of the UNC Institute for the Environment, chief sustainability officer and special assistant to the chancellor for sustainability at UNC-Chapel Hill. He holds faculty appointments in the Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences Department, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program at UNC.
Dr. Piehler received his Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering from UNC. His research and teaching focus on the connection between human activity and the function of natural systems, particularly at interfaces between land and water. His recent studies have explored the impacts of land use change on stream and reservoir water quality, the effects of coastal habitats (oysters, sea grass, and marshes) on nutrient dynamics and the role of natural systems in coastal resilience. Dr. Piehler advises a variety of governments, non-government organizations, and private sector organizations. His research program is supported by a diverse portfolio of federal, state and regional sponsors.
Antonia Sebastian, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences and Environment, Ecology and Energy Program
Antonia Sebastian is an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she holds a joint appointment in the Department of Earth, Marine and Environmental Sciences and the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program (E3P). Sebastian’s primary research interests involve the application of interdisciplinary methods to understand how flood risks are evolving in response to changing human and environmental conditions. Her recent work investigates the combined impacts of climate and land use change on flood hazards in Eastern North Carolina and Southeast Texas, as well as the financial risks posed by flooding to households and communities located in coastal plain watersheds. Sebastian is currently engaged in projects funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Texas General Land Office and the State of North Carolina.
Prior to joining UNC, Sebastian spent two years as an Associate Research Scientist at Texas A&M University at Galveston where she served on the Governor’s Commission to Rebuild Texas after Hurricane Harvey and helped to establish the Institute for Texas Disaster Resilience. Sebastian holds a Ph.D. and B.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Rice University and is a former Netherlands-America Foundation (NAF)/Fulbright Fellow in Flood Management.
Greg Characklis, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering; Director, Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems
Greg Characklis is the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as the Director of the Center on Financial Risk in Environmental Systems, an entity that bridges the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC Institute for the Environment. His primary research interests involve developing integrated models of natural, engineering and economic systems, and using them to assess financial risk while also developing novel tools and strategies for managing that risk.
Prior to joining UNC, Characklis served as Director of Resource Development and Management at Azurix Corp. (a division of Enron Corp.), where his responsibilities centered around assessing the technical and financial merits of water-related investments. Before entering the private sector, he spent two years in Washington, D.C. as a fellow with the National Academy of Engineering. Characklis holds a Ph.D. and an M.S. in Environmental Science and Engineering from Rice University and a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
Greer Arthur, Research Director, North Carolina Collaboratory
Greer Arthur serves as Research Director for the North Carolina Collaboratory, which was established by the North Carolina General Assembly in 2016 and is headquartered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Here, she works with the Collaboratory team and strategic partners in public and private sectors to fulfill the organization’s mission of transforming academic research into practical information for use by State and local governments and the communities they serve.
Arthur joined the Collaboratory in 2022. Throughout her career, she has been committed to advancing research to achieve tangible, real-world impact through a variety of communication, administration and management roles both within and outside academia. Originally from the UK, Arthur is a molecular biologist by training, with a bachelor’s degree from Sheffield Hallam University and doctoral degree from the University of Leicester.