Healthy people, healthy planet

Our Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering focuses on the interface between people and the environment. Uniquely situated in a school of public health, our interdisciplinary programs in air quality and atmospheric processes, human exposure and health effects, safe and sustainable water resources, climate change and One Health draw from faculty expertise in the physical and life sciences, engineering and policy.

The official logo of ESE's centennial celebration

We’re Celebrating our Centennial!

Read about our students and alumni, watch student speed talks and special guest seminars on our Centennial Celebration page.


For information about returning to campus this fall, please visit the UNC Gillings Return to Campus Roadmap page.

Coronavirus Affects Everyone: The Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering Responds

Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering faculty members Rachel Noble, Jill Stewart and several others from NC State, UNC-Wilmington and UNC-Charlotte are identifying COVID-19 hot spots through wastewater surveillance across North Carolina. They are using a new testing tool for improved assessment of the prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in North Carolina, with particular attention to rural water systems.

An illustration from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals the basic form of the virus blamed for the outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China.
Our research strengths include:

  • Characterizing exposures to contaminants in air, water, soil and workplaces
  • Developing engineering and policy solutions to environmental risks
  • Using molecular approaches to understanding diseases caused by toxic substances in the environment
  • Overcoming environmental health challenges in developing countries

Message from the Chair

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