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Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science, NC Sea Grant Partner on Community Collaborative Research


Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,

Posted Thursday, September 3, 2015

The William R. Kenan Jr. Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science at NC State University will partner with North Carolina Sea Grant on a new research program focusing on community collaborations.

“We value the integrative approach of North Carolina Sea Grant’s translational research activities that build from within the communities they serve,” notes Raj Narayan, associate director of the Kenan Institute.

Aerial of Wanchese Industrial Park
Community collaborations are the focus of a new NC Sea Grant research program, with funding from the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology and Science. Photo by Brian Elfand

The North Carolina Sea Grant Community Collaborative Research Grant Program leverages $30,000 from the Kenan Institute with matching funds from Sea Grant. “We will seek proposals for research focusing on creative problem solving for environmental and regulatory issues,” explains Susan White, Sea Grant executive director.

“The new projects will bring together local ecological knowledge and intuition within coastal communities and the academic rigor of university researchers. Recommendations based on results of such strong field-testing ultimately will be more likely to be incorporated into resource management decisions and local business practices,” White adds.

The research teams will increase effectiveness of tools, technologies and services across a broad range of disciplines, including natural and social sciences, education, and business management. The projects could look at increased frequency of flooding with coastal storms, changes in the diversity of fisheries in a particular ecosystem, or the state’s seafood supply chain.

Narayan cites a tradition of Sea Grant success in research and outreach programs, including its administration of cooperative research. “Our partnership with Sea Grant will support research that will provide opportunities for researchers and economic developers to work together in order to develop innovative approaches for addressing community needs.”KIETS logo

White agrees. “We are pleased to begin what we hope will be an ongoing partnership with the Kenan Institute that will benefit our coastal ecosystems and economies.”

Narayan notes that the new research program fits with the Kenan Institute’s broader focus on coastal topics, including its support of the N.C. Land of Water, or NC LOW, initiative, as well as the Institute’s participation in the 2015 N.C. Oyster Summit that was co-sponsored by Sea Grant, the N.C. Coastal Federation and other partners. “A healthy ecosystem at the coast is important to all of us,” he explains.

Details on North Carolina Sea Grant’s research and outreach are available at Learn more about the Kenan Institute at


North Carolina Sea Grant: Your link to research and resources for a healthier coast