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Dean Terry Rhodes poses with students after a boat trip.

Posing with students in Rachel Noble’s class after our boat trip. (photo by Stephanie Caddell)

Carolina beyond the classroom

At the beginning of the semester, I took a field trip to the North Carolina coast to attend Rachel Noble’s undergraduate class, “Human Impacts on Estuarine Processes.” We toured the Rachel Carson Coastal Estuarine Reserve via a flat-bottomed skiff, and the students learned how to take water samples and check salinity levels. Dr. Noble is the Mary and Watts Hill Jr. Distinguished Professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences, which is now in the College of Arts & Sciences as part of our new department of earth, marine and environmental sciences.

It was a vibrant reminder of how much learning happens at Carolina outside the traditional classroom, and that our educational footprint extends beyond the Chapel Hill campus. We strive to provide opportunities for students throughout their four years that put learning into action, whether via study abroad, internships, mentored research, service learning or creating original performances or art. Our alumni frequently tell me that these opportunities are among their most rewarding memories.

Also in this issue, you’ll see some news about me: At the start of the semester, I announced I would be retiring at the end of this academic year. The thought of leaving is bittersweet: I am entering my 35th year on the faculty, and Carolina has been a part of me far longer — I graduated from here in 1978. UNC will always have a piece of my heart.

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