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The Collaboratory facilitates and funds research related to the environmental and economic components of the management of the natural resources within the State of North Carolina and of new technologies for habitat, environmental, and water quality improvement.

The Collaboratory develops and disseminates relevant best practices to interested parties, leads and participates in projects across the state related to natural resource management, and makes recommendations to the General Assembly.

Leadership & Staff

Al Segars

Al Segars, PhD, PNC Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, Kenan Flagler Business School

Al Segars was appointed by the UNC-Chapel Hill Provost to serve as the Chair of the Collaboratory’s Advisory Board, which is comprised of faculty members across the university.

With expertise in the areas of innovation and technology management, Segars brings the perspective of strategic change to the challenges of adopting and using new technology and business processes. He has applied this expertise to new products, business models and supply chains for many of the most innovative organizations throughout the world.

Complete Biography

Jeff Warren

Jeff Warren, PhD, Executive Director

Formally trained as a marine geologist, Jeff Warren has spent the past fifteen years in State-level science policy positions, including the coastal hazards policy specialist for the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (2004 to 2010) and the science advisor for the North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore (2011 to 2017).

Warren earned his BSc from the University of Arizona (1994), his MSc from Auburn University (1997), and his PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2006). Warren’s academic research included field sites in the southeastern US, northern Mexico, the East and South China Seas, and Antarctica.

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Laurie Farrar

Laurie Farrar, Finance and Budget

Laurie has twelve years of service at Carolina, including previously having worked at the Office of University Counsel and the UNC Property Office processing financial transactions. Currently she works at the Finance and Operations Service Center as a Financial and Budget Analyst. Laurie provides financial analytics for Office of the Chancellor, Office of Public Affairs, and various offices within Finance and Operations. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Shaw University.

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Steve Wall

Steve Wall, JD, Outreach Director

Steve Wall has over two decades of experience working on legal and environmental policy issues at the state and federal levels. Steve’s prior work experience includes serving as a policy advisor in the Secretary’s Office of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). He began his policy career in Washington, D.C. as a congressional aide working on environmental and agricultural policy.

Steve received his J.D. with honors from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law and his B.A. with honors and distinction in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Hope Thomson

Hope Thomson, Graduate Research Assistant

Hope Thomson is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health degree with an environmental health focus through the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She has previously worked on science communication initiatives across North Carolina with the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and the NC Science Festival. She recently completed an internship with the Research Translation Core of Duke University’s Superfund Research Center. Hope received a B.S. with distinction in chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2015.

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Collaboratory Interns

Janis ArrojadoJanis Arrojado (Hometown: Concord, NC) is a junior Environmental Sciences and Geography major.
Brooke BaumanBrooke Bauman (Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC) is a senior Environmental Sciences major with a minor in Journalism and Geography.
Claire BradleyClaire Bradley (Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI) is a junior Geography and Environmental Studies major.
Taylor FitzgeraldTaylor Fitzgerald (Hometown: Asheville, NC) is a senior completing a dual degree in Environment and Science Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communications.
Lucy GrayLucy Gray (Hometown: Boone, NC) is a junior Statistics and Analytics major with a minor in Public Policy and Environmental Studies.
Dylan MorganDylan Morgan (Hometown: Charlotte, NC) is a junior Environmental Sciences major.
Mandy PitzMandy Pitz (Hometown: Nashville, TN) is a senior Environmental Sciences major, Quantitative Energy Systems track.
Brooke BaumanBrooke Bauman, Communications Intern
Brooke is a senior Environmental Sciences major.
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Lauryn FairleyLauryn Fairley, Environmental Policy Intern
Lauryn is a junior Anthropology and Biology major.
Hometown: Jamestown, NC
Mary Claire McCarthyMary Claire McCarthy, Communications Intern
Mary Claire is a second-year graduate student at Hussman School of Journalism and Media for a dual-degree environmental science strategic communication degree.
Hometown: Hendersonville, NC
Dylan MorganDylan Morgan, Environmental Policy Intern
Dylan is a junior Environmental Sciences major.
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Caroline PattersonCaroline Patterson, Environmental Policy Intern
Caroline is a senior Public Policy and Environmental Studies major.
Hometown: Concord, NC
Mandy PitzMandy Pitz, Environmental Policy Intern
Mandy is a senior Environmental Science major.
Hometown: Oak Ridge, TN
Spring 2020 Interns
The 2020 spring semester Collaboratory interns had the opportunity to attend the UNC Clean Tech Summit and learn about the Collaboratory research projects related to aquaculture, energy storage, and flood resiliency. Pictured left to right are: Elizabeth Kendrick, Bailey McNeill, Scarlett VanDyke, Caroline Patterson, and Joseph Womble. (photo credit: Emily Williams)
Fall 2019 Interns
The 2019 fall semester Collaboratory interns had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their work at the UNC Board of Trustees meeting on September 26, 2019. Pictured left to right are: Mary Claire McCarthy, Cassidy Harding, Olivia Petrocella, Bailey McNeill, Joseph Womble, Brooke Bauman, and Cory Cook. (photo credit: Jon Gardiner)

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