K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Resources tagged with environmental history are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Air pollution
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.7
In 2006, the State of North Carolina sued the Tennessee Valley Authority in 2006 to force limits on emissions from power plants across the border in Tennessee. This newspaper article tells the story. Includes historical background.
Format: article/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Cane Creek Reservoir
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.6
Excerpts from an oral history interview about the battle to prevent construction of a reservoir in Orange County, North Carolina, in the 1970s and 1980s. Includes historical background.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Cleaning up after the flood
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.10
A newsletter published by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the North Carolina Emergency Management Division during the recovery from Hurricane Floyd gives a sense of what residents endured after the flooding.
Format: pamphlet
Coastal erosion and the ban on hard structures
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.3
North Carolina’s sandy coast is one of the state’s greatest tourist attractions, and also one of its frequent sources of controversy. The 301 miles of coastline in the east have been the site of an ongoing struggle between stable structures created by humans and the dynamic forces of nature, between property rights and thousands of years of geology. A 1985 rule designed to preserve the beaches in their natural state enjoys the support of coastal scientists but threatens the investments of home-owners and developers.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.
Damage from Hurricane Floyd
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.8
Billy Ray Hall, as President of the Rural Economic Development Center, coordinated North Carolina's cleanup and recovery efforts after Hurricane Floyd. In this excerpt from an oral history interview, Hall discusses the scope of the damage in eastern North Carolina. Floyd, he says, was as big a natural disaster as the United States has seen.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Drought and development
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.8
Newspaper article about debates over limits on development in the wake of North Carolina's 2007-08 drought. Includes background about related environmental issues.
Format: article/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by Emily Jack.
The environmental justice movement
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.1
In the early 1980s, the environmental justice movement became a national protest that galvanized communities across the country seeking social justice and environmental protection. The initial environmental justice spark sprang from a protest in Warren County, North Carolina.
Format: article
The evacuation
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.6
The evacuation of coastal areas before the approach of Hurricane Floyd in September 1999 created the largest traffic jams in history and led to the development of new, coordinated evacuation procedures.
Format: article
Floyd and agriculture
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.9
Along with the loss of homes, Hurricane Floyd created an agricultural nightmare.
Format: article
Hugh Morton and North Carolina's native plants
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.10
Hugh Morton took many photographs over his long life, and a large number of them are of natural scenes, wildlife, wildflowers, and trees. To those who knew Hugh from the more public and traditionally newsworthy of his activities and interests, his nature photographs...
Format: essay
By Alan S. Weakley.
Hurricane Floyd's lasting legacy
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.2
Article from NASA explains why Hurricane Floyd became such a costly and deadly storm.
Format: article
The impact of hog farms
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.4
Newspaper article about a 1995 spill of hog waste into the New River in southeastern North Carolina. Includes historical background.
Format: article/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Key industries: Hog farming
In Recent North Carolina, page 3.6
An overview of the recent growth of the hog industry in North Carolina and of the controversies surrounding it.
Format: article
The lost landscape of the Piedmont
In Prehistory, contact, and the Lost Colony, page 5.5
The Piedmont region of North Carolina is unrecognizable compared to the landscape of 400 years ago. Where man-made lakes now sit were huge bottomland forests. While pine trees accounted for only a small percentage of Piedmont acreage, they now dominate the region's forests -- a result of clearing hardwoods to create farmland. Other once-prominent landscapes include areas of grassland known as “Piedmont prairie,” and upland depression swamps where the clay soils often kept moisture on the land’s surface.
Format: article/primary source
Mapping rainfall and flooding
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.5
In North Carolina History: A Sampler, page 6.6
In this activity, students explore maps and data from Hurricanes Floyd, Dennis, and Irene in September-October 1999 to explore their effects on North Carolina's coastal plain.
Format: activity
By David Walbert.
The Mountains-to-Sea Trail
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.9
When complete, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail will stretch in one continuous path across the state from Clingman’s Dome, the highest peak in Smoky Mountains National Park, to Jockey’s Ridge State Park, a 420-acre sand dune system on the Outer Banks.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.
North Carolina History: A Sampler
A sample of the more than 800 pages of our digital textbook for North Carolina history, including background readings, various kinds of primary sources, and multimedia. Also includes an overview of the textbook and how to use it.
Format: (multiple pages)
The problems of flood relief
In Recent North Carolina, page 5.11
Excerpt from an oral history interview with a Duplin County couple who weathered Hurricane Floyd.
Format: interview/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.
Recent North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore recent North Carolina (1975–present). Topics include politics, the economy, the environment, natural disasters, and increasing diversity.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Regulating hog farms
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.5
Newspaper article about efforts by North Carolina legislators in 1995 to regulate large hog farms and the waste they produce. Includes historical background.
Format: article/primary source
Commentary and sidebar notes by L. Maren Wood.