Science and the Environment in Southeast North Carolina


This guide identifies collections containing scientific content, research, and related materials, largely belonging to former UNCW faculty. Emphasis is placed on the natural sciences, as well as coastal and environmental concerns pertinent to Southeast North Carolina. Content speaks to the beginnings of various science departments within Wilmington College, now UNCW, as well as the Center for Marine Science. Material includes research data, correspondence, publications, observation journals, photographs, academic lectures, notes, certificates, personal documents, maps, and information on the well-known Venus flytrap, which is solely native to the 90-mile radius around Wilmington.

UNCW Resources

University Archives

University Archives serves as the repository for official records of all divisions of the University of North Carolina Wilmington as well as other items related to the history of the University. We collect, preserve, arrange, describe, and make available these materials in accordance with the Records Retention and Dispositions Schedule for Institutions of the University of North Carolina System.

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Manuscript Collections

MS 015 Weather Bureau Station Wilmington, North Carolina Official Documents

These papers consist largely of communications between the central U.S. Weather Bureau office in Washington, D.C., and the local weather observation post at Wilmington, N.C. Although the inclusive dates of this group are 1871-1912, all but one of the items fall in the years 1871-1908, with no items from the years 1883-84, 1893-94, 1899, 1905-06, and 1909-11.

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MS 016 Reuben Lovette Frost Private Papers

While a meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau, Reuben Lovette Frost wrote about weather and the weather service. In his papers are typescript carbon copies of articles concerning weather phenomena and the history of the weather service. Although unsigned, they all appear to have been written by Frost. Copies of correspondence concerning the publication of some of the articles are also included in this group of papers.

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MS 031 Alton A. Lennon Congressional Papers

This collection contains the papers of Congressman Alton Lennon during his tenure as U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 7th congressional district from 1957-1972. Included in the collection is correspondence, reports, and other documents related to legislation, district affairs, and politics during the time. Also included are three large scrapbooks documenting news coverage from Congressman Lennon's career and campaigns.

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MS 032 John Lyman Scientific Papers

This collection contains John Lyman's scientific papers and notes, most of which were created during his tenure with the U.S Navy Department Division of Oceanography. Included are a Handbook of Oceanography, a ledger book containing various tables of research data, correspondence concerning article publication and various other items related to oceanographic information collected mainly between 1946 and 1964.

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MS 072 Albert Schweitzer International Prizes Collection

This collection contains records related to operations and events for the Albert Schweitzer International Prizes. Included are articles of incorporation, correspondence, press releases, newspaper clippings, audio visual media and other related materials. These documents include awards given during the years 1975, 1981, 1985, and 1993.

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MS 128 Dr. William Sisson Jr. Papers

This collection contains official publications dealing with a variety of New Hanover County isssues such as housing, land use, waste management, transportation, population, public health, and the environment including groundwater and soil and drainage surveys. The collection also includes maps, correspondence dealing with proposed changes in Highway 421, and memoranda to the County Commission.

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MS 133 Army Corps of Engineers Aerial Photos of NC Coast and Selected Coastal Areas

Aerial photographs of peat farming operations in coastal northeastern North Carolina, and Army Corps of Engineers aerial surveys of NC shoreline 1976, 1978, 1981, 1984, including First Colony Farms, NC shoreline, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, and Albemarle Peninsula.

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MS 184 Dr. Ralph Werner Brauer Personal Papers

This collection of Brauer papers is organized in several series. The first series to be processed focuses on Brauer's early life, from birth through the late 1940s. In addition to documenting Brauers's early life, this series contain a large amount of material about pre-WWI Germany, with items dating from the early 1900s through 1920. It also includes documentation of the political situation in Germany during Hitler's ascent. Many rare, one-of-a-kind, ephemeral newspapers, leaflets, handouts, and other items are to be found in this series.

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MS 188 Dr. James Merritt Collection

Dr. James F. Merritt, former Professor and Director Emeritus of the Center for Marine Science, dedicated 34 years at UNCW to conducting and facilitating research in the coastal environment. This collection includes materials related to the Marine Expo in Wilmington, N.C., an educational convention that brought together and focused on marine activities in the region. Dr. Merritt helped to organize the event and served as chairman of the first Marine Expo.

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MS 197 David Lindquist Personal Papers

This collection contains class lectures, research, experiments, various publications, photographs and other information dealing with Lindquist's career.

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MS 235 Dr. Walter C. Biggs Papers

These papers include histories of UNCW, the UNCW Biology Department, Wilmington College and biographical material, alumni newsletters, and newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to Dr. Walter C. Biggs. Also included are early school records dating from 1948-1953, and a copy of the constitution of the Order of Isaac Bear.

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MS 242 Naming and Description of Fungi

Holotypic camera lucida drawings of newly named and described fungi. They are deposited at UNCW Randall Library Special Collections by Dr. David E. Padgett, Professor in Biological Sciences, UNCW in accordance with the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

The five fungi include: Saprolegnia truncata Seymour, sp. Leptolegnia hemihypogyna Seymour, sp. nov. Phragmosporangium uniseriatum Seymour, sp. nov. Pythiopsis irregularis Seymour, sp. nov. Pythiopsis papilliformis Seymour, sp. nov.

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MS 261 Engravings of Crustaceous & Testaceous Animals

This collection contains drawings of various marine invertebrates and shells printed in the early 19th century.

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MS 270 Lake Waccamaw History

Conservation ecology, fauna and flora of eastern America, and fish and fishing at Lake Waccamaw are a part of this collection donated by John McNeill.  Also included are histories of food, church, mollusks and shells of North Carolina, and general history of the area. Of interest is State Park Master Plan, House Document on Green Swamp, scenic travel guides. Also contains deed and land indentures for land in Bladen and Columbus Counties dating from 1735-1884.

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MS 276 Dr. James F. Parnell Papers

This collection contains Dr. James Parnell's research data, photographers, and other materials associated with his research on coastal birds in southeastern North Carolina. Parnell was a long time professor in the Biology Department of UNC Wilmington.

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MS 281 Charles R. Calhoun Collection of Hurricane Preparedness Research

This collection contains the hurricane preparedness research done by Charles R. Calhoun, a retired U.S. Navy captain, for his corresponding book on the subject. Material in this collection includes correspondence, charts, reports, newspaper articles, published works, marketing materials, FEMA documents, and various preparedness items.

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MS 313 North Carolina Coastal Federation Papers

The bulk of North Carolina Coastal Federation records document the activities of the organization from its formation in 1982 through 2004, reflecting the stewardship of the organization's successive presidents and the work of its staff and volunteers. The records chronicle the transformation of the North Carolina Coastal Federation from a small group concerned with coastal issues to an active, influential participant in North Carolina coastal management.

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MS 319 Stuart Alexander and Sandy Cole Marks Collection

This collection consists of letters, photographs, newspaper articles, journals, maps, publications, and artifacts spanning Stuart Marks’s life from papers written during his high school education at Central School in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s to professional publications in 2008. The collection is especially unique in that it contains animal specimens, weapons, and textiles from Marks’s time in Africa.

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MS 321 Wilmington Bird Club

This collection contains documentation of the Wilmington Science Club, founded in 1946 by Edna Appleberry as the Wilmington Bird Club.

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MS 338 Mike McIntyre Congressional Collection

Congressman Mike McIntyre served as the Representative for North Carolina's 7th Congressional district from 1997 to 2015. McIntyre's Congressional collection consists of papers and memorabilia accrued during his time in office. Materials in this collection cover a wide range of subject areas pertinent to North Carolina’s 7th district and McIntyre’s interactions as a Congressman including but not limited to agriculture, coastal issues, economic development, health care, military and veterans’ affairs, senior citizens affairs and U.S. Presidents.

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MS 356 Dr. Will S. DeLoach Papers

This collection contains 5 framed certificates and degrees, loose certificates, photos, books, and artifacts belonging to Dr. Will S. DeLoach, a former chemistry professor at UNCW who helped found the Chemistry department, and whom DeLoach Hall is named after.

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MS 361 Lena Ritter Papers

This collection contains the work of North Carolina shell fisher turned environmental activist, Lena Ritter. Along with studies, court records that document Ritter and company’s disputes with the development firms--specifically the Onslow County Board of Commissioners, and her rewards and achievements, this collection also includes correspondence between Lena Ritter and her associates. Some of the letters also include thank you notes that were written to Mrs. Ritter from school children, which includes Duke Action: A Science Camp for Young Women.

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MS 373 Stanley Rehder Papers

This collection contains papers and audiovisual materials relating to Stanley Rehder's World War II experience and work as a Venus flytrap enthusiast. The World War II series of this collection includes newspaper clippings and research pertaining to the 1944 Christmas Eve sinking of the S.S. Leopoldville. Rehder was a lieutenant aboard the ship at the time, and this collection includes the writings Rehder created to memorialize the event as well as documents of Rehder's veteran organization.

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Book Collections

History of Science Collection

Library catalog collection of books and monographs of written scientific thinking from circa 1750 to 1950. Donated by Dr. Ralph W. Brauer.

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History of Medicine Collection

Library catalog resource consisting of over 1500 books and monographs. Collection documents the history of medicine from 1600 to present. Donated by Dr. H. William Gillen.

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Oral Histories

To explore more interviews, please search the Oral History Collection.

Interview with James F. Merritt (Oral History)

Dr. James F. Merritt discusses his 30-plus year history at UNCW. He came to the biology department in 1973 (when the university had around 1700 students) to teach courses in genetics and related areas. He moved into administration, first as department chair and then as director of the Center for Marine Science Research following Dr. Ralph Brauer's retirement. Discussion includes Marine Expo in 1985, 1987, and 1989 and the Center for Marine Science facility in Myrtle Grove, which opened in 2000.

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Interview with Neil Hadley (Oral History)

Interview with Dr. Neil Hadley, Biology professor and former Dean of the Graduate School and Research at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

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Interview with Sybil K. Burgess (Oral History)

Sybil Burgess discusses her career at UNCW as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry for 21 years. She came in 1982 as a part-time instructor, then worked full-time as an instructor, and was hired for a tenure-track position starting in 1983. She discusses her research in biochemistry, the courses she taught and the department when it was located in DeLoach Hall and then moved to Dobo. Since retirement, Dr. Burgess has begun a second career as a full-time faculty member at Brunswick Community College, where she teaches biology and chemistry.

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Interview with Frederick M. Hornack (Oral History)

Dr. Fred Hornack describes his educational background and academic career at Wilmington College and UNCW. He came to Wilmington College in 1964 to join the Department of Chemistry and retired in 1996. Discussion includes his reasearch and teaching interests in physical chemistry. Among the courses he enjoyed teaching was the History of Chemistry required for all chemistry majors. He discusses the people he knew over the years, including William Madison Randall, Will DeLoach, and others.

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Contact Librarian

Rebecca Baugnon

Portrait of Rebecca Baugnon
Special Collections Librarian
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Contact Staff

Nicole Yatsonsky

Library Specialist
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