Duke Forward

 The need for environmental leadership has never been greater. As Duke moves forward through a comprehensive fundraising campaign, we seek investments that allow us to continue the important work of helping to forge a sustainable future. With your support, we will generate knowledge that expands our understanding of the Earth and its environment. We will bring our intellectual resources to bear on global issues of energy, climate, human health, water quality, and conservation. And we will educate a new generation of leaders committed, able, and ready to find and implement innovative solutions to the environmental problems of today and tomorrow.


Boundaries Not Included

Enriching the Duke Experience

A hallmark of a Nicholas School education is the number of opportunities our students have to get their hands dirty—literally. Just steps from campus, the Duke Forest provides a 7,060-acre outdoor classroom that hosts more than 50 active research projects at any given time. The Duke Marine Lab, located near the seaside town of Beaufort, N.C., offers our students a chance to investigate marine ecosystems. In addition, unique internships and global field trips bring coursework and environmental issues to life. Immersive experiences help Nicholas students understand the complexities of today’s environmental challenges and develop the practical skills to devise and implement effective solutions. This campaign will help to sustain and broaden our ability to provide those kinds of intensive opportunities. We’ll also seek investments to create a new entrepreneurship program. It will give our students the tools to channel their passion for the environment into the creation of products and services with the potential both to make a difference and to produce economic benefits.


Blazing New Paths

Activating Duke’s Power for the World

Through a combination of teaching and scientific inquiry, the Nicholas School is leading university-wide efforts to address global environmental problems of today and tomorrow. Nicholas School faculty, often in partnership with colleagues across the Duke campus and other universities worldwide, are helping to develop environmentally friendly energy sources in Kenya; improve nuclear waste disposal in the United States; create analytical tools to reduce the accidental capture of dolphins, porpoises, and sea turtles in fishing nets; and measure the effects of increased carbon dioxide emissions on trees and soils. Through the campaign, we will seek investments that sustain and expand our ability to address critical issues like climate change, energy, water quality, ecosystem management and conservation, and human and environmental health. We will also support technology that drives innovative solutions; faculty who can use their environmental expertise to strengthen Duke’s university-wide efforts in global health and energy; and programs that create opportunities for engagement with scientists, governments, industry leaders, conservation practitioners, and communities throughout the world.


Fueling Uncontainable Ideas

Sustaining Duke’s Momentum

We face considerable challenges as a society, both in understanding the vast, interconnected web that sustains life on Earth and protecting our planet for the future. Developing solutions will take time—and talent. Through this campaign, we’ll seek investments that allow us to recruit the best faculty, enroll the brightest students, and provide the flexible operating funds that will inspire innovative ways to sustain our world for future generations.


How will you keep the Nicholas School on a trajectory for continued success?

Faculty Support
Investments in faculty allow us to attract and retain top scholars and assemble focused teams of experts to address environmental issues in energy, climate, water, and human health. Not only will these faculty help forge a sustainable future by expanding our knowledge base through their research, they will also help train the next generation of environmental management professionals, scientists, and policymakers.

Scholarship and Fellowships
The Nicholas School is training leaders who will solve the world’s complex environmental problems and move us toward a sustainable future. Resources are necessary to sustain Duke’s commitment to need-blind admissions for undergraduates. And we must be able to provide financial support for our professional master’s and doctoral students, including those enrolled in innovative joint degree programs with other Duke professional schools.

The Nicholas School Annual Fund
Tackling the complex, pressing environmental issues of our time requires funding that is both flexible and immediate. Unrestricted operating support through the Nicholas School Annual Fund fuels all of the school’s priorities and gives our leadership the resources to encourage the visionary, out-of-the-box thinking that generates world-changing ideas.

New Spaces: Environment Hall and Pilkey Laboratory
To maintain our leadership role in forging a sustainable future through research, education and practice, the Nicholas School must have suitable spaces for learning and discovery.  Philanthropic support is helping Duke create world-class facilities on our Durham and coastal Marine Lab campuses that push the envelope for sustainable design and demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship.  


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