At a Glance

The ecological assessment and environmental mapping of this University property was a critical first step toward the planning of a campus that will sustain long-term ecological integrity and stability.

Project Description

Biohabitats played a key role in a master planning initiative for a 1,000 acre property, known as Carolina North, owned by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In an effort to help the University better understand the ecological processes influencing the property, value its complex array of integrated natural resources, and guide sustainable land development on the property long into the future, Biohabitats performed an ecological assessment of the site and produced a series of comprehensive, digital inventory maps illustrating all ecological attributes, ecological conditions, and suitability of development and resources protection.

The project involved compiling existing information and field reconnaissance data to ultimately determine the site’s suitability to support development without compromising ecological stability and integrity. The property was mapped in a geographic information system (GIS) using existing data layers and empirical data from the site. Biohabitats defined the characteristics of each feature deemed critical to long-term ecological stability and integrity or having the potential to influence the landscape’s ability to recover from disturbance. The suitability of the landscape to support ecologically sustainable development was determined through a series of analyses and combinations of output.

Throughout the environmental mapping and ecological assessment, Biohabitats’ efforts remained grounded in the principles of sustainable and regenerative design.



Southeast Atlantic

Physiographic Province



Haw River

Expertise Areas

Community, Conservation, Urban Ecology, Water


University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Chapel Hill and Carrboro, Orange County, North Carolina, United States