Growing a Research and Education Community

The Donal C. O’Brien, Jr. Sanctuary is defining conservation success one research project at a time

Photo: Mary Alice Holley

Tucked away on a pristine and undisturbed landscape in the heart of Corolla, the Donal C. O’Brien, Jr. Sanctuary is defining conservation success one research project at a time. Through our efforts to establish a Research and Education Campus at the Sanctuary, we offer this special place to scientists to conduct research on a variety of issues and challenges.

Audubon North Carolina invites researchers from every discipline to explore the Sanctuary and take advantage of this unique resource. The 2,600-acre campus is virtually undisturbed offering a pristine campus in the heart of the Outer Banks for scientists to work, explore and become the visionaries of conservation success in North Carolina and across the nation.

Today, more than 600 species of flora and fauna have been identified and that number continues to grow through continuing surveys. The Sanctuary’s diverse mix of habitats include some globally significant areas and range from upland maritime forest to dune fields to fresh aquatic marsh to salt marsh, and many rare and priority bird species have made a home here.

Protecting and preserving special places like the Sanctuary has never been as important as it is right now. It’s an exciting time to be part of the future of conservation and lead the way for vital environmental protections. The possibilities for achieving the next scientific breakthroughs in the field of conservation are endless – and it starts at the Sanctuary in Corolla.

 From habitat preservation to bird species monitoring to marsh restoration to identifying the effects of climate change, the Sanctuary in Corolla is already supporting many amazing projects.

Now, we invite you to join our growing research community. We offer residential housing to accommodate researchers for short and long-term projects. While staying on-site, you’ll have direct access to our nature trails, impoundments, marsh and maritime forest, and much more.

Residential and nonresidential research is encouraged. Contact Center Director Robbie Fearn with your questions and proposals.

Research Conducted at the Sanctuary

Research Application for Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Research Application for Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla

Learn more about how to apply to conduct research at the Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla.

Read more

A Win-Win for Research and Conservation
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

A Win-Win for Research and Conservation

Mark Stanback, PhD, Davidson College Professor of Biology chose the Sanctuary for his latest monitoring project. Learn how he's compiling data from Tree Swallow nest boxes.

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Research Shows Massive Black Rail Population Decline
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Research Shows Massive Black Rail Population Decline

The Audubon Sanctuary served as a site for researchers to measure the health of Black Rail populations and examine potential strongholds along the coast.

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Other News About the Sanctuary

Generosity Helps College Students Exceed Their Goals at the Pine Island Sanctuary
Donal O'Brien Jr.  Sanctuary And Audubon Center

Generosity Helps College Students Exceed Their Goals at the Pine Island Sanctuary

Aspiring young scientists gather data to protect birds in climate threatened regions.

Leading Conservation – Pine Island Sanctuary and Audubon Center
Donate

Leading Conservation – Pine Island Sanctuary and Audubon Center

The 2,600-acre Sanctuary and Audubon Center in Corolla is a special place where birds, wildlife and a very diverse set of ecosystems continue to thrive. Make a donation to support the program.

Transforming A Sanctuary for Birds and People
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Transforming A Sanctuary for Birds and People

Watch a short video to showcase our plans to transform the current Sanctuary into a research and education facility.

Meet Donal O'Brien
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Meet Donal O'Brien

A Tribute to Donal C. O’Brien, a Conservationist for the Ages

An Uncommon Habitat Found at Audubon’s Sanctuary
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

An Uncommon Habitat Found at Audubon’s Sanctuary

Learn about the uncommon deciduous forest habitat supporting birds and wildlife at the Sanctuary in Corolla.

Research Shows Massive Black Rail Population Decline
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Research Shows Massive Black Rail Population Decline

The Audubon Sanctuary served as a site for researchers to measure the health of Black Rail populations and examine potential strongholds along the coast.

Research Application for Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Research Application for Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla

Learn more about how to apply to conduct research at the Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary in Corolla.

A Secluded Outer Banks Experience
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

A Secluded Outer Banks Experience

The Sanctuary in Corolla recently hosted students from the University of North Carolina’s Coastal Studies Institute Outer Banks Field Site Program.

A Win-Win for Research and Conservation
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

A Win-Win for Research and Conservation

Mark Stanback, PhD, Davidson College Professor of Biology chose the Sanctuary for his latest monitoring project. Learn how he's compiling data from Tree Swallow nest boxes.

Aerial Views of Pine Island
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Aerial Views of Pine Island

Chip Hemingway, an architect working on the Master Site Plan for the Sanctuary, has been able to blend his two passions: to create both art and architecture.

How you can help, right now