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.

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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

Waterfowl on the Outer Banks
News

Waterfowl on the Outer Banks

It’s November on the OBX and the waterfowl that overwinter here are just coming in.

Welcoming Our Waterfowl
News

Welcoming Our Waterfowl

If you are planning a trip to the Outer Banks this winter, keep an eye out for these waterfowl wintering here.

A Fall Guide to Coastal Migration
Coast

A Fall Guide to Coastal Migration

While this fall brings bird migration departures, many new arrivals are starting to appear along our coast.

How you can help, right now