Outreach and Community Service
In addition to their studies, students in LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment have abundant opportunities to perform outreach and community service. Here are a few of the ways they give back to the community and educate the next generation about environmental stewardship.
LSU EnvironMentors is a program that pairs LSU mentors with high school students from Scotlandville Magnet High who have a passion for science. LSU mentors teach and inspire tomorrow’s environmental scientists while developing their own leadership skills and giving back to their community. Mentors work individually with high school students on a year-long scientific research project, which they then present at a national competition.
This annual event, organized by Louisiana Sea Grant, brings thousands of students from around the state to LSU’s campus to learn about oceans. Coast and Environment Graduate Organization, or CEGO, and many labs within the College of the Coast & Environment participate in Ocean Commotion by creating fun activities for children to learn about basic science and sustainability.
LSU Lakes Clean Up
As part of Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Clean Up, each fall, CC&E student volunteers and CEGO members help to clean up the LSU lakes. This voluntary trash pick-up event is part of a global effort to clean up our coasts and waterways and tracks the types of trash that we find worldwide.
As part of LSU’s Geaux Big event, CC&E students volunteer to perform services in the Baton Rouge community. These activities may include picking up trash, painting local schools, or landscaping for the elderly.
At Louisiana Earth Day Festival, hundreds of locals come to learn about the Earth and sustainability efforts. Each year, CEGO hosts a booth where student volunteers can engage with the public about coastal issues and how they can make a difference.
Held on most Saturdays that coincide with an LSU football game, Tiger Tailgates bring together thousands of people of all ages who support LSU’s Tigers. Guilio Mariotti, assistant professor of oceanography and coastal sciences, and his graduate students recognized that these gatherings were an opportunity to educate and engage the public in conversations about Louisiana’s coastal and deltaic research via educational demonstrations.
Using their Big Delta Table, Mariotti and his students show the importance of the coastal and environmental research happening at the College of the Coast & Environment. Mariotti created this 12-by-4 foot portable basin to demonstrate coastal processes, such as the formation of river deltas. It contains more than 300 pounds of ground walnut shells, which serve as the sediment, or sand and mud, making up the land. Water running through the basin illustrates how rivers transport sediment and how this material accumulates where a river meets the sea—forming a delta. The Big Delta table emulates processes that take hundreds of years, such as river channel migration, in mere minutes – making it an entertaining educational tool for kids and adults.
This versatile exhibit can also demonstrate delta growth, channel formation, and channel “avulsions,” or dramatic changes in the position of the channels. And, it can simulate sea level rise and fall, floods, and storms. The Mariotti Lab uses it as a teaching tool to talk about levees, sediment diversions, and other man-made alterations to our coastline.
To learn more about the college’s student organizations, which help to organize these outreach initiatives, visit our student organizations page.
For more information about the Mariotti Lab, email firstname.lastname@example.org.