Coast + Environment
LSU and Louisiana lead the world in addressing pressing problems related to coastal land loss, sea level rise, and hurricanes. This is why LSU has 260 faculty actively working on coastal research. As a national Sea Grant university and through its extension services in every parish, LSU puts science to work for Louisiana communities.
The benefits of coastal wetlands are widely documented, but as the threats posed by rising sea levels and other coastal hazards come into ever-sharper focus, these multitasking landscapes may become something more—protectors of the nation’s military infrastructure.
Ongoing LSU research collaborations with farmers across Louisiana is leveraging data science to grow more and better food and fiber despite great challenges.
The LSU tool to predict storm surge and flooding during severe weather events—the CERA website—serves thousands of emergency managers and first responders to help protect people and infrastructure. Now, the tool will become even smarter and faster, thanks to artificial intelligence, or AI.
Merging multiple new technologies, LSU petroleum engineer and professor Jyotsna Sharma is collaborating with industry to make Louisiana’s oil and gas production safer and more sustainable.
LSU chemical engineering student John “Cal” Hendershot develops solutions for Louisiana’s chemical companies, which are closely tied to oil and gas, to allow them to stay true to 2050 carbon neutrality commitments but remain operational and profitable along the way.
Meet Traci Birch, assistant professor of architecture and managing director of the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio, who works on large, interdisciplinary projects to help Louisiana communities protect themselves from flooding and environmental disasters.
When the U.S. Army needed to understand how climate change will affect the so-called “critical zone”—the thin land surface layer comprised of vegetation, soils, and sediments—to improve their own planning and secure people, equipment, and infrastructure, they turned to LSU.
In 2020, LSU licensed access to a vast library of bioremediation microbes to the environmental services firm Cameron-Cole. The library was developed by Professor Emeritus Ralph Portier over almost 40 years as he and LSU helped private companies as well as local, state, and national government organizations mitigate a wide range of environmental hazards.
LSU Professor Cristina Sabliov is creating nanotechnologies for more targeted delivery of agrochemicals to crops to protect plants and the environment while also reducing waste for farmers.
Port Fourchon in Lafourche Parish serves 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater oil and gas activities, housing at least 250 companies.
Ahead of Hurricane Ida and throughout last year’s record-breaking hurricane season, more people than ever turned to LSU’s Coastal Emergency Risk Assessment (CERA) tool, which visualizes storm-surge predictions, to help protect communities and assets from flooding.
In the wake of the 2016 floods, which devastated not just Tangipahoa Parish but turned 21 south Louisiana parishes into federal disaster areas, faculty and students in the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio and LSU Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering began collaborating with local government and communities to set Tangipahoa Parish on a path toward resilience.
LSU of Alexandria Collaborates with USDA to Investigate Trees Infested by Beetles in Wake of Big Storms
Students and faculty at LSU of Alexandria are collaborating with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to document the impact hurricanes and tornadoes have on insects in southern forests. Their goal is to protect Louisiana’s top agricultural industry.
Charged with Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) puts its hands into the water, sand, mud, and dirt between New Orleans and Lake Charles—and beyond—on a daily basis.
LSU scholars in construction management, oceanography and coastal sciences, sociology, and psychology are working to gather data on the economic, equity, and emotional aspects of living in an increasingly flood-prone place, and provide homeowners with better guidance.