I am...Collaborative: Dr. Pam Blanchard

An integral component of the LSU Strategic Plan 2025 focuses on six key values that the university inculcates in its faculty, staff and students. They are creative, culturally adept, innovative, transformative, globally engaged, and collaborative. The strategic plan video vignette features faculty, staff and students that epitomize the values established in the strategic plan at LSU. Throughout the video series, LSU community members will demonstrate how their work is connecting the university to the citizens of our city, state and world.

 

Dr. Pam Blanchard, associate professor in the College of Human Sciences and Education, impacts the lives of Louisiana residents every day by making valiant efforts to preserve Louisiana’s coast line through her Coastal Roots program.

“I’m trying to get students to understand that they can be activists that they can do something to help their environment,” Dr. Blanchard expressed. “I want the to students to be able to understand why the land is valuable and why we’re losing it.”

Coastal Roots was created and nurtured at LSU. Dr. Blanchard introduces students to real-world problems and allows them the opportunity to see how they are making Louisiana a better place to live and enjoy. The Coastal Roots program initially started with a handful of schools and has now grown into a network of 52 schools across 20 parishes in the state of Louisiana. Students in elementary school through high school learn about the environment and natural resources by growing native plant seedlings and grass plugs in nurseries at their schools. Eventually, the students travel together to coastal areas to plant their seedlings to help restore Louisiana’s coast.

“What we’re doing here at LSU is working with a model of how to interact with the K-12 community,” Dr. Blanchard said. “We’ve taken that model and brought it to Chile and we’re going to try to do the same thing in Belize. We think it’s a valuable model that other places can use.”