SCHOOL OF THE Coast and Environment

ROBERT ALLEN Assistant Dean

1002Q Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
FAX 225-578-5328

The School of the Coast & Environment (SC&E) includes two academic departments and five research units—Department of Environmental Studies, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, Coastal Ecology Institute, Coastal Fisheries Institute, Coastal Studies Institute, Special Programs, and Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute. The school is an academic and research unit that facilitates the development of innovative research programs leading to a better understanding of the coastal and environmental resource systems critical to the continuous economic growth of Louisiana and the well-being of its citizens.


CHAIR • LaRock, Professor
OFFICE • 1002Q Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-8521
FAX • 225-578-4286

PROFESSORS • Lam, Overton, Pine (Research), Portier, Templet, Wilson
ADJUNCT FACULTY • Banks, Chapman, Crouch, Curtis, Faulkner, Iledare, Kaiser, Keithly, LaRock, Pulsipher, Sajo, Walsh, Xu

The Department of Environmental Studies conducts teaching and research in environmental sciences, with participation by the Colleges of Agriculture, Art & Design, Arts & Sciences, Basic Sciences, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the School of the Coast & Environment.

The department offers a variety of comprehensive undergraduate courses relating to the environment, although a bachelor's degree is not offered. Departmental faculty serve as adjunct faculty in several departments that offer doctoral programs.

The Department of Environmental Studies (ENVS) is a multi-disciplinary research and academic unit whose mission is to solve environmental/toxicological problems both in Louisiana and the nation, and to apply modern environmental management and policy techniques to these problems.

The Department is committed to the training of graduate students in the MS Environmental Sciences program and PhD, minor in Environmental Sciences.

The multidisciplinary program consists of thesis and nonthesis options. The thesis option requires a minimum of 30 semester hours of course work and six hours of thesis research. The nonthesis option, available only to students in the environmental planning and management discipline, requires 42 hours of course work and successful completion of a comprehensive examination.

The core curriculum in Environmental Sciences includes thirteen hours of core courses that all ENVS students are required to take. Additional course work will depend on the focus of each student’s research interests, but at least half of every student’s course work must come from ENVS graduate courses for the student to receive a M. S. in environmental sciences.

ENVS students are not required to concentrate in any particular area of environmental sciences. However, for those students who wish to formally concentrate their studies, the department offers concentrations in three areas, Environmental Toxicology, Environmental Planning and Management, and Wetland Science and Management. The third of these is an interdisciplinary concentration that is also available to students in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences. A collaborative graduate program with LSU-Shreveport is also available.

Research activities within the department include environmental assessment and resource sustainability, environmental microbial ecology, water quality, bioremediation, environmental management, environmental toxicology, genetic toxicology, environmental regulations, policy development, hazardous waste management, development of mobile analytical instrumentation, and the environmental impact of toxic chemicals.

For additional information, see the section “Graduate School - Professional Program” in this catalog and the Department of Environmental Studies Web site.


CHAIR • Gambrell, Professor
GRADUATE ADVISER • Lindau, Professor
OFFICE • 1002-Y Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-6308
FAX • 225-578-6307

PROFESSORS EMERITI • Chapman, Day, Gosselink, Huh, Meyers, Murray, Wiseman
PROFESSORS • Baltz, Carney, Cowan, Fry, Gambrell, Hsu, Justic, LaRock, Laws, Lindau, Liu, Mendelssohn, Rose, Shaw, Stone, Turner, Twilley, Wilson
ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS • Benfield, Cable, Condrey, Inoue, Powers, Rouse, Walker
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS • Bargu-Ates, D’Sa, Li, White
ADJUNCT FACULTY • Bentley, Carman, Chapman, Chesney, Dagg, Dortch, Faulkner, Fleeger, Furukawa, Geaghan, LaPeyre, McKee, Nyman, Portier, Powell, Rabalais, Reams, Reyes, Sammarco, Sasser

The Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences offers Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees and supports the expansion of marine-related instruction in other academic departments. Research and instruction in the department is focused on fundamental understanding and practical application of knowledge of the physical, chemical, biological, geological, and meteorological processes that affect those environments usually identified as marine, coastal, or estuarine.

The extensive marshes and estuaries of Louisiana (40 percent of the coastal wetlands in the United States) and the adjacent continental shelf, impacted by natural and anthropogenic activity, serve as a vast natural laboratory for much of the field research conducted by faculty and graduate students. Research activity is carried out not only in Louisiana but also at such regional, national, and international sites as Florida Bay, the Everglades, the Orinoco River delta, and estuaries and coastal waters of Mexico, Denmark, France, and China.

Admission to the program in oceanography and coastal sciences requires admission to the Graduate School and a bachelor's or graduate degree in science or engineering from an accredited institution. Because of the nature of the fields of oceanography and coastal sciences, successful applicants to the program must first be accepted by a faculty member who will serve as their major adviser. Students interested in the department's program are, therefore, encouraged to contact faculty members who work in the student's field of interest. A description of all courses offered by the department is included in this catalog. In addition all students are required to have successfully completed differential and integral calculus. If an applicant has not completed these requirements by the time of enrollment in the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, they will be required to do so during their first year at LSU.

An undergraduate minor in oceanography and coastal sciences is available. Requirements for the minor are:


OFFICE • 1209 Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-6515
FAX • 225-578-6326

Founded in 1982, the Coastal Ecology Institute (CEI) is a scientific research unit whose focus is the wide range of ecosystems encountered in the coastal zone. The specialties of the institute include computer modeling, conservation, estuarine and wetland ecology, isotope biogeochemistry, hydrology, microbiology, wetlands, restoration, oceanography, and water quality. Researchers in CEI seek answers to problems in the shallow continental shelf, the coastline, inshore estuaries, and wetlands that form an interface between the uplands and the open ocean. Faculty and staff have ongoing projects—mostly in Louisiana— but also in Central and South America, Asia, Europe, and elsewhere in the United States.

Major projects include studies of the biological oceanography of the Northern Gulf of Mexico (including the low oxygen zones and hard bank communities); characterization, assessments, and monitoring studies; wetland loss and human impact analyses; wetland restoration efforts; and development of ecosystem models to predict and evaluate management and potential climate change effects on Louisiana's coast. This research has been funded by state and federal agencies, as well as through private industries.


OFFICE • 2179 Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-6455
FAX • 225-578-6513

The Coastal Fisheries Institute (CFI) was created in 1983 to conduct applied and fundamental research intended to provide a better understanding of relationships among man, environmental processes, and fish communities; to document the status of existing fisheries and fish populations; and to assist in providing the research foundation for the evolution of a more stable marketing system. Most CFI faculty hold joint academic appointments with the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences within the School of the Coast and Environment.

The objectives of CFI are to strengthen and lead marine fishery-related research (fish, mollusks, and crustaceans) and education at LSU; to develop a better understanding of the operative factors influencing fish growth, survivorship, and yield; to provide state government, public conservation agencies, and private industry with the data necessary to make sound management decisions; and to cooperate with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the National Marine Fisheries Service to assure the safe development and wise use of fishery resources in Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico.

Research at CFI coordinates and integrates knowledge from zoology, ecology, biochemistry, oceanography, economics, modeling, and statistics to address relevant issues, such as overfishing, pollution, habitat loss, sustain-ability and resource utilization disputes that threaten Louisiana's fishery resources, its rich coastal heritage, and the economic well-being of an important industry.


OFFICE • 331 Howe-Russell Geoscience Complex
TELEPHONE • 225-578-2395
FAX • 225-578-2520

The Coastal Studies Institute is a research organization established in 1952 with major emphasis on dynamic processes in the ocean, atmosphere, and marine geology-sedimentology. CSI receives research support through competitive grants and contracts with a variety of federal agencies, including the U. S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, the U. S. Minerals Management Service, the Coastal Sciences Program of the Office of Naval Research, the Corps of Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Sea Grant Program, as well as a variety of state agencies and major petroleum companies.

Research is interdisciplinary, including sedimentology, marine geology and geophysics, coastal morphodynamics, hydrodynamics, dynamic meteorology, physical oceanography, and remote sensing. Field investigations have been undertaken on all continents except Antarctica, including the coast of the Arctic Ocean. A significant part of CSI research concentrates on transport processes and form-process relationships in coastal and continental-shelf environments.

The emphasis of the marine geology program is on deltaic, shelf, and slope sedimentary environments and sediment-transport mechanisms. Coastal morphodynamics focuses on bottom boundary layer and nearshore processes and coastal response to storm events. Physical oceanographic research emphasizes the dynamics of water and sediment particulates in estuarine, continental shelf and slope, and marginal ocean basin environments, including numerical modeling of such processes. The dynamic meteorology program addresses research problems in the coastal zone and marine boundary layer.

The institute houses the Earth Scan Laboratory (LSU’s satellite receiving station and image processing facility), and the WAVCIS (Wave-Current-Surge Information System) program (oceanographic/ meteorological real-time observing systems in the Gulf of Mexico).


DEAN • Laws
OFFICE • 1002-Q Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-6316
FAX • 225-578-5328

Special Programs focuses on cooperative research programs involving several SC&E and other LSU units, other universities, and federal and state agencies. Most projects are multidisciplinary, focusing on applied problems, particularly in planning, management, and protection of coastal resources.

The majority of projects are supported with contract funds and involve the application of SC&E research results to coastal and environmental issues. Project leaders report to the dean of SC&E and are supported by administrative staff.

Current special programs include the Coastal Marine Institute, Coastal Restoration and Enhancement through Science and Technology Program, Louisiana Geographic Information Center, and the Coastal and Environmental Modeling Laboratory.


DIRECTOR • Twilley
OFFICE • 3257 Energy, Coast, & Environment Building
TELEPHONE • 225-578-6431
FAX • 225-578-6423

Established in 1977, the LSU Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute investigates chemical and ecological interactions in marshes, mangroves, swamps, and floodplain wetlands around the world. Research topics include chemical and biological behavior of plant nutrients and toxic substances in wetlands to understand structure and function of coastal ecosystems. The environmental impacts of plant nutrients, pesticides, toxic heavy metals, and hydrocarbons in wetlands are areas of faculty expertise.

Current research includes studies on the processing of primary nutrients in coastal, ecosystems (including sources and sinks), response of wetland plants to various environmental stressors such as anaerobic soil conditions and salinity, factors affecting the biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons and toxic synthetic organic compounds in wetlands, and physiochemical reactions of toxic metals in soils and sediment-water systems affecting their mobility and biological activity.

Other important current research activities include comparative ecosystem ecology of wetlands and chemical, physical, and biological factors affecting coastal marsh instability, including strategies for effective wetland restoration. In addition to University support, the Institute receives grant and contract funding from various federal and state agencies and private industry.

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