LSU EnvironMentors Receives Coastal Stewardship Award, Adds to Local and National Recognitions
BATON ROUGE – The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana recently held its 2014 Stewardship Awards Banquet, and the LSU EnvironMentors program was recognized with a Coastal Stewardship Award. This award comes on the heels of the LSU EnvionMentors chapter being named the 2013 national chapter of the year and student Pernell Glover winning the Patrick Lalley Memorial Award for Excellence in Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Research.
“We feel so honored that the LSU EnvironMentors chapter has become successful enough to receive local and national recognition,” said Valerie Derouen, chapter coordinator. “It really helps validate the work we put into running the program and pushes us to improve to reach even more students.”
LSU EnvironMentors is a unique afterschool mentoring program that educates youth about Louisiana’s coastal environment through scientific research projects and field trips. Its main goal is to mentor and motivate high school students who are underrepresented in the sciences and to increase environmental literacy and awareness by focusing on environmental issues facing Louisiana and the Gulf Coast.
Glover’s Patrick Lalley Memorial Award for Excellence in Wildlife and Biodiversity Conservation Research includes a $500 scholarship. His winning project was titled “Which species is the better algae controller: A comparative study.” Pernell is a high school junior from Baton Rouge, and this is his second year in the LSU EnvironMentors program. He has interests in majoring in criminal justice and education.
EnvironMentors is a collaborative, award-winning, and proven college access program involving at-risk high school youth and volunteer university STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, student mentors. EnvironMentors pairs inner city Baton Rouge high school students with university student mentors at a 1-to-2 ratio for weekly environmental science-related activities over the course of the school year, culminating in a national science competition in Washington, D.C.; and an overnight trip to conduct field research in the coastal waters of South Louisiana at LUMCON, a marine center uniquely situated in the heart of the estuarine wetland complex of the Mississippi River deltaic plain.
“EnvironMentors is a program that provides opportunities for students who may not normally get them but are just as capable,” Derouen said. “The personal mentoring aspect of EnvironMentors has a strong impact on these students and sets the program apart from other high school science programs. I enjoy being a part of a program that places value on developing scientific skills and inspiring students to pursue higher education.”
The three-year-old EnvironMentors program averages 45 participants per year, representing approximately 15 high school students and 30 university students majoring in STEM-related curricula. The LSU Chapter of EnvironMentors is housed in the School of the Coast & Environment and is partnered with LSU College of Human Sciences & Education’s LSYOU program and Louisiana Sea Grant.
For more information on EnvironMentors, visit http://environmentors.lsu.edu/.
Now in its 19th year, the Coastal Stewardship Awards are the highest form of recognition offered by the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana to those who demonstrate outstanding commitment to the coast, and have made significant contributions to the preservation and restoration of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana is a non-profit advocacy organization whose mission is the protection and restoration of a sustainable coastal Louisiana. For more information, visit http://www.crcl.org/.