Fierce for the Future Campaign: LSU College of the Coast & Environment

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“There is a global need for the innovative research and education happening at LSU’s College of the Coast & Environment. Major deltas around the world are experiencing serious social and environmental degradation similar to our own Mississippi Delta. From conducting original studies on coastal problems, to advising industries and governmental agencies, to educating the next generation of environmental experts, we play a critical role in addressing current and future environmental challenges.” - Christopher F. D’Elia, LSU College of the Coast & Environment Dean and Professor


he LSU College of the Coast & Environment (CC&E), aptly positioned on the fastest disappearing coastline in the continental U.S., is at the forefront of coastal and environmental issues. We are working every day to preserve the legacy, culture, and beauty of our great state of Louisiana. We are educating tomorrow’s workforce and leaders, undertaking interdisciplinary discovery, and improving our understanding of how we interact with nature in coastal regions and beyond. And we are enhancing the stewardship of a healthy, resilient, and sustainable environment through our research, teaching, and outreach. Time is of the essence. Louisiana is losing up to 35 square miles of coastal wetlands every year. Our wetlands and coastal barrier islands are the first line of defense against the destructive forces of hurricanes and severe storms. Stabilizing and maintaining them is critical to our state’s future, its wealth of resources— including our energy supply, rice and sugarcane production, and fisheries and wildlife—and the livelihoods of the 2 million Louisiana residents who live within 50 miles of the coast. Our world-renowned faculty are conducting research on every continent and working with government, industry, and nonprofit organizations to improve the environmental conditions that impact communities in Louisiana. They are sharing knowledge with global leaders to solve the most pressing coastal and environmental issues. Your gift to CC&E will help to increase our enrollment, retention, and graduation rates as we train the next generation of scientists and policy makers who will continue to shape the future of our coast. You will provide them an education that emphasizes critical thinking, deductive reasoning, and purposeful decision-making. You will expand our vigorous and successful multidisciplinary and multiinstitutional research that provides sound science for informed decisions. You will secure our preeminence as responsible citizens of the global community who deliver groundbreaking solutions for our state, nation, and world.

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WE HAVE A VISION FOR TOMORROW, ONE THAT SHOWS WHAT FIERCE CAN DO.


STUDENT SUPPORT

THERE’S NO TIME BUT NOW AT GROUND ZERO. ur students are among LSU’s brightest, with a thirst for knowledge and a vested interest in improving communities in the Mississippi River Delta, and in coasts and deltas around the world. These students are often accepted by multiple prestigious universities, yet they choose our college because of our well-earned global reputation, multidisciplinary curriculum, research focus, and location at ground zero of coastal environmental challenges. Our academic programs are excellent, but scholarships are often the deciding factor in choosing a university. Your support for undergraduate and graduate scholarships guarantees access to an affordable education and life-changing experiences. You will help deserving students cover college expenses so they can focus on what matters: solving our coastal challenges through groundbreaking discoveries. To better understand the issues facing the Mississippi River Delta, including land loss and diminishing ecosystems, we study deltas around the world to learn how these regions are experiencing and adapting to climate change. It is an eye-opening and life-changing experience when students can

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gain exposure to these landscapes, global research, and worldwide challenges. Your gifts will provide competitively awarded study abroad scholarships, allowing CC&E students to see firsthand the most pressing coastal and environmental issues facing today’s world. LSU EnvironMentors pairs LSU students with Scotlandville Magnet High School students, an underserved population that is underrepresented in STEM career fields, to increase their interest in STEM careers and college access through campus tours and events, research in university labs, and interaction with faculty. Weekly learning activities on LSU’s campus, field trips, and research projects culminate in an annual poster competition; top students compete at the national science fair—many of the high school students’ first trip outside of the state. Your gifts will help sustain LSU EnvironMentors, providing financial support to ensure that this innovative program can continue to inspire and change the lives of students who otherwise would not have access to such an empowering opportunity.


oseph Winston (Coastal Environmental Science and History, ’19) is the recipient of the Candace Chun Memorial Scholarship, Bert Turner Memorial Scholarship, and Tiger Athletic Foundation Student Scholarship. This support has allowed Winston to focus on enriching his educational experience through research assistantships and internships. In the Marine and Coastal Trophic Ecology Lab, Winston works with Michael Polito, PhD, to compare the composition of marshes created by river diversions and natural marshes to help inform future restoration efforts along the coast. He has also interned at the Louisiana Office of Public Health and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Winston plans to attend graduate school to learn more about how climate change may impact public health, and dedicate his career to combatting climate change.

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FAC U LT Y S U P P O R T

s a hub for interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary scientific research, we provide a balanced foundation to approach the complex issues facing land, sea, and air interactions both locally and around the world. Our faculty conduct research in our own backyard and across our oceans, enabling industry and government leaders to make informed decisions about conservation, management, protection, and development of coastal and environmental assets. By helping us to increase the number of endowed positions for existing faculty and future hires, as well as their start-up funding, you will ensure that we continue to attract and retain world-class faculty and leadership. Endowed professorships and chairs, which provide perpetual support for outstanding faculty members, are highly coveted because they provide flexibility and resources. They open new avenues of research that spark innovation. They allow for engagement and collaboration with colleagues across the globe, develop the next generation of scientists, and fund upgraded critical laboratory equipment that increases analytical capabilities. By funding an endowed chair or professorship, you will be recognized for propelling faculty’s academic achievements, creating opportunities to pursue critical research and innovative teaching methods, and joining us as we chart the course toward unbounded scientific discoveries. Your support will kickstart new faculty research enterprises. Start-up funding for up to three years is needed to initiate and fully establish research programs for new faculty that advance new knowledge. Your gift will fund laboratory equipment and supplies, travel to research sites, and graduate student research support. With your help, after three years, faculty accomplishments will attract more funding from federal and state agencies, allowing your initial investment to blossom into a full-fledged research program.

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FIERCE MAKES WAVES IN OUR OWN BACKYARD AND ACROSS OUR OCEANS.


ancy N. Rabalais, PhD, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences professor, is the Shell Endowed Chair of Oceanography and Wetland Sciences. Rabalais’ research focuses on the link between land use in the Mississippi River watershed and the Gulf of Mexico’s water quality, specifically the annual appearance of a large area of low oxygen (hypoxia) off the Louisiana and Texas coasts. Rabalais has been studying spatial and temporal changes for more than 30 years, documenting annual increases in this area, known as “the dead zone.” This information is used to address potential impacts of fisheries habitats in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Rabalais has also extended her research on low oxygen areas to encompass ocean acidification, a worsening ocean problem, and the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Louisiana marshes and nearshore waters.

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G U L F C E N T E R F O R E N V I R O N M E N TA L P R E D I C T I O N A N D SY N T H E S I S

OUR OPPORTUNITY TODAY IS THE WORLD’S OUTCOME TOMORROW. ouisiana is experiencing today what coastal communities around the world will experience tomorrow. We have an enormous obligation to formulate solutions for the oncoming collision of the ocean with our critically endangered coastal cities. There is no organization with the capability to collect, synthesize, model, and integrate this dynamic change; provide timely and accurate environmental predictions; and maximize beneficial outcomes for coastal inhabitants. The Gulf Center for Environmental Prediction and Synthesis (GCEPS), to be located on Baton Rouge’s Water Campus and modeled on the National Weather Service’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction, will improve scenario prediction, analysis, and response, and create a nexus for Gulf Coast observation, modeling, synthesis, and forecasting. Your gifts will help us to identify all the coastal data available throughout the Gulf region and the nation, and develop a system to collect, process,

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analyze, catalog, store, and provide timely release of the data to industry, government, and the public. GCEPS will use the equipment and services of the LSU Earth Scan Laboratory, which is celebrating over 25 years as LSU’s on-campus satellite data receiving facility and image processing lab. The Earth Scan Laboratory captures, processes, and warehouses real-time data from a variety of NOAA and NASA satellites for use in storm emergency response, research, teaching, and other remote sensing-related activities impacted by Louisiana’s coastal changes. The lab’s three antennae, which are used to receive real-time satellite imagery and measurements to produce useful image products, are no longer adequate for receiving data from the newest satellites. Your gifts will provide vital upgrades to these antennae, including critical support to inform and safeguard the public during severe weather events.


obert Rohli, PhD, professor in the Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences, is passionate about understanding coastal weather patterns and local-scale air-sea interactions that inform weather and hydrodynamic models. He’s working to minimize the risks posed by coastal land loss that threaten life and assets in Louisiana and elsewhere. Rohli will be a participant in and user of GCEPS projects, both in his research and teaching and as a mentor to students conducting research projects of their own. Rohli believes that GCEPS will position LSU at the hub of a one-stop shop that cultivates synergistic ideas from the private, government, and educational sectors. It will also provide a better experience for our students and encourage smart economic growth along the Gulf Coast as we maximize the benefit and minimize the cost and risk of our activities.

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FIERCE PEOPLE. FIERCE PROGRAMS. DRIVEN BY TENACITY.


LO U I S I A N A S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y. FIERCE MINDS. FIERCE HEARTS. FIERCE FOR THE FUTURE.

he world is looking to us for the answers, and we are counting on your support to continue delivering them. Louisiana is experiencing a high relative sea level rise that most coastlines will experience in 50-100 years. For the health and well-being of our citizens, and for the future economic development and viability of the state, a clean, safe, and productive environment is an absolute requirement. We are obligated to ensure that Louisiana is equipped to make informed decisions that protect our coastal environment. With no time to lose, we must be proactive, remembering that all eyes are on us. We are demonstrating by example how to smartly adapt to these rapid changes, responsibly care for the environment, and securely safeguard the coasts’ goods and services. This is your opportunity to play an important role in helping to preserve our coast and environment for today and for future generations. Your gifts will turn our discoveries and big ideas into cutting-edge innovations with far-reaching impacts for coastal communities around the world.

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THE LSU COLLEGE OF THE COAST & ENVIRONMENT LEADS WITH A SPIRIT INNATE TO LSU, CHARGED WITH TENACITY AND PURPOSE. WE BRING OUR ALL FOR THE FUTURE OF LOUISIANA AND THE WORLD.

Learn more about how you can be Fierce for the Future with the LSU College of the Coast & Environment: fierceforthefuturecampaign.org



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