UNO Researchers Contributed to the Creation of Louisiana’s Updated $50 Billion Coastal Master Plan
WWNO Coastal Desk, June 2022
UNO Researchers Teach Coastal Environment in Ghana
Building an organ in the marsh
Eight Graduate Students Recognized as Outstanding Instructors
Iridescent Mentor Spotlight
Engineering and the Human Element
Click the pictures for relevant links.
UNO and the Water Institute lead a summer trip to the Netherlands for PhD students interested in coastal water management. Check out #IRESNL22 and #IRESNL23 to see posts from previous trips. Applications for summer 2024 will be out in December. Funded by the NSF International Research Experience for Students program.
We're grateful for a grant from the Coastal Science Assistantship program to study the complex vegetation-sediment interactions in deltaic wetlands. Student Donnie Davidson's project in Bay Denesse/Quarantine Bay was also selected for lidar acquisition by NCALM.
Bay Denesse is a special place in Louisiana - it receives water from the Mississippi River via Neptune Pass and is a site of both natural and engineered land building. Our lab is a part of the BDLL led by the Water Institute of the Gulf, where researchers from across disciplines, wetland restoration practitioners, students of all ages, stakeholders, and more come together to maximize learning from the landscape.
Louisiana's coast is rapidly changing and will continue to do so with the impacts of climate change. The state has a comprehensive plan for implementing projects that combat land loss. This plan is informed by predictive modeling. I am a part of the vegetation and barrier island modeling (link above for informational presentations).
It is critical for scientific research to inform management and policy decisions (& vice versa). We'll be synthesizing the results from a series of USGS field studies on marsh sediment transport for a management and policy audience. The end products will be developed collaboratively to ensure they address priority questions and are framed in a useful fashion.
Sediment supply and delivery largely determine marsh survival with sea-level rise, but how does that sediment get to the marsh and when? These mechanisms of delivery are still being explored. Here we take a closer look at sediment coming over the marsh edge (DOI: 10.1029/2019JC015268)
This NGO in Accra, Ghana, is raising awareness about the dangers of plastic for the environment, wildlife, and humans, and providing innovative and sustainable waste management solutions. I'm proud to be one of the scientific advisors.
The world needs more collaborative ocean research to tackle the sustainability challenges of the twenty first century. Ocean Corps is a proposal to facilitate sustained, long-term ocean science education and research collaborations between nations.
What's one resource urban areas produce consistently? Biosolids. Biosolids are the byproduct of wastewater treatment. We're studying how they can be used to enhance marsh restoration. (DOI: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2018.02.012)
The Gulf of Guinea and surrounding coasts are vastly understudied and face many environmental challenges. This summer program promotes environmental science and oceanography research in Ghana. I was an instructor for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 programs and a co-organizer for the virtual 2020 program.
As a postdoc at LSU's Center for Coastal Resiliency, I worked on building participatory modeling tools for wave attenuation (DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2020.104788), assessing lidar accuracy in marshes (DOI: 10.1109/JSTARS.2020.2973490), and evaluating the effects of historical cypress forests on storm surge (DOI: 10.1007/s10584-019-02575-7)
Imagine a wave trying to get through all this vegetation. Salt marshes reduce wave energy, but the amount it is reduced depends on a lot of different factors. We measured this reduction during different seasons at a marsh in San Francisco Bay. (DOI: 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2018.02.001)
If you're in the Bay area, head over to the Exploratorium and check out our new exhibit on land building. Play with dowels and sediment-laden Bay water to experiment with how marsh vegetation captures sediment and builds land. Fun for all ages!
When wind blows across a wetland, the vegetation stems wave back and forth, stirring the water column and enhancing gas transport. We parameterized this transport, so it can be incorporated into biogeochemical models of wetlands. (DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003366)
Firewood is the primary energy source in towns and villages in northern Ghana. All steps of this supply chain are carried out by women. We tracked this resource from branch to hearth in the town of Jirapa. This work was the subject of my Cooper Union Tedx talk.