Checking macroinvertebrates under the roots of an invasive water hyacinth, building multiple lines of defense for protection from hurricanes and storm surge – these were among the lessons about the importance of coastal restoration when Dinah Maygarden, MA, Research Associate and Science Education Program Director at the University of New Orleans (UNO) Pontchartrain Institute for Environment Sciences was a guest educator for Earth Sciences class at St. Mary’s Dominican High School.
UNO’s coastal education program of hands-on, science-based activities, also increases awareness and understanding of issues on coastal land loss and restoration. The UNO Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences was founded in 2001 for training and research, community education, and technology transfer in coastal restoration and environmental sciences/engineering. Since its inception, PIES has sought close relationships with partners from industry, state, and federal agencies and other academic institutions to bring multidisciplinary teams together to solve problems and foster public understanding of coastal environmental sciences.
“It is so important for my Earth Sciences students to understand the geology of our home. Louisiana’s wetlands are disappearing, and that directly affects all of us who live in southeast Louisiana,” said Dominican teacher Joann Haydel. “The students loved the hands-on approach to learning about Louisiana’s wetlands.”