The Coastal Environmental Research Laboratory is the most recent addition to the Pontchartrain Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of New Orleans. The academic focus of the laboratory is to investigate large-scale approaches to ecosystem analysis. Using simulation modeling as research tool, the overall goal is to understand how coastal areas respond to diverse impacts, natural and man-made. Laboratory staff has participated in several multidisciplinary teams in the development of ecosystem models integrating landscape ecology to assess different approaches to coastal resource management. Modeling efforts are truly holistic in nature, they span from plant productivity, fish migration, mesocosm experiments, to landscape simulation to understand processes in wetlands and tropical watersheds. Current projects include the development of a conceptual modeling framework for the coast of Louisiana, the implementation of landscape models for the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuarine complex, a habitat spatial model to evaluate the effects of a river diversion in the Caernarvon/Breton Sound watershed and a nutrient/forest model for the swamps in Maurepas. Other research sites include the Everglades in Florida and several coastal lagoons in the Mexican Caribbean.

Field of Focus
Large-scale Approaches to Ecosystem Analysis