The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS), a trans-disciplinary program of the LSU College of Art & Design, College of Engineering, and School of the Coast & Environment, has selected four teams of LSU researchers to receive funding from the CSS New Projects Fund. The fund supports innovative research, design, and outreach projects that involve the collaboration of a variety of academic perspectives. The goal of the fund is to contribute to adaptive, resilient, and sustainable human communities in the dynamic Louisiana coastal landscape.
Feasibility Study for Low-Cost Hurricane-Resistant Residential Buildings Made of Earth Blocks
The team will perform a feasibility study of a new, low-cost hurricane-resistant residential construction system from the points of view of structural strength, architectural aesthetics, and economics. The project has the potential to provide housing opportunities for low-income Louisiana families residing in hurricane-prone coastal areas.
- Michele Barbato, Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Robert Holton, Assistant Professor, School of Architecture
- Ashok K. Mishra, Donald E. Welge Endowed Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
Linking Nutrient and Hydrological Dynamics in the Mississippi River Basin to the Northern Gulf of Mexico
Every summer, hypoxia (defined as dissolved oxygen below 2 mg/L) threatens the economic and ecological vitality of the northern Gulf of Mexico, the nation’s largest and most productive fishery. The team will create a graduate design research studio, LA 4008, in spring 2015 that will build upon hypoxia data. Students will map and analyze the basin and gulf in order to provide varied yet comparable layers that can be overlaid and shaped as part of an interdisciplinary design workshop.
- Forbes Lipschitz, Assistant Professor, Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
- John Westra, Associate Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness
- Kehui Xu, Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
The project is concerned with statistical scenario modeling of emerging megatrends to optimize the cost-effectiveness and sustainability of coastal restoration in the Mississippi River Delta. The team will use an innovative combination of statistical techniques to: 1) confirm the assumptions that underlie the projections for cost and wetland-building effectiveness in the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan; 2) assess the sensitivity of the plan’s analysis to variability around implicit and explicit assumptions as well as the possible importance of factors not considered; and 3) test the utility to a range of statistical forecasting models for decision-support and determine whether different forecasting models converge on one or more optimal restoration implementation sequences.
- John Day, Professor Emeritus, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
- Beibei Guo, Assistant Professor, Department of Experimental Statistics
- Sam Bentley, Billy and Ann Harrison Chair in Sedimentary Geology and Professor, Department of Geology & Geophysics
- G. Paul Kemp, Adjunct Professor, Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences
Waterway Hurricane Evacuation Smartphone App for Commercial Fishing Vessels
The project will develop a simulated evacuation plan and a smartphone reference app for commercial fishermen to use in deciding where to take their vessels when a hurricane is forecast for Vermilion Bay.
- Lauren Land, Sustainability Coordinator, Louisiana Sea Grant
- Marc Aubanel, Director of Digital Media Arts and Engineering, Center for Computation & Technology
- Hal Needham, Acting Program Manager, Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program
- Alexa Andrews, Project Manager, Center for Business Preparedness, Stephenson Disaster Management Institute
- Carola Kaiser, IT Consultant, Center for Computation & Technology
The LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio is unique in that it brings together disciplines that normally work separately so that it can respond to critical coastal issues in the most comprehensive way. Many previous coastal protection and restoration efforts have been solely engineering or science based, leaving out the human element. CSS offers a new paradigm, allowing designers such as architects, landscape architects, and city planners to have a voice in the process. To learn more, visit css.lsu.edu.