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CPRA Announces Coastal Science Assistantship Recipients

April 17, 2024

BATON ROUGE, LA — The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) today announced recipients of its annual Coastal Science Assistantship Program (CSAP). CSAP enables faculty members of Louisiana institutions to fund Master of Science students enrolled full-time at Louisiana colleges and universities who are involved in research relevant to Louisiana coastal protection and restoration efforts.

The following faculty members were selected for the 2024 Coastal Science Assistantship program and are seeking Masters students to fund with their awards:

  • John White, Ph.D., Louisiana State University. “The relative contribution of plant uptake vs. denitrification of nitrate in water quality improvement from sediment river diversion operations”
  • Megan La Peyre, Ph.D., Louisiana State University Ag Center. “Development of a sustainability index tool for coastal Louisiana to inform site selection for oyster based living shorelines that both enhance estuarine oyster metapopulations and promote shoreline stabilization”
  • Bingqing Liu, Ph.D., University of Louisiana at Lafayette. “Revealing phytoplankton diversity in Louisiana estuaries: A hyperspectral exploration with field, laboratory, and satellite data powered by spectral mixture analysis”
  • Sabarethinam Kameshear, Ph.D., Louisiana State University. “Coastal Master Plan’s effect on hurricane safety of aboveground storage tanks in Louisiana”

CPRA awards fund a three-year period of study and support academic research that will improve the planning, design, and construction of coastal restoration projects. In addition, these assistantships help CPRA foster closer ties with the academic community and promote a platform for collaboration by developing relationships with students, professors, and universities. These relationships allow for greater communication, participation, and integration between Louisiana higher education and the state’s coastal protection and restoration program.

While CPRA makes the final selections and provides the funds for CSAP, the assistantships are administered by the Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) College Program. Once chosen, faculty members select graduate students to work on the projects. These students are required to complete a master’s thesis at their institution and a 240-hour internship with CPRA. The students receive a yearly stipend of $30,000 each (a maximum of $90,000 per student).

The following students were awarded Coastal Science Assistantships in 2023 and are currently completing their theses and internships:

  • Anissa Hyde, Louisiana State University. “Flooding, Migration, and the Coastal Master Plan: Linking small areas and regional dynamics to big events, long-term stressors, and planning processes,” working with Thomas Douthat, Ph.D.
  • Elizabeth Granier, Nicholls State University. “Elucidating the successional trajectories of Louisiana barrier island vegetation communities through data mining,” working with Jonathan Willis, Ph.D.
  • Emmanuel Adeniyi, Louisiana State University. “Cloud-based implementation and dissemination tool for long-term river diversion and land restoration assessment near the Mid-Barataria Basin in South Louisiana,” working with Lei Wang, Ph.D.

Since the program’s inception in 2008, CPRA has supported 83 students across nine different institutions including LSU, LSU Ag Center, ULL, SLU, UNO, Tulane, Nicholls, LUMCON, and Louisiana Tech. To date, students in the program have generated 63 theses, more than 100 journal publications and conference presentations, and over 12,000 internship hours with CPRA.

For more information, visit the CSAP website or contact:

Summer Langlois
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
150 Terrace Avenue
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Matthew Bethel
Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
232 Sea Grant Building
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-7507