students learn from katrina

During spring break in March, 15 CSUCI students traveled to New Orleans to tour
the aftermath of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, and to conduct a survey for
the Woodlands Trail and Park in Belle Chase, La. They also spent time helping to restore
housing, churches, and community centers in Buras, La.

The students were members of the environmental science and resource management
(ESRM) Service Learning course and traveled for eight days with Sean Anderson,
assistant professor of environmental science and resource management. Part of their
visit was spent helping the Woodlands Trail and Park conduct an invasive species survey.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina removed the canopy from a hardwood forest on the
Woodlands property, and since then there has been an increased growth of invasive
vegetation, particularly on the outer edges of the property. Anderson’s students
conducted a baseline assessment of the invasive species on the property that collected
data necessary for the Woodlands Trail group to include in a proposal it was presenting
to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation for funding to tackle the growth of invasive
species.

In addition to the service project for Woodlands, the students toured New Orleans
with engineers, Pulitzer Prize winners, jazz musicians, and others, investigating the social,
environmental and policy factors that wear in place before and after Hurricane Katrina.