The South-Central Climate Center Underrepresented Minority Undergraduate Internship for Summer 2017 was held at Louisiana State University from July 9 to 15, 2017. The program brought a group of outstanding undergraduates from all over the south-central region ranging from New Mexico to Louisiana.
The first days of the students’ visit included settling into the East Campus Apartments, and getting to know each other as well as the professors, Drs. Victor Rivera and Kristine DeLong, and their graduate students. Monday was an introduction to LSU and the internship followed by demonstrations of the type of equipment they would be using.
The students spend the next couple of days at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) where they rode on a boat to a nearby island to look at damage from Tropical Storm Cindy and measured elevation changes on the island, took cores in the saltwater marsh, and had a quick kayaking trip in between thunderstorms. LUMCON presented the interns and staff with great hospitality throughout the visit, showing them their aquariums and specimen collection plus taking time out of their schedules to visit with the interns.
On the way back to LSU, the interns received a special “white boots” treatment from the local United Houma Nation members where they learned about living on the coast from a native perspective, and saw how shrimp are processed and distributed. Shrimp Kingdom Seafood even provided a shrimp boil for the interns to experience one of Louisiana’s delicacies. The next day was spent at the Atchafalaya basin with the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana. The interns all took part in collecting sediment cores and were given a behind the scenes swamp tour.
On their last field day, the interns were taken to New Orleans for Dr. Barry Keim’s famous Katrina tour showing them the high flood lines from Hurricane Katrina, which parts of the levees failed those areas, and how the city is now protected. The next day the LSU crew said farewell to the interns as they began another week full of research and field experience at the University of Oklahoma followed by a week at Texas Tech University.