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COPRI Louisiana Chapter (L.COPRI) Hosts Their Fall Seminar in Baton Rouge

Thursday, November 21, 2019

2019 L. COPRI - Sean Duffy - Big River Coalition
Sean Duffy with the Big River Coalition speaking to attendees at the 2019 L.COPRI Fall Seminar.

L.COPRI held their fall seminar on November 14, 2019 in Baton Rouge. Speakers and panelists addressed each of the four pillars of COPRI and how their agencies were impacted by the Mississippi River and Tributaries flooding that occurred in 2018 and 2019. The presentations and panels are listed below:

  • Precision Navigation with a Focus on the Utilization of the Mississippi Corridor by Tim Osborn (NOAA) and Sean Duffy (Big River Coalition)
  • Historic 2019 Mississippi River Flood by Joey Windham (USACE)
  • Management of the Lower Mississippi River (Panel) by John Lopez (Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation), Bren Haase (Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority), Moby Solangi (Institute for Marine Mammal Studies), Joe Spraggins (Mississippi Dept. of Marine Resources), and Clint Willson (LSU Center for River Studies)
  • Experiences During Periods of High Water at Various Ports Across Louisiana (Panel) by Tyler Comeaux (Port of Caddo-Bossier), Brian Cox (Port of South Louisiana), Wyly Gilfoil (Lake Providence Port Commission), Jacob Crist (Port of New Orleans), and Randall Withers (LADOTD)
  • 2019 Gulf of Mexico Hypoxic Zone and Impacts by Nancy Rabalais (Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium)
  • A National Perspective on Inland Waterways by Norma Jean Mattei (UNO and Past ASCE President)

L.COPRI also awarded two $1,000 scholarships to Louisiana students pursuing COPRI related degrees. Out of all the well qualified students, Blade Leger (undergraduate student) and Felix Santiago-Collazo (graduate student) were awarded the 2019 L.COPRI annual scholarships.

2019 - Blade Leger - L.COPRI Fall Seminar
Blade Leger, undergraduate L.COPRI scholarship winner, accepting award from Myriam Bou-Mekhayel, Scholarships Director.

Blade Leger is an undergraduate at University of Louisiana at Lafayette with outstanding extracurricular activities in COPRI fields. Blade has participated in Clean the Coast at Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge for the past years. Blade will also be partnering with Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC to plant marsh grass along the Louisiana coast. He is an ASCE and Chi Epsilon officer. His biggest interest for a future career is in the field of environmental, hydrology, and hydraulic engineering.

2019 - Felix Santiago - L.COPRI Fall Seminar
Felix Santiago-Collazo, graduate L.COPRI scholarship winner, accepting award from Myriam Bou-Mekhayel, Scholarships Director.

Felix Santiago-Collazo is a PhD student at Louisiana State University. His research focuses on the compound flood produced by rainfall-runoff and storm surge during a hurricane event in coastal watersheds. Felix the current president of COPRI-LSU. As an EIT in Puerto Rico he has helped develop hydrology and hydraulic studies for flood relief structures. His research will serve as a holistic tool for decision-makers by providing aid in disaster evacuation and planning.