Night of ideas: More land?
Monday, February 27, 2023
Alliance Française de La Nouvelle-Orléans
1519 Jackson Ave. New Orleans
The evening will explore the various private and public sector initiatives to combat coastal erosion which destroys the environment (scarcity of species, salinization of bayous water, disappearance of land) and weakens the most exposed communities, among which are fishermen and the French-speaking Pointe-au-Chien tribe.
In Louisiana, the fight against the effects of climate change and in favor of biodiversity is directly
linked to the protection of cultural diversity. Can humans and science reclaim land from climate change?
About the panelistsAlex Kolker is an Associate Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and is a coastal geologist who has worked in systems around the world including the Mississippi River Delta, the Florida Everglades, the Northeastern United States, and North Africa. Dr. Kolker is interested in how coastal change impacts people who live along the coast and has served on numerous panels providing scientific input to decision makers and planners including the Science Advisory Group for Louisiana's Governor's Climate Initiative Task Force.
Mike Biros is the Restoration Programs Director at the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana (CRCL), a nonprofit working to unite people in pursuit of a thriving coastal Louisiana. He directs CRCL’s restoration programs including the Oyster Shell Recycling Program and the Native Plants Program. He is a licensed landscape architect with over 10 years of experience working across coastal Louisiana on projects including adaptation planning, stormwater management and natural resource damage assessments. Mike is interested in using ecological restoration to help coastal communities adapt to ecological challenges with agency and self-determination.
Krista Jankowski, Ph.D., PG is a licensed professional geoscientist with expertise in environmental change and impacts to coastal and deltaic systems, particularly in coastal Louisiana. She has 10+ years’ experience with data-driven decision-making, resilience planning, and community engagement efforts and currently manages the development of the 2023 Coastal Master Plan. In this role she applies her technical expertise to the multi-million dollar predictive modeling and project planning effort while working to connect community members to accurate and accessible scientific information to increase understanding and support informed decision-making.
Christine Verdin is a member of the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, one of many coastal Louisiana indigenous tribes on the front lines of Louisiana’s land loss. She sits on the council and several other tribal committees. She is a retired educator, but currently works part time at Montegut Elementary School. This past summer, after a lot of hard work, the Louisiana state legislature allocated funds to help the Pointe-au-Chien tribe open a French Immersion school in Pointe-au-Chien, where Christine plans to be the administrator upon the school’s opening in August 2023.
About the Artist
Wayan Barre, born in France, moved to New Orleans last summer. As a freelance photographer, his work has been published in various newspapers and magazines in France. Particularly sensitive to social and environmental issues, he has started to work with various communities in Southern Louisiana to raise awareness on the many challenges the region is facing.
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