Navigating Coastal and Environmental Research: LSU Libraries’ Support for Scholars

an image of students studying and a swamp reads Navigating Coastal and Environmental ResearchLouisiana’s vast and fragile coastal ecosystem is both critical to the state’s economy and under threat from a range of environmental stressors, making LSU’s coastal research and education vital to the future of our state and region. As a national Sea Grant university, LSU is home to more than 250 faculty members dedicated to coastal research—the largest group of experts focused on coastal and environmental science in the state. In support of the work being done in LSU’s classrooms and laboratories, LSU Libraries provides a wealth of resources ranging from introductory information for new students to advanced research materials used by faculty and researchers.

LSU Libraries offers a variety of online research guides, including coastal and environmental research guides, that are freely available to the LSU community as well as the public. These guides provide links to databases, journals, government resources, and other research tools, that make it easy for students and researchers to find relevant and reliable information. They are composed of material that addresses the various environmental challenges facing Louisiana and the broader Gulf Coast Region, the impacts of these issues on the region’s wildlife and the communities that rely on the coast for their livelihoods, and the ongoing efforts to protect and restore the coast environment—including conservation initiatives, research programs, and policy advocacy.

Additionally, LSU Libraries Special Collections houses a wealth of primary source materials that tell the story of Louisiana’s relationship with water. These photographs, family papers, business records, and publications preserve “not only the significant historical moments that led us to where we are now but also the stories of the incredibly wide-ranging and impactful research that continues at LSU today,” said Gina Costello, LSU Libraries’ associate dean of technology and special collections.

In Hill Memorial Library, patrons can view materials related to early descriptions of cultures, flora and fauna in the region; folk industries such as fishing and trapping; large-scale enterprises such as agriculture, timber, and oil; technological and engineering innovations from steamboats to spillways; catastrophic flooding and the single-minded focus on levee building; the force of commerce in the development of outlets and draining of the swamp; the politics involved in both control and conservation, from parish police juries to Congress and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; scientific studies; and grassroots and government-led conservation and restoration efforts, including the Atchafalaya Compromise.

Furthermore, LSU Libraries has a staff of full-time research experts whose job is to help students and faculty with their research at any stage. This additional support saves researchers time and money searching for relevant information on their own.

Not only does LSU Libraries help LSU faculty and student to generate research critical to protecting our coast and environment, it also preserves, publishes, and makes openly accessible the research and scholarship they generate via LSU’s digital repository, LSU Digital Commons. Users have downloaded coastal research from Digital Commons more than 102,400 times globally.

LSU Libraries is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the Gulf Coast region and its environment. Its comprehensive coverage of coastal and environmental resources, organizations, and scholarly publications makes it a valuable tool for students and researchers. Whether patrons are interested in conducting scientific research, exploring the relationship between culture and the environment, or simply learning more about this fascinating ecosystem, LSU Libraries is an excellent place to start.


View LSU Libraries’ current coastal and environmental research guides.

Contact a subject specialist.

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