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Flying NOLA: Using Drones to Capture Southern Louisiana Deltas

Drones are a vital tool for the future of land management and assessment. At CSUCI, the ESRM program prides itself in the use and practice of using UAVs, or drones, to capture important coastal ecosystems. In this capacity, we flew over the Mississippi Delta to survey wetland degradation and rehabilitation on various barrier islands and marshes. Richie Blink, of Delta Discovery Tours, is in need of new, updated maps and aerial imagery to better understand coastal changes over time.

Drone pilots included myself and fellow ESRM students Walker Santos and Nick Cooper. While drones provide relatively quick “plug and play” accessibility, they are not without their fair share of trouble shooting necessities. While deployed in the field, we encountered problems with linking the RC to the drone, mobile landing sites, and signal loss. Despite these issues, we were able to capture video of our stop sites and the surrounding landscape. The positives of using drones include the instantaneous deployment and video capture, as well as the range of flight of both lateral distance and elevation. Drones are a much needed technology in visualizing our coastal wetlands and the opportunity to fly these areas is one to not be overlooked or taken for granted.

-Matt, Walker, Cooper

Basin St. Beignets

Dr. Sean Anderson introduces Mark Samuels of Basin St. Records.

3–18–19: We started our day with a very thorough discussion of the New Orleans jazz production scene with Mark Samuels, President of Basin St. Records. Some highlights included Mark’s outlook on the new media of music distribution and enjoyment. He remains an avid supporter of physical copies such as CD’s and Vinyl, but also realizes the importance of releasing music digitally through dozens and dozens of streaming services. Mark Samuels is not only a music producer but a born and bred New Orleanian, and shared his opinion on both the local and federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Overall, it was a great experience hearing from the perspective of someone holds a lot of influence in the dominating sonic art form of New Orleans. After, we enjoyed coffee and beignets at a Cafe Du Monde food truck!

AAAAAquarius in NOLA

After trudging through a thorough plant tour through the Woodlands Trail and Park, we rendezvoused at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. We were extremely privileged to see THE Deacon John and the Ivory’s. Although the music was electric and the spirit of jazz was in the air, there was no denying that our exhaustion was palpable. But alas, as the night dwindled into twilight, the music took a turn. What started as a jazz concerto developed into a rock and roll extravaganza! Oh what a night!

Going-going back-back to NOLA-NOLA

It has been SEVERAL years that I’ve been to the ‘Big Easy’ but it remains one of most memorable places that I’ve been to (and I’ve been lucky to see much of the United States country-side and urban areas). This upcoming trip holds very different expectations than my previous ventures into the city. I’ve only been for family trips so much of what we explored was done through the lens of tourists. I am eager to explore the opportunities offered by this trip: the community garden, the cooking course, the music clubs!

I know a lot of hard work awaits but I am certain that all of us will find the spirit and heart of NOLA to be within ourselves.