Press Releases

Institute and University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences sign Memorandum of Understanding

Nov 10, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, La. (Nov. 10, 2020) – The Water Institute of the Gulf and the University of New Orleans formalized their collaborative relationship today through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding which will lead to sharing resources and opportunities for hands-on research training for graduate and undergraduate students.

As part of that agreement, the Institute will have access to the University’s state-of-the-art laboratory facilities, research vessels and equipment used to collect data in the field while UNO’s Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences will be a core Institute partner participating in applied research projects in Louisiana and beyond.

“Although we’ve been sharing opportunities, equipment, and students for some time, we wanted to formalize this agreement recognizing our shared goals in providing the science needed to serve the people and communities of south Louisiana while educating the next generation of coastal practitioners,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, Institute president and CEO. “This agreement also continues to fulfill a mandate given to the Institute earlier this year when Governor John Bel Edwards designated us as the state’s Coastal Innovation and Collaboration Hub.”

The MOU outlines a commitment to work together on field and laboratory research, technological developments and policy matters in water, coastal and deltaic issues, risk reduction and helping communities build resilience against disasters and climate change.
“This is an exciting partnership that helps the University better prepare our future coastal scientists and engineers by providing undergraduate and graduate students with extraordinary research experiences,” said UNO President John Nicklow.

“This relationship will leverage our collective resources to foster the development of scientific opportunities for UNO, The Water Institute and Louisiana and elevate our understanding of coastal sciences and education to national and international levels,” said Mark Kulp, Director of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences.

“The Water Institute’s support of growing the knowledge base and training the next generation of coastal scientists while advancing the applied research needed to address current challenges facing New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast, is collaboration at its best,” said Christy Brown, Institute board member and past chair of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Working with UNO and our numerous partners in the New Orleans area, this agreement represents another step in the commitment to help coastal communities find a science-based way forward.”


About The Water Institute of the Gulf

The Institute is an independent, non-profit, applied research institution advancing science and developing integrated methods to solve complex environmental and societal challenges. The Institute helps communities thoughtfully prepare for an uncertain future. For more information, visit

About the University of New Orleans

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is a major research university in one of the world’s most fascinating cities. For more than 60 years, it has been one of the city’s foremost public resources, offering a diverse set of world-class, research-based programs, advancing shared knowledge and adding to the city’s industry, culture and economy. Since 1958, UNO has educated students from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states in the United States and more than 140 countries. Today UNO offers more than 40 undergraduate and pre-professional programs and more than 40 graduate programs. For more information, visit