EDUCATION AND OUTREACH
LUMCON’s Marine Education Program enables the next generation of marine scientists and ocean-literate citizens. The Program provides meaningful and relevant place- and skill-based experiences for all visitors and significantly impacts Louisiana’s diverse citizenry, including those populations underrepresented and underserved in marine science.
Marine Education at LUMCON specializes in designing powerful marine, environmental, and science learning experiences in the coastal setting surrounding the Marine Center. The Program focuses on scientific research at LUMCON, promoting awareness of marine and coastal environments and their connection to land and exploring the scientific process and its role in making environmental decisions.
Events and activities at LUMCON are for preK-12 students, teachers, university students and personnel, and the general public. Click on these links to learn more:
WHITE BOOT SCHOOL
The DeFelice Marine Center has become the site of a thriving community in the summer. On-site residents include university-level course participants, graduate students, visiting scientists, undergraduate interns, preK-12 summer campers, and Consortium-member faculty conducting research. LUMCON has enriched these summer programs by providing innovative research and education opportunities in an environment that encourages networking and collaboration. These enhancements are formalized by grouping these summer programs into the White Boot School.
At the core of the White Boot School are two sessions of 3-week undergraduate and graduate courses on a variety of topics in marine science, anchored by novel teaching methods and rich field experiences. Four skill-based courses provide a variety of tools and experiences in everything from social media and informatics to photography and small boat operations. Simultaneously, a set of preK-12 camps provide opportunities for students to learn about and be inspired by marine science and the marine habitats of coastal Louisiana. Active research thrives through the science programs of the resident faculty and their laboratories as well as the programs of a host of visiting scientific teams from across Louisiana’s universities and research centers.
To create a community atmosphere, everyone is encouraged to take meals together in our newly revamped cafeteria and participate in coordinated activities and programs. Evening and weekend events, including field trips, kayak tours, cruises on the R/V Acadiana, social hours, concerts, and movie nights, provide opportunities for exploration of ideas and the landscape while allowing time for informal discussion and networking.
The brand itself, the White Boot School, is based on the white rubber shrimp boots worn by Cajuns who fish the waters of coastal Louisiana- the white color keeps them cool in the extreme Louisiana summer heat. A vital addition to a work wardrobe for muddy marshes or boat decks, the white boots have been adopted by many of LUMCON’s staff and researchers. The white boot is a representation of something unique to southern Louisiana, an homage to the bayou culture in which the DeFelice Marine Center is embedded. Most importantly, it is an icon that when seen by strangers, immediately creates a connection. These connections are key to establishing the White Boot School as the center of marine science in the Gulf of Mexico.