CPRA Announces Open Applications for $100,000 in Coastal Science Assistantships

The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) today announced the opening of applications for the Coastal Science Assistantship Program (CSAP), which annually awards $100,000 in stipends for Master of Science (M.S.) students conducting research on coastal protection and restoration.

Faculty members at Louisiana universities have until Dec. 2, 2021, to apply for one of four $25,000 stipends for eligible students who are pursuing an M.S. degree and are involved in research relevant to Louisiana’s coastal protection and restoration efforts.

Since 2008, CPRA has provided $100,000 annually to four M.S. degree students as $25,000 stipends through the CSAP. The stipends are awarded for up to three years with a maximum of $75,000 per student. 

The program exposes students to CPRA activities and provides a potential avenue for hiring new CPRA personnel. Students recruited under this assistantship program will be required to complete 240 hours of internship with CPRA at mutually convenient times during their pursuit of a master’s degree.

Internships will involve work at CPRA's headquarters in Baton Rouge or one of the regional offices in New Orleans, Lafayette, or Thibodeaux. Students will also be required to give a presentation on their research findings to CPRA personnel upon completion of their research and prior to graduation.

The Louisiana Sea Grant (LSG) College Program will administer these assistantships with funding provided by CPRA. CSAP funds may only be used to cover graduate assistantships and any associated tuition and fringe benefits in accordance with the applicant institution’s normal policies.  

Proposals are sought for research advancements that will assist the CPRA in achieving the five objectives in Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast: (1) reduce storm surge flooding, (2) use natural processes to promote a sustainable coastal ecosystem, (3) provide habitats for a wide array of activities, (4) sustain cultural heritage, and (5) promote a working coast. 

Research topics that are of particular interest under this RFP include, but are not limited to, improvements and advancements to the following: 

  • Developing design criteria for the use of articulating concrete mats and geosynthetic separator fabric as protective features for earthen containment dikes exposed to localized wave forces
  • Evaluating the use of remote sensing techniques (apart from Light Detection and Ranging – LiDAR methods) to monitor fresh forested wetlands in the Maurepas Swamp for water circulation, forest health, soil surface elevation change, and changes in invasive species distributions, especially in areas that are inaccessible. Although there will be an immediate need for this research in the Maurepas Swamp,  extending the study area to the Atchafalaya Swamp will also be helpful for implementation of the Atchafalaya Basin Program.

Applications will be reviewed and scored by CPRA in the following five categories: Scientific Merit, Relevancy to CPRA, Originality, Body of Knowledge, and Credibility.

More information on the 2017 Coastal Master Plan can be found here. Proposals should indicate relevance to CPRA’s mission and mandate and Master Plan objectives and implementation.

Applications from faculty must be submitted via LSG’s online eSeaGrant system by Dec. 2, 2021; a decision on award of the assistantships will be made by CPRA by the end of January 2022. Funding should be available June 1, 2022. Complete information on CSAP plus program requirements, examples of applications that have been selected for funding, and application procedures are available at Louisiana Sea Grant - Coastal Science Assistantship Program.

For additional information, please click here or contact: 

Summer Langlois 

Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority

150 Terrace Avenue 
Baton Rouge, LA 70802 

225-342-1594, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Matthew Bethel 

Louisiana Sea Grant College Program

232 Sea Grant Building 
Louisiana State University

Baton Rouge, LA 70803-7507 

225-578-6345, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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