New Orleans Project, 2009-2010


Doug Kane, Faculty, Biology - This project will continue work begun last year with faculty and staff of Southeastern Louisiana State University's Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station and the University of New Orleans' Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences. Professor Kane will be working to modify the Planktonic Index of Biotic Integrity (P-IBI) that he developed for Lake Erie and apply it to the Lake Maurepas/Lake Pontchartrain ecosystem. The purpose of this research is to use organisms as indicators of water quality. The information would then be useful to resource managers trying to minimize the impacts of nutrient pollution and salinization in the lakes.

Michelle Tabit, Faculty, History - This project will partner with the New Orleans Recovery School District at Douglas High School in the Upper Ninth Ward in an effort to create a peer-mentoring program. This project will expand Professor Tabit's research on alternative teaching methods and help the teachers and students in the Upper Ninth Ward build a long term support system for their struggling students.


Sandra Golden, Faculty, Education - This project proposes to develop and supervise scholars' projects to improve literacy. These projects include a national children's book donation drive, an interactive literacy project aimed at children Pre-K through fourth grade and a memoir writing project for high school students to record their individual experiences with Hurricane Katrina.


Joel Billings, Senior, Integrated Social Studies - This project will create a handbook for a Peer Mentoring Program that will include guidelines to establish the program and the role and expectations of a mentor. Teachers of the Recovery School District of New Orleans will be provided instruction on the use of the handbook and development of a program.

Laura Derov, Senior, History - This project will continue previous McMaster working with the Amistad Research Center. The project will focus on processing a historical collection and archiving.

Ben Gates, Senior, Integrated Social Studies - This project will focus on compiling teaching tools and strategies into a resource that will assist new teachers in the Recovery School District of New Orleans. These strategies will be aimed at providing teachers with fun and encouraging ways to engage students in learning and interacting with their teachers.

Brooke Shinabarger, Senior, Business Administration - This project will focus on creating a public service announcement video for the Turtle Cove in Hammond, Louisiana. The video will be used to raise awareness of the importance of wetlands to the area. A second component of the project will be to provide documentation of the work done while on the ground.

Amanda Warncke, Senior, Arts and Humanities - This project will create a public service announcement for Teach for America to be used in recruiting qualified teachers to work in the Recovery School District of New Orleans. This public service announcement will be developed through a series of interviews with students, teachers and parents in the Recovery School district and research into the needs of the Recovery School District and Teach for America. Additional footage will be gathered for use to document the work of the learning Community while on the ground in New Orleans.