New Orleans, Lousiana Delta, USA


Photos courtesy of Jan Kronsell, 2004, via Wikimedia Commons

Photos courtesy of Jan Kronsell, 2004, via Wikimedia Commons

This region is a fantastic choice for groups unsure on the direction they wish to take, as it provides the most potential options. The site includes the metropolis of New Orleans, agricultural conversion, coastal wetlands and fisheries issues, as well as oil development. Natural disturbances (Hurricane Katrina) as well as anthropogenic impacts (such as the BP oil rig explosion, rising sea-levels) are important in the region. Tourism, seafood production, and potentially biofuels, also play a role.

Furthermore, the vast amount of information available makes it unlikely that data limitations will be a huge problem for you working here. A wide range of mapping products are available on-line from various agencies, along with numerous government and university reports and long-term datasets, many of which are excellent, abundant, and freely-available if you search for them.


Energy/Resources:    Renewable Energy    Largest Solar Project    U.S. Energy Information Administration    Wildlife Agency    Forest Disturbance

Agriculture/Aquaculture:  Louisiana State University Biofuel Agriculture Research    Eat Safe Louisiana    Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board    Doing Citrus Right

Conservation/Ecology:    Plan to Save the Coastline    Gulf Ecosystem in Crisis    Gulf Oil Spill    History of Wetlands and Restoration    Agency for the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act    Louisiana Range    Disease Clusters    Oil damage marine community       Challenge to Louisiana’s Oil Industry    Exxon Valdez Oil Spill     The Economist: Blooming horrible    Disaster Management    Climate Map    Mississippi River Delta    National Geographic: Hurricane Katrina    Wetland Damage    Who’s to Blame: An Environmental Lawsuit and Reader’s response    Natural Infrastructure and Ecosystem Services in Federal Decision-Making   Vegetation development reveals social differences    How to Save a Sinking Coast  The Gulf, Still at Risk    BP’s Missing Oil Found

Society/Urban:    NY Times: New Orleans, Jungleland?    Losing Trees?    BP’s Silent Disaster    National Map of Bike Lanes

Basic Geodata

Land cover data (compatible with ArcGIS) will be provided to you in class, covering three past time periods since the 1980s. The links below will show you the approximate boundaries (as seen in Google Earth with recent years), as well as the basic changes in land cover.

view in Google Earth

view Simple Land Cover Maps

Remember, in addition to Landsat-derived land cover, there are several more auxiliary geodata sets that have already been collected for you and will be provided in lab. These data include: terrain/elevation, nightlights which represent population, floristic zones, etc. and are available at all study locations. These datasets are introduced and explained further under Additional Data Sources. In addition to these ready-to-go, prepared auxiliary datasets, this page also provides ideas for additional datasets you might find on your own.