Fourth annual Bayou Studies Symposium to occur during Rougarou Fest

THIBODAUX, La. — The fourth annual Nicholls Bayou Studies Symposium will be held later this month during the Rougarou Festival in Houma, adding an academic component to the festival while also opening the work of Bayou Studies to the community.

The Bayou Studies Symposium will take place on Sunday, Oct. 21, in the lobby of Hancock Whitney Bank in downtown Houma. The event is free and open to the public.

“Nicholls faculty and students do not just sit at their desks and teach their classes. They go out into the community because they care about the community,” said Dr. Gary LaFleur Jr., Center for Bayou Studies director and associate professor of biological sciences. “This is a way to share ways that Nicholls is having a fundamental effect on Terrebonne Parish, and then be able to say, ‘If you like this, you should be a student at Nicholls. This is what we do at Nicholls.’”

Bayou Studies research posters will be displayed at 11 am., with presenters answering questions at 1 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m., Chauvin Sculpture Garden artist-docent Billie Babin, and one of the first students to receive a minor in Bayou Studies, will talk about the garden and how Nicholls faculty and students utilize the space.

Dr. LaFleur will give a presentation about the Last Island Hurricane of 1856. Nearly 300 summer residents were killed during the storm. He will also discuss Nicholls biology and geomatics research to survey the island as a modern technique to support coastal restoration.

At 3 p.m., Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser is scheduled to give an award to former Nicholls professor James Sothern, who authored a history of the Last Island hurricane.

The Cajun Music Preservation Society will perform outside on the bandstand following the symposium.


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