Nicholls State Univesity and Water Institute of the Gulf announce partnership

Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune shakes hands with Justin Ehrenwerth, CEO of the Water Institute of the Gulf. They are flanked by Dr. John Doucet, Distinguished Service Professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and Alex Arceneaux, executive vice president for enrollment and external affairs. (Misty Leigh McElroy/Nicholls State University)

THIBODAUX, La. — The Water Institute of the Gulf and Nicholls State University signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday that outlines increased collaborations on projects ranging from coastal protection and restoration to disaster risk reduction and nature-based flood defense.  

“Given our proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and the large number of our students that live in coastal parishes, it is imperative that Nicholls play an active role in the restoration of our coast,” said Nicholls President Dr. Jay Clune. “We’re excited to work with the Water Institute of the Gulf. Their internationally recognized work in coastal resiliency aligns with our mission to protect coastal Louisiana.”

“The great challenges facing Louisiana and coastal areas around the world require an immense amount of research and action and that work only gets done through partnerships,” said Justin Ehrenwerth, President and CEO of the Institute. “We are proud to formalize our collaboration with Nicholls State University given their long track record of coastal research and their wealth of knowledge around deltaic systems.”

The agreement sets out the potential for collaboration on research, faculty exchange, student mentorship, as well as shared workspace on the main campus, the Nicholls Farm and at the Fourchon Laboratory Camp.

Putting the MOU into action, leadership at the Institute and Nicholls State University will meet annually to discuss a yearly work plan and opportunities for collaborations. In the meantime, leadership at each organization will continue a discussion throughout the year as opportunities arise.

Nicholls State University expands the Institute’s collaborations with universities around the country and the world, including existing MOUs with Tulane ByWater Institute, the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, the Universidad de Los Lagos (Chile), Columbia University’s Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, as well as global organizations including Deltares in the Netherlands, Ecole des Ingénieurs de la Ville de Paris and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme based in Samoa.


CONTACT: Jacob Batte, Media Relations and Publications Coordinator, 985.448.4141 or

CONTACT: Amy Wold, Director of Communications, Water Institute of the Gulf, 225.227.2723 or

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