Research Projects

Current Projects

  • Community Rating System (CRS) User Group Support

    The CRS, a voluntary program available to National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) participating communities, provides incentives for communities to go beyond the minimum floodplain management regulations established by the NFIP to minimize risk. The purpose of a CRS User's Group is to serve as a support and educational resource for local communities who participate in the CRS. UNO-CHART facilitates two separate CRS User's Groups in Louisiana; one around the Lake Pontchartrain area, and one in the Baton Rouge area. These two groups are comprised of only 16 of the 42 CRS participating communities in of Louisiana, but make up almost half of the total CRS discounts in the State. Groups are comprised of local officials who have been designated as CRS Coordinator for their communities. UNO-CHART provides support through facilitation of meetings and research.

  • Community Education & Outreach (FEMA through GOHSEP)

    UNO-CHART has been funded to implement mitigation outreach and education projects intended to inform citizens, business owners, non-profit organizations, and local officials about the risks to which they are vulnerable and ways in which those risks can be reduced through multiple mitigation methods. Each of the following five projects will work towards increasing the overall awareness of the ability to address potential disasters before they happen:  Continuity Contingency Planning and Mitigation for Community Organizations: Businesses, Government Agencies, Faith Organizations and Non-Profit Groups; Campus-Wide Coastal Hazards Resiliency Curriculum & Development of Hazard Mitigation Planning Curriculum; Risk Literacy; Disaster Resilient University State-Wide Conference; Community Executives Program in Storm Risk Management.

  • Repetitive Floodless Reduction Project for the State of LA/TX – Post Hurricane Katrina (FEMA)

    This project focuses on working with communities to reduce their numbers of repetitive losses (per FEMA's definition of repetitive loss) through three major deliverables: (1) website and web-based data portal, (2) area analysis, (3) outreach.

  • Mississippi/Alabama Sea Grant Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool Application (Partnering with PIES)

    This project worked to bring the newly released Sea Level Rise Visualization Tool to coastal residents to assess its usefulness and to discuss with residents the impacts of the projected sea level rise. Residents identified key points and resources which are at risk and discussed ways they have adapted in the past to land loss and sea level rise, as well as ways they may adapt to these new predictions. All findings will be incorporated into GIS and given back to MS/AL Sea Grant in order for them to make modifications to the tool that may improve its usability.

  • Blending Remote Sensing and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to Support Ecosystem Health (CREST-NOAA; Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant)

    Coastal erosion is challenging the very existence of communities in coastal Louisiana, especially through affecting the fisheries. A traditional community is partnering with physical scientists and engineers to assess and respond to marsh health. By combining Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) with Remote Sensing, the team is investigating the nature of coastal land loss and its effect on the ecosystem underpinning of coastal, natural resource extractive communities.

Recently Completed Projects

  • Coastal Restoration Companies and the RESTORE Act – A Telephone Survey (Environmental Defense Fund)

    Louisiana and the other Gulf Coast states are expected to receive significant new funding to support coastal restoration work through the Deepwater Horizon payments and settlements. We seek to collect information from businesses that will inform us on the issues relating to the economic impact, long-term success and implementation of projects to sustain sensitive coastal areas.

  • The Socioeconomic Effects of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Gulf Coast Communities (Oxfam)

    UNO-CHART is examining the impact of the BP Deepwater Horizon Macondo oil well blowout and disaster on the affected Gulf Coast communities. The goal is to show the array of impacts and portray a sense of the severity of each type of impact experienced by residents.

  • Hazard Mitigation Project Scoping & Plan Amendment (DHS-FEMA/GOHSEP)

    Through this grant, UNO-CHART will assist the University in identifying, evaluating, prioritizing, and scoping potential mitigation projects for our campus.

  • Hazard Mitigation Plan for the UNO Satellite Locations (DHS-FEMA/GOHSEP)

    In 2006, UNO-CHART led the development of a FEMA approved Mitigation Plan for the University's main campus. This grant allows us to assist the University in creating a Plan for its satellite locations.

  • Reconsidering the "New Normal": Impact of Trauma on Urban Ecological and Social Diversity (NSF – subcontract to Tulane University)

    In collaboration with Tulane and Xavier Universities, CHART is conducting an NSF-funded interdisciplinary research project on the impacts of traumatic events on social and ecological diversity, with New Orleans utilized as a case study. CHART's role on this project is to collect neighborhood-level data in the Lower 9th Ward, Hollygrove, and Pontchartrain Park neighborhoods, to trace the social networks, and to conduct comparative analyses of pre- and post-event diversity.

  • Community Engagement for Storm Risk Reduction (LaDOTD)

    State floodplain managers will partner with university faculty and personnel to engage the range of flood risk stakeholders in two communities - eastern and western part of Louisiana so that all partners can grow in capacity to support and collaborate on risk reduction planning and implementation.

  • Analysis of Stafford Act Performance for Catastrophe (Ford Foundation)

    Extensive concern has been expressed by governments, citizen victims and non-governmental organizations about the manner in which the federal government, and the state and local, responded to the catastrophe of hurricane Katrina. Systematic analysis of these issues is being undertaken.

  • Evaluation of Project, “Toward a Successful Evacuation of the Entire New Orleans Community” (Baptist Community Ministries/ARC)

    This grant provides funds to conduct an evaluation of the project entitled “Our Brothers Keeper (OBK)”, a faith-based evacuation project for the City of New Orleans. OBK project partners include: American Red Cross, Regional Planning Commission, and Total Community Action.

  • Community Elevation Conversations(PERI)

    A project to inform homeowners about elevating their homes to reduce flood risk, including education about government funding and other resources, to encourage a greater number of successful home elevations in the post-Katrina rebuilding process.

  • Mitigation Funding and Homeowner Assistance (Solutient)

    UNO-CHART is assisting Solutient in providing homeowner consultations regarding individual mitigation programs and related funding. This project served residents of lower Jefferson Parish.

  • SOARS (UCAR)

    In partnership with SOARS, UNO-CHART engages university students from around the country in a participatory action research model (PAR) in ethnically diverse, at risk, coastal communities in Southeast Louisiana.

  • The BP Horizon Oil Disaster: Media Accounts and Community Impacts (NSF)

    UNO-CHART partnered with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette to address the following research question: What is the impact of the media accounting on the ways that communities come to understand the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster and are there intervening factors that mitigate community adoption of the media accounting?

  • Floodplain Management Policy & Program Evaluation (ASFPM)

    UNO-CHART partnered with ASFPM to assist the Federal Interagency Floodplain Management Task Force FIFM-TF in the task of identifying impacts and barriers of federal programs with regard to achieving the goals of floodplain management, and those policies and programs that promote and support sound floodplain management.

  • Enhancing GOM Coastal Community Resiliency (NOAA)

    This project employs a PAR (Participatory Action Research) methodology for building local capacity in three South Louisiana coastal communities. The PAR methodology is a hands-off approach to research; university researchers are able to work alongside with community members over an extended time. There is a genuine respect for place, ideas and culture.

  • Resident-Driven Action Planning for Community Resiliency in Plaquemines Parish (Greater New Orleans Foundation)

    In partnership with residents of Plaquemines Parish, the UNO-CHART project team utilizes Participatory Action Research methods to work towards increased citizen involvement in the planning process for the Parish. The team works directly with the residents to ensure that local knowledge and the community's own vision are included in the multiple planning efforts that will have direct effects on Plaquemines Parish.

  • Local Coastal Zone Management Capacity Post Hurricanes Katrina and Rita: A Comparative Study (Louisiana Sea Grant)

    The hurricane events of 2005 have brought into critical focus the need to assess how best to provide the necessary tools to build knowledge and local capabilities to meet the needs of present and future challenges in coastal management in Louisiana. Following after a pre-hurricane study of the effectiveness of Louisiana's Local Coastal Program (LCP) in building local coastal zone management capacity in local decision-makers (Norris-Raynbird, 2006), this study is aimed at gathering post-event comparison data to examine the current status of Local Coastal Program development, knowledge of local decision makers pertaining to coastal zone management issues and perceptions of vulnerability.

  • How Safe/How Soon? Community Mitigation Implementation (Blue Moon Foundation via EDF)

    In the process of considering reducing risk from coastal flooding, communities are seeking support for a speedy response to more safe conditions by implementing non-structural efforts complementary to levees. EDF seeks to support such best practices using UNO-CHART and Tulane University Institute on Water Resources, Law and Policy to assist.