Shea Penland
Coastal Education
and Research Facility

The Coastal Education and Research Facility (CERF) is a field station for the University of New Orleans Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences (PIES). It is a working lab with graduate and postdoctoral level research ongoing year-round. The CERF is uniquely situated between the Lake Borgne and Lake Pontchartrain Estuaries on the Chef Pass tidal inlet. The CERF is located in the middle of one of the best learning environments in the nation for undergraduate biological and environmental sciences. The Pontchartrain basin is one of the most dynamic estuaries along the Gulf coast. The CERF is also located less than a quarter of a mile from the nations largest urban wildlife refuge, the 23,000 acre Bayou Sauvage National Wildlife Refuge.

Mission Statement

The mission of the CERF is education and research in the basic estuarine processes, coastal environmental science, and coastal restoration. Programs at the field station are central to the University of New Orleans' mission to provide interdisciplinary educational and research opportunities addressing an area of vital concern--coastal erosion and land loss.

A major goal of the CERF, and the parent institution, the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences (PIES), is to create a corridor for research, from the upper reaches of the Pontchartrain drainage basin rivers, down through the Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne estuaries, to the Chandeleur Islands, where a long-term nekton database has been established.


Shea Penland Coastal Education and Research FacilityIsle Derniere - Students on  the beachChildren doing research in the wetlandsCanoe