Message from the Director

Welcome to the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) at Louisiana State University. The Coastal Studies Institute is an interdisciplinary organization established to foster collaborative coastal science and engineering research in coastal settings, with over twenty leading faculty and more students spanning five departments in five colleges and schools at LSU. CSI is a centerpiece of LSU's Commitment to the Coast.

photo: coast cruiseCSI was established as an interdisciplinary and field-oriented research organization in 1952 to address the US Navy's needs, with long-term funding from the Geography Programs of the Office of Naval Research. Over the years, we have broadened our sources for research support, and CSI has received research funding through competitive grants and contracts from a wide range of federal and state agencies, and industrial partners.

CSI was expanded and reorganized in 2012, with support from the LSU Office of Research and Economic Development. CSI is now a central organization and point of contact at LSU that focuses on interdisciplinary coastal science and engineering, spanning the expertise of faculty in multiple colleges and schools. We actively promote coastal activities at LSU to State and Federal agencies.

Our research is interdisciplinary, including coastal geology, engineering, and oceanography, emphasizing deltaic, shelf and slope sedimentary environments. Our research capabilities include a wide range of field operations, physical and numerical modeling, and laboratory facilities, from deep-ocean moorings to beach monitoring, wave tanks, physical models, high-performance computing, and biogeochemical analyses.

Our primary research goal is to develop scientific knowledge, engineering principles, and planning tools to facilitate a resilient human presence and renaissance on deltaic coasts, which are threatened world-wide by land loss and declining water and sediment supplies. An additional broader goal is to enhance LSU research efforts in coastal and shelf-sea processes and products around the world.

CSI recognizes that sustaining human presence on deltaic coastlines is essential to healthy coastal societies and economies. Accordingly, CSI scientists and engineers work closely with the Coastal Sustainability Studio, Center for Coastal Resiliency, Center of River Studies, and other LSU units and faculty with coastal research in social science and economics, to foster a fully integrated LSU approach to the study, conservation, and growth of coastal communities and environments.


Kevin Xu

Director, Coastal Studies Institute

Professor, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences