Research Activities


gary shaffer with a cypress treeResearch activities are conducted by those faculty, staff and students primarily from
Southeastern, and primarily from Southeastern’s Department of Biological Sciences, although other departments conduct work there as well (i.e., History, Chemistry/Physics,
Education and others). —and from other surrounding universities as well who have
active research programs in the area, or who take their classes for day time and overnight
trips to Turtle Cove. Researchers take advantage of the various wetlands easily accessed
via Turtle Cove boats and the boardwalks surrounding the Turtle Cove lodge.

For example, Gary Shaffer (pictured right–the Hammond Waste Water Effluent Site about
8 miles away from Turtle Cove) is measuring how to regrow marsh and swamps using wastewater
effluent from local municipalities. He has evaluated the effects of river diversions
and has written articles explaining how much of the Katrina flooding could have been
avoided if the levees were lined with natural wetlands. He tracks the health of the
basin by measuring tree diameter, water salinity, and tree litter. Dr. Shaffer’s lab
created one of the most widely used maps in the basin (see below): the Sustainability
Map of the Maurepas/Manchac Wetlands. For more information on Dr. Shaffer’s work,
contact him at: [email protected].

 Maurepas Sustainability Map

Kyle Piller, with funding from the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, created an
index of the fishes in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.  You can contact Dr. Piller at: [email protected]. (see below)

Janice Bossart has created an index of biological integrity that includes benthic
invertebrates, sediment microbial, and water chemistry. In other words, she’s collecting
bugs, soil, and water to test the health of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. You can
contact Dr. Bossart at: [email protected].


Recent Projects

fishesFish Index and Poster

marsh restoration projectMarsh Restoration Program

history of turtle coveThe History of Turtle Cove by Robert Hastings (PDF)