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:

 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: (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:


Recent Projects

fishesFish Index and Poster

marsh restoration projectMarsh Restoration Program

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