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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Christopher D'Elia, PhD
LSU School of the Coast and Environment

Christopher F. D'Elia is a Professor and Dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at LSU. Dr. D’Elia earned his A.B. in Biology from Middlebury College, his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Georgia, and did postdoctoral work at UCLA and at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Prior to joining Louisiana State University in July 2009, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Environmental Science & Policy and Marine Science at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. There he also directed the International Ocean Institute-USA and the Center for Science and Policy Applications for the Coastal Environment. He has was Vice President for Research & SUNY Research Foundation Operations Manager at the University at Albany, SUNY.

He served as Director of the Maryland Sea Grant College Program of the University System of Maryland from 1989-1999. He has held appointments as the Ruth Patrick Distinguished Scholar in Aquatic Science at the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia), and as the Director of the Biological Oceanography Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Dr. D’Elia has held numerous research grants and has authored or coauthored over sixty scientific publications on the nutrient dynamics of estuaries and coral reefs, and on science policy. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on numerous advisory panels to the National Science Foundation and other federal, state and private funding agencies.

He has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program and has been Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources and Co-Chair of the Board on Oceans and Atmosphere of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC).

He is serving a second 3-year term as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO representing the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. He is also a board member and Chair of the Southeastern Universities Research Association’s (SURA) Coastal and Environmental Research Committee, and serves as Principal Investigator of the LSU component of the USDI South Central Climate Science Center.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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