UNO and GNO, Inc. Announce New Coastal Engineering and Science Certificates


NEW ORLEANS — Today, the University of New Orleans (UNO) and Greater New Orleans, Inc. (GNO, Inc.) announced the establishment of a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Engineering and a Graduate Certificate in Coastal Sciences. Both certificates were approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents today. The establishment of these certificates will fill a growing market demand by focusing on coastal environments like those found in the Gulf Coast. Both certificate courses will be offered online beginning in the spring 2015 semester.

“The New Orleans region has a chance to turn one of its greatest challenges – stabilizing the coast – into one of its greatest strengths,” said Michael Hecht, President and CEO of Greater New Orleans, Inc. “As we proceed with restoring our own coastline, communities from around the world will seek our services to solve their own water challenges. UNO students with Coastal Engineering and Science Certificates will be there to meet this demand. Further, Southeast Louisiana will be positioned as the epicenter of coastal restoration and water management.”

“Students who enroll in these certificate programs will benefit from the deep expertise of our College of Engineering and College of Sciences in the area of coastal restoration,” said UNO President Peter J. Fos. “The University is committed to helping solve the critical challenges of our region, and these programs will provide professional-level preparation to the men and women who work in coastal sciences and engineering. We looking forward to working closely with GNO, Inc. to promote these important credentials.”

Nine months ago, GNO, Inc., began to gather information from civil engineering and other related firms involved in coastal restoration to assess critical workforce needs. The findings indicated a high demand for coastal delta engineering and sciences, both from students entering the workforce and for current working professionals. Using this information, UNO was able to draw on its existing knowledge base to craft the certificates’ format and curriculum. The certificates will be offered both locally to students in the classroom and globally to working professionals via an online platform.

“Educating our local student population and the wider professional community about the unique challenges brought about by a deltaic coastal environment is crucial for ensuring we have the talent to restore our coast,” said Jerome Zeringue, Chair of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities. “Given the 50-year timeline of Louisiana’s Coastal Master Plan, we anticipate that the need for professionals with this knowledge base will be in demand for the long-term. It will be a natural fit for UNO and the CPRA to develop partnerships going forward to mentor, guide and employ students in the Coastal Certificate programs.”

“Given the deterioration of the Louisiana coastline and the state’s Coastal Master Plan, there is a present and long-term need for educated professionals with knowledge of coastal sciences and engineering,” said Scott Kirkpatrick, President of the Coast Builders Coalition. “The curriculum set forth in both certificates will be vitally important given its specialization on soft soil deltaic coastal zones found here in Louisiana. These certificates will allow us to more easily recruit talent from the university and provide a means for our members’ existing employees to gain this vital knowledge through the online teaching platform.”

GNO, Inc. will work with UNO and industry partners to develop a marketing plan to promote these courses and drive participation from local businesses, as well as national and international businesses.

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About Greater New Orleans, Inc.

GNO, Inc. is the regional economic development organization, serving to coordinate, consolidate, and catalyze economic development activity. The GNO, Inc. Mission is to create jobs and wealth in the Greater New Orleans community. The GNO, Inc. Vision is for the Greater New Orleans region to fulfill its potential as one of the best places in the country to grow a company, and raise a family.

More information can be found at www.gnoinc.org.

The University of New Orleans (UNO) is a major research university in one of the world’s most fascinating cities. For more than 50 years, it has been one of the city’s foremost public resources, offering a diverse set of world-class, research-based programs, advancing shared knowledge and adding to the city’s industry, culture and economy. Since 1958, UNO has educated students from all 64 Louisiana parishes, all 50 states in the United States and more than 100 countries. Today UNO offers more than 40 undergraduate and pre-professional programs and more than 40 graduate programs. For more information visit www.uno.edu