UNO center to pursue environmental research

The University of New Orleans has established the Joseph Canizaro and James Livingston Center for Environmental Informatics, which will focus on the science of information applied to environmental science. The center was approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents at its September meeting.

The center will be housed within the Department of Computer Science and will be directed by department chairman Mahdi Abdelguerfi. Researchers will use computer science to develop systems to better manage environmental projects.

“UNO’s new environmental informatics center will be the first in Louisiana and the Gulf States region,” Abdelguerfi said. “The center will help attract funding as well as highly qualified students, faculty and staff to the university.”

Establishment of the center was made possible by a donation from real estate developer Joseph Canizaro and Maj. Gen. James Livingston that will fund three endowed professorships in UNO’s computer science department.

Major research projects of the center will include: wireless fish tagging of speckled trout in Lake Pontchartrain to better understand their movement patterns and habitat use; numerical modeling to estimate sustainable oyster harvests for public reefs in Louisiana; monitoring fishing vessels to better manage commercial fisheries; and evaluation of the impacts of freshwater diversions on oyster habitat suitability.

Marshall joins Tulane’s governing board

E. Pierce Marshall Jr., president and chief executive officer of Élevage Capital Management LLC, a Dallas-based investment management company, has joined the Tulane University board.

Marshall earned a bachelor’s degree in 1990 from the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane and a law degree from Yale Law School in 1995. He is a member of the Tulane Business School Council and the Paul Tulane Society, which honors benefactors whose generosity has advanced programs, professorships and projects across the university.

Marshall is also a vice president and general counsel of MarOpCo Inc., a shared services company supporting the various enterprises and foundations operated by the Marshall family.

“Tulane played a pivotal role in providing the foundation for my professional life through the education I received there, as well as the incredible leadership opportunities in student organizations supported by the university,” Marshall said.

Loyola to display renovated Monroe Hall

Sweeping renovations to Loyola University’s J. Edgar Monroe Memorial Hall will be on display this week at an open house and rededication ceremony. The recently completed three-year project has added two floors and 114,000 square feet, improving classroom and meeting space in the building.

Brother Guy Consolmagno, S.J., whom Pope Francis appointed director of the Vatican Observatory on Sept. 18, will give a talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the building’s remodeled Nunemaker Auditorium titled “Exploring New Worlds, from Peru to Mars: Jesuits and Science.”

Forty percent of undergraduate classes at Loyola meet in Monroe Hall, which was built in 1969, doubling then-available classroom space and providing up-to-date laboratories and facilities for chemistry, physics, mathematics and science.

Recently, with help from donors including the J. Edgar Monroe Foundation and the Edward G. Schlieder Foundation, Monroe Hall received extensive renovations, creating new chemistry, physics and biology laboratories as well as a 3,000-square-foot rooftop greenhouse made possible by the Azby Fund.

The new home as well to the theater arts, dance and visual arts departments, Monroe Hall now includes design and studio art spaces where students study sculpture, welding, printmaking, painting, drawing and graphic design.

An open house from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday will offer a tour of the remodeled building and many interactive demonstrations.

A formal rededication and blessing of the building will take place at 12:30 p.m. Thursday.