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ULM hosts Student Showcase for Environmental Education Grant Student Showcase

Published May 1, 2024

EPA Showcase

CAPTION: Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee addresses the crowd of students at the ULM-EPA Environmental Education Grant Student Showcase.  

MONROE, LA – The University of Louisiana Monroe hosted a group of local high school students and guests from state and federal agencies at the ULM-EPA Environmental Education Grant Student Showcase on April 26, 2024. The event was a culmination of a three-year grant whose theme and purpose was “Creating the Next Generation of Environmental Stewards." Partner schools included Caldwell Parish High School, Neville High School, Ouachita Parish High School, St. Frederick High School, and West Monroe High School.  

“It has been an incredibly enriching experience while engaging with students and their teachers on this multi-year project,” said Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, Professor of Biology at ULM. “The project highlighted how educators at ULM can collaborate with area schools to empower the next generation, fostering environmental awareness and formulating actions for a better Louisiana,” he added. 

The event featured speakers from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, and Petroleum and Automation Consultants, Inc.  

The students also set up projects detailing the information they had learned over the previous four years during the grant cycle. A variety of projects were developed at each of the schools based on their access to natural resources and student-teacher interests including water quality enhancement using phytoremediation, agricultural runoff tests, creating rain gardens to treat surface runoff water, and nurturing native pollinator habitats. 

The ULM-EPA Environmental Education Grant was awarded to ULM in 2020, which then partnered with the five local high schools, who each received sub-awards from the grant.  

The ULM team in charge of the grant included Dr. Kevin Baer, an environmental toxicologist, Dr. Saswati Majumdar, a science education expert, and Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharjee, a plant ecologist.  

“The project looked deeply into environmental stewardship from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives, thus painting a finer and broader picture of what our students are capable of when given the right opportunities,” said Dr. Majumdar.  

This grant was very rewarding for me personally,” said Dr. Baer. “Through the workshops, field trips, and hands-on activities, the students will be equipped to be the next generation of environmentally conscious citizens and environmental stewards.” 

Speaking to the students at the event, Dr. Bhattacharjee said, “You have been the heart and soul of this project and the driving force behind its success. Through your dedication, collaboration, and determination, you have demonstrated the incredible power of teamwork and the limitless possibilities that arise when we come together with a shared purpose.” 

Read more about the grant award here. 

Read more about one of the ULM-EPA Field Day events that took place in 2022 in the Spring 2023 issue of the ULM Magazine.  

Project Examples

CAPTION: Examples of the student showcase at the ULM-EPA event on April 26, 2024.