We're not playing "tourist in your own town" often enough. At least, that's how we feel. So, we're making a point to do a little bit more of that!
One of the first places we visited was the LSU Center for River Studies, and if you aren't familiar with what we're talking about, add this place to your "must-see in Baton Rouge" checklist.
What Is The LSU Center for River Studies?
The LSU Center for River Studies is a partnership between LSU and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and one of the buildings that make up The Water Campus near downtown Baton Rouge.
Inside you'll find different exhibits, some of which are interactive, and a 10,000 sq. foot model of the Lower Mississippi River. This model is based on the topography and bathymetry of Louisiana's Mississippi River Delta and is one of the world's largest movable bed physical models.
And it is SO awesome. Right here in Baton Rouge, this incredible tool can replicate a portion of the Mississippi River and helps with both research and education. It can also be used to test possible future changes to the river.
Our Visit to the LSU Center for River Studies
We walked in as a school field trip was wrapping up. Tour Director, Nancy Broussard, was explaining the projection that was illuminating the river model from above. And whether you have an affinity for the Mississippi River or not, the presentation is so intriguing, you can't help but be a captive audience. And it seemed that was just as true for the students visiting.
After speaking to Nancy for ourselves, it turns out she was just as important to our visit as getting to see the model itself. She's a wealth of knowledge, passionate about her work, and even ended her presentation with a book recommendation... (our kinda people ;)
Once the field trip moved out, Clint Willson, the Center for River Studies director and a Mike N. Dooley LSU Civil & Environmental Engineering professor, took us downstairs for an up-close look at this massive and marvelous model.
Touring the Model at the Center for River Studies
When it comes to using it in their work, they're able to pump water and sediment (the black material you see above) as needed through the model, which is made of high-density foam.
How cool is it that they're able to test and study the Lower Mississippi River all right here?! And even more so, that we're able to visit and learn about this waterway that's so crucial to where we live.
Emily Fertitta (left) gives Madeline a closer look at part of the model they're focusing on for their work.
Plan a visit to the LSU Center for River Studies
We can't wait to visit the LSU Center for River Studies again and watch the full presentation. If you're hoping to visit, too, you can email email@example.com with any questions or to schedule a visit.
However, you can also join in on "First Free Sunday" where you can visit some of the city's museums for free on the first Sunday of each month. And the LSU Center for River Studies is on the list!
You'll most likely leave knowing a little more than you did about the Mighty Mississippi.
Check out the full list of participating museums.
We also, of course, had to document this garfish sighting before we left. ;)
Published 5/31/23; Last Updated 5/31/23