Panel discussion with How to Build a Forest artists and local environmental professionals and scientists Dave Baker, Alex Kokler, Monique Verdin about the current pressing environmental issues facing Louisiana.
This special conversation will take place within the installation in the CAC Warehouse.
David Baker has a BS in Botany from Louisiana State University and 20 years of experience in wetland ecology. He was the land manager for the Nature Conservancy of Louisiana, and has 3 years in oil field consulting as a site restoration ecologist. He has been managing the forest at A Studio in the Woods for 10 years. His background in Tulane's Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department is long-term forest evaluation and mapping in hurricane-impacted environments. The monitoring of damage from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Isaac has given Baker the information needed to establish a paper evaluating potential damage from hurricanes based on species.
Alexander S. Kolker
Alexander S. Kolker is an Associate Professor at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, and teaches in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University. He is a coastal geologist who has worked in systems around the nation, including the Florida Everglades, the wetlands surrounding Long Island, NY, and the Mississippi River Delta. His work has examined the influence of climatic and meteorological variability on coasts and wetlands, the role that subsidence plays as a driver of wetland loss in the Mississippi River Delta, and the patterns and processes associated with groundwater transport in deltas. He is also actively understanding the science underlying coastal restoration efforts in Louisiana. He received his Bachelors' degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his Masters' and Doctoral degrees from Stony Brook University. He currently lives in New Orleans, LA.
Monique Verdin is a native daughter of southeast Louisiana and a resident of eastern St. Bernard Parish. Her intimate documentation of the Mississippi River Deltas’ indigenous Houma nation exposes the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change. Monique is the subject/co-writer/co-producer of the documentary My Louisiana Love (2012). Her multidisciplinary work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is included in an assortment of and environmentally inspired projects ranging from the Unfathomable City: A New Orleans Atlas (2013) to the multiplatform/performance/ecoexperience Cry You One (2012-2015). Since the spring of 2015, she has been working on a new project, The Land Memory Bank & Seed Exchange, a series of southeast Louisiana activations engaged in the building of a community record and the sharing of native seeds and local knowledge through citizen collaboration.