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LaDIA Fellows Program: 2014 Fellows

LaDIA Fellows Program

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2014 Fellows

2014 LA DIA Fellows

Fellow MEP Advisor
Leanna Heffner Twyla Herrington
Patrick Michaels Rusty Gaudé
Jacob Mitchell Twyla Herrington
Emily Powell Alan Matherne


Leanna Heffner is a coastal ecologist and biogeochemist working at CSS on Visualization for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and Changing Course for the State of Louisiana. Her particular focus is nutrient pollution and climate change. In 2013 Leanna completed her Ph.D. in Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island. She has taught graduate and undergraduate oceanography courses, led outreach programs for students, developed workshops for journalists, worked with coastal managers, and currently serves on the Governing Board for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Leanna is also a postdoctoral researcher in the LSU Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, where she conducts research with Dr. Robert Twilley on nutrient dynamics in emerging wetlands (newly created land) in Louisiana.

Patrick Michaels is a registered landscape architect in Mississippi and Louisiana and a LEED Accredited Professional working at CSS on the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program. Patrick brings a broad range of professional experience in urban design, planning, and landscape architecture primarily across the sectors of housing, transportation, and education. Patrick holds a BA in history and a Master’s in landscape architecture from LSU, and has completed substantial graduate level coursework in international development from American University. His research interests include community resiliency, climate adaptation, urban ecology, and trans-disciplinary collaboration.

Jacob Mitchell is a landscape architect and urban designer working at CSS on Visualization for the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. He previously worked at du Toit Allsopp Hillier in Toronto, Ontario on a variety of public projects in the Toronto area and as a Research Associate in visualization at the Center for Landscape Research at the University of Toronto. He earned his Master’s in landscape architecture at the University of Toronto and his Bachelor of environmental studies with a minor in urban studies, magna cum laude, at York University.

Emily Powell is a climate scientist working at CSS on the Louisiana Resiliency Assistance Program. She has worked in the fields of meteorology and climate science for over 10 years both domestically and abroad. She came to LSU in 2010 to pursue a PhD in geography with a focus on climate and disaster science. She previously worked as a research assistant for LSU’s Disaster Science and Management program, studying the socioeconomic impacts of changing flood insurance rate maps on coastal Louisiana communities. Her research focuses on historical trends in temperature and precipitation extremes as indicators of climate change in the southeast US. She holds an MS in geography from the University of Georgia.