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BARA Pair Teams with Tulane for Gulf Research Project

Diane Austin (School of Anthropology Professor and Director) and Ben McMahan (Assistant Professor of Anthropolgy) of BARA are the University of Arizona co-investigators on a three-year, $2.1 million research project awarded to Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine on behalf of an interdisciplinary team of researchers that include, along with Tulane and the University of Arizona, the United Houma Nation, Louisiana Sea Grant, Louisiana State University, University of Illinois, and University of New Orleans. The project, funded by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Gulf Research Program’s Thriving Communities Grants 5 funding opportunity, aims to enable the United Houma Nation to determine how to support its citizens to adapt to climate-related and other short- and long-term stressors while maintaining the integrity of its community and culture.

The United Houma Nation is a Louisiana state-recognized tribe trying to maintain its unique culture during dramatic climatic, environmental and socioeconomic change. Tribal citizens have sustained livelihoods and communities in southeast Louisiana’s shifting landscape for generations. Today, however, ongoing coastal land loss combined with the cumulative impacts of health, social, and economic disparities pose new challenges for the Tribe. Innovative solutions are required. This need for innovation is the impetus for the Tribe’s decision to partner with university researchers for this community-based participatory research project. The research team will examine existing and emerging stressors, identify resilience strategies, and produce actionable information, tools, and interventions that can be used by the Tribe to navigate these challenges. Project results may help other Gulf Coast communities facing similar issues.

The Gulf Research Program was established at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine with $500 million of settlement funds paid out over five years (2013-2018) by the companies found responsible for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Read about all four of the Gulf Research Program projects funded; the UA/Tulane project is second in the list. (Anthro News date: 10/25/2019)