Nicholas School Internship Blogs

Nicholas School visits the Bayou
by -- July 14th, 2011

Scottee Cantrell and Nancy Kelly from the Nicholas School are down in the bayou this week catching up on the summer fun!

Sunrise in Louisiana

Sunrise in Louisiana

Scottee and Nancy from the Nicholas School Office of Marketing and Communications team are here to interview us about our summer internship experiences. They also planned last year’s visits by Nicholas School Dean Bill Chameides and other school officials after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, which led to our project and the DukeEngage program here this summer.

We spent yesterday at the beautiful bayou childhood home of Rebecca Templeton of Bayou Grace learning how to cook jambalaya and exploring the huge property. This included Rebecca’s son Jacob driving us around on tractors and playing “tickle the alligators” in the bayou with reed grass (at one point we saw nine alligators).

House

House

Rebecca’s son Jacob and daughter Avery interviewed their grandfather, Thaddeus Pellegrin, last year about his life as a shrimper in coastal Louisiana on the NRDC website’s “Stories from the Gulf: Living with the BP Oil Disaster.” Mr. Pellegrin speaks of a unique way of life that will be lost as coastal Louisiana continues to disappear.

Our group is incredibly grateful for the opportunity this summer to meet Rebecca’s wonderful family, and for all the hospitality everyone down the bayou has shown us. We have gotten to listen to the stories of the bayou people, and have really become a part of this community for the past two months.

Duke students ecstatic after eating delicious homemade jambalaya

Duke students ecstatic after eating delicious homemade jambalaya

Back behind the house

Back behind the house

Today we headed back to the barrier island Grand Isle to spend the day with Jean and Seth of the Louisiana Nature Conservancy.

Grand Isle cemetery (can't bury people underground in Louisiana because of flooding)

Grand Isle cemetery (can't bury people underground in Louisiana because of flooding)

We toured the island and the 3.4 miles of oyster reef that TNC began restoring in April, 2010. Because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the reef is not expected to be completed until later this year.

Observing the oyster reef

Observing the oyster reef

A storm's coming!

A storm's coming!

Enjoying the sun while we can.

Enjoying the sun while we can.

1 Comment

  1. Tawnee
    Jul 14, 2011

    So glad you were able to take a (short vacation? perhaps?) down there, Scottee and Nancy! And Sarah and Heidi, I’m glad you all seem like you’ve had a very engaging, eye-opening internship down in the bayou. All your posts have been very interesting and informative. Spending some time at Rebecca Templeton’s childhood home sounds like a fun way to end your summer there!

©2016 Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University | Box 90328 | Durham, NC 27708
how to contact us > | login to the site > | site disclaimers >

footer nav stuff