Pre-College Programs
Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast

Fishing and shrimping boats on Bayou Petit Caillou.

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast

A blue crab. Louisiana produces 30% of US seafood.

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast

Fort Fourchon, the hub for offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast

Louisiana is losing a football field of wetlands every hour.

Emergency Contact Information

Families may contact us at any time during the program in the event of an emergency. Students should bring a copy of these emergency phone numbers while they are traveling as well as leaving a copy with their parents/guardians.

Lauren Watka – On-Site Director, International Programs, Brown University

Brown University Department of Public Safety

Non-emergency assistance and information


For Accepted Students:
Brown Environmental Leadership Lab: New Orleans & Louisiana Gulf Coast

Congratulations on your acceptance!

We are looking forward to your participation in this unique and engaging program. We have compiled some important information for you; please review this carefully with your family and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions at

Forms to Complete

Once, you've paid the deposit, don't forget to submit all required forms through your account.



For your referenceStudent Code of Conduct.

All items must be received by Friday, March 28, 2014.

Travel Dates and Times

Program runs from Friday, April 18 - Friday, April 25, 2014

Arrive at New Orleans Airport (MSY) between 10am and 3pm* on April 18, 2014.

Depart from New Orleans Airport (MSY) between 11am and 2pm* on April 25, 2014.

Once you have confirmed you flights, please fill outyour itinerary here.

*Please contact us at 401-863-7900 or before making a reservation if your flight is outside of these windows.

Airport Pick-up and Drop-off
Brown University staff will meet you at the New Orleans Airport for transfer to Annunciation Mission. Proceed to the end of the baggage claim area between Terminals C and D. There is a small waiting area where staff will be wearing brightly colored shirts. Call Lauren Watka at 401-523-6218 if you need help. 

If your flight is delayed
If you experience a delay while traveling to New Orleans, call or text Brown’s On-site Director, Lauren Watka, at 401-523-6218 with your new arrival time.

Before you Arrive

In order to hit the ground running, please complete the following readings (and Youtube viewing) before you arrive in Louisiana. It won't take more than an hour, and there's no test at the end, but learning a bit about the causes and consequences of wetland loss will help you get the most out of the beginning of the program. 

1.) Have a look at these two pages from Louisiana's Office of the Governor - Coastal Activities. They provide an overview of some of the issues we'll be covering in the course.

2.) Watch these two short videos produced by the United States Geological Survey.  The first explores the multiple causes of wetland loss, and the second describes the extent of land loss since 1932.

3.) Write down three questions (based on the reading/videos or not) that you'd like to be able to answer by the end of the course. We’ll ask you to submit these on our first evening.


A web conference program orientation is scheduled for Tuesday, March 18 and Thursday, April 3 at 8pm EST. Please make every effort to attend one of these two dates. 

Additional information on how to access the conference will be emailed prior to March 18.

Connect with other students on Facebook

We've created a student group on Facebook for students to connect directly with each other, and arrange travel to New Orleans together. To access, the student must be a Facebook member and have been accepted into the Program. Visit the BELL: New Orleans 2014 Facebook Group and request to join.


Please be very conservative in packing and bring only essentials. There is very limited luggage capacity in the program van and where we are staying. Note: most airlines charge extra for luggage weighing over 50 lbs. Average temperatures on the Gulf Coast in April range from a low of 55 to a high of 75 degrees.

You are required to bring the following items as these items are required for admittance on some properties and during certain activities.

Required items

Recommended items

Spending Money

All your food and housing is covered in the program fee as well as entry fees to various sites. You will only need money while you are traveling to and from New Orleans and for purchasing souvenirs. Note:  Shopping time will be very limited as the focus of this trip is on Coastal Louisiana’s natural environment and traditional culture.

What not to bring

We recommend that students do not bring laptops, iPads, or valuable electronics.

Health and Well-Being

The Bell Gulf Coast program includes moderately physically challenging activities. We will spend a significant amount of time walking and on one day will do 2-3 hours of kayaking/canoeing. All students will wear life vests in any boating activity. 

For your safety and comfort, we expect students to fully disclose any and all medical conditions or dietary needs on the required medical forms. We will always be within 1-2 hours of a medical facility. For minor problems we have a well-equipped first aid kit and staff certified in first aid. 

We must be informed of dietary restrictions and allergies well in advance of the program’s start date in order to make accommodations. Please fill out the Guest Allergy Form with any dietary concerns.Snacks will be provided during the day.

CELL phones and Communication with Families

We recommend that students carry a cell phone that can be used during travel to/from Louisiana. Students will be very busy and must restrict their phone use to free time in the evening. Letting go of the frequent connection to phone, internet and social media helps us form a community and adjust to a new environment and culture more quickly; we ask students who do have phones to limit their use.

Fellow Students

There will be approximately 20-30 students from all over the U.S and the world in the program. Usually, there are slightly more girls than boys ranging from grades 10-12.


There is no homework in the traditional sense. For the most part students will be doing experiential learning together with some journal writing.