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2010 Junior Class Field Trip

Harnessing the Mississippi River and Delta: The Natural System, Infrastructure, Risks and Impact
September 29 – October 3, 201

Sponsors:  This field trip was made possible by the generous support of the Murphy Travel Fund, the University of Notre Dame College of Engineering and Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences


Field Trip Fast Facts

Hosts: USACE Engineer Research and Development Center, US Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District, Kiewit, Gulf IntraCoastal Constructors, Inc., Massman Construction Co., MTI (Massman Construction Co., Traylor Bros., Inc. and IHI Inc.), University of New Orleans

Organizers: Diane Westerink, Joannes Westerink

Purpose of this trip: To understand the Mississippi River and its deltaic system; the major transportation and water supply system it represents; the major hub of the system (New Orleans where ocean going vessels transfer their goods to/from river barges); how to maintain the navigability of the system; how to maintain the fresh water supply, the fisheries, and the wetlands; and the flooding risks involved (both from the river and the ocean). Man's influence on the system has evolved over the past 300 years, but the Katrina failures and devastation of five years ago spurred on one of the largest and most intensive infrastructure rebuilds in US history: in particular, the 15 billion dollar redesign and construction of the flood mitigation and risk reduction system around New Orleans.

Eads Bridge

Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Heading South

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg MS

Old River Control

Western Closure Complex of the New Orleans Flood Risk Reduction System

Huey P Long Bridge Expansion, New Orleans

Professor Denise Reed Coastal Wetlands Lecture, University of New Orleans

Natchez Riverboat, New Orleans

Lake Borgne - Paris Road Closure, New Orleans

Mr B.'s, New Orleans


For more trip photos visit

Geology Field Trip – New Mexico and Big Bend, Texas

Spring 2011

Sponsor: Department of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Organizer: Peter C. Burns and Ralph Milliken

Purpose of Trip: This trip points out recent volcanic episodes in the Albuquerque area; exposure of the Great Unconformity on Sandia Peak; Travel to the Hemez Mountains and caldera area; Explore Bandelier National Monument; Visit the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM; Explore Big Bend National Park.