Free, Open to the Public

Dr. Christopher F. D'Elia, Professor and Dean, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University smiling and wearing a blue pinstripe suit
Dr. Christopher F. D’Elia, Professor and Dean, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University

The world’s delta systems are in peril.  Deltas, where rivers meet the sea (or another body of water), are places where 7% of the world’s population lives, are sources of mineral resources, agricultural production, and maritime trade, even beyond the confines of the deltas themselves.  Dr. D’Elia will discuss the plight of global delta systems, and will highlight the Mississippi Delta and coastal Louisiana as case studies.

The Challenge of the World’s Deltas
Dr. Christopher F. D’Elia, Professor and Dean, College of the Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University
Tuesday, October 12th, 2021
6:00pm to 7:00pm Pacific Time
Online via Zoom (details below)


About the Speaker

Christopher F. D’Elia earned his A.B. in Biology from Middlebury College, his Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Georgia, and did postdoctoral work at UCLA and at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  Prior to joining Louisiana State University in July 2009 as Professor and Dean of the College of the Coast and Environment, he was Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for Research and Graduate Studies, Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Environmental Science & Policy and Marine Science at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.  There he also directed the International Ocean Institute-USA and the Center for Science and Policy Applications for the Coastal Environment.  He has also held professorships in Biological Science and Public Administration and Policy and was Vice President for Research & SUNY Research Foundation Operations Manager at the University at Albany, SUNY.  From 1977-1999, he was a Professor at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.  He served as Director of the Maryland Sea Grant College Program of the University System of Maryland from 1989-1999.  He has held appointments as the Ruth Patrick Distinguished Scholar in Aquatic Science at the Academy of Natural Sciences (Philadelphia), as the Director of the Biological Oceanography Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. and as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.  Dr. D’Elia has held numerous research grants and has authored or coauthored over sixty scientific publications on the nutrient dynamics of estuaries and coral reefs, science policy and energy & environment.  He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A Senior Fellow of the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography; and has served on numerous advisory panels to the National Science Foundation and other federal, state and private funding agencies.  He was elected to membership in the Cosmos Club, Washington, DC, in 1994. Dr. D’Elia is a former President of the Estuarine Research Federation and former Secretary, Chair, and Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.  He has chaired the Mid-Atlantic Regional Marine Research Board and the Public Affairs Committees of the Ecological Society of America and of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography.  He has served twice as President, and as Co-Chair of the External Relations Committee, of the Sea Grant Association.  He has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee to the Chesapeake Bay Program and has been Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee of the Commission on Food, Environment and Renewable Resources and Co-Chair of the Board on Oceans and Atmosphere of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and a member of the Executive Committee of the NASULGC Council on Research Policy and Graduate Education.  He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Hudson River Foundation from 1998-2014 and also served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Science Center of Pinellas County from 2007 - 2009.   He is serving a second 3-year term as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO representing the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation.  He has been a board member (2011-) and Chair of the Southeastern Universities Research Association’s (SURA) Coastal and Environmental Research Committee (2013-2016; 2019-).  He was a member of the Board of Directors for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra (2011-2017); a founding principal and 2011-2012, 2016-2017 and 2020-2021 chair of the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative; and is the Principal Investigator of the LSU component of the USDI/USGS South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center.  He was also a board of trustees member (2014-2020) of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, DC.

Suggested Pre-Reading

Post-Presentation Resources

Zoom Link

Center for the Blue Economy Speaker Series   

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Meeting ID:  913 5122 5266

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Please note:   We will be recording this lecture to post to the Center for the Blue Economy YouTube and here on this webpage.  Participants will be notified upon joining the meeting that it is being recorded, and must consent to participate.  We reserve the right to exclude disruptive participants.   



The Center for the Blue Economy is a research organization at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.  Our mission is to promote a sustainable ocean and coastal economy (the “Blue Economy”) through leadership in research, analysis, and education.  For questions contact: Rachel C. at or visit or call 831-647-4183 (must leave message and receive call back).