Gulf of Mexico
Laci Melancon has been named the executive director of the Coastal Center at Nicholls State University.

LA - Executive Director of the Coastal Center at Nicholls State University Named

THIBODAUX, La. – Laci Melancon has been named the executive director of the Coastal Center at Nicholls State University.

“It is an honor to have been selected as the executive director for the Nicholls Coastal Center. I was born and raised in Chauvin, and I have witnessed firsthand the land loss crisis that we face along coastal Louisiana and the impacts that land loss has had on our communities over the years. My vision for the Coastal Center is to be the leader in the education and research needed to address coastal issues in the bayou region that will ultimately provide scientific evidence and solutions for the preservation and resiliency of our coast, culture and communities,” said Melancon.

Laci has over 20 years of experience in higher education, nonprofit management and private business industry management. She’s served as a academic/career advisor, director of admissions and adjunct instructor for Fletcher Technical Community College; executive director for CASA of Terrebonne, Inc.; chief administrative officer of Southco Aviation; director of education at Unitech Training Academy-Houma Campus; and and most recently, the program director for the Coastal Technical Assistance Center.

Throughout her career, Laci has received several honors and achievements, including but not limited to being named the 2006 Outstanding Professional Staff Member of the Year at Fletcher, the 2013 CASA Executive Director of the Year Award by the Louisiana CASA Association, and a 2023 National Certification as a Professional Community and Economic Developer.

Laci’s education background includes completing prerequisite coursework at Nicholls before going on to receive her Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in psychology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

The Coastal Center at Nicholls State University is a $21 million project under construction on campus at the corner of Colonel Drive and Ardoyne Drive, across from Calecas Hall. The center’s collaborative space will allow scientists from all over the state and beyond, including those from Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Water Institute of the Gulf and Nicholls biological sciences and geomatics departments, to collaborate and advance research to repair and rebuild the state’s receding coastline.

The Center will work directly with the Nicholls Farm, serving as a testbed for real-world application of the center’s coastal research. The Farm is an integral part of the University's plans to become the center for coastal restoration research in Louisiana.

No single institute is going to solve all of the state’s coastal issues. The Coastal Center at Nicholls State University is designed to foster collaboration among various stakeholders in facilitating an environment that promotes partnerships to restore and preserve our coast.To learn more, visit

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