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Third Coast RLC

third coast students smile on a boat tour. quote reads "The Third Coast Residential Learning Community  brings students off campus and into the cultural  landscape of New Orleans and the Gulf South to  explore and understand this complex region and its  peoples and ways. It also invites culture-makers from  this community on campus for conversations related  to what we’ve seen and experienced. Students will  come away informed and edified about the past,  present, and future of this fascinating place.” — Geographer and author Richard Campanella, faculty at Tulane

Are you fascinated with New Orleans’s rich cultural heritage and coastal environment? The Third Coast RLC examines the region’s tenuous urbanism, its changing climate, and the rising seas through place-based learning. Students will gain an “insider” understanding of how culture and environment intertwine in this fertile place and how their specific academic and professional goals can connect with the needs and interests of the surrounding community and Tulane University. 

Would you like to experience New Orleans with the people who know it best? The Third Coast RLC convenes students who are curious about New Orleans and the Gulf South region to engage in dynamic place-based learning—inspired by the notion that the more students understand about where they are, the more fully they can participate in our democracy and engage in our collective destiny. Students will gain an "insider" understanding of how culture and environment intertwine in this fertile place and how their academic and professional goals can connect with the needs and interests of the surrounding community and the University.

students wade through a marsh. Title reads "make good happen".


The Third Coast RLC is a collaboration between Housing and Residence Life and the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South.


All first-year students at Tulane Universities are required to take a TIDES course. Members of Residential Learning Communities have the opportunity to enroll in a TIDES course that explores the concepts and values of their community in depth. In 2017, the affiliated course for Third Coast is:

  • "Indian Tribes down the Bayou: Native American Communities of Southeastern Louisiana" (TIDE 1265-01): Wednesdays 4:00-5:15pm. The objective of this course is to introduce students to the Native American influence in shaping Louisiana history. Specifically, students will have the opportunity to learn about the history of Native Americans in southeastern Louisiana and to work with tribal members on a historic documentation project. Furthermore, this course offers the opportunity to fulfill the public service requirement. A mandatory 20 hours of work is required of all students. Unbeknownst to many in the metropolitan area, an hour and a half outside of New Orleans, in lower Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes there exist an interrelated network of small, still French-speaking Native American communities: the Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe, (PACIT) the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha, the Grand Caillou/Dulac Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha, and the Bayou Lafourche Band of the Biloxi-Chitimacha, collectively known as the Biloxi-Chitimacha Confederation of Muskogees (BCCM.) These tribes were formed out of the remnants of the Petites Indian Nations of the 18th century and developed in the remote bayous of Louisiana. Recent genealogical research into the history of one of the tribes, the Pointe-au-Chien, has established that its members historically descend from the remains of four tribes that once inhabited the Lower Mississippi River region: primarily from the Chitimacha as well as the Biloxi, Atakapa, and Acolapissa Nations. However, genealogical inquiry did not address the question of how, why, and when this tribe came into being and formed a coherent community. This course will address these specific issues and allow students to work not only with primary historic material but also with members of the tribes as they document the history, culture and traditions of Native Americans of southeastern Louisiana.


The Third Coast Residential Learning Community is in Butler Residence Hall.


You may apply for the Third Coast RLC through the student housing application process. Your answers to some supplemental, RLC-specific questions will be evaluated by a committee. If you are accepted, you will be notified and be sent more information on the room selection and roommate process.