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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.

Want to see what Third Coast RLC students have been up to? Check out this Tumblr for pictures and posts from this year’s events!

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. For 2018-2019, the affiliated TIDES courses are:

  • TIDE 1265: Indian Tribes Down the Bayou: Native American Communities of Southeastern Louisiana - Want to explore the wilds of Louisiana outside of New Orleans?  Try some alligator meat, shrimp caught fresh from the sea or, in general, explore another side of Louisiana's rich cultural heritage- then this class is for you! The far-reaching impact of Native American Tribes of the lower Mississippi Valley on shaping Louisiana history is among the least explored subjects among the otherwise well-documented rich history of Louisiana.  Recent and ongoing research shows that without the “ Petit Nations’, as some of the Tribes were called, the history of this region would have been quite different.  This course offers students the rare opportunity to participate in on-going, important research that entails working directly with Tribal members. In addition, students will have the opportunity to take a trip conducted by Tribal members down the bayous  as they give a tour of their ancestral lands as well as explore other areas of Louisiana outside of New Orleans while also tasting some of the food native to Louisiana. An experience not to be missed!
  • TIDE 1117: New Orleans Performance Culture - When Mardi Gras is over and the Hand Grenades have been drunk, what is it exactly that makes New Orleans a unique place to live and work? This TIDES course will examine the city of New Orleans as a performance of various histories and cultures over time and space. In other words, we will look at New Orleans texts to show how “culture” and “history” are not static, eternal forms, but moldable ones that change when cultures experience various kinds of political and social “mayhem.” In so doing, we will answers questions like, “Why is French Quarter architecture actually Spanish?”; “Why in the late nineteenth century, did New Orleans boast that largest Italian-American population in the U.S.?; and “Why do people ‘Second Line?’” In short, the idea of what is “French” (or any other cultural community) has changed according to historical circumstance and cultural perspective, and the means by which such cultures change says a lot about who we are as a city and a nation.
  • TIDE 1020: Cities and the Urban Environment - Focusing on selections from the seminal work “The Death and Life of Great American Cities” by Jane Jacobs, we will explore and discuss its relevance to the city of New Orleans. We will also look directly at what is currently happening in the city of New Orleans via field studies, guest presentations and movies. Selected neighborhoods of New Orleans will be explored as vehicles for looking at the social, political, and economic life of cities. By focusing on particular and local examples we will, in effect, also address urban issues that are both more general and global. You will be invited to learn ‘how to see’ (observe) the many aspects of the city, be introduced to tools for the analysis of city form and city behavior, and be asked to draw conclusions from what you read for this class as well as your experiences.


The Third Coast Residential Learning Community will be in Sharp Residence Hall for the 2018-2019 academic year.


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.

If you have questions about the programming and initiatives that take place in this RLC, please contact Denise Frazier at If you have questions about RLC housing logistics, please contact Housing and Residence Life at