BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Denise Reed, coastal researcher and professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at University of New Orleans, has been named new chief scientist for The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Chip Groat, president and chief executive officer of the institute, told the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority at the group's Tuesday meeting that Reed is nationally respected and will be a great ambassador for the institute.

The Advocate report ( the independent research group was formed in 2011.

Groat said the Water Institute of the Gulf has put together a board of directors and a Science and Engineering Advisory Council and has hired several key staff members.

Groat says the focus at first will be on Louisiana's coastal land loss issues.