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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 20, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Science Article Rated by Faculty of 1000 as a “Must Read”: In a recent article published in Science magazine, an international team of 58 scientists, including USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace, reported the resolution of a long-standing debate about the complexity of factors controlling distributions of biodiversity. In this week’s edition of the Faculty of 1000, a publication that identifies and evaluates the most important articles in biology and medical research, rates the Science article as a “Must Read” their highest category.  (Jim Grace: Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • Workshop on Technology of Ploidy Determination in Asian Carp: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jill Jenkins provided a workshop on the technology of ploidy determination in Asian carp (black and grass carp) to the specialist at the flow cytometry facility of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine's Department of Medical Microbial, Immunological, and Cell Biology in Springfield, Ill., the week of October 10, 2011. Ploidy determinations - telling the number of chromosome sets - (two or three) will allow assessment of breeding potential and spread of the invasive black and grass carp. (Jill Jenkins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8607)

  • Lower Mekong Initiative Plans for 2012 Discussed: On October 12, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, Branch Chiefs Scott Wilson and Thomas Doyle, as well as other NWRC staff members met with Assistant Regional Executive Jim Stefanov to discuss progress on the Lower Mekong Initiative and plans for FY 2012. Wilson is working on geospatial and data needs, Doyle is working on a visualization tool with LITE from ULL, and Andersen is working on a pilot fisheries project. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Assists Federal and State Partners with Measuring Water Quality of the Atchafalaya Basin during the Flood of 2011:  On October 13, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer Richard Day carried out the final water quality assessment along a fixed transect in the Atchafalaya Floodway as part of multi-agency effort to monitor the Flood of 2011. The project was initiated and managed by David Fruge, Director of the Atchafalaya Basin Program, Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, in May 2011 to measure the effects of opening the Morganza Spillway, an additional outlet of the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya River Floodway designed to reduce the flood crest downstream on the Mississippi River. The gates of the Morganza Spillway had not been opened since 1973. Monitoring began before the Morganza gates were opened in May 2011 and continued throughout the entire flood wave until low base flow in October 2011. Dissolved oxygen and turbidity were measured and water samples were taken for nutrient analyses and oxygen isotope characterization. USGS researchers from NWRC and the Louisiana Water Science Center collaborated with field teams from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, and Louisiana State University to carry out the project. (Richard Day; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8557)

  • Summary of USGS 2011 Floods Being Prepared: On October 13 – 14, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Deputy Director Matthew Andersen participated in an internal USGS review panel at the Indiana Water Science Center In Indianapolis, Ind. The panel is building a summary of USGS activities in response to the floods of 2011 on the Mississippi, Missouri, Souris, and Red Rivers. Andersen is representing the Ecosystems Discipline (Anne Kinsinger) on this panel. The committee was charged by Assistant Director for Water William Werkheiser, so he will receive the report, as will Kinsinger and David Applegate, Assistant Director for Natural Hazards. The report should be complete and submitted during the first week of November. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Staff Attends Annual Bamboo Society Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Thomas Doyle, and wetland botanist Larry Allain attended the 2011 Annual Meeting and Technical Conference of the American Bamboo Society held in Lafayette, La., on October 13 – 16, 2011. Conference sessions included presentations on ecology of native and exotic species and uses of bamboo in marsh creation projects for restoring coastal wetlands. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

  • USGS NWRC Participates in the 2011 Delaware Invasive Species Annual Conference in Wilmington, Del.:  During the week of October 17, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Randy Westbrooks collaborated with the leadership of the Delaware Invasive Species Council (DISC) in a strategic planning session. The purpose of the session is to help revitalize and re-focus the group to address new and emerging IVS issues and challenges in the face of ongoing state and federal budget shortfalls across the country. Since being established with the assistance of Westbrooks in 1998, DISC has continued to build on the state’s longstanding tradition of encouraging agencies and other organizations to work together on issues of common concern – including protection of natural and managed resources from introduced invasive species such as the Great Northern Snakehead Fish and Wavyleaf Basketgrass. On October 19, Westbrooks will provide the keynote address at the DISC annual conference on The Emerging Role of State Invasive Species Councils in Shaping the Invasive Species Management Agenda of the United States. Development of a State Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants is an example of an interagency initiative that DISC could undertake to prevent the establishment and spread of new invasive species in the state of Delaware.  More information about DISC and the 2011 DISC annual conference may be found at http://www.delawareinvasives.net/.   For more information about the DISC Strategic Planning Session or the USGS National EDRR Capacity Development Program, contact Westbrooks at rwestbrooks@usgs.gov. (Randy Westbrooks; Whiteville, N.C.; 910-648-6762)

  • NWRC Participates in the Louisiana GIS Council October Meeting: USGS Geospatial Liaison to Louisiana Chris Cretini, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographer Steve Hartley, and GIS Specialist Nicholas Enwright (Five Rivers Services) attended the Louisiana GIS Council October Meeting in Baton Rouge, La., on October 20, 2011.  Enwright delivered a presentation titled “Developing a Decision Support System for Prioritization of Wetland Restoration in Coastal Louisiana." (Nicholas Enwright; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8613)

  • NWRC to Attend Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies: From October 22 – 26, 2011, National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will meet with Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies at their annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Managing Board Members to Meet: On October 23, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will meet with the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Managing Board in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss 2012 proposed conservation and restoration work. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative to Meet: On October 23, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will meet with the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Board in Nashville, Tenn., to discuss 2012 proposed conservation and restoration work. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Scientist Invited to Participate in Gulf of Mexico Report Card Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Wylie Barrow has been invited and will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Report Card Workshop scheduled for October 23 – 26, 2011, at the Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. (Wylie Barrow; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8668)

  • NWRC Branch Chief Participates in Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle will participate in the 2011 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Workshop in St. Petersburg, Fla., to be held October 25 – 26, 2011. The conference will bring together scientific investigators from academia, private research institutions, and government agencies to foster new collaborations and highlight initial research findings related to current and ongoing research, monitoring, and sampling of the DWH oil spill on Gulf Coast ecosystems. (Thomas Doyle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

  • NWRC Branch Chief Participates in SE CESU Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle will participate in the 2011 Southeast Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit (CESU) annual conference in St. Petersburg, Fla., held October 25 – 27, 2011. The focus of the meeting will include technical presentations of joint USGS and university cooperator science projects, panel discussion of interagency research needs, and regional CESU business meetings. (Thomas Doyle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

  • NWRC to Participate in Blue Economy Forum in China: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Deputy Director Matthew Andersen will represent NWRC at the Blue Economy Forum, a meeting being organized and hosted by the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology in Qingdao, Shandong Province, People's Republic of China. The meeting is October 27 – 29. Andersen will give a presentation on modern threats to wetland habitats. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Press Inquiries/Media - Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • Natchitoches parish: Many residents on Long Purple Line: (Shreveport Times; Shreveport, La.; October 13, 2011) “She is chief scientist for global change research at the U.S. Geological Survey and was formerly chief of the Forest Ecology Branch at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.” (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Wylie Barrow was interviewed October 17, 2011, by a reporter for the Baylor Lariat, Baylor’s school newspaper. The reporter is producing a story about the results of research presented in an article, “Understanding Interaction Effects of Climate Change and Fire Management on Bird Distributions through Combined Process and Habitat Models,” published in the journal Conservation Biology earlier this year. (Wylie Barrow; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8668)

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