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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Susan Horton
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 22 2006

Current

USGS Scientist Presents at Cache River Symposium: USGS scientist Beth Middleton gave a presentation at the Cache River Symposium on August 10 at John A. Logan College in Carterville, IL. The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the restoration of the Cache River in Illinois, and the presentation was called “Significance of the Proposed Reconnection and Perspective.” (Beth Middleton, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8618)

Debbie Norling Receives Women of Excellence Award from Community: USGS employee Debbie Norling at the National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) was selected as a recipient of the 2006 Women of Excellence Award in the Public Service category by the Lafayette (LA) Commission on the Needs of Women. Debbie was selected for the honor because of her accomplishments in the community, excellence in performance, leadership through motivating others, and her role in opening doors for other women in the community. The scope of Debbie’s accomplishments and service includes organizing blood drives and health/wellness fairs for NWRC staff; Coordinating U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu's talk to the local federal community in celebration of Women’s History Month; and coordinating time, talents and materials for disaster relief efforts, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the UNICEF Tsunami Relief Fund. Debbie will receive her award at the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon on September 29. (Heidi Hitter, Lafayette, LA 337-266-8626)

State/Federal Partnership Develops PHINS: The Priority Habitat Information System (PHINS) is a state/federal partnership intended to provide users with habitat information and geospatial data supporting implementation of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors’ Action Plan for healthy and resilient coasts. USGS, along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, co-chaired a meeting August 23 - 24 in Lafayette, LA, to discuss the progress of PHINS with EPA, other DOI agencies, and the five gulf states of Florida, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas. Managing resources across a region as large and diverse as the Gulf of Mexico requires a coordinated approach to data sharing, management, and access, and PHINS is being developed to support the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s five priority issues of water quality, habitat restoration, environmental education, identification of Gulf of Mexico habitats, and reductions in nutrient loadings. (Jimmy Johnston, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8503)

Press Inquiries/Media

USGS scientist Jimmy Johnston was interviewed by local ABC television affiliate KATC TV-3 in Lafayette, LA, about the National Wetlands Research Center’s role in providing geospatial technology to assist with Hurricane Katrina and Rita search and recovery efforts. The interview was part of a hurricane special, “Lessons Learned,” that aired August 19.

USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Greg Smith was interviewed by science reporter Peter Spotts with the Christian Science Monitor about the importance of using science to build a resilient coast along the Gulf of Mexico. Publication date is not known.


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