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Weekly Highlights


From: Susan Horton
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 26 2006


USGS Team Receives Service to America Medal: A team of 45 USGS scientists has received a 2006 Service to America Medal for their search and rescue work in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The scientists, led by Tom Casadevall, USGS regional director in Denver, CO, are from the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, LA, and the USGS Louisiana Water Science Center in Baton Rouge, LA. Casadevall and representatives of the team received the medal in Washington, D.C., on September 27 in recognition of both their humanitarian and scientific work immediately after Hurricane Katrina hit the Louisiana coast in late August 2005. Team representatives at the awards ceremony were Gregory Smith, director of the wetlands center; Charles Demas, director of the water center; Jimmy Johnston, spatial analysis branch chief at the wetlands center; and Wayne Norling, wetlands center’s safety officer. Also attending was USGS employee Debbie Norling, who spearheaded the center’s donations of food, water, clothing, and blood and who coordinated evacuee shelter volunteers in Lafayette. The team is one of eight recipients of Service to America Medals, sponsored by the Atlantic Media Company and the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service to recognize the accomplishments of America’s public servants. Medals are given for significant contributions by federal employees based on their commitment and innovation as well as on the impact of their work in addressing the needs of the nation. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8550)

Press Inquiries/Media

USGS geographer John Barras provided a map showing the historical and projected land loss along the Louisiana coast for the story, “Time to Move the Mississippi, Experts Say” in The New York Times that ran September 19, 2006.

On September 22, USGS scientist Virginia Burkett was interviewed on NPR’s Morning Edition about the rebuilding of Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

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