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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Susan Horton
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 19 2007

Departmental/Bureau News

USGS Demonstrates Capabilities of Science Response Vehicle During Emergencies: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) in Lafayette, LA, is sending its Science Response Vehicle (SRV) to the Spill of National Significance (SONS) Exercise in Progress meeting in Memphis, TN, June 19-21. Accompanying NWRC geographer Steve Hartley and NWRC GIS specialist Gene Nelson is Dave Strong of the Eastern Region Geography Discipline, who is providing earthquake data. The exercise is a project related to the USGS Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT), whose purpose is to ensure streamlined response coordination and timely availability of geospatial information for emergency responders, land and resource managers, and scientific analysis. The SRV will be located at the U. S. Coast Guard staging center in Memphis, where the USGS will demonstrate the SRV’s mobile capabilities, including satellite communication with the USGS EROS data center, downloading and uplinking data, and the Single Side Band radio communications with the Coast Guard. The SRV was acquired in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and was used after Hurricane Rita for supplying rescue and response agencies with infrastructure information and for geoaddressing 911 calls. The SONS is conducting this full-scale exercise to increase the preparedness of the entire response organization from the field level to agency leads in Washington, DC. The exercise will test the National Response System at the local, regional, and national levels using large-scale high probability oil and hazardous material incidents that result from unintentional causes such as maritime casualties and natural disasters. Agencies involved include the EPA, the U. S. Coast Guard, and FEMA as well as other agencies of the National Response Team. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8550)

USGS Science Center Hosts Oil Spill Response Training: On June 13-14, the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, LA, hosted an Oil Spill Response Management Training Course presented by the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office/Office of the Governor. Federal , State, and private agencies from Louisiana and Texas participated. (Susan Horton, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8655)

USGS Science Center Library Offers Exhibit on Threatened and Endangered Species: USGS National Wetlands Research Center librarian Linda Broussard has created several exhibits on threatened and endangered species for the Edith Garland Dupre Library on the University of Louisiana at Lafayette campus. Some of the exhibits offer information on endangered and threatened wildlife and plants such as the whooping crane, spectacled eider, red-cockaded woodpecker, ivory-billed woodpecker and disappearing habitats such as the coastal prairie, the chenier plain (southwestern Louisiana’s oak-covered beach ridges), and Louisiana’s coastal wetlands impacted by the hurricanes of 2005. Another exhibit focuses on illegal trade in animals goods with examples provided by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The display opened June 4 and runs through July 31. (Linda Broussard, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8692)

Press Inquiries/Media

USGS scientist Tommy Michot was interviewed for a story on the impacts of Louisiana’s coastal wetland loss on migratory birds. The story, “Disappearing forests cause birds to disappear from coast,” appeared June 8 in the Houma Courier (LA) and was also picked up by the AP and KATC-TV, a local ABC affiliate.

USGS scientist Tommy Michot provided information on the relocation of brown pelicans on Louisiana’s coastal barrier islands for a June 13 article on The Independent (Lafayette, LA) Web site, www.theind.com.

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