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Weekly Highlights


From: Susan Horton
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, May 12, 2008


  • USGS Science Center to Prepare for “Hurricane Zydeco:” The USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, LA, will conduct its annual hurricane drill May 21. All systems and procedures will be tested and evaluated, from employee call-ins to preparations at the center and its science response vehicle as well as boats and other equipment. The call-in exercise for “Hurricane Zydeco” will be done in conjunction with the Louisiana Water Science Center in Baton Rouge. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8550)

  • USGS Scientist Gives Keynote Talk at Exotic Pest Plant Meeting: On May 20-21, USGS scientist Randy Westbrooks will speak at the annual meeting of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council in Biloxi, MS. His keynote address will outline a conceptual framework for a biological protection ethic on the introduction and use of exotic plants and animals. Westbrooks will also report on the progress in developing a National Early Detection and Rapid Response System for invasive plants. (Randy Westbrooks, Whiteville, NC, 910-648-6762)

  • USGS at Weeds Across Borders International Conference: On May 27-30, USGS scientist Randy Westbrooks will speak and chair a session at the fourth biennial Weeds Across Borders Conference, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Westbrooks’ presentation will include recommendations for establishing a North American early warning system for invasive plants. This effort is part of the National Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) System for Invasive Plants that is being developed by USGS and other interagency partners to promote EDRR as the preferred management strategy for addressing new and emerging invasive plants in the United States. (Randy Westbrooks, Whiteville, NC, 910-648-6762)


  • USGS Participates in South Louisiana Hurricane Conference: On May 15, USGS geographer Steve Hartley presented highlights of the USGS report, “Science and the Storms: the USGS Response to the Hurricanes of 2005,” at the 17th annual KLFY-TV 10 Hurricane Conference, Lafayette, LA. Invited by TV-10 chief meteorologist David Paul, Hartley also demonstrated the capabilities of the science response vehicle that can rapidly be deployed to provide spatial analyses during and after natural disasters. The conference was attended by emergency preparedness personnel, law enforcement officers, and community leaders from across south Louisiana. The storm report is available online at (Susan Horton, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8655)

  • USGS DRAGON Project: Susan Haseltine, associate director for biology, and Gregory Smith, director of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, delivered keynote addresses at the second USGS Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON II) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, April 28 - 30. Smith also led discussions on identifying sources and on the quality and availability of data related to large rivers, wetlands, and deltas in Africa. Jacoby Carter, USGS scientist, presented a paper on modeling. Also attending from USGS were Doug Beard, fisheries program coordinator, and Leon Carl, director of the Great Lakes Science Center. The DRAGON II meeting was held in conjunction with the fifth meeting of the Great Lakes of the World (GLOW V). The USGS DRAGON project is a data integration and visualization effort focusing on developing models across disciplines to predict ecological consequences of different management and engineering scenarios in deltas.

Smith also met with Dutch wetland scientists in April to begin a project to integrate data and develop models for the DRAGON project. This effort is critical to building a modeling and visualization system to ultimately support ecological forecasting for coastal and deltaic systems like the Mississippi River and the Rhine-Meuse River Delta System. Smith is initiating an effort to partner with the Geological Survey of the Netherlands.
(Gaye Farris, Lafayette, LA, 337-266-8550)

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