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Weekly Highlights


From: Gaye Farris
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 14, 2008

Department/Bureau News

  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance Meeting: Several representatives of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) will attend the Governors’ Action Plan Implementation and Integration Workshop, sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, in Corpus Christi, Tex., August 19-21. This fourth annual “all hands” meeting for the Alliance’s Priority Issue Teams will allow the teams to meet individually and in plenary to develop the first draft of Action Plan II, share successes, network, and plan next steps. The NWRC is a member of several Priority Issue Teams and has provided products for the Alliance, including:
    • A data integration system, Priority Habitat Information System (PHINS),
    • a seagrass report (Handley, L., Altsman, D., and DeMay, R., eds., 2007, Seagrass Status and Trends in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: 1940–2002: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006–5287, 267 p.), and
    • an educational digital library or clearinghouse of thousands of vetted educational resources.
    (Gregory Smith, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

  • Award for DARPA Competition: Scott Wilson, spatial analysis branch chief at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, received an award from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Aug. 12, recognizing him as an outstanding member of Team Cajunbot. He was project manager of a team from the university that designed and raced the Cajunbot and Cajunbot II, robotic or driverless cars, in the 2004, 2005, and 2007 Grand Challenges. The Grand Challenge is a competition sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) of the U.S. Department of Defense. The robotic vehicles competed against one another on a desert course and city streets. The team was one of ten featured in the Discovery Science channel’s five-part series “Robocars.” DARPA’s mission is to sponsor revolutionary, high-payoff research that bridges the gap between fundamental discoveries and their use for national security. DARPA was responsible for computer networking and the first hypertext system. Center Director Gregory Smith also accepted an award on behalf of the center for support of the project. (Scott Wilson, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8644)

  • Invasive Species: USGS scientists Jacoby Carter and Chris Wells assisted with the Invasive Species Rapid Assessment Project of the Barataria-Terrebonne National Estuary Program August 6-7). (Jacoby Carter, 337-266-8620)

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