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Weekly Highlights


From: Gaye Farris
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 22, 2008

Department/Bureau News

  • USACE Meeting.  USGS South Central Area Executive Stanley Ponce met with Colonel Al Lee, Commander and District Engineer, New Orleans District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday (USACE), August 20th.  The purpose of the meeting was to discuss areas of mutual interest regarding restoration of the Gulf Coast in Louisiana and Texas.  Attending the meeting were Greg Smith, Director, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, Charlie Demas, Director of the Louisiana Water Science Center, key USGS staff along with key USACE staff members Troy Constance, Chief of the Coastal Restoration Branch, and Tom Podany, Chief of the Protection and Restoration Office.

  • All-Hands Meeting.  USGS National Wetlands Research Center had an All-Hands meeting August. 21.  Guests were Dave Applegate, acting Director of the USGS Central Region, and Stanley Ponce, USGS South Central Area Executive.  In addition to discussions about the region and area, several employees were recognized for receiving awards from USGS and from outside USGS.

  • Woman of Excellence.  Susan Horton, until recently a contract employee at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center for 12 years, has been named a 2008 Woman of Excellence for Public Service.  The award is given by the Lafayette Commission on the Needs of Women.  Horton was an education and outreach coordinator for USGS and is known throughout the community for her zeal for wetland education, from kindergarten to graduate school.  She will be honored by the Lafayette community October 10 at a luncheon at the Heymann Center in the Boustany Convention Center. Horton has left her position to pursue a master’s degree in theology at a seminary in Austin, Texas.  This is the second time that an employee at the National Wetlands Research Center has received such an award.  Debbie Norling, Branch Chief Secretary, received this award two years ago for her public service after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and her work in getting volunteers for the blood bank.


  • VITA Volunteer.  Leslie Holland was interviewed by Bruce Brown of The Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.) regarding her work as a volunteer for VITA (Volunteer Instructors Teaching Adults), a program to combat adult illiteracy.  Holland is a program analyst at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in addition to being a mother, a Eucharistic minister in her church, a Girl Scout leader, and an ombudsman for the family support group of her husband’s Coast Guard unit, for which the Pentagon has honored her.

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