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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gaye Farris
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 4, 2008

Department/Bureau News

  • Hurricane Gustav: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, La., successfully weathered Hurricane Gustav.  The center had prepared for the hurricanes by holding two hurricane drills this season.  All staff members are accounted for.  Several have property damage.  In preparation for the storm, center biologists flew the coast Thursday and Friday to video and determine pre-hurricane conditions of wetlands and barrier islands.  They flew again on Sept. 4 after the hurricanes to video damage caused by Gustav. 

    The center deployed its Science Response Vehicle (SRV) to Baton Rouge after Hurricane Gustav to assist center staff and partners in Baton Rouge with spatial analysis of hurricane damage to wetlands.   The SRV is used for rapid deployment in response to natural disasters.  It is equipped with computers, software, and plotters to assist in data analysis using geospatial information systems.  The vehicle's equipment was used after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to help with mapping critical infrastructure for first responders, mapping 911 calls, and transferring critical data to various agencies. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

Media Contacts

  • The center provided the Weather Channel with pre-hurricane video of the coast and Chandeleur Islands flown last week and will provide them with post-hurricane video probably this week, when flight conditions are safe.

  • A reporter and a producer for two different shows on National Public Radio have called and may be interviewing our scientists this week.

  • A reporter with Gannett Company Inc. is on a special assignment in Lafayette at The Daily Advertiser newspaper to cover hurricanes.  He has been referred to John Barras, USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer, for more information on previous wetland loss and will be briefed on the results of the Louisiana wetland flight video when completed. 

  • A reporter with Discovery Channel News requested information concerning the Gulf Coast’s vulnerability to wetlands loss in the event of another hurricane. He interviewed John Barras concerning hurricane surge impacts on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands.

  • A reporter with the Christian Science Monitor interviewed John Barras concerning tropical cyclones and delta sediment deposition.

Media Coverage/Articles

Meetings

  • Outreach Project Leader, Gabrielle Bodin, met with teachers implementing new academies with a focus on environmental science in the Lafayette Parish school system. The USGS National Wetlands Research Center will provide support and assistance to the new program. (Gabrielle B. Bodin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8655)

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