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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle B. Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 25, 2008

Hurricane Ike Activities

  • Radar Image of Flooding: USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff, Elijah Ramsey and Amina Rangoonwala, working with the representative at the University of Texas through the International Charter and Brenda Jones of Eros Data Center, was able to upload a radar image to the center’s Science Response Vehicle team that identified the flood extent in southwest Louisiana caused by Hurricane Ike. It was provided to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) search and rescue teams for their coordination. Two example images were posted to the NWRC Web site. It was a successful use of radar image data to map extensive inland flooding caused by a major hurricane. This was a rare chance to show the immense importance of satellite radar image products that are not limited by adverse weather or daylight conditions in direct contrast to optical image data collections. (Elijah Ramsey, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8575)
  • Aerial Videography: USGS National Wetlands Research Center’s pilot and wildlife research biologist Tommy Michot and crew flew the gulf coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama on September 22, 23, and 24 to obtain vertical color infrared videography and oblique natural color High Definition Video (geo-referenced) imagery of post-Ike impacts. The imagery will be posted to the center’s Web site (http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov) and used for detailed analysis. (Tommy Michot, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8664)

  • Maps for FEMA: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center was contacted by Tim Gallagher, Incident Support Team (IST) leader in Lafayette, La., for Hurricane Ike. He requested mapping products that NWRC had produced for first responders.  He will use them next week to brief FEMA officials in Washington, D.C. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

  • Training on aerial photo interpretation and NWI provided: USGS National Wetlands Research Center provided aerial photo interpretation and National Wetlands Inventory training to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes on the Flathead Reservation in Montana.  Also in attendance were personnel from the Montana Natural Heritage Program. (Larry Handley, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8691)

Notable Congressional Activity

  • On Sept. 19, 2008, John Barras, geographer, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, provided U.S. Senator David Vitter’s staff member, Rachel Perez, with pre- and post-Hurricanes Gustav and Ike imagery and other information. She requested satellite images for the barrier islands pre- and post-storms. (John Barras, Baton Rouge, La., 225-578-7486)

  • The USGS National Wetlands Research Center was contacted on Sept. 19, 2008 by U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu’s staff asking for a brief summary of the center’s activities regarding Hurricane Ike. (Gregory Smith, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • Nikki Buskey with the Houma Courier and the Thibodaux Daily Comet contacted Tommy Michot, USGS National Wetlands Research Center wildlife research biologist, about the marsh and barrier island loss in Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes due to the two hurricanes. Tommy Michot provided her information from his visual observations and analyses. He also offered to provide her more information after his post-Ike flights of southeast Louisiana. (Tommy Michot, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8664)

Broadcast and Film

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist and pilot Tommy Michot was interviewed by the Weather Channel, for a story entitled "Texas Coast Before and After Ike," which featured aerial videography that Michot' crew shot. (Tommy Michot, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8664)

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