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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle B. Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 2, 2008

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • Yukon Invasive Species Symposium – Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada: On October 8-10, 2008, Randy Westbrooks, a USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist based in Whiteville, N.C., will participate in the first Yukon Invasive Species Symposium.  The symposium, which is being hosted by the Yukon Invasive Species Committee, will be held at Yukon College, in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, Canada.  Westbrooks will provide a public evening seminar at the Beringia Civic Center in Whitehorse, participate in a day-long invasive plant management workshop, and take part in discussions with Yukon officials on invasive species issues of common concern to the Yukon Territory and Alaska.  A primary goal of the symposium will be to identify strategies for developing a Yukon Early Detection and Rapid Response System, as part of ongoing efforts to develop a North American Early Warning System for Invasive Plants. (Randy Westbrooks, Whiteville, N.C., 910-648-6762)

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Training on ArcGIS Provided: Steve Hartley of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center conducted an "Introduction to ArcGIS I" class at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette for Federal, State, and private individuals on Sept. 23 and 24 as part of the 2008 Training Workshop series NWRC hosts. (Steve Hartley, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8543)

  • Educational Program for Students: USGS National Wetlands Research Center outreach project leader Gabrielle Bodin (contractor, IAP World Services) presented wetland, land loss, and restoration information, as well as an educational tour of the center, to students and faculty from Carencro High School on September 26. (Gabrielle Bodin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8655)

  • Workshop on Strategic Science Planning for the Atchafalaya Basin: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) scientist Stephen Faulkner organized a workshop on Strategic Science Planning for the Atchafalaya Basin, La., on September 29 and 30, 2008 at the NWRC in Lafayette, La. The Atchafalaya Basin is the largest riverine swamp forest in the United States but is being degraded by large-scale hydrologic alterations, sedimentation, and resource extraction. This workshop was part of the Lower Mississippi Valley-Integrated Landscape Science and Monitoring pilot project (LMV-ILM), which is being led by Faulkner and Charles Demas, Director, USGS Louisiana Water Science Center. The LMV-ILM goal is to analyze and predict the responses of ecosystem patterns and processes to natural and human drivers and stressors. Participants included scientists and managers from USGS Biological Resources Discipline and Water Resources Discipline, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-USGS Science Impact Collaborative (MUSIC), scientists from the Netherlands’ TNO (Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and Deltares research organizations, and non-governmental agencies such as The Nature Conservancy.  (Stephen Faulkner, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8648)

  • Assistance Provided to Environmental Science Teachers:  Heather Baldwin (USGS National Wetlands Research Center Contractor, IAP World Services) met with Linda Beyt, Environmental Science Pathways Coordinator of the Lafayette Parish Schools of Choice Program, and two other teachers working with her in the A+ Access Magnet Grant Program to assist with ideas on how to incorporate science and its applicability into other core subjects for high school students. (Heather Baldwin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8504)

  • National Association of State Foresters, Annual Conference, Hyannis, Mass.: On October 1, 2008, Randy Westbrooks, a USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist based in Whiteville, N.C., participated in an Invasive Species Symposium at the annual meeting of the U.S. National Association of State Foresters.  The association, which includes the directors of all 50 state forestry agencies, the eight U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia, held its 2008 annual meeting in Hyannis, Mass.  Westbrooks provided an update on the development of the National Early Detection and Rapid Response System for Invasive Plants and discussed current trends in interagency partnering to address new and emerging invasive plants. (Randy Westbrooks, Whiteville, N.C., 910-648-6762)

  • Florida’s Wildlife: On the Frontline of Climate Change: Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist, Global Change Research, delivered the keynote presentation on October 1 in Orlando for the Florida Wildlife Commission’s symposium on climate change. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • Ohio State University School of Natural Resources:  Beth Middleton, USGS National Wetlands Research Center ecologist, gave two lectures at the Ohio State University School of Natural Resources including "Climate change and baldcypress swamps along a latitudinal gradient in North America" and "Writing for Students from an Editor's Perspective" on October 2, 2008. (Beth Middleton, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8618)

Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • On September 24, Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist, Global Change Research, was interviewed by Janet Pelley with Environmental Science & Technology magazine for an article she is writing about restoring wetlands to sequester carbon. The writer said that her article is due on September 30. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • The USGS National Wetlands Research Center was contacted on September 30 by Mollie Day, a reporter with the New Orleans publication, Gambit Weekly, posing questions about the industry of coastal restoration in Louisiana. She was provided contact information for individuals able to address her questions. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

  • Claire Taylor of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser contacted the USGS National Wetlands Research Center September 30 requesting graphics, photos, slides, or video depicting historic land loss along Louisiana’s coast that could be published in the newspaper or online. John Barras, USGS NWRC geographer, provided the requested images. (John Barras, Baton Rouge, La., 225-578-7486)

  • After giving the keynote presentation at a Florida Wildlife Commission symposium on climate change held in Orlando, Fla., Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist, Global Change Research, was interviewed by Brian Skoloff, an Associated Press reporter, and Jeff Burnside with the local NBC affiliate. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • Holli Riebeek, of National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Earth Observatory “Natural Hazards” outreach Web site/ezine, interviewed USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer John Barras on October 1 concerning a Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image of the Texas and Louisiana coasts in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Barras answered her questions regarding the browning of the marsh post-Ike that she was seeing on the image. Barras is quoted in the online article available at
    (John Barras, Baton Rouge, La., 225-578-7486)

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