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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle B. Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 30, 2008

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • Briefing Being Provided for USDA Deputy Directors and Other Senior Program Managers: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Stephen Faulkner will brief Deputy Directors and other senior program managers with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA-Farm Services Agency in Washington, D.C. on November 3 and 4 concerning the effects of conservation practices on wetland ecosystem services in the Lower Mississippi Valley (LMV). This briefing will include recent results and spatial models of ecosystem services resulting from on-going research collaborations between USDA and USGS that are part of the LMV Integrated Landscape Science and Monitoring program. The USDA is responsible for conservation programs like the Wetlands Reserve Program and Conservation Reserve Program that are designed to restore and enhance wetland functions and services on marginal agricultural lands located in flood-prone areas. The LMV leads the nation in the number of acres enrolled in these programs. (Stephen Faulkner, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8648)

  • Advanced Wetland Photo-Interpretation Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) emeritus geographer Calvin P. “Pat” O’Neil, NWRC geographer Chris Wells, and NWRC contractor Jason Dugas will present this workshop November 3 – 5. It will cover the development of a methodology for mapping wetlands projects, an understanding of the National Wetland Inventory and the NWRC’s upland classification systems, photo-interpretation of color infrared aerial photographs, the use of soil surveys, topographic maps, and historical wetland maps as aids in the photo-interpretation process, techniques for ground truthing, and cartographic transformation of photo-interpreted habitats to a standard base map. (Chris Wells, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8651)

  • Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) Program Annual Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Hardin Waddle will host the annual meeting of the ARMI program November 4 – 6.  Approximately 35 attendees are expected. (Hardin Waddle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8671)

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture Meeting: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) hosted approximately 35 partners of the Gulf Coast Joint Venture (GCJV) at a semi-annual meeting of the GCJV Management Board October 28-29, 2008. NWRC Director Gregory Smith is a member of the board. The GCJV is a partnership of State, Federal, non-profit, and private entities with responsibility for managing bird habitats across the coastal portions of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Board meetings provide a forum to assess progress toward development of bird conservation plans and attainment of bird habitat and population objectives. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

  • Bays and Bayous Symposium: 2008: USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer Chris Wells presented "Mobile Bay, Alabama: Fifty Years of Habitat Change" to over 400 participants of the "Bays and Bayous Symposium: 2008," held October 28 and 29 in Biloxi, Miss. Principal author of the study was Larry Handley. Other authors were Jason Dugas, Dennis Lichtenberg, Kristine Martella, Kelly Mouton, and Brandy Winch. (Chris Wells, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8651)

  • Lafayette Middle School Environmental Science Academy Advisory Board Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) contractor Gabrielle Bodin participated in the board meeting on behalf of NWRC on October 29 in Lafayette, La. Board members will provide guidance and assistance (such as curriculum development) to this School of Choice program designed “to provide hands-on instruction that allows students to take ownership of their academics, develop relationships with their surroundings and discover a sense of responsibility to their environment.” (Gabrielle Bodin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8655)

  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) Architecture Students Tour the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC): NWRC contractor Gabrielle Bodin provided a tour for ULL architecture students through the NWRC facility on October 29. The third-year students are beginning to design their first building, and the professor wanted them to see what he considered to be one of the best examples of commercial architecture in Lafayette, La. designed by one of the Southeast’s leading architects. (Gabrielle Bodin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8655)

  • Everglades Joint Ecosystem Modeling Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) staff including Scott Wilson, Steve Hartley, and Craig Conzelmann and NWRC contractors Dustin Roszell and Prasanth Chintamaneni attended the Everglades Joint Ecosystem Modeling Workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. on October 29 – 30.  NWRC is increasing its leadership role in applying advanced computer technologies to ecological models in south Florida. (Scott Wilson, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8644)

  • Introduction to Wetland Remote Sensing and Mapping Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer emeritus Calvin P. “Pat” O’Neil presented this course on October 29 – 31. The course was designed as an intensive, introductory 3-day session of lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises that emphasize the use of aerial photography as applied to assessing and mapping wetland vegetation from species level to broad vegetative level classification. (Chris Wells, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8651)

Press Inquiries/Media - Newspapers/magazines/wires, etc.

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer John Barras was interviewed by Claire Taylor of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser for a series of print and online stories she is producing about the 2005 and 2008 hurricanes and efforts to restore and protect coastal Louisiana.

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