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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle B. Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, April 9, 2009

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Participates in Remote Sensing Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) geographer Chris Wells presented a paper at the 25th Annual Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems Workshop held at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on April 14-16, 2009. Entitled “50 Years of Habitat Change in the Mississippi River Delta” and co-authored by Larry Handley of the USGS Mid-continent Geographic Science Center in Rolla, Mo., and contractors Jason Dugas, Kelly Mouton, and Dennis Lichtenberg of NWRC, the paper evaluates changes in habitats mapped from historical photography from the 1950s to 2006. (Chris Wells, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8651)

  • NWRC Hosts Group of Dutch Engineers and Scientists: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) Director Gregory Smith and Branch Chief Thomas Doyle hosted a group of Dutch engineers and scientists on April 6, 2009. Their visit included a tour of NWRC and presentations on the Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON) partnership and on science studies in Louisiana coastal wetlands. NWRC scientist Karen McKee and Chris Swarzenski of the Louisiana Water Science Center in Baton Rouge, La., briefed the visitors on field and experimental studies investigating accretion and subsidence processes and rates of marsh habitats germane to the creation of marshland polders in the Netherlands. (Thomas Doyle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

  • High School Juniors Tour NWRC: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) contractor Courtney Schaneville educated a group of 40 Lafayette Junior Leadership high school students on issues facing the Louisiana coastal wetlands on April 6, 2009. The students viewed a presentation on wetlands and then took a tour of NWRC. NWRC scientists Chris Wells, Chess Vervaeke, Jacoby Carter, and contractor Sergio Merino spoke to the students about ongoing research at NWRC, including spatial analysis mapping, greenhouse experiments, and studies on frogs and invasive applesnails. (Courtney Schaneville, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8583)

  • NWRC Scientist Granted Funding for USGS National Park Monitoring Project: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace was awarded $45,682 in funding as part of the USGS National Park Monitoring Project, Status and Trends of Biological Resources Program on April 3, 2009. The project supports USGS research on themes jointly identified by the National Park Service (NPS) Inventory and Monitoring Program and the USGS Status and Trends Program. The project concentrates on needs to analyze and synthesize biotic and abiotic data generated by vital signs monitoring and natural resource inventories to provide useful information, models, and tools to park managers for addressing natural resource management issues. Grace’s project is entitled “Development of Wetland Bioassessment Models for Integrated Analyses of NPS Data in Support of Long Term Vital Signs Monitoring and Condition-Based Management.” (Jim Grace, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8632)

  • USGS Scientist Guest Lectures at University of New Orleans: USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research Virginia Burkett was a guest lecturer for a class entitled “Geology and Sociology of Louisiana” at the University of New Orleans in New Orleans on April 2, 2009. Burkett spoke on the topic of climate change and its potential impacts on the central Gulf Coast region. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • USGS Represented at Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Meeting: Representing the U.S. government, Chief Scientist for Global Change Research Virginia Burkett participated in a meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Oslo, Norway, on March 23-26, 2009. The purpose of the IPCC meeting was to consider a proposal from the Norwegian Government for an IPCC Special Report on “Extreme Events and Disasters: Managing the Risks.” Participants in the scoping meeting agreed that such a report should be undertaken. The group produced an annotated outline for the proposed special report. A final decision about the report will be made by the IPCC in a plenary session in Turkey later this month. If the full IPCC concurs, a call for lead authors will be issued to members of the United Nations within the next 3 months, and the report will be produced within 2 years. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • USGS Briefs on Past, Present, and Future Climate Change: USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research Virginia Burkett presented a Congressional briefing in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on March 20, 2009. Burkett’s presentation was part of the USGS Congressional Briefing Series. Burkett’s talk summarized the key findings of six synthesis and assessment reports produced by the USGS for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. Burkett’s talk was preceded by a briefing from Bob Corell, Vice President of Programs at The Heinz Center, and Peter Schultz, Director of the Climate Change Science Program Office. The three presentations were given under the title “USGS Climate Change Science: Exploring the Past, Observing the Present, Forecasting the Future. Science for Understanding the Impacts of Climate Change.” Approximately 40 people attended the briefing. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • USGS Scientists Involved in Meetings on Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change: USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research Virginia Burkett co-chaired two meetings in Biloxi, Miss., on March 10-11, 2009. The first was a group of scientists and interagency partners who are all working on topics related to sea-level rise and coastal impacts in the Gulf Coast region. The second meeting involved a group of approximately 20 key stakeholders in coastal Mississippi and Alabama to gather experience and expertise that will help to identify the tools and information that are needed for sea-level rise planning. Stakeholders include flood plain and local emergency managers, natural resource managers, city planners, and representatives from the transportation, power and energy, and water and sewer sectors of the region. The second day of the meeting was a “listening session” for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program. USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Scott Wilson and scientist Cindy Thatcher participated in both the listening session and the interagency partner meeting. The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Program facilitated the meeting and provided logistical support. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • USGS Scientist Gives Keynote Address at Fish and Wildlife Service Meeting: USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research Virginia Burkett gave the keynote address at the annual project leaders meeting for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) staff in the Northeastern United States. Approximately 200 FWS staff members were in attendance at this meeting in Virginia Beach, Va. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

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

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee’s latest research continues to capture the attention of the media. McKee’s work was published recently in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and in the Journal of Ecology.
  • The work of USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee is now available online as part of Nature Reports Climate Change (April 9, 2009).

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