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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle B. Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, April 16, 2009

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • LUMCON Seminar To Be Held at NWRC: Alex Kolker, assistant professor with the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), will present a seminar in the USGS National Wetlands Research Center’s main conference room on April 28, 2009. Kolker’s talk is entitled “Sea-Level Dynamics and the Ups and Downs of Marsh Accretion.” (Nicole Cormier, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8838)

  • Scientist to Present Seminar on CARTs: Dr. Marcus Sheaves, head of the Coastal and Estuarine Ecosystem Ecology Group and an associate professor in the School of Marine and Tropical Biology at James Cook University in Australia, will give a seminar entitled “Classification and Regression Trees (CARTs): a powerful yet simple statistical tool for exploring complex biological data” at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on April 27, 2009. Dr. Sheaves will present information on the application of CARTs for exploring complex biological data sets and offer examples from his research on tropical estuarine ecology in north-eastern Queensland, Australia. While widely used in other disciplines, CARTs are only recently becoming popular in biology and ecology. They can highlight patterns in complex data sets with missing values, high order interactions, and non-linear relationships. (Nicole Cormier, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8838)

  • NWRC Contractor Brings Science to Local School: USGS National Wetlands Research Center contractor Courtney Schaneville will visit the preschool students at Asbury Day School in Lafayette, La., on April 27, 2009. Schaneville will speak about the different types of animals that live in the Louisiana wetlands and support her talk with pictures and biofacts. (Courtney Schaneville, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8583)                                                          

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Represented at Local Earth Day Celebration: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) contractor Heather Baldwin presented information on behalf of NWRC at the University of Louisiana Lafayette Renewable Resources Earth Day celebration on April 23, 2009. Baldwin brought educational fact sheets and pamphlets to distribute, and displayed a slideshow of research pictures on a laptop computer. Baldwin is involved with studies on migratory birds and was able to demonstrate some of the techniques used in collecting data on birds at her exhibit, including a banding kit, a mist net, and a transmitter/receiver set-up. (Heather Baldwin, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8504)

  • NWRC Chosen as Site for Southeast Area Center Directors Meeting: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) was the chosen site for the Southeast Area Center Directors Meeting on April 21-23, 2009. Members of Senior Leadership, including Bill Werkheiser, Sue Haseltine, and Jess Weaver, were in attendance and provided multiple presentations on issues, collaborations, and directions concerning Southeast area Centers. NWRC staff also presented information and updates on each of the scientific branches of NWRC. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

  • NWRC Director Participates in Third Yangtze Forum in China: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Gregory Smith and USGS Central Region Director Stanley Ponce traveled to Shanghai, China for the Third Yangtze Forum on April 20-21, 2009. The forum was held to share information and promote scientific cooperation between U.S. and Chinese scientists working on large rivers and related ecosystems. Dr. Smith presented information on and lead discussions related to wetland science, coastal restoration, and the application of remote sensing techniques to determine landscape change. Understanding large rivers and the ecological linkages to wetlands and coastal habitats is an important component of the USGS mission and directly supports both the USGS Ecosystem Change and Climate Change science. (Gregory Smith, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

  • USGS Partnership with Asian Countries Continues To Develop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Gregory Smith journeyed to the Asian countries of Thailand and Cambodia on April 11-19, 2009, to meet with multiple agencies and partners concerning an upcoming science summit. The Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON) was created by the USGS to share data and build models and tools to inform the management of the Mississippi and other rivers and deltas globally. USGS science related to climate change, data integration, and ecosystem change are core areas of the DRAGON partnership effort in modeling ecosystem processes and a major part of the USGS strategic direction. Dr. Smith met with Thai scientists and the U.S. State Department of Regional Environment and Science Office to plan technical sessions for the DRAGON summit in Cambodia in June 2009. In addition, meetings with U.S. governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations in Cambodia are critical to the development of the technical program and the overall organization of the summit. Dr. Smith met with key persons at the International Crane Foundation Cambodia and other non-governmental organizations, as well as personnel with the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia. Everyone participating in these meetings in Cambodia serves on the Program Committee for the DRAGON summit. (Gregory Smith, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Scientist Attends Gulf Coast Joint Venture Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle attended the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Gulf Coast Joint Venture Spring 2009 Management Board Meeting held in Bay City, Texas, on April 16-17, 2009. The purpose of the meeting was to review program priorities and project proposals for enhancing regional and agency bird conservation goals. (Thomas Doyle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

  • 4-H Students Visit NWRC: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) contractor Courtney Schaneville hosted a group of 40 students from the St. Landry Parish 4-H Club on April 17, 2009. The students viewed a presentation on Louisiana’s wetlands and then took a tour of NWRC. NWRC scientists 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 Staff Participate in 25th Annual Louisiana Remote Sensing and GIS Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) Acting Assistant Director Phil Turnipseed and Branch Chief Scott Wilson were invited to take part in the 25th Annual Louisiana Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Workshop at the Lod Cook Conference Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge on April 14-16, 2009.  Many State and Federal agencies and academia attended this meeting to discuss current topics and growth in GIS and remote sensing technology in Louisiana in the past 25 years.  The keynote speaker at the workshop was Lawrence Handley, Director of the USGS Mid-Continent Geographic Science Center in Rolla, Mo. NWRC scientist Yvonne Allen also presented a talk entitled “Assessment of inundation extent and quality in the Atchafalaya Basin Floodway System 1983-2008 using Landsat imagery.” (Phil Turnipseed, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8566)

  • NWRC Hosts Workshop on Project by Louisiana Department of Economic Development: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center conference room was the site of a workshop given by the Center for Planning Excellence on April 15, 2009. The purpose of the workshop was to explain the use of the new Louisiana Land Use Toolkit, created by the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. (Courtney Schaneville, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8583)

  • NWRC Scientist Collaborates with McNeese State University: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Tommy Michot met with Art Department faculty member Meghan Fleming of McNeese State University on April 14, 2009. Michot assisted Fleming in interpreting aerial photographs of marsh and other wetlands in the Chenier Plain after Hurricanes Rita and Ike, to see if the marsh coverage had decreased or increased following these events. Fleming is working on a project that would use visual arts to interpret aerial wetland landscapes. (Thomas Michot, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8664)

  • NWRC Focuses on Facility Clean Up: The Department of the Interior designated the week of April 6-10, 2009, as Safety and Health Awareness Week. Since a healthy and safe working place is important to the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC), a comprehensive approach was undertaken by NWRC staff members during the awareness week. Personnel focused on removing clutter from office spaces and common areas and recycled many unwanted items. The Clean-Up Week received such a positive response that it was extended through April 17, 2009. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

  • NWRC Branch Chief Recognized by University of New Orleans: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Gaye Farris was recognized by the University of New Orleans in the Spring 2009 edition of their magazine. A comprehensive write-up of Farris’s career accomplishments was highlighted in the Alum Notes section. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

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