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Weekly Highlights


From: Courtney H Schaneville
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 11, 2009

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • NWRC To Participate in Society of Wetland Scientists Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) scientists Beth Middleton and Karen McKee will be leading symposia at the upcoming meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) in Madison, Wis., June 22-26, 2009.  The symposia are sponsored by new SWS Sections founded by Middleton and McKee: "Global Change Ecology" and "Women in Wetlands," respectively.  Middleton’s symposium, entitled “Global Climate Change and Function of Wetlands,” features several well-known wetland scientists who will talk about baldcypress swamps, freshwater floodplain forests, northern peatlands, coastal marshes, prairie pothole wetlands, and tropical wetlands.  McKee will chair a symposium entitled “Gaining an Edge: Essential Skills for Success in Wetland Science,” and speakers will cover topics such as technical writing, presentations, grants, mentoring, and alternative careers. NWRC scientists Wylie Barrow, Jacoby Carter, Richard Day, Tom Doyle, Steve Faulkner, Rebecca Howard, Ken Krauss, and Tommy Michot will also be attending the meeting to present scientific papers. (Karen McKee, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8662, Beth Middleton, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8618)

  • International DRAGON Partnership Meeting in Cambodia: The Delta Research and Global Observation Network (DRAGON) Asia Summit will take place June 22-25, 2009, in Siem Reap Cambodia.  This second international meeting of the DRAGON has the theme of "Connecting Great Deltas, Great Rivers, and Great Lakes."  Among the U.S. plenary session speakers at the meeting will be Carol Rodley, U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Cambodia; Michael Michalak, U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam; Susan Haseltine, Associate Director for Biology, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); Virginia Burkett, Chief Scientist for Global Change Research, USGS; and Robert Lambe, Vice-Chair, Great Lakes Fishery Commission.  Among the Cambodian officials will be Mok Mareth, Senior Minister, Ministry of the Environment; Im Sethy, Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports; Hou Taing Eng, Secretary General, Tonle Sap Basin Authority; and Do Manh Hung, Director, Operations Division, Mekong River Commission.  Gregory Smith, Director, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, is a chair of the event, along with meeting sponsor representatives Jeb Barzen, International Crane Foundation, and Marc Gaden, Great Lakes Fishery Commission; Caddo Lake Institute is also a sponsor.  The DRAGON Partnership was recognized by the U.S. President during a meeting with the Prime Minister of Vietnam in 2008 during discussions of science cooperation, when the DRAGON Institute - Mekong was established.  The DRAGON Partnership seeks to promote a community of practice among scientists and resource managers and to develop new visualization tools and applications for ecological forecasting regarding the world's major deltas, many of which have populations in peril due to climate change, according to the International Panel on Climate Change.  (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)                                                    

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Director Organizes Climate Advisory Council Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Gregory Smith organized and attended the first meeting of the Climate Advisory Council (CAC) on June 16, 2009, at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam. The CAC consists of the U.S. members of the U.S.-Vietnam Bilateral Climate Change Working Group, created by a joint statement issued by the President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Vietnam. It includes climate change experts in government, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and the private sector. Issues discussed at the meeting included climate change initiatives in the United States and in Vietnam, reports on work being done by other entities and agencies, and future goals and directions of the working group. (Gregory Smith, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

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

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee was interviewed this week by Susan Cosier, Associate Editor of Audubon magazine, about coastal wetlands.  Cosier was particularly interested in knowing why swamps and marshes are important, if they contribute to greenhouse gases, and why they “smell the way they do.”  McKee explained that despite their (occasionally) bad smell, which is the result of natural processes, wetlands provide many important benefits to society.

Other (Forum meeting, press conferences, media training, etc.)

  • On June 16, 2009, a report was released by the White House entitled "Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States."  A press conference was held in the White House briefing room and was followed by regional press briefings and Congressional briefings. The report contains relevant highlights of the Climate Change Science Program synthesis and assessment products (five of which the USGS led or co-led) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report 4. The report also contains historical trends and down-scaled Global Climate Model projections for each major region of the United States, as well as highlights of scientific literature published since the IPCC 2007 report was released. This is the first U.S.-wide assessment that has been produced since 2001.  USGS scientists Dave McGuire and Virginia Burkett are members of the Federal Advisory Committee Act committee that wrote the 196-page report and the 20-page brochure that will be available in a few weeks from Cambridge Press.  Burkett will participate in the press conference and subsequent briefings.

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