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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 15, 2009      

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • NWRC Scientist Invited To Serve on International Advisory Committee: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee has been invited to serve on an International Advisory Committee (IAC), whose purpose is to supervise research of a program, “Integrated Geological Survey and Assessment of Wetlands Along the Northern China Coast.”  The program, led by the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology, will also include collaboration with the Institute of Oceanology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing University, and the Ocean University of China. The initial four years of the program will include studies in the Liaohe Delta wetlands, which are located on the Bohai Sea, China.  In addition to advisory activities, IAC members will have research opportunities in the Liaohe Delta.  McKee was invited to join the IAC because of her expertise in global change issues and coastal sedimentation and elevation dynamics. (Karen McKee, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8662)

Departmental/Bureau News -Current

  • NWRC Scientist Presents Information on Satellite Mapping of Invasive Plants: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Elijah Ramsey III presented "Satellite mapping of invasive plants -- mapping the invasive species Chinese tallow with EO1 satellite Hyperion hyperspectral data" to the National Biological Information Infrastructure Invasive Species Working Group during a teleconference on September 24, 2009. An accompanying portable document format (pdf) of the presentation was available to all participants. The presentation materials were based on research and publications by Ramsey, contractor Amina Rangoonwala, and others. (Elijah Ramsey, III; Lafayette, La., 337-266-8575)

  • NWRC Branch Chief Presents Climate Change Information: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle contributed a climate change presentation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast Regional Climate Change Team meeting at White River National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in St. Charles, Ark., on October 14, 2009.  Meeting objectives included updates on form and function of Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and expected roles of regional science hubs and their relation to the Strategic Habitat Conservation program. (Thomas Doyle, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

  • USGS Scientist To Facilitate Public Meeting of the Ocean Policy Task Force: On October 19, 2009, Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research, will facilitate a public meeting of the Ocean Policy Task Force in New Orleans, La.  The public listening session will be held at the IMAX Theater of the Audubon Aquarium. Burkett formerly directed the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Coastal Zone Management Program. A former member of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and the Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission, Burkett was asked to serve in the role of facilitator by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Council on Environmental Quality. Invited presentations about key marine and coastal policy issues will be given by state and local governments and universities. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • NWRC Scientist To Present Seminar on Elevated CO2 Research: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee will give a seminar at Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Va., on October 20, 2009.  Her host will be Frank P. Day, Professor and Eminent Scholar. She will also meet with faculty members and students of the Department of Biological Sciences to discuss common research interests. The title of her presentation is “Response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise, climate change, and elevated CO2." (Karen McKee, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8662)

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

  • NWRC Scientist Interviewed by USAToday for Feature Article on the Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force: Recently, USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Randy Westbrooks was interviewed by USAToday for a feature article about beach vitex.  Beach vitex, which was first introduced from the beaches of South Korea as an ornamental and for dune stabilization along the Carolina coast in the mid-1980s, degrades sea turtle nesting sites and crowds out native dune plants such as sea oats and the endangered sea beach amaranth.   It is expected that the upcoming article will focus primarily on the work of the Carolinas Beach Vitex Task Force, which was first established in 2003 to address the problem. The task force is a good example of a new trend in invasive species management through interagency partnering.  This collaborative, consensus-building process, which brings principal partners (lead agencies and organizations) and  cooperators (impacted and potential stakeholders) together around a common cause, is considered the best approach for addressing new invasive species that threaten the biological and natural resources of the United States.  Lessons learned in the beach vitex project will provide valuable guidance in forming similar partnerships to address other new invasive species problems around the country and elsewhere in the world. (Randy Westbrooks, Whiteville, N.C., 910-648-6762)

  • Bob Stewart steps down as ULL vice president (The Advocate; Lafayette, La.; October 9, 2009)

  • Poster reveals gnawing mystery: A state fish and wildlife meeting on beavers may have featured a nutria (The Register-Guard; Eugene, Ore.; October 10, 2009)

  • City recognized for progressive developments (The Advertiser; Lafayette, La.; October 11, 2009)

  • Nutria’s iron-stained teeth destroying wetlands (Daily Herald; Chicago, Ill.; October 14, 2009)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • USGS Scientist Interviewed by Earth/Sky Radio About Climate Change: On October 12, 2009, Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change research, did a half-hour interview with Jorge Salazar of Earth/Sky radio about climate change and potential impacts in the United States. The interview was taped in Louisiana and will likely appear within the next two weeks on the Website of Earth Sky radio and aired by their commercial and public radio affiliates. The interview was arranged by the USGS public affairs office.  It focused on four topics:  observed climate change, abrupt climate change events, coastal impacts, and the role of science in informing policy decisions. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)      

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