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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, November 19, 2009      

Departmental/Bureau New - Current

  • USGS Scientist Participates in Congressional Briefing: On November 9, 2009, Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research, participated in a Congressional briefing that was co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Communication Partnership for Science and the Sea in the Senate Commerce Committee room. The title of the briefing was “Climate change and our coasts: impacts and adaptation options.” The briefing was opened by David Kennedy, Acting Deputy Administrator for NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Burkett followed with a presentation about sea level-rise impacts and potential adaptation strategies along low-lying coasts. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • Former NWRC Employee Honored: A former employee of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, James A. Allen, was honored recently as the 2009 Outstanding Alumnus for the Louisiana State University School of Renewable Natural Resources. Allen was a Research Ecologist at NWRC from its days in Slidell until about 1996, when he moved to a USDA Forest Service position in Honolulu, Hawaii. Allen received his Ph.D. from LSU in 1994, while he was working as an employee of NWRC. Allen is currently a Professor and Executive Director of the School of Forestry at Northern Arizona University, which is in the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences. The award was presented to Allen at a Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries alumni meeting on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. (Ken Krauss, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8882)

  • NWRC Scientist Participates in SETAC Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jill Jenkins will participate in the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry Meeting, Human-Environment Interactions: Understanding Change in Dynamic Systems, in New Orleans November 19 – 23, 2009. Jenkins is session co-chair with other USGS employees from around the country (Greg Linder, Ed Little, and Reynaldo Patino) on an all-day session on November 22 entitled “Endocrine disruption and complex chemical mixtures: Species ‘at risk’ in streams, rivers, and reservoirs.”  Jenkins is presenting a talk, co-authored with NWRC statistician, Rassa Draugelis-Dale, entitled “Assessment of reproductive condition of two fish species in Lake Mead National Recreation Area.” Jenkins is also coauthor for presentations on “Challenges for Lake Mead ecosystem health and resource management in the 21st century,” “Endocrine and gonadal condition of male common carp from various locations in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area,” “Population declines in yellow perch (Perca flavescens) from Chesapeake Bay tributaries: Is there evidence of reproductive impairment?” and “Endocrine and gonadal condition of male largemouth bass from Lake Mead.” She is also co-author on a poster, “Sperm quality from largemouth bass fed environmental contaminants found in reclaimed Lake Apopka, Florida muck farms.” (Jill Jenkins, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8607)

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

  • Sean Reilly, a reporter with the Mobile Press Register (Mobile, Ala.), contacted Virginia Burkett to get more information about her November 9 Congressional briefing. Specifically he was interested in the Sea-Level Rise Visualization Tool developed for coastal planners and resource managers in the coastal counties of Mississippi and Alabama. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • Virginia Burkett, USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change Research, was contacted by Associated Press reporter Seth Borenstein about a new report being released this week concerning the capacity of ecosystems to store carbon and offset fossil fuel emissions. Burkett  referred the reporter to the following USGS carbon cycle experts: Eric Sundquist, Shuguang (Leo) Liu and Zhiliang Zhu. Borenstein asked about evidence of rapid change in ecosystems in response to climate change. Burkett offered some comments and referred the reporter to USGS scientists Lyle Mars and David Houseknecht, who have documented the doubling of the rate of coastal erosion and thermokarst lake development in Alaska since 1955. (Virginia Burkett, Many, La., 318-256-5628)

  • Jacqueline Farmer of Saint Thomas Productions in Marseille, France, requested that a member of her team meet with USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientists in early December to discuss a natural history feature film they are researching. The film, being prepared with Disney Nature, will tell the story of the life history of a hurricane and its impact on plants, animals, coral reefs, mangroves and forests. (Gaye Farris, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8550)

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