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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 10, 2010  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC response to the BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico oil spill: The staff of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center is assisting with response to the oil release in the Gulf of Mexico. The Science Response Vehicle has been deployed and is operational at the Venice, Louisiana, Operations Center.  NWRC continues to produce maps to support the oil response effort.  These maps have been used by the National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, BP, U.S Navy, and other Federal and State agencies.  This includes maps used by the Louisiana Governor’s office to identify coastal areas needing protection through boom deployment; maps to NPS staff in Mobile, Alabama, for briefing the NPS Director; and a series of forecast maps using the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data. [Scott Wilson, NWRC, 337-266-8644]

    Other activities include:

    • A seagrass team led by NWRC scientist Jacoby Carter and geographer Chris Wells has established baseline monitoring sampling locations in Louisiana and Mississippi State waters and are collecting samples.  Data will be used to measure the impact of the oil release on seagrass and submerged aquatic vegetation beds in the northern Gulf of Mexico. [Jacoby Carter, NWRC, 337-266-8620]

    • NWRC scientist Elijah Ramsey participating in strategy and planning for NASA UAVSAR collections along the Gulf of Mexico coastal margin.  Dr. Ramsey is initiating field collection strategies in coastal Louisiana in support of the calibration and validation of the UAVSAR data. [Elijah Ramsey, Lafayette, La., 337-8575]

    • Marsh bird teams led by NWRC scientist Clint Jeske will begin conducting marsh bird census sampling this week.  The group is working on bird monitoring and damage assessment plans. [Clint Jeske, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8652]

    • NWRC scientist Clint Jeske will participate in the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) proposal selection process in Arlington, Virginia, the week of June 14.  This program is a collaboration of the Department of Defense, EPA, and the Department of Energy. [Clint Jeske, Lafayette, La., 337-266-8652]

    • NWRC Science Center Director Janine Powell participating in DOI Oil Spill Science Team meeting.  The Interior Department Oil Spill Science Team met June 9-11 in Reston, Virginia to finalize the science plan.  Sonya Jones is the team lead. [Janine Powell, NWRC, 337-266-8501]

    • NWRC Librarian to assist NBII Program Office.  Cassie Thibodeaux, NWRC Librarian, will accompany Bruce Hunter, LIFE Technical Director of Media Resources, NBII Program Office, on a visit to the Gulf Coast region. [Linda Broussard, NWRC, 337-266-8692]

    • USGS participation in Annual South Carolina Invasive Species Conference.  On Wednesday, June 9, 2010, Randy Westbrooks, NWRC scientist based in Whiteville, North Carolina, gave a presentation on the potential invasiveness of Sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima) at the annual meeting of the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council.  The meeting was held at Congaree National Park, near Columbia, South Carolina. [Randy Westbrooks, NWRC, 910-648-6762]

    • NWRC scientist Randy Westbrooks keynote speaker during joint annual meeting.  On Thursday, June 10, 2010, Randy Westbrooks gave the keynote address on economic and ecological impacts of introduced invasive species at a joint annual meeting of the South Carolina Division of the Society of American Foresters and the South Carolina Chapter of the Wildlife Society.  That meeting was held in Columbia, South Carolina. [Randy Westbrooks, NWRC, 910-648-6762]

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