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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 19, 2010  

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientists Clint Jeske and Tommy Michot will accompany reporter Mario Masson in the Fourchon/Grand Isle, La., area on August 28, 2010. Masson is producing a one hour program on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill for CBC-MRC Française à Montréal (Canada) and will interview the scientists about Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and wildlife. (Thomas Michot; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8664)

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 spill from the BP Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

    Oil spill-related activity:

    • SRV geospatial support functions to the Venice Operation Center were officially demobilized this week. (Steve Hartley)

    • Work on delineation of high-resolution land/water information for LA SCAT team / LA Oil Spill Office has been closed out.

    • Clinton Jeske will be a co-investigator with personnel from the Vicksburg Office of the Army Corps of Engineers, and Fish and Wildlife Service to develop secretive marsh bird population estimates to compliment estimates from the call-back surveys done in June for the NRDA effort in response to the Mississippi Canyon 252 oil spill. These surveys will utilize ultra-low level helicopter surveys and videography. Flights will be initiated next week.

    • The National Science Foundation has awarded a project entitled "RAPID:  Effects of oiling and hydrologic remediation on baldcypress swamp elevation and ecosystem processes in the context of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill" to Brian J. Roberts of Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) and Beth Middleton (NWRC). This award is effective September 1, 2010, and expires August 31, 2011.

    • NWRC scientists Tom Doyle, Chris Wells and Scott Wilson met with Mark Hester (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) and Laurie Sullivan (NOAA, Shoreline Working Group Lead) to discuss marsh sampling protocols and involvement of NWRC in sample collection.

    • Wetland Biologists are working with the NRDA Shoreline team to develop an assessment plan for the coastal marsh.  NOAA has approached the Center to provide the assistance. (Tom Doyle)

    • Clint Jeske is developing operational plans for immediate sampling to collect population size, species composition, and oiling rates of transient shorebirds. Implementation awaits final approval of SOPs and confirmation of funding.

    • The Submerged Aquatic Vegetation and Aerial Imagery Technical Working Groups are planning a low altitude aerial digital photography mission of Breton Island, the Chandeleur Islands and the Mississippi Sound Islands for seagrass observation and mapping using the NWRC plane. The plane would be flown by DOI Aviation Directorate pilot Bill James. The mission may be initiated within the next two weeks. (Chris Wells)

    • Work is beginning on development of a shoreline benthos sampling plan in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the Shoreline Technical Working Group. Clint Jeske is developing the sampling framework for shorebird and waterbird foods.

    • Wildlife biologists are working with the NRDA team to develop a Louisiana-specific shorebird plan. This may require that Louisiana separates this activity from the overall NRDA bird effort. (Clint Jeske)

    • NWRC staff provided oil spill images and PowerPoint slides to Sonya Jones for a presentation she is developing for the Director.

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

  • Cary Institute helps undergrads cultivate skills with summer program (Poughkeepsie Journal; August 8, 2010; Poughkeepsie, NY) “It's the one place I can think of where, if someone spots a snake, everyone goes tip-toeing in the direction of the snake," said Marianne Pott, a Valparaiso University student whose past internship at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center informed her work simulating how wetland soils process nitrogen.” (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655) Cary Institute helps undergrads cultivate skills with summer program | poughkeepsiejournal.com | Poughkeepsie Journal

  • The USGS National Wetlands Research Center provided the LA Times information about Louisiana wetlands loss for a request that was forwarded from the USGS Public Affairs Office on August 13, 2010. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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