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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 26, 2010  

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • NWRC Scientist To Brief National Park Service on Wetlands Vital Signs: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jim Grace and his collaborators, Glenn Guntenspergen (USGS), Don Schoolmaster (NWRC, IAP), and David Cooper (Colorado State Univ.) will brief NPS natural resource managers on analyses of wetlands vital signs at Rocky Mountain National Park the week of September 6, 2010. This briefing is related to ongoing work to develop integrative analysis methods for NPS monitoring data. The purpose of the briefing is to maximize opportunities for the analysis and summarization of monitoring data to be of use in natural resource decision making. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

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:

    • The Trustees have approved a low-altitude survey of seagrass in Louisiana and Mississippi using the NWRC plane. We are currently waiting for BP approval. The plane would be flown by DOI/Aircraft Management Directorate pilot Bill James. This effort is coordinated with the Aerial Imagery Technical Working Group. (Chris Wells)

    • Wetland Biologists are still working with the NRDA Shoreline team to develop an assessment plan for the Louisiana coastal marsh. Field sampling could start in September. (Thomas Doyle)

    • Aerial imagery team is working with Shoreline, Birds, and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Technical Working Groups to define aerial imagery needs for each resource. (Chris Wells)

    • Wildlife biologists are working with the NRDA Bird Teams to develop and implement work plans. (Clint Jeske)

    • An additional study in the non-breeding shorebird work plan will be to assess oiling rates using UV lights and a radio telemetry study with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and FWS for short-billed dowitchers and willets in Louisiana.  (Clint Jeske)

    • A work group has been formed to develop a benthic, estuarine, beach invertebrate sampling plan. These resources are important food components for migratory birds and Gulf sturgeon.  NWRC will serve as the lead for sampling in Louisiana. (Clint Jeske)

    • NWRC staff provided a list of NWRC oil spill contributions and accomplishments to Sonya Jones that will roll up into a larger USGS report.

    • Data collection for the helicopter surveys of marsh birds will be initiated later this week and continue through mid-September. Jeske is a co-investigator with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers investigators.

    • Jim Grace will participate in the DOI Strategic Sciences Working Group which is led by Gary Machlis of the National Park Service. This group provides guidance to the DOI agency leads.  The meeting will be the week of September 20.

  • SAR Workshop Held: A three day USGS Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Workshop was conducted by the USGS National Wetlands Research Center Remote Sensing Applied Research Group August 10-12, 2010, at the NASA/ULL Regional Applications Center in Lafayette, La.  Agencies represented were U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, AmericaView (Ole Miss), University of Minnesota, and USGS Geography, Biological Resources, and Water Resources Divisions. SAR fundamentals and capabilities were provided through a combination of short introduction lectures followed by hands-on SAR processing exercises. All participants left with SAR processing capabilities. Elijah Ramsey, III (NWRC) and Barry Haack (on detail from USGS Land Remote Sensing) delivered workshop lectures and Zhong Lu (USGS Geography) presented a webinar lecture on Interferometric SAR theory and applications. Yukihiro Suzuoki (ASci Inc.), Amina Rangoonwala (IAP World Services Inc.) and Terri Bannister (IAP World Services Inc.) conducted hands-on exercises. (Elijah Ramsey, III; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

  • NWRC Scientist To Publish Article About Fieldwork in New Zealand: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee has an article in the upcoming (August) issue of Sound Waves entitled “Fieldwork in New Zealand Will Facilitate Comparisons of Northern and Southern Hemisphere Wetlands.”  The article describes her participation in two international projects aimed at a better understanding of wetlands from a global perspective and how they may respond to climate change and other human-driven impacts. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8662)

  • Caddo Lake Watershed Stakeholder Meeting:  USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle will participate in the Caddo Lake Watershed Protection Plan Stakeholder meeting on August 30, 2010, in Jefferson, Texas. The meeting will focus on the activities and outcome of a water quality and modeling study of flows and nutrient circulation in Caddo Lake. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Thomas Doyle was contacted on August 19, 2010, by Brett Israel, a staff writer for the online magazine Our Amazing Planet, for a story about the ecological impacts of Hurricane Katrina five years after the storm. Doyle called Israel back, but Israel has not yet contacted him back. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

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