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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 2, 2010  

Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • NWRC Scientist To Continue Work in China: National Wetlands Research Center Research Ecologist Beth Middleton will return to Changchun, China, as a visiting senior professor from September 15 - October 1, 2010. She will continue her work with Jiang Ming of the Chinese Academy of Science on seed and propagule banks in the restoration of farmed fields in northeastern China. She will also lead workshops on writing for scientific journals for graduate students. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

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)

    • 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)

    • Scott Wilson attended the Barataria–Terrebonne National Estuary Program quarterly meeting on September 1, 2010, that focused on oil spill activities and impacts. (Scott Wilson)

    • Marsh bird surveys using a low-flying helicopter are being conducted and will continue through mid-September. Clint Jeske is a co-investigator with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers investigators. (Clint Jeske)

    • 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. (Jim Grace)

  • Seminar on Climate Change Effects on Tidal Freshwater Marshes To Be Held at NWRC: Scott Neubauer, Assistant Director and a research assistant professor at the Baruch Marine Field Laboratory, University of South Carolina, will present a seminar at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on September 14, 2010. His talk is entitled "Climate change effects on tidal freshwater marshes: Ecosystem and biogeochemical perspectives." (Nicole Cormier; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8838)

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

  • Fieldwork in New Zealand: Comparisons Between Northern and Southern Hemisphere Wetlands (Sound Waves Monthly Newsletter; August/September 2010) “Fieldwork on the North Island of New Zealand is contributing to a more global view of how wetlands function and how they may respond to climate change and other human-driven impacts. USGS scientist Karen McKee spent 5 months conducting research alongside New Zealand colleagues and other collaborators.” (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8662)

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff provided Jeremy Repanich of Popular Mechanics coastal Louisiana land loss maps, animations, and publications as well as project information about a river diversion being planned at Myrtle Grove, La. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • Sarah Clune with PBS NewsHour contacted staff at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on August 25, 2010, to request footage and information for a report they are preparing on coastal erosion in Louisiana. NWRC provided her with coastal footage, land loss maps and reports, and other sources she could contact for images and information. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Reporter Mario Masson accompanied USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientists Clint Jeske and Tommy Michot 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 interviewed Michot about Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and wildlife. He asked Michot questions about the Louisiana coastal wetlands and their importance to the people and the culture of south Louisiana, and to the wildlife and bird life.  They also asked him about the long term issues facing Louisiana's coastal marshes and about the resilience of the marshes to disturbance and disasters, both natural and man-induced. (Thomas Michot; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8664)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

  • Katrina, Five Years After: A Coastline Changed Forever? (FOXNews.com; August 28, 2010) “‘When you have events like Katrina and Rita, it totally changes your landscape,’ says U.S. Geological Survey ecologist Greg Steyer, who runs the coastal restoration field station for the National Wetlands Research Center.” (Greg Steyer; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7201)    

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