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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, February 10, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • New Video Online About Wetland Loss in the Mississippi River Delta: A new video by USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen L. McKee entitled “Sea-Level Rise, Subsidence, and Wetland Loss” has been recently published online and featured on the USGS Home Page. The video, which summarizes the causes of wetland loss in the Mississippi River Delta, is available for viewing on the USGS Multimedia Gallery as well as the USGS YouTube Channel. Related videos published previously focus on hurricane impacts and effects of elevated CO2 on coastal wetlands. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8662)

  • Monitoring Duration and Extent of Storm-Surge and Flooding in Western Coastal Louisiana Marshes With Envisat ASAR Data by Elijah Ramsey III, Zhong Lu, Yukihiro Suzuoki, Amina Rangoonwala, Dirk Werle, IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, (10 January 2011 Early Access Online Publication): Inundation maps were prepared from Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) scenes covering before and three months after storm-surge flooding of western coastal Louisiana. Validated with inland hydrograph recordings, the maps showed that continuous surge flooding lasted over seven days for 45% and over 45 days for 20% of the coastal marshes. A sudden end of the surge flooding was linked to persistent offshore winds. A subsequent re-expansion in flood extent was associated with rainfall events coinciding with increased above-surface water levels. During the first month, surge water recession was higher in non-impounded than impounded marshes. To a large extent, the drainage of impounded marshes was forced by the occurrence of persistent offshore winds. Surprisingly, flood extent was linearly related to recorded water depths. A calculated threshold index based on the SAR change-detection calculation seemed to provide a convenient indicator of preceding hydraulic and hydrologic events and overall wetland hydraulic condition. (Elijah Ramsey; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

  • NWRC Hosts Job Shadower: One eighth grade job shadower from L.J. Alleman Middle School spent the day learning about a variety of science projects at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on February 9, 2011. She learned about geographic information systems with Dayna Price and Adrienne Garber; bird habitat remote sensing with Mark Parr and Nicholas Enwright; laboratory analysis with John McCoy; the herbarium with Larry Allain; the salamander tagging experiment with Brad Glorioso; and the greenhouses and dendrology lab with Richard Day. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Boy Scout Explorer Group Learns About Careers in Science: High school age Boy Scout Explorers learned about careers in science from USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Brad Glorioso during their visit to the center on February 9, 2011. Glorioso spoke about preparing for college, college selection, course selection, and types of work available for various degree levels. (Brad Glorioso; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8836)

  • NWRC Observes National African American History Month: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center will observe National African American History Month with a special program on February 11, 2011. Dr. Susan Dollar, Associate Professor of History at Northwestern State University, will present “Ethnicity and Jim Crow: The Americanization of Louisiana's Creoles.” In her presentation, she will describe the process by which colonial Louisiana's tripartite system was transformed into the American binary racial code of black/white. Also, the NWRC library’s lobby display case features books from their Workforce Diversity Collection. The special emphasis during February is on African American History. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC Participates in the Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium: Cassie Thibodeaux, USGS NWRC librarian and content manager for NBII, will present “Resources to Enrich the Science Curriculum” at the Louisiana Environmental Education Symposium on February 12, 2011. This presentation will familiarize teachers with the vast array of reference material available through the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) and encourage teachers to incorporate new scientific information into their current curriculum.  Additionally, Thibodaux will partner with IAP contract employee Susan Testroet-Bergeron to host a field session for teachers on February 11 to investigate the Mississippi River and its effect on coastal land building and land loss at the Old River Control Structure. The trip to Simmesport, La., will help teachers learn about how the river has built coastal Louisiana. This event offers educators a firsthand look at the devices that control water flow in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers and will be the backdrop for inquiry into human impacts, decisions, and upcoming restoration plans. (Cassie Thibodeaux; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8505)

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