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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, April 21, 2011  

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Departmental/Bureau News - Upcoming

  • NWRC To Participate in 2011 Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Annual Conference:  USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Randy Westbrooks will provide a keynote address at the 2011 annual conference of the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council in Lexington, Ky., on May 2, 2011. Westbrooks will provide an overview of invasive plant management issues, challenges, and accomplishments over the past 50 years.  He will also discuss the role of state invasive species councils, invasive species task forces, and cooperative weed management areas in addressing invasive species issues that cannot be effectively addressed by a single agency. Westbrooks will also conduct a half-day Regional Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Train-the-Trainer Workshop at the University of Kentucky (field trip option #4 on the Conference Agenda web page) on May 5, 2011.  The primary objective of this workshop is to assist participants in drafting a State EDRR Work Plan for their home state.  After the workshop, Westbrooks will assist the State EPPC Chapters in finalizing and implementing their State EDRR Plans, as requested. (Randy Westbrooks; Whiteville, N.C.; 910-648-6762)

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Geographers Provide Expertise to NRDA Technical Working Group: USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographers Larry Handley and Chris Wells participated in the Aerial Imagery/Remote Sensing Technical Working Group meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla., for the Natural Resource Damage Assessment for the Deepwater Horizon Oilspill on April 5 – 7, 2011.  Handley and Wells presented demonstrations of the initial feature identification and habitat mapping being developed as part of the activities of the Technical Working Group. Handley is the team lead for the TWG that is preparing for the April/May acquisition of high resolution airborne digital camera imagery for the northern Gulf coast. (Larry Handley; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC Director and Branch Chief Meet with Chinese Scientists: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and Branch Chief Scott Wilson met with the director of China’s Bureau of Hydrology and staff from the Beijing Hydrological Stations Program Office to discuss wetland research and practices and future collaboration the week of April 18, 2011, in Beijing, China. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Students Learn About La.’s Coastal Wetlands and NWRC Research: Approximately 25 students from Holy Savior Menard Central High School (Alexandria, La.) visited the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on April 18, 2011. The students viewed a presentation on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and toured the center to learn about research and careers in science. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC Participates in SC-EPPC Invasive Plant Training Workshop in Coastal South Carolina:  USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Randy Westbrooks provided the keynote address at a day-long invasive plant training workshop at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Seewee Environmental Education Center in Awendaw, S.C.  on April 19, 2011.  The workshop, provided by the South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council, was attended by personnel from the Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), and by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service field personnel from low country of South Carolina.  COE officials from the Charleston District requested this training to help them more effectively meet their obligations under Presidential Executive Order 13112 to minimize the establishment and spread of invasive species through the Clean Water Act permitting process.  The primary objective is to use the permitting process to minimize the introduction and spread of invasive plants into/from sites that are being developed for private and commercial uses (e.g., malls, etc.). The rationale for this new element of the Clean Water Act permitting process is that if certain plants [e.g., Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera)] are allowed to become established and grow on such sites, it will lead to soil and erosion problems, and ultimately water quality issues in the future. (Randy Westbrooks; Whiteville, N.C.; 910-648-6762)

  • NWRC Biologist Educates Students for Earth Day Celebration: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Research Wildlife Biologist Clint Jeske participated in L. Leo Judice Elementary’s Earth Day Celebration on April 20, 1011. Jeske educated students about avian ecology. (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

  • Joint NWRC-Tulane University Information Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will host a joint information meeting with Tulane University scientists at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research involved in the USGS Long-term Estuary Assessment Group (LEAG) program. Scientists from both organizations will exchange presentations on research activities in Louisiana’s estuaries on April 28, 2011. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Agency Work on Presidential Initiatives

  • NWRC Director and Branch Chief Meet with Chinese Officials To Plan for U.S. Department of State Initiative: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and Branch Chief Scott Wilson met with officials of the People’s Republic of China State Forestry Administration in Beijing, China, to discuss a bilateral 10-year wetland strategy framework the week of April 18, 2011. The U.S. Department of State is leading the effort with additional participation and attendees from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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

  • University of Louisiana at Lafayette journalism student Emily Henagan requested interviews with USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff on April 6, 2011, concerning an update on last year’s oil spill. She spoke briefly with Branch Chief Scott Wilson who explained some of the work and some of the difficulties associated with analyzing the spill’s impacts. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • William Johnson of the Daily Advertiser (Lafayette, La.) contacted USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff on April 14, 2011, to inquire about oil spill impacts to cetaceans. He was referred to other agencies working on that issue. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Cost to coast unclear (Daily Advertiser; Lafayette, La.; April 18, 2011) “"It's been somewhat vague because of the way it occurred," said Clint Jeske, a research wildlife biologist with the USGS National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.” (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • Pedro Azevedo of Flight 33 Productions contacted USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff on April 4, 2011, concerning production of a 2-hour special for the History Channel tentatively titled “Invisible.” The program will focus on perception of the entire electromagnetic spectrum. He was interested in what was “invisible” in the wetlands of the southeastern United States. He was referred to Elijah Ramsey for his use of Synthetic Aperture Radar to detect the "invisible" in wetlands, such as the subtle change of water level, presence or absence of oil, or presence of invasive species such as Chinese tallow trees and to Wylie Barrow for his work with NEXRAD Doppler RADAR to track bird migration or duck movement. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Clint Jeske was contacted on April 15, 2011, by CBS Evening News to provide fact checks for a story about the status of pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico after last year’s oil spill. He provided appropriate contacts for the researcher. (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Clint Jeske was interviewed by KATC (ABC affiliate; Lafayette, La.) on April 18, 2011, about the center’s work related to last year’s oil spill. Jeske discussed the difficulties associated with evaluating the spill’s impacts and the fact that it may take years to determine the damage. (Clint Jeske; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8652)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

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