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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, May 26, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NASA and NWRC Working to Determine Flood Extent and Areal Plume Boundaries in the Gulf of Mexico: USGS National Wetlands Research Center is working with NASA to determine the flood extent and areal plume boundaries associated with the historic Mississippi River Flood of 2011. NWRC and NASA are using MODIS throughout the lower Mississippi River Basin and in the Gulf of Mexico. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Federal and State Partners and NWRC Working To Develop Advance Computer Applications for Morganza Spillway: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – New Orleans District, the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources and others to develop Advance Computer Applications for Morganza Spillway. The ensuing graphic user interface will display sampling locations from several agencies for the study areas downstream of the Morganza Spillway during this historic event.  (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Hosts NGOM Annual Science Meeting: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center hosted the 2011 Annual Science Meeting of the USGS Northern Gulf Coast Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project May 24 – 26, 2011. Scientists from several USGS facilities presented updates of their work and discussed collaborative efforts. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC SRV Team Facilitates Rescue at NPS Site: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center’s Science Response Vehicle (SRV) was deployed at the request of a National Park Service Emergency Coordinator to assist with a search and rescue operation in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve – Barataria Preserve south of New Orleans on May 24, 2011. The missing person was located May 25 after being stuck in the marsh of the preserve since May 21. The rescue of the university leader from Colombia by the NPS by helicopter was enabled and facilitated by the maps and geospatial data that the NWRC SRV team was able to acquire, assimilate, and create for them. The SRV team consisted of team leader Stephen Hartley along with geographers Gene Nelson and Bill Jones. The vehicle was acquired in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina and has been deployed multiple times, most recently in support of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill. The SRV is a comprehensive emergency tool capable of rapid deployment in response to natural disasters throughout the United States. It is equipped with computers, software, and plotters to provide spatial analyses during and after natural disasters and to produce site specific geospatial products.  (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Aerial Reconnaissance of the Lower Mississippi-Atchafalaya Flood of 2011:  On May 25, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer Chris Wells flew a reconnaissance flight over the Morganza-Atchafalaya Floodway, Bonnet Carre Spillway, and the Atchafalaya River Basin collecting low-oblique video footage and high-resolution color photography to record and document the spillways at their opening flows and record flooding in some the susceptible areas in the lower Atchafalaya River Basin.  (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Director Meets with NGOM Program Leaders to Discuss Future of Program: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed met with USGS Northern Gulf Coast Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project Chief John Brock, USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center Director Jack Kindinger, and USGS Gulf Coast Science Coordinator Alyssa Dausman to wrap up the NGOM meeting and talk about the future of the program on May 26, 2011. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NRCS and NWRC To Continue Work on Louisiana Native Plant Initiative with New Memorandum of Understanding: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will re-sign a cooperative agreement with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in regards to NWRC’s support for the Louisiana Native Plant Initiative on May 27, 2011, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Center for Ecology and Environmental Technology. The initiative is a cooperative effort to help conserve a vanishing natural resource in Louisiana – native plants. Nineteen partners will come together to sign a memorandum of understanding supporting the effort. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Scientist To Place SETs in Chinese Wetlands: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Beth Middleton will work with colleagues Jiang Ming and Guodong Wang in the Sanjiang Plain in northeastern China to place Sediment Elevation Tables (SETs) into northern peatlands May 29-June 2, 2011.  These SETs will be for the purpose of restoration and climate change monitoring and will likely be the first elevation markers in wetlands in China. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

  • NWRC Prepares for 2011 Hurricane Season: USGS National Wetlands Research Center staff, in cooperation with the USGS Louisiana Water Science Center, will have an all-hands meeting to discuss hurricane preparedness on June 1, the first day of the 2011 hurricane season. NWRC will conduct a mock hurricane preparedness exercise, Hurricane Jean Pierre, June 3. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • New Land Change Map to be Debuted in Briefing to Louisiana State Legislators: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center has developed a new map that illustrates wetland losses and gains on the Louisiana coastline from 1932-2010. This product provides opportunities to better understand the timing and causes of wetland loss, which are critical for forecasting landscape changes in the future. NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will debut the new map in a briefing to a joint meeting of the Louisiana House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and Senate Committee on Natural Resources on June 2, 2011, at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge. A press conference will follow. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Scientist To Address Chinese Academy of Science: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Beth Middleton will address the Chinese Academy of Science Key Laboratory of Geography and Agricultural Ecology in Changchun, China on June 3, 2011.  The talk is entitled "Succession and cattle grazing in northern fens." (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

Notable Congressional Activity

  • USGS Provides Tour of Lower Atchafalaya for Louisiana Congressional Delegation: On May 20, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, retired USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Director Charlie Demas, LWSC Ecologist Daniel Kroes, USGS Public Affairs Specialist Alex Demas, and Louisiana House of Representatives Legislative Analyst Su King took Rep. Karen St. Germaine and Senator Mike Michot on a tour of part of the lower Atchafalaya to witness flooding and to explain sedimentation issues associated with the historic Mississippi River Flood of 2011.  (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • USGS Provides Tour of Lower Atchafalaya for U.S. Congressional Delegation: On May 24, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Director George Arcement, retired LWSC Director Charlie Demas, LWSC Ecologist Daniel Kroes, USGS Public Affairs Specialist Alex Demas, and Louisiana House of Representatives Legislative Analyst Su King took Penny Frederick (Rep. Charles Boustany), T. Bradley Keith (Sen. Mary Landrieu) and Bill Stiles (Rep. Jeff Landry) on a tour of part of the lower Atchafalaya to witness flooding and to explain sedimentation issues associated with the historic Mississippi River Flood of 2011.  (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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

  • On May 24, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, retired USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Director Charlie Demas, LWSC Ecologist Daniel Kroes, and USGS Public Affairs Specialist Alex Demas took reporter Claire Taylor and a photographer from the Lafayette Daily Advertiser on a tour of part of the lower Atchafalaya to witness flooding.  Ms. Taylor interviewed the USGS scientists about current issues with this historic flood. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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