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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 23, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Featured in Keynote Address at Business Over Breakfast Gathering of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce: On June 21, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Wetlands and Forest Ecosystem Branch Chief Thomas Doyle attended the Business Over Breakfast Gathering of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. A keynote address was given by Robert Twilley, University of Louisiana at Lafayette Vice-Chancellor for Research on research and cooperative opportunities for the future. Doyle was interviewed and appeared in the presentation discussing graphical visualization tools being developed by the NWRC in cooperation with the UL Louisiana Immersion Technology Enterprise, the Mekong River Commission, and UL personnel for the NWRC Forecast Mekong program. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Continues Efforts in EPA’s Urban Waters Pilot Project:  USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a Federal coordination conference call on June 22, 2011, for the Urban Waters pilot project being conducted in the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain area. This project is part of a national effort to better coordinate Federal actions in concert with community-based organizations and State and local governments to improve environments and economics of under-served urban water areas.  NWRC will develop a presence in the University of New Orleans’ Coastal Education and Research Facility located near the Chef Menteur Pass in eastern New Orleans.  Turnipseed is the NWRC representative in this work for the Department of the Interior.  (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • USGS Libraries Program: Richard Huffine, Director of the USGS Libraries Program, gave a brief presentation to NWRC staff on June 22, 2011.  He discussed what services and resources are available to help science centers conduct their research while many of their local library facilities transition to new roles due to reductions in funding. The presentation led to a discussion about how research is conducted on the landscape and how researchers get both the information and assistance they need. Huffine announced that the NWRC Library would continue to operate in the future as a branch of the National system. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Notable Congressional Activity

  • USGS Provides Tour of Western Side of Atchafalaya for U.S. Congressional Delegation Staff: On June 24, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, NWRC Wetlands and Forest Ecosystem Branch Chief Thomas Doyle, USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Director George Arcement, retired WSC Director Charlie Demas, WSC Ecologist Daniel Kroes, and USGS Public Affairs Specialist Alex Demas took T. Bradley Keith (State Director, Senator Mary Landrieu), Wes Kungel, (New Orleans Area Director, Senator Mary Landrieu), and Joel DiGrado (State Communications Director, Senator David Vitter) on a tour of part of the western Atchafalaya River Basin near Butte Larose, La., to witness the historical 2011 flood recession, explain sedimentation issues associated with the flood, and discuss ecosystem impacts to the basin. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • USGS Provides Testimony at Congressional Oversight Hearing on Control and Eradication of Giant Salvinia: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Biologist Randy Westbrooks will testify at a Congressional Oversight Hearing in Shreveport, La., on June 27, 2011, concerning efforts to control and eradicate Giant salvinia (Salvinia molesta D. Mitchell), an aquatic Federal Noxious Weed, in the MidSouth Region of the U.S. The hearing is being held by the Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans, and Insular Affairs of the House Committee on Natural Resources. Westbrooks will discuss management strategies that have been used for control and eradication of other new invasive plants across the U.S. in recent years, such as Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia L. f.) along the Carolina Coast and Giant salvinia on the North Carolina Coastal Plain – strategies that could be applied for control and eradication of Giant salvinia in Louisiana and Texas. Inspection and cleaning of boats prior to leaving infested waters is regarded as the most critical of several strategies for preventing further spread and establishment of this serious aquatic weed across the MidSouth. (Randy Westbrooks; Whiteville, N.C.; 910-648-6762)

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

  • Louisiana wetlands loss continues, decrease not as dramatic (Los Angeles Times; Los Angeles, Ca.; June 17, 2011) “A report released by the U.S. Geological Survey this month found that the rate of wetland loss has decreased substantially since the 1970’s.” (Brady Couvillion; Baton Rouge, La., 225-578-7484)

  • The USGS National Wetlands Research Center was contacted by Matt Scallan of the Times-Picayune (New Orleans, La.) on June 20, 2011, concerning the condition of Lake Pontchartrain in the aftermath of the Bonnet Carre Spillway opening. He was referred to the USGS Louisiana Water Science Center. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center geographer Brady Couvillion was contacted on June 21, 2011, by Liz Barnes, a producer with Louisiana Public Broadcasting who is producing a documentary on coastal land loss in Louisiana called Turning the Tide. Couvillion is providing assistance with imagery based on his most recent land change study.  (Brady Couvillion; Baton Rouge, La., 225-578-7484)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

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