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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, July 14, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Ecologist Hosts NAGT – USGS Intern: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Ecologist Jacoby Carter is hosting intern Elizabeth Studebaker as a participant of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers – USGS Cooperative Summer Field Training Program. Studebaker is one of forty-four students selected to participate in this nationwide program. She is a summer intern for Jacoby Carter, working on his urban green tree frog populations monitoring project and on his invasive species projects involving nutria and island apple snails. She has also worked with Richard Day monitoring water quality in the Atchafalaya Basin in response to the Mississippi River Flood of 2011 and Elijah Ramsey conducting remote sensing field validation work in support of NASA Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar collections within coastal Louisiana. She is a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas and will return there in the fall to begin work on a plant breeding and genetics M.S. degree. Soon to enter its fifth decade, the program is the longest continuously running internship program in the earth sciences. (Jacoby Carter; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8620)

  • Ecologist Presents at Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Ecologist Hardin Waddle presented a talk and a poster at the Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Minneapolis, Minn., held July 6 – 11, 2011.  The talk was titled “Brown Anole Presence Reduces Occupancy of Green Anoles in Southern Florida Natural Areas.” The poster, co-authored by NWRC Ecologist Brad Glorioso, was titled “Estimating the Power to Detect a Trend in Occupancy Monitoring Studies: Comparison of VES and Vocalization Surveys.” (Hardin Waddle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8671)

  • NWRC Discusses Initiation of Work to Help Implement the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP):  On July 8, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, and NBII Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Node Manager Andrea Ostroff discussed initial steps and plans on how the NWRC will begin helping develop the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP).  Several paths forward were outlined including a possible USGS meeting at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Seattle, Wash., to be held September 4 – 8 and a coordinated bureau group to present USGS foundational data for the NFHAP. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Executive Management Team Meets To Discuss LCC Work, the GCERTF and the 2011 and 2012 Fiscal Year Budgets: On July 12, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, Melissa Chavis (USGS Louisiana Business Manager), Sheron Griffin, Jeniefer Pryor, and NWRC Branch Chiefs Tom Doyle, Scott Wilson, and Greg Steyer met to discuss future NWRC work with the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) and the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. Budget concerns for the End of Year 2011, the 2011 and 2012 budgets, and other topics were also discussed. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • USGS International Program European Desk Officer and NGOM Chief Meet with NWRC: On July 12, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, and NWRC Branch Chiefs Tom Doyle and Scott Wilson met with Ingrid Verstraeten and John Brock to discuss collaborative opportunities between the NWRC and the USGS International Program with regard to the DRAGON program. They also discussed how the USGS Northern Gulf of Mexico Program and the NWRC would work together in the future. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • New Land Change Map Highlighted in Presentation to Louisiana Governor’s Advisory Commission on Coastal Protection, Restoration, and Conservation: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Geographer Brady Couvillion presented findings from the recently published USGS Scientific Investigations Map 3164 entitled Land Area Change in Coastal Louisiana (1932-2010) to the Governor’s Advisory Commission at their monthly meeting on July 13, 2011, in Baton Rouge. The NWRC 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. During the meeting, NWRC also distributed recently published documents from the USGS Forecast Mekong Program currently in progress in cooperation with the U.S. Department of State Lower Mekong Initiative.  A recently published fact sheet, general information product and graphic visualization tool was given to members of the Commission.  (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Continues Efforts in EPA’s Urban Waters Pilot Project:  On July 14, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Spatial Analysis Branch Chief Scott Wilson, along with Bill Honker (Deputy Director, Water Quality Protection Division EPA Region 6 - Dallas, Texas), met with Dinah Maygarden and personnel of the University of New Orleans to tour facilities and discuss the EPA-DOI 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 underserved 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.  (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Science Response Vehicle Commended for Colombian Dignitary Rescue: On July 14, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Spatial Analysis Branch Chief Scott Wilson attended a National Park Service Ceremony at the NPS Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve Vistors' Center in Marrero, La., by invitation from the NPS to commemorate rescuers and express community appreciation for the NWRC Science Response Vehicle's help in the search and rescue of Francisco Piedrahita, who was lost for over 5 days in the marshes of south Louisiana south of New Orleans. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • Tour to Encourage Students to Continue Study in STEM Fields: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Ecologist Jacoby Carter hosted 14 summer undergraduate research students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s summer guided research program, called STAGE, for underrepresented minority students for a tour of NWRC on July 14, 2011. The program is intended to encourage the students to pursue graduate studies in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. (Jacoby Carter; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8620)

Agency Work on Presidential Initiatives

  • NWRC Continues Work with Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Greg Steyer is leading the revision of the Science-Based Adaptive Management section of the Science Strategy for the GCERTF (Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force). Steyer has solicited comments from all USGS Center Directors on the Gulf Coast and will be responding to the GCERTF on July 15, 2011. Steyer, NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, and Deputy Director Matthew Andersen have also been asked to comment on the GCERTF Science Assessment and Recommendations document recently distributed by the GCERTF Science Coordination Team. The Science Assessment and Recommendations are based on input from six science subcommittees; Steyer, Turnipseed, and Andersen each served on one of the six subcommittees. Comments are due by July 22. (Greg Steyer; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7201)

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