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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 18, 2011  

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Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Scientist Delivers Plenary Talk at VI Congresso Colombiano de Botánica: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Karen McKee delivered a plenary talk at the VI Congresso Colombiano de Botánica on August 14, 2011, in Cali, Colombia.  The title of her presentation was “Predicting Responses of Coastal Wetland Plant Communities to Elevated CO2, Sea-Level Rise, and Climate Change.”  McKee presented results of her research program, which focuses on global change ecology and biocomplexity of wetland ecosystems.  She will also visit several INCIVA Centers (Instituto Para La Investigación y La Perservación del Parimonio Cultural Y Natural del Valle del Cauca), universities, and State Environmental authorities to discuss mutual science interests and to deliver research presentations. This week she is travelling to mangrove field sites at Buenaventura and Malaga Bay on the Pacific Coast of Colombia with her former graduate student, Beatriz Giraldo-Sanchez. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8662)

  • NWRC Meets with USACE on Annual Low-water Survey of the Atchafalaya River Basin: On August 18 – 19, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed was invited by Major General Michael J.Walsh (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and President of the Mississippi River Commission) to attend the USACE’s annual low-water survey of the Atchafalaya River Basin from Port Barre to Morgan City, La., along the Whiskey Bay Pilot Channel of the Atchafalaya River.  The float of the Atchafalaya River occurred on August 18 aboard the USACE Workboat, Mississippi and a public forum was held on the morning of August 19, 2011, at Morgan City. Turnipseed, NWRC Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, and USGS Gulf Coast Coordinator Alyssa Dausman represented the NWRC and USGS on this trip.  (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)  

  • New Video on Emerging Contaminants Released: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jill Jenkins has been participating with other Biochemistry and Biomarker USGS personnel in the western region’s multidisciplinary project entitled “Columbia River Contaminants and Habitat Characterization (ConHab):  Occurrence and Effects of Polybrominated Flame Retardants and Endocrine Disruption Compounds.” The group recently released a video related to the project called “Emerging Contaminants.”  It is available at or on YouTube at as USGS Corecast: Episode 161. (Jill Jenkins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8607)

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

  • Mayhem on The Mekong (Science Magazine; August 12, 2011) “‘Hydropower development in the upper Mississippi River Basin over many decades has resulted in sediment deprivation to the Mississippi River delta,’ says D. Phil Turnipseed, director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Protected Gulf sturgeon among dead fish on Pearl River, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service officials say (The Times-Picayune; New Orleans, La.; August 16, 2011) “Indeed, the federal wildlife service has dispatched biologists and environmental scientists from its National Wetlands Research Laboratory in Lafayette, and another refuge in Natchitoches to join Bogue Chitto officials in mapping contamination resulting from the release, said Tom MacKenzie, a spokesman for the service.” (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • NWRC Interviewed by WTUL FM 91.5 (New Orleans, La.) on Wetland Change Map for Louisiana:  Scott Eustis (WTUL News Reporter) interviewed USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed on August 3, 2011, in New Orleans on the recently published USGS NWRC Scientific Investigations Map 3164 entitled "Land area change in coastal Louisiana from 1932-2010.”  The analyses of this map show that coastal Louisiana has undergone a net loss in land area of about 1,883 square miles from 1932 to 2010. If this loss were to occur at a constant rate, it would equate to Louisiana losing an area the size of one football field per hour. The interview was aired on August 5, 2011, and is expected to be publicly accessible through the WTUL online news archive.  (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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