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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 27, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Ecologist Educates Students about Wetlands: USGS National Wetlands Research Center ecologist William “Chesley” Vervaeke provided three wetland lectures to approximately 130 third graders from Prairie Elementary in Lafayette, La., on October 20, 2011. (William “Chesley” Vervaeke; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8588)

  • Photointerpretation Training Being Provided: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographers Chris Wells and Steve Hartley and Emeritus Scientist Pat O'Neil are teaching Introduction to Photointerpretation and Advanced Wetland Photointerpretation to representatives of federal and state agencies and private industry October 26 through November 3, 2011. Participants will have hands-on field trips to coastal wetlands and inland swamp habitats interwoven with class exercises using film and digital photography, optical equipment and computer systems. They will work as teams and individually to solve problems in photointerpretation using real-word activities. (Chris Wells; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8651)

  • NWRC Director Participating in Fair Labor Standards Training: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in Fair Labor Standards training on October 27, 2011. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • LFDLC and LACSDDP To Meet at NWRC: The Louisiana Federal Depository Libraries Council (LFDLC) and the Louisiana Advisory Council State Documents Depository Program (LACSDDP) meetings will be held on November 4, 2011, at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center.  The councils meet in May and November of each year. The NWRC Library has been hosting at least one of the meeting dates for several years. NWRC Librarian Linda Broussard is currently the Government Information Users representative on the Louisiana Federal Depository Library Council. (Linda Broussard, MLIS; Lafayette, La.;  337-266-8692)

Agency Work on Presidential Initiatives

  • Remote Sensing Presentation Given to USAID Bangkok: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Scott Wilson gave a presentation to USAID Bangkok the week of October 17, 2011, on remote sensing tools being used on the Forecast Mekong Project. Forecast Mekong is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Lower Mekong Initiative, which was launched in 2008 by Secretary Clinton and the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to enhance U.S. engagement with the Lower Mekong countries in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • Forecast Mekong Update Provided to U.S. Department of State: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Scott Wilson and Geographer Cindy Thatcher met with U.S. Department of State official Rick Switzer in Bangkok, Thailand, on October 21, 2011, to provide an update concerning the Forecast Mekong Project. Forecast Mekong is part of the U.S. Department of State’s Lower Mekong Initiative, which was launched in 2008 by Secretary Clinton and the Foreign Ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam to enhance U.S. engagement with the Lower Mekong countries in the areas of environment, health, education and infrastructure. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • Workshop on Radar Remote Sensing Held in Vietnam: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Scott Wilson and Geographer Cindy Thatcher traveled to Vietnam to present a three-day hands-on workshop on radar remote sensing for natural resource mapping and assessment on October 24 – 26, 2011.  The workshop will be hosted by the Dragon Institute at Can Tho University. Radar data is particularly useful for mapping applications in the Mekong Delta because it can penetrate the extremely frequent cloud cover typically observed in the region that hampers the use of optical data such as Landsat.  USGS provided this training and technical support as part of the Forecast Mekong project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Lower Mekong Initiative. The goals of Forecast Mekong include supporting research on climate change and sustainable management of deltas and large rivers through building partnerships with local scientists. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • USGS Provides Technical Assistance for Study of POP Contamination in the Mekong Basin: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Branch Chief Scott Wilson and Geographer Cindy Thatcher are providing technical assistance to the Southeast Asian University Network for a study of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in the Mekong basin. POPs, which are introduced mainly through pesticide use, affect human health and ecosystem health worldwide.  Over 500 wetland sediment samples were collected in 2011 throughout the Mekong basin to estimate various rates of POP contamination and correlate these rates with environmental conditions, wetland type and human disturbance. USGS has provided technical assistance with sediment sampling techniques, lab analysis, and geospatial support.  Preliminary results of the sediment sample lab analysis, a summary of the wetland habitat data collected, and additional analyses were discussed at a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on October 27 – 28, 2011. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • NWRC Reviews Science Strategy for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Deputy Director Matthew Andersen recently reviewed and provided comments on the latest iteration of the Science Strategy developed by the Science Coordination Team (SCT) for the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. The SCT was established in January of this year specifically to help inform the development of the Gulf Restoration Strategy. The SCT developed this document in efforts to help highlight the current conditions in the Gulf, as well as activities to help support restoration goals and improved understanding of the complex ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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

  • Big Bend National Park fires may benefit select bird species (The Baylor Lariat; Waco, Texas; October 18, 2011) “The study, published this year, was co-authored by Dr. Joseph White, associate professor of biology, Dr. Kevin Gutzwiller, professor of biology, and Dr. Wylie Barrow Jr., a research wildlife biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey.” (Wylie Barrow; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8668)

  • Floodwaters Reach Bangkok (Wall Street Journal; October 22, 2011) “"I wish I could say this is just a Southeast Asia issue but it's found around the world," said Scott Wilson, an emergency response coordinator with the United States Geographical Survey.” (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

Press Inquiries/Media - Online

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed was interviewed October 25, 2011, by a reporter for Circle of Blue, a water news agency, concerning the DRAGON project and the Chao Phraya River Delta. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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