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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, November 3, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Staff Contribute Chapter for New Book on Hyperspectral Remote Sensing: A new book “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Vegetation” (Editor Prasad S. Thenkabail) includes a chapter titled “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Wetland Vegetation" by USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Elijah Ramsey III and NWRC contractor Amina Rangoonwala that highlights the unique use of high spectral resolution sensors in mapping and monitoring wetland resources. Case studies are included that describe the creation and application of physical-optical models for mapping Mangrove biophysical variables, temporal monitoring of marsh structure and biomass trends, mapping of invasive species, and detecting and tracking the onset and progression of subtle and abnormal changes in wetland resources. (Elijah Ramsey; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

  • Scientist Participates in Gulf of Mexico Report Card Workshop: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Larry Handley was invited to and participated in the Gulf of Mexico Report Card Workshop October 23 – 26, 2011, at the Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. (Larry Handley; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8500)

  • ULL Student Teachers Visit NWRC: Student teachers from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Technology for High School Science Teachers toured the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on October 24, 2011, to learn about the real world science being conducted at NWRC. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC Deputy Participates in Blue Economic Forum in People’s Republic of China: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Deputy Director Matthew Andersen represented the NWRC and USGS in the People’s Republic of China October 26 – 30, 2011. The Governor of Shandong Province invited a representative of NWRC to come to China at the suggestion of the Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology (QIMG). The occasion precipitating the invitation was the Governor’s second Qingdao Blue Economic Forum, a meeting conducted to bring together more than 500 politicians, scientists, bankers, businesspeople, students, and members of the public to explore and discuss opportunities for fulfilling the 2-year-old directive of Chinese President Hu to expand the marine and coastal economy of Shandong Province which occupies approximately one-sixth of China’s Pacific Ocean coast. Andersen was the only American among 8 foreigners to meet in a closed door welcome reception with the Governor, the Mayor of Qingdao, and other Chinese politicians. Andersen was one of 2 Americans, among 9 foreigners and 12 Chinese, to deliver a keynote address to the entire meeting that was translated simultaneously. The subject of his presentation was an overview of modern threats to wetland ecosystem services and how NWRC is providing mapping, monitoring, modeling, and decision support tools to help address those threats along the Gulf of Mexico. This trip to Qingdao allowed Andersen to describe NWRC science capacities, during the forum and informally, to a broad audience that was mostly Chinese, but also included scientists and business people from Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Malaysia, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While in Qingdao, Andersen delivered his keynote presentation a second time to a small group of graduate students at QIMG and also met with the Director of QIMG to discuss and modify the current draft cooperative agreement between NWRC and QIMG. This meeting confirmed both parties’ commitment to the three-year study of carbon flux in the Yellow River delta being led by QIMG scientist Siyuan Ye and NWRC scientist Ken Krauss. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Tensas River NWR Birding and Heritage Festival Committee Meeting:  On October 26, 2011, National Wetlands Research Center contractor, Heather Baldwin (Five Rivers Services), attended a committee meeting at the Tensas River National Wildlife Refuge to plan their first annual Birding and Heritage Festival to be held on April 21, 2012. The goal of the festival is to introduce the surrounding communities to the bird life of the refuge and its rich ecological history. NWRC Scientist Wylie Barrow and his team, of which Baldwin is a member, have conducted research on forest history (early 1800s thru the 1940s) of the Tensas River Basin in which the refuge is situated. (Heather Baldwin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8504)

  • St. Pius Students Visit NWRC: Seventy fifth grade students from St. Pius Elementary in Lafayette, La., visited the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on October 27, 2011. The students were given a presentation about Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and then received a tour to learn more about NWRC science. The students learned about mapping (Jason Dugas), CO2 greenhouse experiments, the wetlab where topics included salamanders, frogs, and apple snails (Jeromi Hefner), nutria (Jacoby Carter), and viewed insect and plant collections. Contractor Cole Ruckstuhl and Information Specialist Gabrielle Bodin provided the tour. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC Director Participates on Gulf of Mexico Summit Steering Committee: On October 31, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a conference call of the Gulf Summit Steering Committee to finalize the agenda and discuss logistics of this very important conference. The State of the Gulf of Mexico Summit is being hosted by the Harte Research Institute December 4 – 8, 2011, in Houston, Texas. Focused on action, SGM 2011 will bring together leaders in government, industry, science, and non-governmental organizations to assess current conditions and build sound strategies for the future. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Director Participates in Urban Waters Pilot Project Conference Call: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a DOI coordination conference call for the Urban Waters Pilot Project for the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain area on October 31, 2011. This effort is to better coordinate federal actions in concert with community based organizations and state, local and regional governments to improve environments and economics of under-served urban water areas. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Ecologist Educates Students about Careers in Science: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Jacoby Carter participated in career day at Evangeline Elementary School in Lafayette, La., on October 31, 2011. He talked about careers in science and gave some examples from his career as an ecologist. (Jacoby Carter; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8620)

  • NWRC Participates in GCJV Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a meeting of the Gulf Coast Joint Venture in Pointe a la Hache, La., November 1 – 3, 2011. Turnipseed is a member of the GCJV Management Board. The GCJV is a bird habitat conservation partnership that spans the coastal portions of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Future Involvement in USACE LCA Program Discussed: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a meeting November 3, 2011, with USGS La. Water Science Center Director George Arcement to discuss USGS potential involvement in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration Study work in the Atchafalaya River Basin, Barataria Bay, and other areas. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Staff Participates in Louisiana Sea Grant’s Ocean Commotion 2011: The Louisiana Sea Grant College Program hosted Ocean Commotion 2011 on November 3, 2011, at the Louisiana State University Pete Maravich Assembly Center.  Approximately 2,700 elementary and middle school students and more than 380 teachers and chaperones attended this exciting one-day event. Students had an opportunity to visit 70 exhibits to learn about the many areas of aquatic, ocean, and coastal sciences. Representing the USGS National Wetlands Research Center and the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act program were Five Rivers Services contractors Cole Ruckstuhl and Susan Testroet-Bergeron. In order to highlight Louisiana’s problem with nonindigenous invasive species, staff engage students with a game titled “Louisiana’s Most Wanted.” The goal of Ocean Commotion is to allow students to participate in hands-on activities in order to facilitate an increase in children’s interest relate to ocean and coastal sciences. (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8623)

  • NWRC Scientists Participate in CERF Conference: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientists Adam Baumgart-Getz, Brady Couvillion, and Greg Steyer, and contractor Holly Beck will participate in the 21st Biennial Conference of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation November 6 – 10, 2011, in Daytona Beach, Fla. Baumgart-Getz will give a presentation on “Adaptive Management at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.” Couvillion will present “Land Area Change in Coastal Louisiana from 1932 to 2010.” Steyer will present “Spatial Modeling of Wetland Morphology and Soil Organic Carbon Sequestration for Assessment of Coastal Louisiana Restoration under Sea-Level Rise and Subsidence” and Beck will present “Remotely sensed analysis of marsh collapse thresholds in coastal Louisiana.” (Adam Baumgart-Getz; New Orleans, La.; 504-862-1074)

  • Seminar on Ecology and Engineering To Be Presented at LSU: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed will give a seminar at the Louisiana State University Civil Engineering Graduate School on November 9, 2011. The seminar is titled, “Ecology and Engineering: A marriage of necessity for the future of Louisiana coastal wetlands.” (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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

  • SWAT teams target swamp rats to save marsh (The Seattle Times; Seattle, Wash.; October 29, 2011) “‘There's no hope of eradicating them’ in the Louisiana bayou, said Jacoby Carter, an ecologist who manages the nutria research program for the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette.” (Jacoby Carter; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8620)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • A producer with KATC, ABC television affiliate in Lafayette, La., contacted the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on October 25, 2011, after attending a seminar on Louisiana folk healing traditions to inquire about more information for an upcoming story. She was given contacts that could provide her with that information. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • USGS National Wetlands Research Center Deputy Director Matthew Andersen was interviewed by a local television station and a local radio station during his recent visit to Qingdao, Shandong Province in the People’s Republic of China October 26 – 30, 2011. (Matthew Andersen; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

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