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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, December 1, 2011  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Staff Presents at PECORA 18 Symposium: USGS National Wetlands Research Center scientist Elijah Ramsey, III presented “Building a strategic coastal monitoring system with integrated radar and optical mapping” and “Forest Stand Level Impact Detection and Daily Recovery Monitoring of Coastal Resources” (Amina Rangoonwala and Terri Bannister of Five Rivers Services coauthors) at the PECORA18 Symposium (organized by American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing on behalf of the USGS and NASA) held in Herndon, Va., on November 14 – 17, 2011.  The presentations described operational mapping of inundation along the entire Louisiana coast with satellite radar data and mapping daily stand level (25 m) change with combined satellite Landsat Thematic Mapper, Radarsat, and MODIS data. Amina Rangoonwala also presented a poster on “Integrating Image and GIS processing to map the complex landscape of the Natchez Trace Parkway with National Vegetation Classification Protocols.” The presentation described the mapping constraints and their resolution in the successful mapping the 444 mile long Parkway. Rangoonwala, Bannister, and Ramsey were the authors of the poster. (Elijah Ramsey; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

  • USGS NWRC Participates in Discussion of USGS Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health 2012 Budget & Implications: On November 21, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in an open discussion of the USGS Energy and Minerals, and Environmental Health (EMEH) 2012 budget and its implications led by USGS Associate Director for EMEH Ione Taylor. The focus for EMEH for fiscal year 2012 will be to partner with colleagues to advance the capability to integrate the diverse science and data coming from Science Centers working across our 5 entities in order to bring these to bear on complex natural systems issues, to do the same across Mission Areas in working with other Programs, and to innovate within existing core programs to ensure that they remain at the cutting edge of their respective science. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La., 337-266-8501)

  • Cub Scouts Visit NWRC: Webelos from North Lewis Elementary Cub Scout Pack 463 visited the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on November 22, 2011, to learn about Louisiana’s coastal wetlands and the animals in them. The fourth grade students were acquiring information to attain their Naturalist Pins. The students viewed a presentation by scientist Hardin Waddle on identifying venomous snakes in Louisiana as well as presentations on Louisiana’s coastal wetlands, migratory birds, and invasive species by information specialist Gabrielle Bodin. They also toured the facility, learning about mapping from contractor Jason Dugas, research being conducted on salamanders, fish, and apple snails, and viewing the insect and plant collections. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • NWRC meets with Crescent City – CleanTech LCC: On November 28, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed and Wetlands and Forest Ecosystem Branch Chief Thomas Doyle met with David Heap of Crescent City – CleanTech LCC of New Orleans, La., to discuss the potential for the NWRC to become more involved in cheap, emissions-free energy in the future. Crescent City – CleanTech LCC promotes innovative, practical solutions for a goal of 100% renewable energy generation globally within the next 100 years. The group discussed “green” science opportunities and potential future applications in the NWRC. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Participates in DOI Call to Federal Urban Waters Partnership: On November 28, 2011, USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a DOI teleconference led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior John Tubbs to discuss concerns related to the NWRC involvement in the New Orleans/Pontchartrain Pilot Project of the  Federal Urban Waters Partnership. The NWRC is initiating an advanced geospatial computer application and a Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act-led video in cooperation with the University of New Orleans Coastal Education and Research Facility in New Orleans, La., in the spring of 2012.  The NWRC is an active participate in the EPA-led Federal Urban Waters Partnership in the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain area and currently has ongoing activities with several cooperators. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Spatial Analysis Branch Hosts Webinars with NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS): USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographer Steve Hartley and GIS Specialist Nicholas Enwright (Five Rivers Services) hosted webinars with NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS) on November 28 and 30, 2011.  During the webinars, Enwright delivered a presentation titled “Developing a Decision Support System for Prioritization of Wetland Restoration in Coastal Louisiana." (Nicholas Enwright; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8613)

  • NWRC Executive Management Team Meets for Two-Day Strategic Retreat: From November 29 – December 1, 2011, the NWRC Executive Management Team (ELT) met in Many, La., in a planned strategic retreat to discuss the long-term NWRC vision for how the Center should evolve regarding ecosystem science in the future. Among the many topics discussed, NWRC Branch Chiefs reported on where the NWRC is currently with respect to wetland and forest ecosystem and geospatial science and activities, including programs such as CRMS data collection, NWRC capabilities and expertise, WEB/FEB investigation capabilities and expertise, growth areas and declining areas. In attendance were USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed, Deputy Director Matthew Andersen, Louisiana Business Manager Melissa Chavis, Wetlands and Forest Ecosystem Branch Chief Thomas Doyle, Spatial Analysis Branch Chief Scott Wilson, Coastal Restoration Assessment Branch Chief Greg Steyer, Sheron Griffin and Jeniefer Pryor. The discussion also included plans for spending, projects, a comprehensive diversion-marsh construction-berm proposal, the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Science Plan, and strategies on how to continue to support the Landscape Cooperative Conservation Effort. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • NWRC Director Participates in SCA Leadership Team Call: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Director Phil Turnipseed participated in a USGS South Central Area Leadership Team call on November 30, 2011. They discussed an executive order on a campaign to cut waste, IT transformation, ACES teams, award caps, performance plans, Science Strategy Planning Teams, and received a budget update on fiscal years 2012 and 2013. (D. Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

Press Inquiries/Media - Broadcast and Film

  • Louisiana Public Broadcasting highlighted USGS contract staff who presented at the National Science Teachers Convention in its weekly show titled "Louisiana: The State We're In." During the segment, Susan Testroet-Bergeron appeared demonstrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) skills. Teachers were trained with content and techniques they could use to improve their curriculums using wetland science information. ( (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La; 337-266-8623)

  • Louisiana Public Broadcasting aired a documentary called “Turning the Tide” on November 30, 2011, which was designed to educate the public about the latest coastal science and the complex issues involved in preserving coastal Louisiana. It will be aired again statewide on December 27 and 30. USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographer Brady Couvillion provided images and data from his recently released report, Land Area Change in Coastal Louisiana from 1932 – 2010. (Brady Couvillion; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7484)

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