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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 23, 2012  

Departmental/Bureau News – Current

  • Next Generation Ecological Data Modeling Methods: Scientists are typically interested in system responses, but classical statistical methods are not designed for the study of systems. Ecological researchers have historically relied on simulation modeling; however, this approach requires that they already know the causal linkages in a system. Structural equation modeling (SEM) provides a method for learning about causal connections in systems. Largely developed for use in human systems (e.g., economics, sociology, and education), SEM has received limited use in the study of natural systems until very recently. A paper, published in Ecosphere, authored by USGS, NPS, and university collaborators, describes the capabilities of SEM in studying natural systems. (http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/ES12-00048.1). (Jim Grace, Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

  • USGS Investigates 2000-year-old Cypress Logs in Jean Lafitte National Park: Pieces of 2000 year old cypress logs, verified by carbon dating, were recently found by Biologist John McCoy about 2-meters below the existing marsh bed of Barataria Preserve located in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. On August 28, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Tom Doyle, and USGS LWSC Research Hydrologist Chris Swarzenski will investigate sites where the cypress logs were found. Scientists plan to map the occurrence and distribution of submerged cypress trees in the park to develop a better understanding of this ancient cypress swamp. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Bayou Teche Paddle Trail: USGS NWRC Center Director Phil Turnipseed will meet with "Project Teche," a group of Federal, State, academic, and parish representatives, as well as interested paddling citizens on August 29. Discussions will focus on finalizing a map of the Bayou Teche Paddle Trail (BTPT). After the meeting, the map will be modified and made available through the National Park Service, in the BTPT plan, and at BTPT kiosks along the Bayou Teche. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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