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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, October 25, 2012  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • USGS Science Stars in Emmy-Nominated Documentary: “Turning the Tide,” a documentary produced by Louisiana Public Broadcasting, has been nominated for a 2012 Suncoast Emmy for Best Documentary, the highest Emmy category for which the program is eligible. The awards ceremony will be held December 1, in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The film takes an in-depth look at the proposed solutions, strategies, and engineering needed to "turn the tide" on Louisiana's coastal land loss problem. It includes comments from USGS researchers Abby Sallenger, Chris Swarzenski, Charles Demas (retired), and Dan Kroes. NWRC provided images which were used in the film. (Linda Broussard; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8692)

  • Primitive Fish Species to Arrive: The USGS NWRC is scheduled to receive four pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus), a rare, endangered species, from the U.S. FWS Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery. The fish have a unique dinosaur-like appearance, can weigh up to 85 pounds, reach lengths of 6 feet, and live over 60 years. Pallid sturgeon, among the oldest genus of fish, evolved and adapted to living close to the bottom of large, silty rivers with a diversity of depths and velocities. Riverine habitat within the pallid sturgeon's range has been adversely affected by impoundments, channels, and dams. As part of the research and recovery plan, several State and Federal hatcheries are raising pallid sturgeon. The fish from Garrison Dam hatchery will be the focus of NWRC’s educational outreach program on sturgeon recovery. (Jill Jenkins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8607)

  • Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management Study: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Greg Steyer and Ecologist Michelle Boudreaux Meyers participated in a SMART Planning Forum for the Mississippi River Hydrodynamic and Delta Management (MRHDM) Study, October 15-19. Led by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the SMART (specific--measurable--attainable--risk informed--timely) planning methodology guides participants in conducting feasibility studies. The MRHDM Study is the first large-scale, long-term restoration effort in the Louisiana Coastal Area Program. This study will identify and evaluate management and restoration efforts to address long-term sustainability of the lower Mississippi River Deltaic Plain. The NWRC provides monitoring, modeling, and adaptive management science support to the study team. (Greg Steyer; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7201)

  • Data Collected on Invasive Feral Hogs: NWRC Geographer Steve Hartley, along with a team that included Congressman Steven Palazzo of Mississippi, attached a GPS-satellite telemetry collar to a feral hog in Mississippi on October 21. Congressman Palazzo is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology committee. Data from the collar will help biologists track the hog and will eventually help with population control. Because of detrimental impacts of feral hogs—including rooting, damaging agricultural lands, destroying the habitats of native animals, and spreading diseases and parasites—many public lands implement feral swine control programs on an annual basis. (Steve Hartley; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8543)

  • Wetland Remote Sensing, Mapping, and Photo Interpretation Workshops: USGS NWRC Geographers Steve Hartley and Chris Wells, along with USGS Scientist Emeritus Pat O’Neil, will teach workshops on wetland remote sensing, mapping, and photo interpretation at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Regional Application Center during October. NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will welcome attendees to the first workshop on October 24. The workshops are available to the general public, educators, and State and Federal agencies, and are part of an effort to exchange information and provide access to spatial technologies for natural resource surveys. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance Federal Work Group Meeting: On October 25, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Scott Wilson, and Ecologist Kate Spear will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance’s Federal Workgroup teleconference and webinar. The meeting will include presentations and updates on Federal efforts in the Alliance. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • USACE Institute for Water Resources: On October 26, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and GCJV Coordinator Barry Wilson will meet with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources. The IWR is the research arm of the Corps and coordinates climate change adaptation efforts for water resources and coastal management with other Federal and State agencies. The group plans to discuss mutual opportunities and strategies for better collaboration in managing avian populations in Gulf ecosystems in conjunction with the research and application interests inherent to the Institute. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture Fall 2012 Board Meeting: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will attend the GCJV management board Fall business meeting October 30-31, in Lacombe, Louisiana. Turnipseed is a board member. The board will discuss a variety of ongoing conservation efforts including several new shorebird and duck management initiatives, team reports, and GCJV monitoring efforts. They also plan to review funding opportunities, receive an update on the Gulf Restoration Council / RESTORE Act, and elect officers for new 2-year terms. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Invasive Asian Carp Ploidy Determination Training: USGS NWRC Research Microbiologist Jill Jenkins will provide a hands-on workshop on ploidy determination in Asian carp, October 31 through November 1, for genetics staff at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service LaCrosse Fish Health Center in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Determining ploidy--the number of chromosome sets (two or three) in a cell--allows scientists to assess the breeding potential and spread of this invasive carp. The Asian carp includes four species: black carp, grass carp, bighead carp, and silver carp. Jenkins will share biotechnology concepts, specific protocols, and methods used to determine the breeding potential of feral grass carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix). Due to their large size, ravenous appetite, and rapid rate of reproduction, Asian carp pose a significant threat by consuming large quantities of phytoplankton and competing with native fish for habitat. (Jill Jenkins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8607)

  • Invited Lecture on Hurricane Isaac Impacts to the Northern Gulf of Mexico: On November 2, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will present an invited lecture to faculty and students at the Louisiana State University School of the Coast and Environment on Hurricane Isaac’s impact on the Northern Gulf of Mexico. The address, “Hurricane Isaac: Storm surge, geomorphic change and marsh dieback," will feature ongoing and planned research by the NWRC in the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac. Work includes terrestrial LiDAR mapping, storm surge sensor deployment and recovery, mapping the inward extent of storm surge, and flights to assess and document the impact of tropical systems. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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