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From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, November 8, 2012  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • NWRC Hosts Chinese Academy of Sciences Researcher: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center is hosting Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher, Dr. Xiaohui Liu and her spouse Xigang Wang, for a one year fellowship. She is an Associate Professor at the CAS Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology in Changchun, P.R. China. Dr. Liu studies wetland ecosystem carbon budgets and landscape changes in response to climate variations. During her official visit, she will compare the effects of land use change on carbon storage in the North American Baldcypress Swamp Network, a group of study areas located in the Mississippi River Alluvial Valley under the direction of NWRC Research Ecologist, Beth Middleton. Rising levels of carbon dioxide have been linked to temperature increases in North America. Carbon dioxide is naturally captured from the atmosphere through biological, chemical or physical processes. USGS scientists are researching how well natural wetlands can pull gases from the atmosphere, absorb it through photosynthesis, and store the carbon in soils and biomass (tree trunks, branches, foliage, and roots). (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

  • Publication Provides Overview of Neotropical Coastal Wetlands: USGS NWRC Scientist Emeritus Karen McKee recently published a chapter in a new book, Wetland Habitats of North America: Ecology and Conservation Concerns. The aim of the chapter is to provide a broad overview of Neotropical coastal wetlands of the North American continent, with an emphasis on mangroves, since that is the dominant vegetation type. The Neotropical region, which includes the tropical Americas, is one of the world's eight biogeographic zones. The author describes the environmental settings, plant and animal communities, key ecological controls, and some conservation concerns, with specific examples. Because the book deals with wetlands of North America, the chapter excludes coastal wetlands of South America. However, much of the information is applicable to mangrove, marsh, and seagrass communities of other tropical regions. (Karen McKee; Baton Rouge, La.; 337-266-8500)

  • ULL SOAD Students Tour Federal Buildings: Students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette School of Architecture and Design (SOAD) visited the USGS National Wetlands Research Center and the adjacent Estuarine Habitats and Coastal Fisheries Center on November 2, to study the buildings’ architectural design. Professor Hector LaSala accompanied the students on a tour of the facilities led by NWRC Sr. Librarian Linda Broussard. The buildings were designed by the same architectural firm and are located in ULL's research park. SOAD is actively involved in developing relationships with the community, and faculty and students are frequent visitors to the science center. (Linda Broussard; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8692)

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