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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, January 31, 2013  

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Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Consul General of France Visits NWRC: Jean-Claude Brunet, Consul General of France in New Orleans, and Philippe Aldon, attaché of Cooperation and Cultural Service for the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, met with members of the NWRC Executive Management Team on January 30. They were accompanied by Philippe Gustin, International Trade Manager of Le Centre International de Lafayette and former NWRC scientist Tommy Michot (now with University of Louisiana at Lafayette). French scientists are expected to arrive in Louisiana in the spring to work with local scientists on coastal issues. The dignitaries toured the NWRC’s facilities and learned about its capabilities in preparation for anticipated collaborative efforts. (Phil Turnipseed; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8501)

  • Urban Waters Film Showcased: USGS NWRC Federal and contract personnel attended the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Task Force meeting in New Orleans, on January 24. During the meeting, contractor Susan Testroet-Bergeron shared the new CWPPRA/Urban Waters video titled Join CWPPRA - Make a Difference; Educate!. The film was funded by the CWPPRA program under the direction of the Public Outreach Committee. WYES Public Television produced the film to highlight both the educational activities of CWPPRA and the need for urban water partnerships. It includes cameos by DOI, EPA, and UNO Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences personnel along with elementary school students from St. Benedict The Moor School in New Orleans. The students are shown participating in restoration efforts and explaining what they have learned about wetlands. CWPPRA educational materials are available to help teachers develop the next generation of scientists, land managers, and environmental stewards. (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8623)

  • Conference on River Basin Sustainability Planned: USGS Deputy Regional Executive Jim Stefanov and USGS NWRC Branch Chief Scott Wilson hosted a planning conference call on January 28 with the U.S. Department of State and Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The group met to organize a forum on Mekong River Basin sustainability. The symposium is part of Forecast Mekong, a joint effort among USGS, the U.S. Department of State, local universities, and Vietnam. The Mekong is the largest river in Southeast Asia and, at about 2,700 miles in length, is one of the longest rivers in the world. The Mississippi River is also one of the world’s major river systems. Millions of people depend on both rivers as a source of economic livelihood and food, but the rivers and their deltas are facing serious threats due to development and climate change. Ultimately, data provided through Forecast Mekong will lead to more informed decisions about how to make the Mekong and Mississippi deltas resilient in the face of climate change, economic stresses, and other impacts. (Jim Stefanov; Columbia, Mo.; 573-876-1889)

  • High Resolution Radar Imaging Seminar: Cathleen Jones with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory gave a seminar on January 28 at the USGS NWRC titled, “High Resolution Radar Imaging for Natural Hazard Applications: From California Levees to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.” She presented information on two applications using NASA’s UAVSAR instrument that are relevant to hazard assessment: (1) a study of the levees in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and (2) a project to monitor the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in inland marshes and waters along the northern Gulf of Mexico. The oil spill mapping work is a collaborative project with USGS NWRC scientist Elijah Ramsey and Remote Sensing Specialist Amina Rangoonwala, with Five Rivers Services, LLC at USGS NWRC. (Elijah Ramsey; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

  • Meeting with Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Scott Wilson and Geographer Kristen Kordecki met with members of the Sovereign Nation of the Chitimacha on January 29 to discuss climate change adaptation planning. The Interior Department’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan for FY13 notes that it is a DOI priority to work with American Indians to anticipate and prepare for climate change impacts to their lands, communities, and ways of life. Climate adaptation planning can help communities proactively respond to climate change and the impacts it may have on ecological, cultural, and economic resources. DOI is working with tribes to provide the most recent climate change information and adaptation guidance, solicit traditional knowledge to complement existing scientific resources, and ensure ongoing inclusion in any plans to implement ecosystem-based management by providing avenues for participation. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La; 337-266-8644)

  • “Curious” Group Learns About Land Change and USGS Research: USGS NWRC Information Specialist Gabrielle Bodin gave an invited lecture to Les Curieux De Vermilion (the curious vermilion), a men’s social and service club, in Erath, Louisiana, on January 29. Bodin informed the members about land change issues in coastal Louisiana and the research being accomplished by the USGS. NWRC’s Communications Section works to ensure that the public is engaged in science by communicating complex issues in terms that non-scientists can understand and by illustrating the relevance of science to their daily lives through photos, stories, and other tools. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • CWPPRA Outreach Event Announced: Susan Testroet-Bergeron, Five Rivers Services, LLC at USGS NWRC, the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Public Outreach Coordinator, will attend the BTNEP Management Conference on January 31 to share information about the upcoming wetland art and oral history show opening March 13 at the Wetlands Acadian Cultural Center located in the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in Thibodaux, Louisiana. The personal reflections project, “I Remember…,” will run March 13 through May 8. Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne is scheduled to open the exhibit and the public is invited to attend. The exhibit highlights the lives of Louisiana residents who are stakeholders in the wetland restoration community. A dynamic interactive show, it combines environmental photographic portraits, oil paintings on canvas, still photos of Louisiana wildlife and habitats, audio files via phone apps, and take home cards for visitors. Full interviews of the oral histories are available online. Oral histories will be archived at the Louisiana State University T. Harry Williams Center for Oral Histories in Baton Rouge. (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8623)

  • Hurricane Sandy Science Proposals: On January 29, the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, 2013 became Public Law No. 113-2. This law makes supplemental appropriations for FY2013 to specified Federal agencies and programs for expenses related to the consequences of Hurricane Sandy. Congress requires submission of a detailed spending plan with projects categorized under “response and recovery” and “mitigation.” On February 5, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Deputy Director Matthew Andersen met with NWRC researchers to discuss proposals, monitoring, deliverables, and metrics. Projects were previously identified through the justification process for the appropriation. NWRC and the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Science Center submitted proposals to assess and document ecosystem and geomorphic impacts of Sandy on the U.S. Eastern Seaboard from the Carolinas to Maine. Work is expected to begin in 2013 and represents an exciting new research opportunity for the NWRC. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Southeast Climate Science Center Workshop: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Tom Doyle will participate in a multidisciplinary planning workshop to scope an integrated modeling approach for an Atlantic Coast climate change and sea-level rise vulnerability assessment. The workshop will be held February 5-7 at the North Carolina Water Science Center in Raleigh. (Tom Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337 266-8647)

  • Botanicals and Metabolic Syndrome Study: On February 6, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Botanist Larry Allain will meet with key personnel from the Louisiana State University Pennington Biomedical Research Center coincident with their Botanicals and Translational Medicine Conference being held in Baton Rouge. Discussion will focus on existing research under a Memorandum of Understanding between the NWRC and the Pennington Center. The MOU facilitates a collaborative project using Louisiana native plants. Scientists with the Botanical Research Center are studying botanical evidence to determine the medicinal value of these plants in helping to cure diabetes. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Annual Cooperator's Meeting: On February 6, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and NWRC Deputy Director Matthew Andersen will meet with Sammy King, Meghan LaPeyre and other LSU researchers during the LSU Cooperative Research Unit's 2013 cooperators' meeting. The Unit Cooperators include the U.S. Geological Survey, LSU AgCenter, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Wildlife Management Institute. Much of the Unit’s research is focused on wetlands and wetland resources, such as oysters, coastal fisheries, waterfowl, and other water birds. The group will discuss ongoing research at the Unit along with projects being done with the NWRC. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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