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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, February 28, 2013  

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Study Finds Reproductive Problems in Fish More Common in Urbanized Watersheds: The urbanized watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay have seen fewer yellow perch for a number of years. This study evaluated the reproductive health of yellow perch from rapidly developing watersheds as well as from less developed watersheds. More reproductive problems were seen in fish from heavily developed areas with an abundance of impervious surfaces such as roads, buildings, and compacted soils. Impervious surfaces increase runoff volume and intensity in streams, leading to increased physical instability, erosion, sedimentation, thermal pollution, contaminant loads, and nutrients. The study, Reproductive health of yellow perch Perca flavescens in selected tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, was published in the March issue of Science of the Total Environment. USGS NWRC Research Microbiologist Jill Jenkins and Statistician Rasa Draugelis-Dale investigated reproductive cells from males in this multidisciplinary study. (Jill Jenkins; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8607)

  • Paper Characterizes Sediment Carried by the 2011 Mississippi River Flood: USGS NWRC Scientist Emeritus Karen McKee co-authored a paper for the journal Geology, entitled Tracking sedimentation from the historic A.D. 2011 Mississippi River flood in the deltaic wetlands of Louisiana, USA. McKee collaborated with colleagues from the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and the British Geological Survey to quantify and characterize the river sediment deposited in wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta. Flood deposition accounted for a substantial portion of the annual marsh accretion occurring near the Atchafalaya and Mississippi River Deltas and was comparable to that reported previously for hurricane sedimentation. The study analyzed biological, chemical, and physical properties found in the flood deposit and compared it with older sediments. The ratio of centric (round) to pennate (rod-shaped) diatoms (algae) was found to be a key signature in the recent sediment, which indicated a riverine origin. Diatom communities are commonly used to monitor environmental conditions, past and present, and are often used in water quality studies. The work shows how large river flood events influence wetland sedimentation and lays the groundwork for identifying past floods in deeper sediments and distinguishing them from marine sediments transported from offshore. (Karen McKee; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8500)

  • NOAA and SCIPP Discussions: USGS NWRC Geographer Kristen Kordecki spoke with the NOAA Gulf of Mexico regional liaison on February 13 to discuss the Climate Community of Practice in the Gulf of Mexico, climate change and human dimensions efforts, and development of the Gulf Coast Vulnerability Assessment (GCVA). The GCVA is a collaborative project led by the four gulf Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and Climate Science Centers, NOAA, and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. Kordecki also met with the Associate Director of the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) and the LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio on February 15 to discuss human dimensions issues in the Gulf of Mexico. USGS is working to make science information available to communities who depend on the Gulf of Mexico and to help integrate cultural and community needs into planning. (Kristen Kordecki; Lafayette, La; 337-266-8535)

  • Water Institute of the Gulf Workshop: From February 28 to March 1, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will attend a Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority of Louisiana Water Institute of the Gulf workshop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Water Institute of the Gulf is developing a master site plan and will soon begin the initial phase of planning new headquarters facilities. The goal of this work session is to clarify the opportunities and constraints for scoping, siting and planning the Institute’s new home, which will help narrow the parameters of the project and aid in strategic decision-making. The organization is working to establish an understanding of roles, involvement, and needs of the public sector and all potential partners. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • GOMA Federal Work Group Webinar: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Scott Wilson, Ecologist Kate Spear, and Geographer Larry Handley participated in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Federal Work Group Webinar on February 28. The meeting consisted of a work session and open discussion on prospects for a third GOMA Action Plan. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is a partnership of the states of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas, with the goal of significantly increasing regional collaboration to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico. GOMA has identified priority issues that are regionally significant and can be effectively addressed through increased collaboration at local, State, and Federal levels. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

  • NWRC and USFWS Fly South Louisiana Coast: On March 4, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and Geographer Christopher Wells will participate in an overflight of the south Louisiana coast with Jim Wortham of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in one of the Service’s planes. The NWRC is initiating a plan to upgrade remote sensing capacity and capability and is interested in using this aircraft for that purpose. The plane is a utilitarian high-wing, un-pressurized, turboprop aircraft with the capacity to carry a remote sensing payload that is expected to significantly increase the Center’s remote sensing data collection capability. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

  • Seminar on Hurricane-Induced Surge, Waves, and Sediment Transport: Dr. Q. Jim Chen, PE, the CSRS Distinguished Professor in Coastal Engineering and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Louisiana State University, will present a seminar on measuring and modeling hurricane-induced surge, waves, and sediment transport in coastal Louisiana at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on March 5. Chen serves as the Coast to Cosmos focus area lead in the Center for Computation and Technology (CCT) at LSU. He specializes in the development and application of numerical models for coastal hydrodynamics and deltaic processes. His research includes field observations and high-performance computing. (Nicole Cormier; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8838)

  • Acadiana ASCE March Event: On March 6, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, PE, will attend the March meeting of the Acadiana Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in Lafayette, Louisiana. Turnipseed, an ASCE member since 1984, will attend to help increase ASCE connections between the NWRC and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s civil engineering community. ASCE members serve as liaisons between civil engineering university students and the professional community. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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