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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, April 25, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

  • Soil Development and Biodiversity Hotspots: Conservation efforts often focus special attention on biodiversity hotspots. A key question is, “What factors cause these areas to be so diverse and are these factors the ones being conserved or restored?” A major international effort is now examining this question in a systematic way. Jim Grace of the USGS NWRC is contributing to this research. His recent paper, published in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, focuses on how pedogenesis drives plant diversity. Pedogenesis is the process by which soil is created. Scientists are interested in determining whether plant diversity is linked to pedogenesis, and, if so, what mechanisms are involved. (Jim Grace; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)
  • Conservation Planning Atlas Released: On April 17, the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC) officially released the GCPO LCC Conservation Planning Atlas. The CPA is a science-based mapping platform where non-technical GIS users can view, retrieve, and perform analyses on spatial information with specific conservation goals in mind. The GCPO gateway is one of three created for the LCC network. The other two CPAs are for the Southeast Region and the South Atlantic LCC. The CPA provides access to spatially explicit datasets, galleries, and maps in a hierarchical system by individual geographies, regions, or the entire archive. Users can upload their own data to be used in conjunction with these datasets and to collaborate with others. A video demonstration of the key functions is available online. (Blair Tirpak; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8619)
  • Gulf Coast Joint Venture Management Board Meeting: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in the Spring business meeting of the Gulf Coast Joint Venture Management Board to be held May 1 and 2 in Winnie, Texas. Turnipseed is a member of the board. The GCJV normally requires board members to either attend the meeting in person or assign a surrogate. Due to the sequestration, the GCJV made an exception and is allowing Turnipseed to participate through phone and Webinar. The GCJV is a bird habitat conservation partnership with a region that spans the coastal portions of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Topics on the agenda include habitat delivery networks, grassland conservation for avian sustainability and management, the RESTORE Act and Gulf of Mexico protection and restoration funding, along with other funding opportunities for avian conservation. (Gabrielle Boudreaux-Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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