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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, June 13, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

From Farmed Fields to Restored Sedge Meadows: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Beth Middleton coauthored a paper in Restoration Ecology entitled Restoration Potential of Sedge Meadows in Hand-Cultivated Soybean Fields in Northeastern China. Middleton’s research funding and coauthors are from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology, Changchun, China (Guodong Wang, Ming Jiang). Sedge tussocks are the structural foundation of many northern peatlands, but their restoration after farming has been elusive. The reason that sedge tussocks are difficult to restore is that the seeds of these species die in unflooded conditions, such as when wetlands are drained for farming. However, in low-impact soybean fields in China, other key wetland plants survive. The field weeds in these soybean fields include typical wetland species such as Calamagrostis and Phragmites. While these species can regenerate spontaneously in wetlands restored from these fields, sedge tussocks cannot. The lack of tussock regrowth in restored peatlands has been noted worldwide. CAS has devised a method of cultivating and transplanting small tussocks from nurseries, but this technique is unknown outside of China. This research suggests solutions to the worldwide problems associated with peatland restoration. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

Data Series on CWPPRA Coastal Restoration Projects Released: USGS NWRC Geographer William Jones and contract GIS Specialist Adrienne Garber recently completed a new USGS Data Series, Classifications for Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Site-Specific Projects: 2010. The Data Series contains a brief introduction to the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection, and Restoration Act, a description of the different types of monitoring projects, how the color-infrared aerial photography was obtained, and the methods used to perform the land-water classification. Site-specific flights from 2010 are highlighted, and the maps, data, and metadata are included. (William Jones; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8581)

GCP LCC Meeting Brings Partners Together: The Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative Steering Committee meeting was hosted by the Gulf Coast Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit at Texas A&M in Austin, Texas, June 3-5. Over 40 partners from Federal and State agencies, NGOs, and universities, including the USGS National Wetlands Research Center, attended. Blair Tirpak (USGS contractor/Five River Services) presented on the Conservation Planning Atlas and Kristen Kordecki (USGS Geographer) presented on human dimensions in the GCP LCC. NWRC projects regarding the Edwards Plateau, submerged aquatic vegetation, and marsh vegetation were included as poster displays for the discussion of current science themes. GCP LCC brings conservation partners together to address science needs in way that no one agency could do alone. (Kristen Kordecki; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8535)

Women in Wetland Science: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Rebecca Howard organized activities for the SWS Women in Wetlands (WiW) section during the Society of Wetland Scientists annual meeting, held June 3-6. The goal of the WiW section is to promote the success of women in the field of wetland science and management through mentoring, networking, and education of both females and males. Howard, Chair of the WiW Section, organized a breakfast meeting that featured an invited presentation by Laura Jane Martin of Cornell University. Martin’s presentation detailed gender inequalities in journal authorship and funding opportunities in ecological sciences. Howard was also a co-organizer for a symposium at the SWS meeting entitled “Marketability after graduate school: skills essential for a successful professional career in wetland science.” Howard was unable to attend the annual meeting due to sequestration restraints. (Rebecca Howard; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8639)

NWRC Scientist Recognized as SWS Fellow: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Beth Middleton received the Society of Wetland Scientists Fellow Award during the annual meeting of the society in Duluth, Minnesota, on June 5. Fellow is the highest recognition of membership bestowed by the Society. She received the award for her excellence in research, service to the Society, and mentorship of students and scientists, particularly from developing countries. SWS is an international organization of about 3,500 members dedicated to fostering sound wetland science, education, and management. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8618)

LMVJV Board Meeting: The USGS National Wetlands Research Center will host the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Management Board business meeting June 18-20. Attendees will view NWRC research currently underway in Buffalo Cove located in the Atchafalaya Basin. NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed serves as the USGS representative on the LMVJV Management Board. The LMVJV is a self-directed, non-regulatory private, State, and Federal conservation partnership that exists for the purpose of sustaining bird populations and their habitats within the Lower Mississippi Valley and west Gulf Coastal Plain regions through implementing and communicating the goals and objectives of relevant national and international bird conservation plans. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Hurricane Sandy Coordination Meeting: USGS NWRC Branch Chief. Tom Doyle and Ecologist Hongqing Wang will attend the initial USGS coordination meeting for Hurricane Sandy integrated science studies. The meeting will be held June 18-20 at USGS Headquarters in Reston, Virginia. The purpose of the meeting is to outline broad agency objectives and specific science outcomes, identify contributors, and to integrate and coordinate interagency and interdisciplinary benefits and opportunities. (Tom Doyle; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8647)

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