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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

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

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Florida Chapters of Emergent Wetlands Status and Trends Released: USGS NWRC scientists Larry Handley, Kate Spear, and Cindy Thatcher have published three new chapters of the Emergent Wetlands Status and Trends in the Northern Gulf of Mexico: 1950-2010 report, a joint effort of USGS and EPA. Individual chapters of the report are presented during Gulf of Mexico Alliance meetings and posted incrementally to the web as they are completed. Eventually, the summaries will be collated and published as a single report. The three new chapters are the Statewide Summary for Florida, Tampa Bay, and the Florida Panhandle. Throughout the past century, emergent wetlands have been declining across the Gulf of Mexico. These ecosystems provide a multitude of resources, including plant and wildlife habitat, commercial and recreational economic activity, and natural barriers against storms. As emergent wetland losses increase, so does the need for information on the causes and effects of this loss. This report provides scientists, managers, and citizens with valuable baseline information on the status and trends of emergent wetlands along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

NWRC Director Invited to Attend University of Louisiana Reception for TWIG: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed was invited by ULL President Joseph Savoy to attend a University of Louisiana at Lafayette reception on July 24 for The Water Institute of the Gulf. TWIG Chief Executive Officer Charles Groat and staff were in Lafayette to meet with ULL and NWRC officials to discuss collaboration efforts related to the RESTORE Act. The State of Louisiana continues to lose coastal land to open water due to both natural and anthropogenic factors. The RESTORE Act outlines a structure by which funds can be used to restore and protect natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands and the economy of the Gulf Coast region. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

NWRC Welcomes Scientists from India: On July 25, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Tom Doyle, and Research Ecologist Beth Middleton will host a delegation of Indian Scientists scheduled through the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council. The Council arranges professional appointments and cultural activities for international leaders and professionals sent to New Orleans each year from the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program and other government and private agencies. The Indian scientists are visiting the NWRC as part of their official visit to the United States to examine some of the greatest causes of biodiversity degradation. Issues include landscape changes in agriculture, unsustainable forest management, over-fishing, urban sprawl, and outdated transportation infrastructures. They will focus on general and economic reasons to conserve the biodiversity of terrestrial and aquatic environments and discuss how to investigate challenges to protect and preserve land and species in urban, rural, and wilderness areas particularly, wetlands and watershed management. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Student Leaders from Southeast Asia Visit NWRC: On July 30, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, USGS Louisiana Water Science Center Director George Arcement, and NWRC Research Ecologist Hongqing Wang will welcome a delegation of students from southeastern Asia who are visiting the United States to learn about environmental issues. Turnipseed, Arcement, Wang, and scientists Holly Beck and Beth Middleton will give presentations about their work in Louisiana’s wetlands and in the Mekong Delta. The group will also tour the research center and meet working scientists. The 2013 Study of the U.S. Institute on Global Environmental Issues is comprised of undergraduate students from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma, and Thailand. The students are hosted by the University of Montana Mansfield Center, and are participating in an exchange program with the U.S. Department of State. The Study of the U.S. Institutes for Student Leaders are annual five-to-six-week topical academic programs which provide an opportunity for English-speaking student leaders to study in the United States. Students are able to select from a number of institutes, such as public policy, religious pluralism, environmental issues, and more. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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