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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 01, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

GOMA Federal Work Group Meeting: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Ecologist Kate Spear, and Geographer Larry Handley participated in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Federal Work Group webinar held July 25. Alan Lewitus, NOAA, gave a presentation on the Hypoxia Task Force and the 2013 modeling and hypoxia zone predictions in the Gulf. Dave Ruple, Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, discussed their ongoing science, training and stewardship programs. 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. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

Coastal Education Through Art: The Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Task Force is presenting I Remember... CWPPRA Personal Reflections: Environmental Portraits and Oral Histories of Louisiana’s Coastal Wetlands Stakeholders at the Abbeville Branch of the Vermilion Parish Public Library until August 14. At the opening event held on July 25, artists Lane Lefort and Marian Brister Martinez discussed their collaborative work to bring the face of coastal land loss and restoration into the public eye. Through an educational project funded by CWPPRA, eleven coastal stewards shared oral histories with USGS NWRC contractors and CWPPRA staff members Cole Ruckstuhl and Susan Testroet-Bergeron (Five Rivers Services). The oral histories were captured by NWRC contractor Kathy Ladner (Five Rivers Services) and intern Taylor Suir. NWRC geographers estimate that Louisiana has lost approximately 1,900 square miles of coastal wetlands since 1932. CWPPRA provides funding for coastal restoration projects in Louisiana as well as support for public education initiatives related to land loss in Louisiana. (Susan Testroet-Bergeron; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8623)

ASO Summer Camp Students Tour NWRC: Students participating in the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra’s Expedition Acadiana summer camp toured the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on July 30. Students learned how maps are made, heard about frog population studies and invasive Island Applesnail research, were told about land change in Louisiana, and saw experiments that examine the response of wetland plants to elevated carbon dioxide. Information Specialist Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin provided the tour. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Seminar: Diatoms as Indicators of Coastal Wetland Environmental Conditions: The USGS NWRC will host a seminar by Chang-Ping Chen, Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University in Xiamen, China, on August 6. Chen’s research focuses on the role of microalgae in biodiversity, biomass energy, and primary production in marine environments. In his talk, “Diatoms as an indicator of coastal wetlands environments,” he will discuss the role of diatoms (algae) as a valuable tool for reconstructing paleoecological change in coastal wetlands. Diatom communities are often used to monitor both past and present environmental conditions and are a popular tool in water quality studies. (Nicole Cormier; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8838)

Lake Pontchartrain Urban Waters Federal Partnership: On August 7, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in an Environmental Protection Agency-led teleconference and webinar with the other Federal leads of the Lake Pontchartrain Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Federal partner agencies are working with the City of New Orleans, other interested municipalities, Louisiana State agencies, and non-governmental agencies to support local restoration efforts. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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