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Weekly Highlights


From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, August 15, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Students with Louisiana MENTOR Visit NWRC: Students participating in the Louisiana MENTOR Program visited the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on August 9 to learn about USGS science. NWRC Geographer Jason Dugas and Five Rivers Services contractor Douglas Schoewe explained how maps are made, FRS contractor Seth Claybaker discussed research related to frogs and invasive apple snails, and NWRC Information Specialist Gabrielle Bodin showed the students greenhouse experiments and described issues related to Louisiana’s coastal land loss. Founded in 2005, Louisiana MENTOR is a leading home- and community-based human services provider. The network offers innovative programs to youth and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other complex challenges, as well as youth with emotional, behavioral and medical challenges. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Plenary Talk Focuses on Gulf Restoration Plan: USGS NWRC Branch Chief Greg Steyer was invited to speak during the opening plenary session of the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) Gulf Restoration Science Workshop, held August 12-13, at the University of Southern Mississippi in Longbeach, Mississippi. His talk on the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Science Plan set the stage for further discussion on “best available science” to support restoration activities that will be conducted under the RESTORE Council. Alyssa Dausman, USGS science advisor to the Southeast Region, was also invited and participated in the workshop. The purpose of GOMURC is to support and enhance the Gulf of Mexico’s coastal marine science, oceanography and related management programs through education, research, and public outreach. GOMURC unites marine-related, university-based research consortium existing in each of the Gulf States, which represent 78 public and private institutions. (Greg Steyer; Baton Rouge, La.; 225-578-7201)

WISDom and Diversity Training Event: The USGS NWRC will hold a combined WISDom (Women in Science Dialog) and diversity training program to coincide with USGS Multi-Cultural Day on August 22. USGS Chief Scientist for Global Change, Virginia Burkett, and NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will host the event. Attendance will meet the annual diversity training requirement for USGS employees and supervisors, and sessions are open to all DOI employees. Discussions will emphasize challenges and opportunities for women scientists and science support staff. Burkett, NWRC Supervisory Management Analyst Susan Hoover, Diversity Change Agent Janelda Biagas, and Ecologists Kate Spear and Camille Stagg are scheduled to speak. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Restoring Areas Affected by Invasive Plants: Christopher Gabler, postdoctoral Fellow at the USGS NWRC, will give a presentation on restoration of prairies and wetlands invaded by Chinese tallow trees. The lecture will be held at NWRC on August 26. Invasive species alter ecosystems and threaten biodiversity and system function. When restoring ecosystems dominated by exotic plants, reinvasion is difficult to predict and poorly understood. Accurate predictions enhance restoration and management efficiency by informing site selection and optimal management strategies. Gabler will discuss the results from experimental restoration of a wetland dominated by Chinese tallow. (Christopher Gabler; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8500)

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