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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, September 12, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Sea-level Rise Modeling Handbook Presentations: USGS NWRC branch chief Tom Doyle met with personnel from the New Orleans District Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Ecological Services Office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Lafayette, Louisiana to present an overview of the format and content of a draft USGS publication on sea-level rise modeling. The guide is being designed as a reference for coastal land managers, engineers, and scientists. The presentation was intended to elicit user input on the handbook’s utility and effectiveness for addressing information needs for regulatory purposes related to sea-level rise and climate change considerations. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

Forest Damage Assessment of Hurricane Sandy Impacts: USGS NWRC branch chief Tom Doyle met with Department of the Interior cooperators and partners from North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to view and discuss Hurricane Sandy’s impact on forest resources in some of the hardest hit national parks and refuges. Preliminary data were collected indicating the type and degree of forest damage and wrack deposits caused by wind and surge from the storm. Site visits facilitated cooperative exchange and coordination among state and federal agencies, resulting in detailed scheduling and logistics for field surveys and modeling applications. (Thomas Doyle; Lafayette, La., 337-266-8647)

Barrier Islands and Coastal Wildlife: USGS NWRC ecologist Kate Spear and geographer Chris Wells met with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) executive director and a NCWRC coastal waterbird biologist at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina, on September 1, to discuss barrier islands and coastal wildlife research in response to Hurricane Sandy. The team collected ground-based LIDAR data at shorebird and sea turtle nest sites throughout the Outer Banks barrier islands to examine how micro-topography and micro-elevation affect nest site selection and success. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

Research on Mid-Atlantic Coast Federal Lands: USGS NWRC branch chief Scott Wilson, ecologist Kate Spear, and geographer Chris Wells met with representatives from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, Cape Lookout National Seashore, and Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in Manteo, North Carolina, on September 5, to plan post-Hurricane Sandy collaborative research on federal lands in the Outer Banks. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

University of Louisiana Students Tour NWRC: Students from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Wildlife Ecology and Management class toured the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on September 10. The students learned about migratory bird studies from scientists Wylie Barrow and Michael Baldwin, wetland plant and marsh elevation investigations from Ches Vervaeke, and mapping from Chris Wells. Tom Doyle explained the Research Center’s work related to wetland and forest ecology, followed by a tour of the dendrology lab. (Gabrielle Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Public Meeting: USGS NWRC branch chief and CWPPRA public outreach committee chairman Scott Wilson, ecologists Kate Spear and Sara Piazza, geographer Michelle Fisher, CWPPRA outreach coordinator and Five Rivers contractor Susan Testroet-Bergeron, and CWPPRA media specialist and Five Rivers contractor Cole Ruckstuhl attended the CWPPRA Technical Committee meeting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on September 11. The public meeting allowed the CWPPRA community to take recommendations for several upcoming coastal restoration projects. Additionally, the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System team, a NWRC and Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority partnership, reported on recent actions regarding monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of restoration projects. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

GOMA Habitat Conservation and Restoration Meeting: On September 17-18, USGS NWRC director Phil Turnipseed will attend the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Habitat Conservation and Restoration Priority Issue Team meeting in New Orleans. Turnipseed has been a member of the team since 2011. He will also participate in a subcommittee meeting to discuss the Gulf Regional Sediment Management Master Plan. The team’s agenda includes budget discussions and planning for the proposed GOMA/Mexican partners’ conference on sea-level rise and sediment management. 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. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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