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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, November 14, 2013

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Scientists Survey Tree Communities Found in Tidal Freshwater Swamps: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Ken Krauss and two professors from Clemson University have a new paper online early that will be published in an upcoming print issue of the Journal of Vegetation Science. The paper, Woody vegetation communities of tidal freshwater swamps in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida (US) with comparisons to similar systems in the US and South America, provides a framework by which tidal freshwater forested wetland change can be accurately monitored based on identifying four specific tree communities across the Southeast. Working in the tidal portions of the Savannah, Waccamaw, Apalachicola, and Suwannee Rivers, this research directs future monitoring efforts to target changes in these specific community types in lieu of a diverse array of other community types associated with tidal swamps vulnerable to sea-level rise and saltwater intrusion. This research also provides a much-needed regional overview of different tidal freshwater forested wetlands and how they segregate and function on a regional scale based on hydrological and biogeochemical characteristics. (Ken Krauss; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8882)

DOI Assists Tribal Governments with Planning for Climate Change Impacts: USGS NWRC Ecologist Kate Spear met with Julie Maldonado with the National Climate Assessment team of the U.S. Global Change Research Program on November 11, in Houma, Louisiana. Discussion focused on the potential impacts of climate change on tribal lands and resources and the process of planning for adaptation. Maldonado is working with multiple tribes in coastal Louisiana that are experiencing rapid environmental changes due to long-term historical processes, development projects, disasters, and climate change. Spear is leading the effort at NWRC to work with the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative to develop a climate change adaptation plan for the Chitimacha Nation, as well as to provide geospatial data, tools, assistance, environmental education, and outreach to support the tribe as they face ongoing challenges related to climate change. (Kate Spear; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8645)

Lake Pontchartrain Urban Waters Federal Leads Meet: On November 19, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in a Department of the Interior-led teleconference and webinar with the other DOI Federal leads participating in the Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Turnipseed is the USGS point of contact for the New Orleans/Lake Pontchartrain Urban Waters Initiative. Turnipseed will update the DOI group on work developed by NWRC for this partnership. The Urban Waters Federal Partnership has expanded under DOI Secretary Sally Jewell and now includes 11 new pilot projects across the Nation in addition to the original 7 (which includes the New Orleans pilot project). (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Recaps Management Board Meeting: On November 19, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will participate in a teleconference recapping the 2013 Autumn Meeting of the Lower Mississippi Valley Joint Venture Management Board that was held on October 16 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, during the Federal government shutdown. The 2013 Autumn Meeting was held coincident with the annual Southeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In addition to the meeting summary, LMVJV Management will hear from the LMVJV Science Team. The Team has identified a number of areas for improving their assessment of North American Wetland Conservation Act (NAWCA) proposals relative to LMVJV objectives. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

GOMA Federal Work Group Meets: On November 21, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Ecologist Kate Spear, and Branch Chief Scott Wilson will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Federal Work Group webinar. Bethany Mabee, Program Officer with the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will provide an overview and update on the NAS Gulf of Mexico Program. In addition, Karim Belhadjali of the Strategic Planning Section of the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) will give the group an overview of the Louisiana Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast and discuss the technical, economic, and public engagement processes that led to the plan. 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)

NWRC Hosts 2013 Autumn Meeting of the Louisiana Engineering Society: On November 21, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, PE, and NWRC Information Specialist Gabrielle Bodin will host the 2013 meeting of the Louisiana Engineering Society (LES). Turnipseed will provide an overview of USGS’s engineering practices to help promote improved connections between the NWRC and the LES’s civil engineering community. Gabrielle Bodin will provide a brief tour of the NWRC for the group. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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