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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

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

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Mangrove Forests Adjust to Rising Sea Level: USGS research ecologists Ken Krauss, Karen McKee (emeritus), and Don Cahoon, along with professors from Australia and China, co-authored a paper which will appear in an upcoming print issue of New Phytologist. The paper, How mangrove forests adjust to rising sea level, will appear in the prestigious Tansley Review series. This work provides a concise overview of the documented, vegetation-driven processes that contribute to increases in soil surface elevation gain in mangrove wetlands along coastlines subjected to sea-level rise. Mangroves influence soil accretion processes through the production and accumulation of organic matter, as well as the trapping and retention of mineral sediments in ways that can extend the long-term persistence of mangroves through elevation adjustment. Thus, the important and often under-appreciated role that plants play in shaping the trajectory of an ecosystem undergoing change is discussed. This review is also intended to summarize existing research, to drive development of future research agendas on belowground and shallow surface processes in coastal wetlands, and to provide insight into how vegetation management might be accomplished to maximize surface elevation gain in vulnerable wetlands globally. (Ken Krauss; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8882)

NWRC Participates in GOMA Ecosystems Meeting: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, Branch Chief Scott Wilson, and Ecologist Kate Spear will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Ecosystems Integration and Assessment Priority Issue Team meeting to be held December 12, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Among the topics discussed will be the Gulf of Mexico master mapping plan, data access and acquisition, and an update on the Gulf Data Atlas. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

USGS Meets to Discuss NWRC Aviation Plan: On December 17, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed will meet with the Associate Director for USGS Administration and Enterprise Information in Reston, Virginia, to discuss NWRC’s aviation needs. The AD is the USGS representative on the DOI’s Executive Aviation Committee. The NWRC currently operates one of two aircraft in the USGS, and is actively developing a new collaborative remote sensing capability with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Office for Aviation Safety. Turnipseed is currently planning an upgrade to the NWRC aviation program. The new equipment is needed for research, modeling, and mapping in a wetland landscape. Difficulties encountered with using lidar technology alone in very wet areas can be overcome through a combination of remote sensing instrumentation. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

LCA Holds Student Science Fair: USGS NWRC Information Specialist Gabrielle Bodin assisted with judging Lafayette Christian Academy’s annual science fair. Sixty-one seventh grade students displayed projects on a variety of topics. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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