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Weekly Highlights

MEMORANDUM

From: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Subject: Weekly Highlights, USGS National Wetlands Research Center, February 27, 2014

Departmental/Bureau News - Current

Work Examines Persistent Organic Pollutants in the Mekong Basin: A new study by the USGS, International Crane Foundation, and the University Network for Wetland Research and Trainings in the Mekong Region examines persistent organic pollutants (POP) in the Mekong River Basin. The study assessed the presence and concentration of persistent organic pollutants in surface sediments collected from a wide variety of wetlands located throughout the Mekong Basin in Myanmar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The results provide a strong baseline for further study and conservation efforts. This project fostered local technical development by supporting research, provided greater scientific understanding of the critical challenges posed by POP contamination, and advanced trans-boundary cooperation within the Mekong Basin. (Scott Wilson; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8644)

Special Journal Feature on Asian Wetlands: USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed and Research Ecologist Beth Middleton have organized an initiative involving the NWRC, U.S. Department of State, and the State Forestry Administration of Beijing to sponsor a special feature on Asian wetlands in the Society of Wetland Scientists’ journal, Wetlands. The special feature will be released in the April 2014 edition. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-237-8688)

Biogeo-optics Seminar: University of North Carolina at Greensboro Professor Robert Stavn will present a seminar at the USGS National Wetlands Research Center on March 11, entitled, “Biogeo-optics: suspended matter, water color and remote-sensing implications: what drives the remote-sensing reflectance of inland waters and the coastal ocean?” The presentation will discuss remote sensing reflectance as an indicator of suspended matter and water color in inland waters and the coastal ocean. (Nicole Cormier; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8838)

Scientist Participates in Long-Term Ecological Research Meeting: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Beth Middleton will attend the all-investigators meeting of the University of Virginia Long-Term Ecological Research Project on March 11-12, at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center in Cheriton, Virginia. NWRC scientists Middleton and Elijah Ramsey are working with this group as part of the Hurricane Sandy-funded project “Long-term consequences and management responses to coastal wetlands and lagoons impacted by Hurricane Sandy.” (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-237-8688)

Scientist Attends State Department Meeting: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Beth Middleton will attend the U.S.-China Ten-Year Framework for Cooperation on Energy and Environment meeting in Washington, D.C., on March 17-18. (Beth Middleton; Lafayette, La.; 337-237-8688)

USGS Contributes to Guidance Document: USGS NWRC Research Ecologist Jim Grace contributed to a book chapter, authored by National Park Service scientists and others, that describes how concepts of ecological integrity, thresholds, and reference conditions can be integrated into research and monitoring for natural resource management. The new contribution, Getting the message across: using ecological integrity to communicate with resource managers, was published in the USGS-edited book, Application of Threshold Concepts in Natural Resource Decision Making. (Jim Grace, Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

Science Examines Factors Influencing Driving Habits: Jim Grace of the USGS National Wetlands Research Center was co-author on a study led by researchers at the University of Utah City and Metropolitan Planning Department entitled, Structural equation models of VMT [vehicle miles traveled] growth in U.S. urbanized areas, published in the journal Urban Studies. In this analysis, driving was positively related to population size, average income, and freeway capacity, while negatively related to gasoline prices, development density, and transit service level. This work has the potential to inform urban planning efforts. (Jim Grace, Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8632)

Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society Meeting: USGS National Wetlands Research Center Geographer Nicholas Enwright, along with Bill Bartush (Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative), Michael Brasher (Gulf Coast Joint Venture), and Stephen DeMaso (Gulf Coast Joint Venture) attended the 50th annual meeting of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society in Austin, Texas on February 19-22. Enwright and Brasher presented a poster titled “Delineation of marsh types of the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to the Sabine River.” DeMaso presented a paper titled “A discussion about monitoring in an adaptive management context.” Enwright moderated a technical session titled “Monitoring and Management,” while Bartush moderated a technical session on “Research and Management.” The staff of the GCP LCC and the GCJV are located at NWRC. (Nicholas Enwright; Lafayette, La; 337-266-8613)

GOMA Federal Work Group Meeting: USGS NWRC Ecologist Kate Spear and Geographer Emeritus Larry Handley participated in the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Federal Work Group Webinar on February 20. Presentations were made by representatives from the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. 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)

Research Exchange: University of South Carolina Department of Geography Professor Michael Hodgson and Silvia Piovan, Lecturer in Geography, Department of Historical Geographical and Antiquity Sciences, University of Padova (Italy) visited the USGS NWRC on February 21-22. Hodgson gave a presentation on wetlands mitigation forecasting modeling and the mobile image analysis toolkit (MIAT) for disaster response. Piovan presented a talk on the geo-historical approach to man-waters in the alluvial plain. Scientists Steve Hartley, Bill Jones, Chris Cretini, and Elijah Ramsey III presented highlights from NWRC’s applied research projects. Five Rivers Services contractor Andy From accompanied Ramsey, Hodgson, and Piovan on a boat tour of the Atchafalaya Basin. Piovan is initiating a study of the interactions among basin flow, morphologic dynamics and human activities. (Elijah Ramsey III; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8575)

Turnipseed Addresses 2014 MES Winter Meeting: On March 6-7, USGS NWRC Director Phil Turnipseed, P.E., will present an invited lecture to the 2014 winter meeting of the Mississippi Engineering Society in Jackson, Mississippi. Turnipseed's talk, entitled “Ecological engineering for the future of America’s coastal wetlands,” will include an overview of the USGS NWRC’s engineering practices along with information on forest and wetland ecosystem research activities. (Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin; Lafayette, La.; 337-266-8655)

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