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Press Release

U.S. Department of the Interior
U.S. Geological Survey
National Wetlands Research Center
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

Contact: Gabrielle Boudreaux Bodin
Phone: 337-266-8655
Fax: 337-266-8541
For Release: October 11, 2000

Fire-fighting Scientist to be Honored

Who: Dr. Sue Grace, recognized expert on fire ecology and volunteer fire fighter.

Presenting the award will be Dr. Virginia Burkett, NWRC forest ecology branch chief, and Dr. Robert E. Stewart, NWRC director.

What: "Surprise" award ceremony honoring her for her recent stint in Texas fighting fires on Texas Forest Service lands and her leadership in fire research.

When: 3 p.m., Thursday, October 12, 2000

Where: U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center, Swamp Lounge 700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, La.

Why: Because Dr. Grace researches fires, both prescribed (planned for land management) and wild, she must be a licensed fire fighter, trained to fight large fires. When a call came out from the Department of the Interior asking for volunteers to fight fires in the West, she immediately responded and was sent to Texas, where her group often faced seven fires a day caused by the drought. In addition to firefighting, she will also be recognized for her research of the 1998 Florida fires; her leadership in putting together a longleaf pine workshop next week in Alexandria, La. (fire-dependent longleaf pines are important animal habitats); and her new research in restoring longleaf pine in the Congaree Swamp National Monument, Hopkins, S.C.

Visuals: Picture of Dr. Grace with fire available.

Note: Press release and fire fact sheets will be available.

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