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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: August 19, 2009

Janine Powell Named New Director, USGS National Wetlands Research Center

Dr. Janini PowellLAFAYETTE, La. — Dr. Janine E. Powell is the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wetlands Research Center, headquartered in Lafayette, La.  Dr. Powell has previously led another USGS research center and has years of research experience in Mississippi.

Dr. Powell said, “I am very pleased to be returning to the South where I contributed earlier as a scientist. My new role in leading this prestigious National Wetlands Research Center is an incredible opportunity to influence research, development and application in these critical systems, and I am deeply honored.”   

She replaces Dr. Gregory J. Smith, center director since December 2004. He will now be director of the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Md.

Dr. Powell has 28 years of research experience with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior. Most recently she served as the assistant station director for Strategic Management and Accountability with the USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins, Colo.

From 2007 to 2008, Dr. Powell was director of the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center in Jamestown, N.D. There, center research included waterfowl and other migratory birds west of the Mississippi River, the ecology of grasslands and wetlands of the northern and central plains, threatened and endangered species, and statistical and geospatial analyses, models and monitoring.

Prior to that, Dr. Powell was affiliated with various USDA research. She was with the USDA Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station from 2002 to 2007, primarily as assistant director for research. She was responsible for overseeing research units in 12 Interior West states, where research focused on forest and rangeland issues. She also assisted in coordinating science needs in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
From 1998 to 2001, Dr. Powell was a lead scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service Formosan Subterranean Termite Research Unit based at the Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans, La., though she was located in Stoneville, Miss., at the Stoneville Research Quarantine Facility. She was responsible for developing biologically based control technology for management of the Formosan subterranean termite.

Dr. Powell was project leader for the USDA Forest Service’s Southern Research Station Wood Products Insect Research Unit in Starkville, Miss., from 1995 to 1997. There, research led to new knowledge and methods for detecting, monitoring and controlling wood products pests.

Dr. Powell was also a staff research forest entomologist and staff budget coordinator for the USDA Forest Service, Forest Insect and Disease Research staff in Washington, D.C., from 1992 to 1995. She assisted in planning, formulating, and tracking insect and disease research efforts nationally.

She was research leader from 1991 to 1992 for the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Northern Grain Insects Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D. She guided research to develop integrated pest management systems of insect pests of corn and small grains.

Dr. Powell was an entomologist at the Agricultural Research Service Southern Insect Management Laboratory in Stoneville, Miss., from 1981 to 1991. She managed the Stoneville Research Quarantine Facility, was a supervisory research entomologist at the Insect Rearing Research Unit in Starkville, Miss., and a researcher in Stoneville.

During those 10 years Dr. Powell developed new knowledge on the biology of field crop insects to improve their control, especially by using natural enemies in cotton in the Mississippi Delta. She studied the use of imported and native natural enemies to manage insect pests.  She worked with partners at many universities, including Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, La.

Dr. Powell received a Ph.D. in entomology from Clemson University in South Carolina in 1981; a master’s degree in biology from State University of New York College at Plattsburgh in 1977; and a bachelor’s degree in forest biology from SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse in 1975.

Dr. Powell is from Ticonderoga, N.Y., located in the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park she calls “magnificent.”  She says that her pride and love for the part of the country where she grew up and became keenly interested in natural resources and science gave her a strong sense of place, but she is firmly attached to the South through a deep appreciation for its natural systems and people.

She and her husband, Ron, have two grown daughters and will reside in the Lafayette area.

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