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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: May 20, 1998

National Wetlands Research Center Honors Wiley College Graduates

The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wetlands Research Center has recognized two honor graduates of Wiley College in Marshall, Tex., for their volunteer work in helping the center develop a database to be used by land managers.

Receiving commendations from the center during recent ceremonies at Wiley College were Maria Hernandez and Mavis Mahnyarare. Hernandez of Tatum, Tex., and originally from Mexico City, was graduated summa cum laude in chemistry. Mahnyarare of Zimbabwe was graduated cum laude in biology.

Dr. James B. Johnston, chief of the center's spatial analysis branch, praised their work for the center and the Caddo Lake Institute in Marshall. The institute, a non-governmental organization, is a partner with the center in developing natural resource databases to address environmental issues for the Caddo Lake ecosystem in Louisiana and Texas.

Johnston stated that "data developed by Ms. Hernandez and Ms. Mahnyarare were recently used in a public and private partnership effort to address potential oil and hazardous spills in the Caddo Lake ecosystem." The effort included 40 organizations, businesses and government agencies and more than 100 individuals.

Both students plan to attend graduate school at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Tex.

The National Wetlands Research Center, headquartered in Lafayette, La., has worked with the Caddo Lake Institute for several years in educational and research areas.

As the nation's largest water, earth and biological science and civilian mapping agency, the USGS works in cooperation with more than 2,000 organizations across the country to provide reliable, impartial scientific information to resource managers, planners and other customers. This information is gathered in every state by USGS scientists to minimize the loss of life and property from natural disasters, to contribute to the conservation and the sound economic and physical development of the nation's natural resources and to enhance the quality of life by monitoring water, biological, energy and mineral resources.

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