Tag Archives: louisiana

USGS Study Confirms U.S. Amphibian Populations Declining at Precipitous Rates

CORVALLIS, Ore. — The first-ever estimate of how fast frogs, toads and salamanders in the United States are disappearing from their habitats reveals they are vanishing at an alarming and rapid rate.

According to the study released on May 22, 2013, in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, even the species of amphibians presumed to be relatively stable and widespread are declining. And these declines are occurring in amphibian populations everywhere, from the swamps in Louisiana and Florida to the high mountains of the Sierras and the Rockies. (more…)

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3-D Mapping of Isaac Water Levels

A new technology is being deployed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists this weekend to map urban flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac. Called “terrestrial lidar,” or “T-lidar”, this new capability will enable scientists to collect highly detailed information in select population areas in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama where the hurricane had the greatest impact.

The portable instrument allows scientists to quickly generate 3-D maps of buildings, dams, levees and other structures, and can show areas of storm damage as well. In a four-to-five minute scan, the instrument collects millions of topographic data points in a full 360-degree view to quickly produce highly accurate topographic information and can map areas up to two-thirds of a mile away. (more…)

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‘On the Road’


After his father’s death in the late 1940s, 24-year-old aspiring writer Sal Paradise meets 20-year-old ex-jailbird Dan Moriarty and his beautiful wife Marylou in New York. Dan is extremely charming and has a flexible moral code, and is as fascinated by Sal’s obsession with writing as Sal is by the unfettered freedom of his lifestyle. The two men spend intense nights of drinking, dreaming of another world, and forming a friendship that will take them on a trip across America. After staying at Bull Lees place in Louisiana, Sal, Dean, and Marylou continue traveling – naked and utterly enjoying themselves. (more…)

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Rising Seas Put Millions of Americans at Risk for Flooding

New estimates suggest more U.S. land prone to flooding than previously thought.

About 3.7 million Americans are at risk for flooding as the sea level continues to rise in the coming century, according to a new study from a team that includes University of Arizona researchers.

Areas on the south Atlantic Seaboard and surrounding the Gulf of Mexico appear to be most prone to future flooding. In terms of numbers of people at risk, Florida is the most vulnerable, closely followed by Louisiana, California, New York and New Jersey. (more…)

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Mysterious Flotsam in Gulf of Mexico Came from Deepwater Horizon Rig, Study Finds

*Tracking Debris from Damaged Oil Rigs Could Help Forecast Coastal Impacts in the Future*

Shortly after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, mysterious honeycomb material was found floating in the Gulf of Mexico and along coastal beaches. Using state-of-the-art chemical forensics and a bit of old-fashioned detective work, a research team led by scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) confirmed that the flotsam were pieces of material used to maintain buoyancy of the pipe bringing up oil from the seafloor.

The researchers also affirmed that tracking debris from damaged offshore oil rigs could help forecast coastal pollution impacts in future oil spills and guide emergency response efforts—much the way the Coast Guard has studied the speed and direction of various floating debris to guide search and rescue missions. The findings were published Jan. 19 in Environmental Research Letters. (more…)

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Irene Highlights Critical Roles of Government, Public

EAST LANSING, Mich. — As Tropical Storm Irene shows, dealing with natural disasters is a two-way street: Both the government and the public play a critical role in curtailing the effects, according to a Michigan State University political scientist.

In her new book “Dealing with Disaster,” Saundra Schneider contends it’s not the size of the disaster or the amount of money spent on relief that determine success or failure of an emergency response. Instead, it’s the “inevitable gap” between government procedures and the collective behavior of victims. (more…)

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Bios for the Birds: USGS-Raised Whooping Crane Chicks Leave the Nest

LAUREL, Md. —   Imagine spending your time feeding, nurturing, and teaching the daily tasks of survival to a baby who could never know your true identity.

The dedicated U.S. Geological Survey scientists and caretakers of the ten gangly, adolescent whooping cranes being publicly released today in Louisiana do just this. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t know each of these cranes as well as parents know each of their children. (more…)

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Wildlife Die-Offs are Relatively Common, Recent Bird Deaths Caused by Impact Trauma

Large wildlife die-off events are fairly common, though they should never be ignored, according to the U.S. Geological Survey scientists whose preliminary tests showed that the bird deaths in Arkansas on New Year’s Eve and those in Louisiana were caused by impact trauma. 

Preliminary findings from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center’s Arkansas bird analyses suggest that the birds died from impact trauma, and these findings are consistent with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s statement. The State concluded that such trauma was probably a result of the birds being startled by loud noises on the night of Dec. 31, arousing them and causing them to fly into objects such as houses or trees. Scientists at the USGS NWHC performed necropsies—the animal version of an autopsy—on the birds and found internal hemorrhaging, while the pesticide tests they conducted were negative. Results from further laboratory tests are expected to be completed in 2-3 weeks.  (more…)

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