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USGS Participates in Gulf of Mexico Symposium

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The U.S. Geological Survey played a major role in the recent Gulf of Mexico Symposium, held April 9-12 in Mobile, Ala., featuring noted Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson. More than 1,000 participants attended. The USGS was one of the symposium's sponsors and worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Gulf of Mexico Program to provide speakers, exhibits, and public outreach expertise. In addition, the USGS National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) nominated the teacher who was named Gulf Guardian of the Year.

Suzette Kimball, USGS Eastern Region Chief Biologist and Gulf of Mexico Program Policy Committee member attended. USGS speakers included W.A. Battaglin, Denver, and Ellen Raabe, St. Petersburg. USGS participating staff from Lafayette included Elijah Ramsey and Larry Handley, who made presentations on spatial analysis; James B. Johnston, who chaired a session on habitats; Gaye Farris, who chaired the symposium's five-state university art and logo competition; and Susan Horton and Carey Hamburg, who presented interactive CDs and publications at the USGS exhibit. Also attending from NWRC were Richard DeMay and Blair Hutchinson.

"Imaging the Gulf," an art exhibit featuring the works of university students from the five Gulf Coast states, opened March 25th and will run through May 6th at the Gulf Coast Exploreum Museum of Science in Mobile, Ala. The exhibit is a joint venture of the Gulf of Mexico Program, the Exploreum, and the Mobile Museum of Art. The exhibit features 40 works, including photography, oil painting, etchings, ceramics, limestone carvings, found objects like a painted and etched glass French door, and wood, bronze, and glass sculptures. "The talent evident in these pieces is quite impressive," said Jim Giattina, Director of the Gulf of Mexico Program. "We challenged the students to depict a Gulf of Mexico that is culturally diverse, economically valuable, environmentally important, and aesthetically beautiful. The finished products have surpassed our expectations." Show juror Rene Paul Barilleaux, curator at the Mississippi Museum of Art, said, "The diversity of all of the fine arts pieces makes this show unique."

Linda Beyt
Gulf Guardian: Linda Beyt, first place winner of Gulf Guardian of the Year Award in the individual category.
There were 53 entries for Gulf Guardian Awards from all five Gulf Coast states-Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. A 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-place winner was awarded in each of six categories: business, government, civic/nonprofit organizations, youth/education, partnerships, and individual. Linda Beyt, Lafayette, won first place in the individual category. Robert E. Stewart, NWRC Director said, "This former middle school teacher has become a recognized educational leader in Louisiana and New York, a partner in research projects from Maine to Florida, an instructor of university faculty to promote innovative technology in teaching science, and producer of an interactive CD-ROM entitled 'Knee Deep in Louisiana Wetlands.' Her ongoing legacy is to make the young generation of Louisiana wetlands stewards of the future."

The first-ever Gulf Guardian Awardees were honored at a luncheon during the symposium, where they viewed videos that will be sent to television stations throughout the Gulf to promote the Gulf's preservation. "The Gulf Guardian Award is a great way for the Gulf of Mexico Program partnership to recognize and honor the businesses, community groups, individuals, and agencies who are taking positive steps to keep the Gulf healthy, beautiful, and productive," said Jim Giattina.

For a complete list of Gulf Guardian winners click here, and for a complete list of art contest participants, see USGS National Wetlands Center news releases. For further information about the USGS involvement in the Symposium or Gulf of Mexico Program, contact Gaye Farris at 337-266-8550 or

Related Web Sites
Synopsis of 1st Place Gulf Guardian Awards - Linda Beyt
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)—Gulf of Mexico Program
Louisiana Student Artists Selected for "Imaging the Gulf" Exhibit
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) press release
Linda Beyt, Conoco Win Gulf Guardian Awards
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) press release

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Outreach Letter to the Editor

Nat'l Ocean Sciences Bowl Winner

Earth Day, Tampa Bay

Meetings Gulf of Mexico

Great Lakes Mapping

Interagency Pollution Work

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Work With High School Students

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Talk by Richie Williams

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