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Meetings

Southern Hospitality at Meeting on Interagency Science in the Suwannee River Basin


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Lisa Robbins, Russ Hall, Brian Katz, Folkston Mayor Dixie McGurn, Ellen Raabe, and Robin Schrock
Above: Suwannee River Basin Workshop participants at lunch. Clockwise from center front: Lisa Robbins, Russ Hall, Brian Katz, Folkston Mayor Dixie McGurn, Ellen Raabe, and Robin Schrock (all but the mayor are from the USGS).

Folkston Mayor Dixie McGurn takes lunch orders
Above: Folkston Mayor Dixie McGurn takes lunch orders from USGS participants Lisa Robbins and Russ Hall.

Mike Holmes (USGS) is a proud winner in the watermelon raffle
Above: Mike Holmes (USGS) is a proud winner in the watermelon raffle.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) hosted the second Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop at the Okefenokee Education and Research Center in Folkston, GA, on June 28 and 29. More than 65 scientists from more than 20 government and academic research groups participated. They are crafting a plan to coordinate water-resource studies within the Suwannee River basin, which is situated in both Georgia and Florida. An important mission of the plan is to include stakeholders from both States. USGS scientist Ellen Raabe said, "We want to bring scientists together to design a science plan that can be used to guide resource management throughout the entire basin. In order to support both economic development and environmental health within the basin, competing demands for water must be balanced."

Recognizing the need to coordinate research efforts basin-wide, the Suwannee Basin Interagency Alliance held a conference in April 2001 in Live Oak, FL. In 2004, the USGS hosted a Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop at Cedar Key, FL (see Sound Waves article, "Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop"). This year, USGS organizers Brian Katz and Ellen Raabe selected Folkston, GA, for the meeting location because of its proximity to the Okefenokee Swamp, the headwaters of the eastern Suwannee River. The workshop focused on developing and reviewing the interagency science plan, identifying ways to integrate interstate science and management of resources, and developing Web links to make research and data available to all involved. The 2-day conference included formal presentations and breakout discussion sessions focused on detailed topics such as modeling, water supply, water quality, and data management.

The sleepy town of Folkston is known as the gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp. The workshop was held at the newly created Okefenokee Education and Research Center (OERC) and was cosponsored by the USGS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, the South Georgia Regional Development Center, the Suwannee River Water Management District, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division.

Southern hospitality included fresh blueberries and home-baked cookies for session breaks and a traditional "low-country boil" dinner hosted by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Seven watermelons donated by the South Georgia Regional Development Center and the Natural Resources Conservation Service of Georgia were raffled off to lucky workshop participants. The final day of the conference included an enthusiastic address by Ms. Dixie McGurn, mayor of Folkston. Dixie's southern hospitality went beyond arranging a place large enough to accommodate the workshop group for lunch; she took everyone's orders as well!

To learn more about the meeting and science in the Suwannee River Basin, please visit URL http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/suwannee/meetings/folkston/.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop
Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005

Related Web Sites
Second Annual Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Initiative
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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in this issue: Fieldwork
Cover Story:
Locating Surf Scooter Nests in the Northern Boreal Forest

Further Investigation of Deep Coral Reef

Sea Otters 2005 Survey Numbers Dip

Outreach Ground Water Institute for Teachers

ISIS Group Visits USGS Woods Hole

USGS Scientists Address International Visitors

Meetings Suwannee River Basin and Estuary Integrated Science Workshop

USGS-NOAA Symposium

Publications New Fact Sheet About Landslides and Cliff Retreat

August Publications List


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