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Meetings

Annual Science Meeting of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project


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Ioannis Georgiou, Mark Kulp, and Mike Miner
Above: Left to right, Ioannis Georgiou, Mark Kulp, and Mike Miner of the University of New Orleans lead a field trip around the New Orleans area. [larger version]

The Annual Science Meeting of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project—also known as the NGOM Project—was held March 24-26, 2009, at the Lindy Boggs International Conference Center on the University of New Orleans' Lakefront Campus. The overall goal of this project is to understand the evolution of coastal ecosystems, the impact of human activities on these ecosystems, and the vulnerability of ecosystems and human communities to intense hurricanes in the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

This meeting, led by John Brock and Dawn Lavoie (USGS), provided a unique opportunity for task and subtask leaders, cooperative partners, and members of the project's Science Advisory and Region Advisory committees to get together and discuss the project. Specific goals were to share updates on scientific progress and products, to plan and coordinate summer 2009 field activities, to identify what is or is not working well and plan any needed course corrections, and to review strategies for developing new partnerships.

During the afternoon of the second day, University of New Orleans collaborators Mark Kulp, Mike Miner, and Ioannis Georgiou provided a tour of areas relevant to the project around New Orleans, Louisiana. The field trip focused on the geologic framework of eastern New Orleans, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC), and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). This area of New Orleans and southern Louisiana has been a focus of concern ever since the devastating impact of the 2005 hurricanes. For this reason, a massive flood-protection barrier is being constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, with the intention of closing gaps between two separate levee systems. Field-trip participants gained an increased awareness of how the geomorphology and near-surface geology of the area affect flooding hazards and mitigation efforts.

The NGOM Project study area on the northern Gulf Coast includes the coastal margins of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.
Above: The NGOM Project study area on the northern Gulf Coast includes the coastal margins of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. [larger version]

The NGOM Project, which began in October 2006, has made substantial progress in its first few years and has already generated many products: 25 USGS publications, including 4 Circulars, 11 Data Series, 7 Open-File Reports, 1 Fact Sheet, 1 Scientific Investigations Map (9 more are currently in progress), and the NGOM Web site; 11 journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters; and 38 abstracts. Later this year, a special issue of the journal GeoMarine Letters will include 12 papers from the NGOM Project.

Owing to its integrated approach, the NGOM Project has provided researchers with a way to investigate, in parallel, Holocene geologic and climatic evolution, historical ecosystem change, present and future (projected) ecosystem structure, and associated hazards to human populations along the northern gulf coast.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Hosts Northern Gulf of Mexico Land-Cover Characterization Workshop at the University of New Orleans, Louisiana
March 2008

Related Web Sites
Northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) Ecosystem Change and Hazard Susceptibility Project
USGS

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Submarine Ground Water Discharge Along the West Florida Shelf

Significant Gas Resource Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Research Assessing Offshore Marine Sand Deposits

Outreach 10th Anniversary of Sound Waves

USGS: Your Resource During Hurricane Season

Internship Programs at USGS Center in St. Petersburg

Open House in Menlo Park

Meetings Annual NGOM Science Meeting

Publications June/July 2009 Publications List


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