USGS announces major merge of National Wetlands Research Center
The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that its National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, La., and its Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville, Fla., will merge under the same leadership, effective October 1, 2015.
LAFAYETTE, LA, March 25, 2015 -- The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has announced that its National Wetlands Research Center (NWRC) in Lafayette, La., and its Southeast Ecological Science Center (SESC) in Gainesville, Fla., will merge under the same leadership, effective October 1, 2015.
The driving force behind the merger of the two centers is to create a hub of ecological science available throughout the southeast region that will provide the Department of Interior and partners with a range of research capabilities, from animals to plants to restoration of coasts and wetlands.
This merger will add to the existing world-class science conducted at NWRC, adding experts on animals such as manatees, sea turtles, invasive fish, coral reefs, marine organisms, and more. Further, it will eliminate three vacant management and administrative positions, so no occupied positions will be affected. The consolidation is expected to strengthen the breadth, production and delivery of USGS science.
"As natural resource issues become increasingly complex, the science to address those issues does as well," said Jess Weaver, USGS Southeast regional director. "This merger will establish a Science Center that brings together expertise to address important natural resource questions posed by managers of our rivers, wetlands, coasts, and oceans."
Although the merger will be effective in October, the two centers will begin developing a shared mission and vision. A new name will then be selected for the new merged center. Kenneth Rice, the current director of the SESC and acting director of the NWRC, has been named the director of the new merged center.
The merger of centers is not new to the USGS southeast region. Last year, 10 water science centers were merged into three in an effort to increase science efficiencies and reduce costs.