Southeast Ecological Science Center to Merge

Release Date:

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville and the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana will merge under the same leadership effective October 1, 2015.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southeast Ecological Science Center in Gainesville and the National Wetlands Research Center in Lafayette, Louisiana 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 SESC, adding experts on coastal and wetland restoration, the health of wetland and aquatic ecosystems, and climate change impacts to natural resources.

The merger will eliminate three already 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 October 1, 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.