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Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

Dune and Dirty: Hurricane Teaches Lessons Through Ecosystem Research (1 of 2)

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Caption: This audio is of Dr. Rusty Feagin who was managing several ecosystem research projects on Galveston Island when the 2008 hurricane season began in June 2008. Then he got an unexpected visit from a research assistant named Ike. "Ike reconfirmed the basic idea I've had for several years," said Feagin, ecosystem scientist with Texas AgriLife Research. "The plants on sand dunes and in marshes build an island's elevation, so we shouldn't compromise that." Most of the dunes and marshes he and his graduate students had studied were destroyed or severely damaged by Hurricane Ike which struck Galveston Sept. 13. The 2008 hurricane season is officially over and Feagin's research over the years has yielded discoveries that could help the tender ecosystem recover, depending on human interaction. Here he tells why we need to rely on "ecological engineering" and good policy that requires people to build homes in the correct locations.

Credit: Kathleen Phillips, Texas AgriLife Research.

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Related news release: Dune and dirty: Hurricane teaches lessons through ecosystem research

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