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Dune and dirty: Hurricane teaches lessons through ecosystem research
Date:12/8/2008

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GALVESTON Dr. Rusty Feagin was managing several ecosystem research projects on Galveston Island when the 2008 hurricane season began.

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.

But with the 2008 hurricane season officially over, Feagin has noted the changes and will begin again.

His research over the years, however, has yielded discoveries that could help the tender ecosystem recover, depending on human interaction. Among hi
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Contact: Kathleen Phillips
ka-phillips@tamu.edu
979-845-2872
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert  

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