Do scientists need to kill bats?

Not any longer.  The only way to confirm white-nose syndrome (WNS) used to be to euthanize a bat and send it back to a laboratory for testing, but UV light can now help diagnose this disease in bats.  When UV light is directed at the wings of infected bats, it produces a distinctive orange-yellow fluorescence, a good indication of bats that are infected.  Now scientists only take a small biopsy for testing rather than sacrifice a bat.

Learn More:

Bats General
White-Nose Syndrome
Flying by Night
Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines




If you hurry can you run away from a storm?

Tropical storms are events we can see coming, giving residents of coastal or low-lying areas time to get to higher ground. Tropical storms can bring high water, dangerous waves, and currents that can move large amounts of sand, destroying buildings and infrastructure, reshaping our coastline.

The USGS studies coastal storms and creates information to help responders and decision-makers minimize damage in the future.

Learn More:

Severe Storms
Citizen scientists identify changes with iCoast
Coastal Change Hazards: Hurricanes and Extreme Storms
USGS Public Lecture: Hurricanes and Our Changing Coasts

Could a tsunami hit US beaches?

Yes. According to tsunami deposit records left in Hawaii, Alaska, and the U.S. West Coast. U.S. beaches are vulnerable to tsunamis generated all around the Pacific Rim - anywhere there is a subduction zone or unstable shelf - which includes all of the U.S. West Coast and Hawaii. Tsunamis have been less frequent on the U.S. East coast and the Gulf coast.

Learn more:

Could a large tsunami happen in the United States?

Information about the latest earthquakes

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

West Coast & Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

Getting a sinking feeling?

Sinkholes are created when underground rocks are eroded or dissolved by groundwater. Certain rocks are more susceptible than others to this kind of dissolution, and we have a pretty good idea of where they are. Here is a map showing areas of karst, areas susceptible to sinkholes, in the U.S.

Learn More:

The Science of Sinkholes

Water Science for Schools: Sinkholes

Factsheet: Sinkholes

But, can I see my house?

That depends upon the remote-sensing platform (i.e., satellite, aircraft).  However, you may be able to identify your town. The surface of the Earth is changing rapidly, at local, regional, national, even global scales, with significant repercussions for people, the economy, and the environment. Remote sensing satellites and aircraft monitor the Earth providing information that is broad, precise, impartial, and easily available. 

Learn More:
Land Remote Sensing Image Collections
Land Remote Sensing Program
Global Visualization Viewer