Research and monitoring to develop fundamental understanding of ecosystem function and distributions, physical and biological components and trophic dynamics for freshwater, terrestrial, and marine ecosystems and the human and fish and wildlife communitie
Small wetlands in this large area have hosted migratory birds for a long time, but with changes in agricultural practice and regional climate those habitats may not remain hospitable to the wild populations.
This web site is an outgrowth of an agreement between the USGS and the New England Aquarium, designed to summarize and make available results of scientific research. It will also present educational material of interest to wide audiences.
Combining genetic data with current and predicted climate scenarios, we are modeling the predicted future distributions of wildlife populations in the Arctic and identifying key environmental variables that determine important animal habitat.
Three themes of ongoing research: forecasting polar bear and walrus population response to changing marine ecosystems; measuring wildlife population changes in the Arctic coastal plain, and wildlife communities in the boreal-Arctic transition zone.
Changes in Arctic sea ice and permafrost will likely affect populations of wildlife. Migratory birds such as loons rely on freshwater lakes in the Arctic for nesting and food supply; we are studying how their populations are affected by these changes.
Loss of sea ice has increased ocean wave action, changing coastal habitats. For some geese this has been a positive change, increasing the amount of coastal area that supports vegetation the geese feed on.
Overview of interdisciplinary research studies in Glacier National Park to understand how this mountain wilderness responds to present climatic variability and other external stressors, such as air pollution, and links to detailed reports.
Changes in both the ocean and coastal ecosystems may have negative effects on sea otter populations in the coastal Northwest and Alaska. A study underway will examine these factors and the overall health of sea otter populations.
Describes research to assess the effectiveness of the current system and distribution of marine reserves and protected areas in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico for conserving reef ecosystems and resources.
Home page of the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis, providing research and technical support for ecosystem management in the western U.S. Links to projects, field stations, fact sheets, partnerships, and publications.
This study reconstructs past interactions among ecosystem factors, native species, and human land use in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem to provide a context for future management to sustain both ecological and human communities.
Research results (publications, photographs, maps) on ecological processes within the Mojave Desert Ecosystem to provide land managers with scientific understanding and tools needed to conserve and restore threatened desert landscapes.
GIS application for assessing, mapping, and quantifying the social value of ecosystem services. Helps decision makers consider tradeoffs among them with the human attitudes and preferences that express underlying social values.
Project is designed to integrate studies from a number of researchers compiling data from terrestrial, marine, and freshwater ecosystems within south Florida. Links to publications, maps, posters, and data of studies.
Links to reports of aquatic ecosystems research at the Western Fisheries Research Center (WFRC) emphasizing the understanding of ecological processes for aquatic systems, including river basins, riparian areas, wetlands, and estuaries.
Main page for accessing links for information and data on the San Francisco Bay estuary and its watershed with links to highlights, water, biology, wetlands, hazards, digital maps, geologic mapping, winds, bathymetry and overview of the Bay.
Clearinghouse for the description and availability of multiple geospatial datasets relating to Alaska from many federal, state and local cooperating agencies under the coordination of the Alaska Geographic Data Committee.
Updated summaries of research in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, on caribou, muskoxen, predators (grizzly bears, wolves, golden eagles), polar bears, snow geese and their wildlife habitats with maps of land-cover and vegetation.
Previous analysis showed this area to have reduced macroinvertebrate biodiversity, an important measure of ecosystem health. New observations indicate that conditions have improved; report includes methods and results of sampling.
Project of the Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science program that evaluates the transport and sedimentation of contaminates through the Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River delta to the near-shore Gulf of Mexico. Includes aerial photographs.
A geologic and oceanographic study of the waters and Continental Shelf of Gulf of the Farallones adjacent to the San Francisco Bay region. The results of the study provide a scientific basis to evaluate and monitor human impact on the marine environment.
A web-enabled database that provides for the capture, curation, integration, and delivery of bioassessment data collected by USGS, principally macroinvertebrate, algae, fish, and supporting habitat data from rivers and streams.
Biomonitoring of Environmental Status and Trends (BEST) program is designed to assess and monitor the effects of environmental contaminants on biological resources with links to detailed information on specific species.
Explains biological soil crusts, organism-produced soil formations commonly found in semiarid and arid environments, with special reference to their biological composition, physical characteristics, and ecological significance.
Fact sheet on the need to protect biological soil crusts in the desert. These crusts are most of the soil surface in deserts not covered by green plants and are inhabited by cyanobacterium (blue-green algae) and other organisms useful to the ecosystem.
Explains how critical information about dispersal and gene flow in sage-grouse populations can be obtained from the DNA coded in the sage-grouse feathers collected at their communal breeding grounds, which are called "leks".
Description of bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) and lichens (dual organisms of a fungus and an alga or a cyanobacterium) that are part of forest ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest with information on habitat and conservation.
Manual for research program on the nesting habits of sea turtles of the Virgin Islands, with descriptions of species, nesting behavior, observation methods, record keeping, tagging, and tissue sample collection. (PDF file, 121 pp.)
Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) poses a problem in the deserts of the United States, growing in dense stands and introducing a wildfire risk in an ecosystem not adapted to fire. This report explains what we are doing to help mitigate its effects.
Identification of epiphytes (plants obtaining moisture and nutrients from the air and rain and usually living on another plant) on seaweed in Tampa Bay, Florida. Abstract of symposium presentation with photos.
Detailed publication on the classification system for an inventory of wetlands and deepwater habitats of the United States used to describe ecological taxa and arrange them in a system useful to resource managers.
Home page for Coastal and Marine Geology with links to topics of interest (sea level change, erosion, corals, pollution, sonar mapping, and others), Sound Waves monthly newsletter, field centers, regions of interest, and subject search system.
Declines in fish and wildlife populations, water-quality issues, and changes in coastal habitats have prompted this USGS study of the region's nearshore life and environment. Includes links to data from published reports.
Website for the Columbia Environmental Research Center with links to staff, publications, databases, field stations, and projects including those on the Rio Grande, burrowing owls, sea turtles, and geospatial technology.
Links to Columbia Environmental Research Center online databases with text, data, and metadata on toxicity, Missouri River, biomonitoring of environmental status and trends, contaminants, and sediments.
Web site for an Internet Map Service (IMS) serving base cartographic data, USGS data, science applications and real time modelling analyses for the Columbia River basin using geospatial analysis technology.
The information provided in the CEE-TV database profiles available geo-referenced information on contaminant exposure and effects in terrestrial vertebrates along the U. S. coasts. The database utilizes Microsoft's Access 2000 for Windows.
Assessment of the importance of the Conservation Reserve Program in preventing the decline of grassland breeding birds by preserving grassland habitats in North Dakota. Published as Wilson Bulletin v. 107 no. 4, pp. 709-718 (1995).
Report with mini-movie and photos on the hypothesis that the atmospheric transport of dust arising from the desertification in northern Africa led to algal infestation of corals, coral diseases, and the near extinction of associated sea urchins.
Shows how coral reef specimens are collected, the type of information gained from them, and the methods by which they are measured and studied to understand recent (past few centuries) changes in climate.
Three mathematical models using information about the geographic distribution and character of land surface characteristics along with proposed modifications or plausible events to determine the likely costs and benefits of actions and events.
Use of diatoms in biostratigraphy, coastal and estuarine studies, paleoceanology, paleoliminology, earthquake studies, environmental quality and forensic studies. Includes listing of USGS diatom projects and links to other diatom websites.
Comprehensive bibliography on the ecology, conservation, and management of North American waterfowl and their wetland habitats. Facilitates searching or downloading as *.zip files and use with ProCite utility.
Satellite images of geographic areas of interest, cities, deserts, glaciers, geologic features, disaster areas, water bodies, and wildlife linked with articles, maps, and other images such as AVHRR, photographs, and special project images.
Comparison of water in two adjacent watersheds before and after implementing a brush management strategy in one of the watersheds helps us see what water resource characteristics are sensitive to brush management and how.
By measuring the current and historical growth rates of coral skeletons, and using field experiments, we intend to find out whether rising atmospheric CO2 and rising sea levels will cause coral reefs to erode and cease to function.
Study of the effects of the practice of cycling municipal nutrient-enriched wastewater from holding ponds through forested wetlands. Studies were in the Cypiere Perdue Swamp, Louisiana, and the Drummond Bog, Wisconsin.
Sixty-five sampling sites, selected by a statistical design to represent lengths of perennial streams in North Dakota, were chosen to be sampled for water chemistry and mercury in fish tissue to establish unbiased baseline data.
Integrated network of real-time water-level monitoring, ground-elevation modeling, and water-surface modeling that provides scientists and managers with current on-line water-depth information for the entire freshwater portion of the Greater Everglades.
Wetlands and oil wells shouldn't mix, but in some areas they do. This explains what problems may arise and how we study the effects of highly salty water produced by oil wells when it leaks into nearby wetlands and streams.
Constructed farm ponds represent significant breeding, rearing, and overwintering habitat for amphibians in the Driftless Area Ecoregion of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Links to fact sheet, brochure, annual reports, field manual, and final report.
Fine-grained material may negative effects on coastal ecosystems. Our studies suggest that the waves and currents of California are adequately energetic to transport fine-grained sediment quickly through near-shore coastal systems.
Study of wildland fire history and fire ecology such as plants in the Sierra Nevada forests, California shrublands, the Mojave, and Sonoran deserts to develop management techniques that will reduce hazards.
This program is focused on the study of fishes, fisheries, aquatic invertebrates, and aquatic habitats, and evaluates factors that affect aquatic organism health, population fitness, biological diversity, and aquatic community and habitat function.
Explains how we assessed the quality of a wetland as indicated by its plant species composition and abundance for marsh and swamp sites, to summarize the effectiveness of restoration projects in Louisiana.
Catalog of bird species common to forest and rangeland habitats in the U.S. with natural histories including taxonomic information, range, and habitat descriptions to assist land managers in resource management. Text available as a *.zip file.
Homepage of the Fort Collins Science Center in Colorado with links to programs in ecological research programs, staff directory, products library, news and events, and research features and spotlights.
Overview with links to studies on the effects of human activity on the San Francisco estuary with loss of historic fresh and saltwater tidal marshes reducing habitats, introducing contaminants in waste, and creating dredging problems.
Home page for the Front Range Infrastructure Resources Project, a demonstration study of the northern Colorado Front Range urban corridor and the entire Rocky Mountain Front Range urban corridor with links to projects, datasets, and publications.
Field methods, topics of investigation, shoreline changes, publications, and satellite imagery related to geologic and hydrologic processes affecting Lake Pontchartrain and adjacent lakes which form a large estuary in the Gulf Coast region.
Description of the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination (GeoMAC) project, online maps of current wildland fire locations using Netscape Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer, and user guide on how to use mapping application.
Site for Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, which provides information about biological resources in the Great Lakes Basin. Links to personnel, publications, data, library, facilities, research vessels, Great Lakes issues, and research.
Website of the Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science program to understand the framework and processes of the Gulf of Mexico using Tampa Bay as a pilot study. Links to publications, digital library, water chemistry maps, epiphytes, and field trips.
Fact sheet on the historic and current conditions of mangroves of Dry Tortugas National Park, a cluster of islands and coral reefs west of Key West, Florida. Mangroves and nesting frigate bird colonies are at risk to destruction by hurricanes.
Tide stage, specific conductance, water temperature, and freshwater inflow at selected Hudson River (New York) gages updated every 4-hours to measure the effects of freshwater withdrawals and upstream movement of the salt front.
Airborne scanning laser surveys (LIDAR) are used to obtaining data to investigate the magnitude and causes of coastal changes that occur during severe storms. Links to examples of coastal mapping during specific hurricanes.
A brief definition and explanation of hypoxia with special reference to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone along the Louisiana-Texas coast as well as extensive links to USGS and other related information resources.
Information about the causes and impact of hypoxia with links to USGS and other Federal agency information and activities related to nutrients in the Mississippi River Basin and hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
Description of the use of a miniature video-camera system deployed at nests of passerine species in North Dakota to videotape predation of eggs or nestlings by animals such as mice, ground squirrels, deer, cowbirds and others.
Article from Status and Trends of the Nation's Biological Resources on the serious impacts to river systems due to damming and flow regulation, and rehabilitation, monitoring, and research on such rivers.
Landscapes of interwoven wetlands and uplands offer a rich set of ecosystem goods and services. Changes in climate and land use can affect the value of those services. We study these areas to understand how they may be changing.
We conducted a national landowner survey, evaluated short-term vegetation responses to land management practices (primarily grazing, haying, and burning), and initiating a long-term vegetation monitoring study for wetland buffers.
Describes the diversity of habitat types in which invasive lionfish have been reported within Florida's coastal waters, based on lionfish sightings recored in our Nonindigenous Aquatic Species database.
Links to research projects that will improve the ability to detect, monitor, and predict the effects of invasive species, including exotic animals, on native ecosystems of the Pacific Southwest (California, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona).
Will salt marshes survive if sea level rises quickly? The answer depends on whether the areas surrounding them can allow salt marsh fauna and flora to migrate there. Local topography, both natural and manmade, is the main factor limiting this migration.
Handbook on monitoring methods for lake management, including program design, sampling methods and protocol, biota and chemical sampling methods, laboratory methods, preservation of data and samples, glossary, and bibliography. (PDF file, 92 pp.)
This website is a gateway to information and data on Lake Tahoe with links to Lake Tahoe Initiative, geography, history, lake facts, GIS Data, DEM, DOQ, DLG imagery, bathymetry, satellite imagery, land cover, census, soils, pictures, and general maps.
Homepage for the Leetown Science Center in West Virginia conducting research on aquatic and terrestrial organisms and their supporting ecosystems with links to directions, general description, library, projects, fact sheets, and facilities.
Macroinvertebrate data collected by USGS or USFS from 73 sites from 2000 to 2007 and algal data collected from up to 26 sites between 2000 and 2001 in the Eagle River watershed, with emphasis on methods of sample collection and data processing.
Study to identify grasslands that may be suitable for cellulosic feedstock production. Producing ethanol from non-cropland areas such as grassland will minimize the effects of biofuel developments on global food supplies.
Brief description of the research program to inventory the natural resources of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary with links to cruises, and publications and products, including an internet map server, imagery, and geologic descriptions.
Plan for an upcoming study, at the microbiological scale, of the benthic communities (including corals) that reside in and around mid-Atlantic canyons, which are located at the edge of the continental shelf.
Portal for Missouri River Infolinks, a clearinghouse to multiple links giving Missouri information, photo gallery, river weather forecast, projects and features, maps, meetings, history, and science research.
Information on mollusks and uses of the identification of fossil mollusks in the fields of biostratigraphy, geochronology, paleocoeanography, paleoecology and ecosystems history. Links to experts and related USGS projects.
Webpage based on USGS Open File Report 98-139 links to information on the San Francisco Bay estuary to study dredge disposal effects, fish habitats, sediment transport, rock pinnacles and navigation, and consequences of a large oil spill.
Georeferenced high-resolution mapping of bathymetry of the West Florida Shelf, Gulf of Mexico of areas suspected to be critical benthic habitats for fisheries. Includes links to images, data, metadata, and TIFF image files.
Report on the potential of coastal change due to future sea level rise using the coastal vulnerability index (C.V.I.) with two regional examples in San Francisco and Monterey Bay and Tillamook Head, Oregon, to Ocean Shores, WA.
Brief report on map showing the relative vulnerability of the Atlantic coast to changes due to future rise in sea level. Includes links to similar maps in Open-file report 2000-178 on the Pacific Coast and 2000-179 on the Gulf of Mexico Coast.
Multiple studies addressing urban water-quality issues, to describe biological, chemical, and physical characteristics of urban water resources over time, and relate those characteristics to natural processes and human activities
The Puget Sound Basin is a National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program study unit for studying the status, trends, and changes affecting the nation's water quality. Site links to data, publications, and results.
Homepage for the Nearshore Benthic Habitats Project for mapping geophysical characterization of the coastal sea floor to identify benthic fish and shellfish habitat with links to research cruises and preliminary results.
A national information resource for locating biogeographic accounts of non-indigenous aquatic species in the U.S. Provided are scientific reports, online/real-time queries, spatial data sets, regional contact lists, and general information.
Brief descriptions of programs of research on aquatic nonindigenous plants and animals at the Florida Integrated Science Center with links to descriptions, videos, posters, and reports on various exotic plant and animals species.
Description of scientific focus and research at the Northern Appalachian Field Lab on mining land use impacts and mediation, aquatic ecology, effects of dam removal, and invasive plant and animal species.
Homepage for the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, ND, with links to announcements, science prgorams, biological resources finder, publications search option, contacts, and answers to common questions about the Center
Brief report on sidescan sonar data, sediment sampling, and submersible and video photography studies of destruction of deep-water coral pinnacles where fish spawn off east-central Florida in the Oculina Bank in order to restore and protect the habitat.
Overview of studies of fragile and active landscape of the American Southwest deserts, including projects on geologic mapping, surface processes, remote sensing research, ecological processes, and earthquake hazard applications.
Access to Patuxent Wildlife Research Center fact sheets (PDFs) providing summaries of center studies on coastal ecosystems, birds, amphibians, taxonomy and other subjects and on center activities including partners and volunteer program.
Site for the Platte River Program in Nebraska an area that is a critical staging area for migratory waterbirds of the Central Flyway. Includes links to color-infrared aerial photos, 1938 historic aerial photos, and Cottonwood Ranch research site.
Links to science programs on upper Midwest river inventory and monitoring with links to databases on macroinvertebrates, fisheries, vegetation, water quality, bathymetry, floodplain forest, wildlife, sediment, contaminants and nutrients.
Literature review of sago pondweed, a submersed angiosperm that attracts waterfowl, but is also a nuisance plant that clogs irrigation systems. Includes classification, distribution, habitat, physiology, management, and economics.
Report on satellite imagery collected by the NOAA Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on NOAA polar-orbiting weather satellites. Links are provided to imagery of north-central Gulf of Mexico and of the Lake Pontchartrain.
Webpage on research on sea otters (Euhydra lutris) in the nearshore environment of the eastern Pacific Ocean with information on status of otters on the coast of Alaska, Washington, and California and link to fact sheet in PDF format.
The U.S. Geological Survey established a sediment trap in the northern Gulf of Mexico to collect time-series data on the flux and assemblage composition of live planktic foraminifers. This report provides an update of the 2008 time-series data to include
Sediment from rivers has both beneficial and detrimental effects on ecosystems and human activities around Puget Sound. We explain where the sediment comes from, how it is transported, and the nature of the data that we can use to understand it.
Locations of survey points, a photographic record of each site, field observations of vegetation cover and descriptions of oil coverage in the water and on plants, including measurements of the distance of oil penetration from the shoreline.
Portal of the South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) system providing multiple links to projects, products, information, and data for research, decision-making, and resource management of the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.
A pictorial overview for general audiences of key landscapes and ecosystems in South Florida; includes extensive references and links to past and current research activities relating to the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.
Document on the National Vegetation Classification Standard with information on applications, background, development, characteristics, nomenclature standards, relationship to other classifications, and how to do vegetation mapping.
This report is major publication on national biological resources that compiles and presents status and trends information for use by resource managers and the public. Presents detail information on ecosystems, plants, and animals.
Change in streams accompanying land and water use may affect benthic invertebrate assemblage composition and structure through changes in density of invertebrates or taxa richness, the number of different species living in the stream.
Report on the status of the biota and ecological factors of the inland lakes of the Great Lakes Cluster Parks: Indiana Dunes, Sleeping Bear Dunes,and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshores and Isle Royale and Voyageurs National Parks. (PDF file, 321 p.)
Combined with supporting research in reproductive physiology, identification of spawning habitat, and early life history this result provides new understanding of environmental factors that might affect reproduction of this endangered species.
Suspended-sediment concentration data were collected in San Francisco Bay during water year 2000 using optical backscatterance sensors and water samples. This report presents the data-collection methods, data, and calibration plots.
Interactive Mapping Service (IMS) is an Internet based Geographic Information System designed to provide users with online mapping capability of habitats, land use and land cover, and seagrass for areas of Tampa Bay.
Overview of interdisciplinary research on the Tampa Bay estuary of the Gulf of Mexico with links to digital library, interactive mapping, reports, posters, water chemistry maps, meetings and conferences, scientist directory, and field trips.
An introduction to three related USGS digital libraries: the general-purpose Marine Realms Information Bank (MRIB); the regionally focused Monterey Bay Science (MBS) Digital Library; and the topically focused Coastal Change Hazards (CCH) Digital Library.
Palmyra Atoll in the tropical Pacific is a "living laboratory" for multi-disciplinary research on coral reef ecosystems, insular terrestrial ecosystems, climate change, and the lingering effects of Cold War nuclear testing.
Article from American Scientist on study of the San Francisco Bay estuary as a component of the global climate system showing that natural fluctuations might be mistaken for anthropogenic trends affecting waterflow and salinity.
This report serves as an environmental review and framework for developing USGS programs in the south Florida ecosystem, especially the Everglades and its watershed, and stresses the critical role of water in natural and human environment.
Summary of a circular on USGS environmental research and Chesapeake Bay with links to full document. Includes discussion of the problems of the estuary, restoration efforts, water quality, and effects on ecosystem.
Monitoring soil temperature, soil moisture, air temperature, and overall thickness of the soil and sediment that is above the permafrost, therefore undergoing freeze-thaw cycles. Climate change may affect this active layer; we want to know how it does.
Long-term studies to better understand the effects of the eruption and the role of volcanism in structuring ecosystems in the Aleutian Islands, a volcano-dominated region with high natural resource values.
Outlines tactical problems that make it difficult for beach managers to use scientific information to make beach closure and advisory decisions. Explains methodologies we are using to address those problems and better prepare local decision makers.
The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is the hub of California's water system and an important habitat for fish and wildlife. USGS research has provided resource managers and other stakeholders with a good understanding of how pesticides enter the Delta.
Homepage for Upper Midwest Environmental Science Center, LaCrosse, Wisconsin, with links to data library, geographical search, science programs, partnerships, long-term resource monitoring program, reports and publications, and education.
The USGS Core Science Metadata Clearinghouse contains metadata records describing datasets largely focused on wildlife biology, ecology, environmental science, temperature, land cover, and land stewardship.
Overview of research in the Hawaiian Islands and Guam to gain insight into the structure of coral reefs, to provide the basis for future monitoring, and to understand the influences of natural processes and human activities on coral reef health.
Summarizes studies that took place in this ecoregion. Some studies occurred in areas without post-fire management, and others in moderately or intensively managed areas. Some of the research also occurred immediately after a wildfire, and other work occur
Thirty year database of water-quality data, visual data displays, and project information on the San Francisco Bay directed towards following and understanding changes in the water quality of San Francisco Bay.
Information on objectives, approach, status, and publications of various research projects investigating water resources in Montana including studies on wetlands, bridge scour, reconstructed wetlands, abandoned mine lands, and others.
Links to descriptions, maps, photos, and reports of projects related to studies of the effects of dams and flow regulation in watersheds altered by humans in the state of Michigan including Muskegon and Kalamazoo Rivers and the Seney refuge.
Describes the studies of five small watersheds, four in the U.S. and one in Puerto Rico, under the WEBB program to understand the processes controlling water, energy, and biogeochemical fluxes with links to other watershed research.
Links to research at the field stations of the Western Ecological Research Center with direct links to web pages for wildlife videos, satellite telemetry, fire ecology, invasive species, herpetology field guide, and coastal ecosystems.
Brief description of the Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle devoted to research on fish populations and aquatic ecosystems of the West. Links to research programs, laboratory locations, publications, and map services.