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Fort Collins Science Center

Welcome to the Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) located in Fort Collins, Colorado, just east of the Rocky Mountains. At FORT we develop and disseminate research-based information and tools needed to understand the nation’s biological resources in support of effective decision making.

News

USGS Firelight: PHIRE Edition - Vol. 2 | Issue 2

USGS researchers kick-off collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration with a tour of state wildlife crossings and a day at the Fort Collins Science Center

USGS researchers kick-off collaboration with the Federal Highway Administration with a tour of state wildlife crossings and a day at the Fort Collins Science Center

How much is that grizzly in the window?

How much is that grizzly in the window?

Publications

A genomic hotspot of diversifying selection and structural change in the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus)

BackgroundPrevious work found that numerous genes positively selected within the hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus) lineage are physically clustered in regions of conserved synteny. Here I further validate and expand on those finding utilizing an updated L. cinereus genome assembly and additional bat species as well as other tetrapod outgroups.MethodsA chromosome-level assembly was generated by chromat
Authors
Robert S. Cornman

Best practices for genetic and genomic data archiving

Genetic and genomic data are collected for a vast array of scientific and applied purposes. Despite mandates for public archiving, data are typically used only by the generating authors. The reuse of genetic and genomic datasets remains uncommon because it is difficult, if not impossible, due to non-standard archiving practices and lack of contextual metadata. But as the new field of macrogenetics
Authors
Deborah M. Leigh, A. G. Vandergast, Maggie Hunter, Eric D. Crandall, W. Chris Funk, Colin J Garroway, Sean M. Hoban, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Christian Rellstab, Gernot Segelbacher, Chloe Schmidt, Ella Vázquez-Domínguez, Ivan Paz-Vinas

Accuracy, accessibility, and institutional capacity shape the utility of habitat models for managing and conserving rare plants on western public lands

Public lands are often managed for multiple uses ranging from energy development to rare plant conservation. Habitat models can help land managers assess and mitigate potential effects of projects on rare plants, but it is unclear how models are currently being used. Our goal was to better understand how staff in the Bureau of Land Management currently use habitat models to inform their decisions,
Authors
Ella M. Samuel, Jennifer K. Meineke, Laine E. McCall, Lea B. Selby, Alison C. Foster, Zoe M. Davidson, Carol A. Dawson, Catherine S. Jarnevich, Sarah K. Carter

Science

Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE): Support for Response, Recovery, and Mitigation

The Post-Fire Hazards Impacts to Resources and Ecosystems (PHIRE) project provides science to characterize climate-amplified, uncharacteristic patterns of wildfire disturbance and post-fire ecosystem recovery and enhance prediction of environmental impacts and post-fire hazards.
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Can ruderal components of biocrust (mosses and cyanobacteria) be maintained under increasing threats of drought, grazing and feral horses?

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are a community of living organisms, like moss, lichen, and algae, covering soils in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, providing important ecological functions like carbon cycling and soil stabilization. Analyses show that biocrusts are negatively associated with the abundance of invasive annual grasses that are responsible for increasing fire across the Great Basin...
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Can ruderal components of biocrust (mosses and cyanobacteria) be maintained under increasing threats of drought, grazing and feral horses?

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are a community of living organisms, like moss, lichen, and algae, covering soils in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, providing important ecological functions like carbon cycling and soil stabilization. Analyses show that biocrusts are negatively associated with the abundance of invasive annual grasses that are responsible for increasing fire across the Great Basin...
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Synthesis of sage-grouse genetic information to support conservation and land management actions

Sage-grouse, iconic birds of the American West, have experienced dramatic reductions and fragmentation of habitat, resulting in significant conservation concern. Genetic information can help inform priorities for protection and habitat restoration as well as strategies for translocations, but may be difficult for resource managers to find, interpret, and use in their decision making. In this work...
link

Synthesis of sage-grouse genetic information to support conservation and land management actions

Sage-grouse, iconic birds of the American West, have experienced dramatic reductions and fragmentation of habitat, resulting in significant conservation concern. Genetic information can help inform priorities for protection and habitat restoration as well as strategies for translocations, but may be difficult for resource managers to find, interpret, and use in their decision making. In this work...
Learn More

Multimedia

Microscopic view of tree rings, with a scale bar of 0.5 mm
Tree rings
Tree rings
seven people wearing safety gear stand in front of a large field, with a road in the background.
Site of Future I-25 Wildlife Overpass
Site of Future I-25 Wildlife Overpass
A group of people in safety gear walk a dirt road next to a fence.
I25 Wildlife Fence
I25 Wildlife Fence
People wearing safety vests walk through a field toward a highway underpass
USGS researchers and collaborators visit a newly completed wildlife underpass
USGS researchers and collaborators visit a newly completed wildlife underpass
two people stand under a large highway underpass
USGS researchers visit a newly completed wildlife underpass
USGS researchers visit a newly completed wildlife underpass
animated gif of greater sage-grouse population trends over time
An animated heat map of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) annual peak male counts from 1990 to 2023
An animated heat map of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) annual peak male counts from 1990 to 2023
four scientists sit at a table, looking at tree rings under microscopes
Dendroparty
Dendroparty
photo of students with back to camera, screen at the front showing a strawberry and DNA, lecturer at the front of the room
Students learning about DNA extraction from FORT geneticist Jennifer Fike
Students learning about DNA extraction from FORT geneticist Jennifer Fike
Photo of a horse in a field, small mountain range in the background
Wild horse in the Frisco Herd Management Area, Utah.
Wild horse in the Frisco Herd Management Area, Utah.