Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC)


Scientists from the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center capitalize on their diverse expertise to answer scientific questions shaped by the environments of the western United States. We collaborate with each other and with partners to provide rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide. 

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC Research Teams

FRESC scientists, individually or collaboratively with partners, investigate high-priority questions about biological systems.

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Date published: September 14, 2018

Identifying Potential Contaminant Exposure to California Condors in the Pacific Northwest

Potential reintroduction of the endangered California Condor to parts of its historic range in the Pacific Northwest would benefit from information on possible threats that could challenge recovery efforts. Exposure to environmental contaminants is a key limiting factor for condor recovery in its southern range.

Date published: September 7, 2018

Science Summary to Inform Global Policy on Mercury Reductions

Mercury is a widespread pollutant that poses health risks to humans and wildlife at a global scale. Addressing these risks requires science-based integrated policy approaches.

Date published: August 24, 2018

Understanding the Ecological Importance of Biocrusts and Grazing Prescriptions that Minimize their Disturbance

Biocrusts develop on the surface of soils, comprised of a community of cyanobacteria, mosses, and lichens, and they are commonly found across natural areas in the arid and semi-arid Western U.S.


Year Published: 2018

Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines

A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...

Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, Michael J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Grant, E. H. C., Adams, M. J., Fisher, R. N., Grear, D. A., Halstead, B. J., Hossack, B. R., Muths, E., Richgels, K. L. D., Russell, R. E., Smalling, K. L., Waddle, J. H., Walls, S. C., and White, C. L., 2018, Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines: Global Ecology and Conservation, v. 16, article e00441, 9 p.

Year Published: 2018

Fuels guide and database for intact and invaded big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites—User manual

The Fuels Guide and Database (FGD) is intended to provide fuel loading and vegetation information for big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites in the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (hereinafter the NCA) in southern Idaho. Sagebrush ecosystems in the NCA and throughout much of the Great Basin are...

Shinneman, Douglas J.; Welty, Justin L.; Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Glenn, Nancy F.; McIlroy, Susan K.; Halford, Anne S.
Shinneman, D.J., Welty, J.L., Arkle, R.S., Pilliod, D.S., Glenn, N.F., McIlroy, S.K., and Halford, A.S., 2018, Fuels guide and database for intact and invaded big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) ecological sites—User manual: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1048, 9 p.,

Year Published: 2018

Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities

Changing climate will impact species’ ranges only when environmental variability directly impacts the demography of local populations. However, measurement of demographic responses to climate change has largely been limited to single species and locations. Here we show that amphibian communities are responsive to climatic variability, using >...

Miller, David A.W.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Muths, Erin L.; Amburgey, Staci M.; Adams, Michael J.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Ryan, Maureen E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Davis, Courtney L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Green, David M.; Hossack, Blake R.; Rittenhouse, Tracy A.G.; Walls, Susan C.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Cruickshank, Sam S.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Haas, Carola A.; Hughson, Ward; Pilliod, David S.; Price, Steven J.; Ray, Andrew M.; Sadinski, Walter; Saenz, Daniel; Barichivich, William J.; Brand, Adrianne B,; Brehme, Cheryl S.; Dagit, Rosi; Delaney, Katy S.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Kats, Lee B.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Pearl, Christopher; Rochester, Carlton J.; Riley, Seth P. D.; Roth, Mark F.; Sigafus, Brent
Miller, D. A. W., Grant, E. H. C., Muths, E., Amburgey, S. M., Adams, M. J., Joseph, M. B., Waddle, J. H., Johnson, P. J. T., Ryan, M. E., Schmid, B. R., Calhoun, D. L., Davis, C. L., Fisher, R. N., Green, D. M., Hossack, B. R., Rittenhouse, T. A. G., Walls, S. C., Bailey, L. L., Cruickshank, S. S., Fellers, G. M., Gorman, T. A., Haas, C. A., Hughson, W., Pilliod, D. S., Price, S. J., Ray, A. M., Sadinski, W., Saenz, D., Barichivich, W. J., Brand, A. B., Brehme, C. S., Dagit, R., Delaney, K. S., Glorioso, B. M., Kats, L. B., Kleeman, P. M., Pearl, C. A., Rochester, C. J., Riley, S. P. D., Roth, M., and Sigafus, B. H., 2018, Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities: Nature Communications, v. 9, no. Article number: 3926, p. 1-15.