Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center


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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Featured Research

Featured Research

Explore one of FRESC's many research programs.

Mercury in Parks

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Date published: May 13, 2021

Differential Reliance on Aquatic Prey Influences Mercury Exposure in Riparian Arachnids and Songbirds

Aquatic insects are an important prey source for birds and other insects, but may also move aquatic contaminants, such as mercury, to riparian food webs.

Date published: May 13, 2021

Enigmatic Extinction in a Boreal Toad Population in Northwestern Montana

The amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis has been implicated in boreal toad declines, although its overall effect on population dynamics is complicated by interactions with changing habitat conditions, population isolation, and other environmental stressors.

Date published: April 23, 2021

Yearly Temperature Fluctuations and Survey Speed Influence Road Counts of Wintering Raptors

Researchers examined data from 2,155 road surveys of raptors conducted from 2001–2018 by community scientists while participating in the Pennsylvania Winter Raptor Survey.


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Year Published: 2021

Enigmatic near‐extirpation in a boreal toad metapopulation in northwestern Montana

North America's protected lands harbor biodiversity and provide habitats where species threatened by a variety of stressors in other environments can thrive. Yet disease, climate change, and other threats are not limited by land management boundaries and can interact with conditions within protected landscapes to affect sensitive populations. We...

McCaffery, Rebecca; Russell, Robin E.; Hossack, Blake R.

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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan defines critical, core fire science capabilities for understanding fire-related and fire-responsive earth system processes and patterns, and informing management decision making. Developed by USGS fire scientists and executive leadership, and informed by conversations with...

Steblein, Paul F.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Miller, Mark P.; Holomuzki, Joseph R.; Soileau, Suzanna C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Drane-Maury, Mia; Hamilton, Hannah M.; Kean, Jason W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Mason, Robert R.; McKerrow, Alexa J.; Meldrum, James R.; Molder, Edmund B.; Murphy, Sheila F.; Peterson, Birgit; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; York, Alison
Steblein, P.F., Loehman, R.A., Miller, M.P., Holomuzki, J.R., Soileau, S.C., Brooks, M.L., Drane-Maury, M., Hamilton, H.M., Kean, J.W., Keeley, J.E., Mason, R.R., Jr., McKerrow, A., Meldrum, J.R., Molder, E.B., Murphy, S.F., Peterson, B., Plumlee, G.S., Shinneman, D.J., van Mantgem, P.J., and York, A., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1471, 30 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Golden Eagle

The Golden Eagle inhabits a wide range of latitudes and habitats throughout the Palearctic and into northern Africa, where it is largely resident. In North America, its breeding distribution includes most of Canada and Alaska, as well as the western half of the United States and northern and western Mexico. Most eagles that nest in northern Canada...

Katzner, Todd E.; Kochert, Michael N.; Steenhof, Karen; McIntyre, Carol L.; Craig, Erica H.; Miller, Tricia A.