Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center


GECSC researchers conduct multi-purpose geologic mapping and topical scientific studies to address issues concerning geologic, climatic, ecosystem, and land surface changes; human interactions with the environment; and physical, chemical, and biological characterization of the Earth's surface and upper crust. 


Date published: March 13, 2020

Learning From Real-World Experience to Understand Renewable Energy Impacts to Wildlife

A comprehensive analysis of how renewable energy facilities affect wildlife could inform efforts to predict and reduce these impacts. A team of researchers was asked to gain a better understanding of the actual environmental impacts of renewable energy generation on sensitive species and habitats in California. 

Date published: March 13, 2020

Demographic Consequences of Human Stressors on Wildlife Populations

Predicting the ecological and conservation significances of human influences on wildlife populations is difficult. However, methodological developments can help make the transition from count-based field data on individuals to rate-based demographic estimates.

Date published: October 21, 2019

Low-Level Flights to Image 3D Geology in Northern Arkansas

Editor: In the public interest and in accordance with the Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the USGS is announcing this low-level airborne project. Your assistance in informing the local communities is appreciated.


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Year Published: 2020

Linking land and sea through an ecological-economic model of coral reef recreation

Coastal zones are popular recreational areas that substantially contribute to social welfare. Managers can use information about specific environmental features that people value, and how these might change under different management scenarios, to spatially target actions to areas of high current or potential value. We explored how snorkelers’...

Oleson, Kirsten L. L.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Fezzi, Carlo; Barnes, Megan; Donovan, Mary; Falinski, Kim A.; Gorospe, Kelvin; Htun, Hla; Lecky, Joey; Villa, Ferdinando; Wong, Tamara

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Year Published: 2020

Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011

The causes of land change from 2001 through 2011 for the Interior Highlands region of the south-central United States were assessed using satellite imagery, historical land-use and land-cover data, and digital orthophotos. The study was designed to develop improved regional land-use and land-cover change information, including identification of...

Drummond, Mark A.; Stier, Michael P.; McBeth, Jamie L.; Auch, Roger F.; Taylor, Janis L.; Riegle, Jodi L.
Drummond, M.A., Stier, M.P., McBeth, J.L., Auch, R.F., Taylor, J.L., and Riegle, J.L., 2020, Causes of land change in the U.S. Interior Highlands, 2001–2011: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1127, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2020

The grass is not always greener on the other side: Seasonal reversal of vegetation greenness in aspect-driven semiarid ecosystems

Our current understanding of semiarid ecosystems is that they tend to display higher vegetation greenness on polar-facing slopes (PFS) than on equatorial-facing slopes (EFS). However, recent studies have argued that higher vegetation greenness can occur on EFS during part of the year. To assess whether this seasonal reversal of aspect-driven...

Kumari, Nikul; Saco, Patricia M.; Rodriguez, Jose F.; Johnstone, Samuel A.; Srivastava, Ankur; Chun, Kwok P.; Yetemen, Omer