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: 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.

Date published: September 14, 2018

Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 - A Visual Comparison

The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.


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Year Published: 2020

Increased burning in a warming climate reduces carbon uptake in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem despite productivity gains

1. The effects of changing climate and disturbance on mountain forest carbon stocks vary with tree species distributions and over elevational gradients. Warming can increase carbon uptake by stimulating productivity at high elevations but also enhance carbon release by increasing respiration and the frequency, intensity, and size of wildfires.2....

Henne, Paul D.; Hawbaker, Todd J.; Scheller, Robert M.; Zhao, Feng S; He, Hong S; Xu, Wenru; Zhu, Zhiliang

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Year Published: 2020

Accounting for land in the United States: Integrating physical land cover, land use, and monetary valuation

Land plays a critical role in both economic and environmental accounting. As an asset, it occupies a unique position at the intersection of the System of National Accounts (SNA), the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Central Framework (SEEA-CF), and (as a spatial unit) SEEA Experimental Ecosystem Accounting (SEEA-EEA), making land a...

Wentland, Scott A.; Ancona, Zachary H.; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Boyd, James W.; Hass, Julie L.; Gindelsky, Marina; Moulton, Jeremy G.

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Year Published: 2020

Soil respiration response to rainfall modulated by plant phenology in a montane meadow, East River, Colorado, USA

Soil respiration is a primary component of the terrestrial carbon cycle. However, predicting the response of soil respiration to climate change remains a challenge due to the complex interactions between environmental drivers, especially plant phenology, temperature, and soil moisture. In this study, we use a 1‐D diffusion‐reaction model to...

Winnick, Mathew; Lawrence, Corey R.; McCormick, Maeve; Druhan, Jennifer; Maher, Kate