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. 


Image: Rio Grande and Cliffs in Boquillas Canyon, Big Bend National Park
September 14, 2017

A new U.S. Geological Survey report describes the below ground geology of the Rio Grande transboundary region of New Mexico and Texas, United States, and northern Chihuahua, Mexico.

Photo of a burning southern California landscape
August 8, 2017

Keep tabs on wildfire activity via this U.S. Geological Survey website, GeoMAC.


Year Published: 2017

Oxygen stable isotopic disparities among sympatric small land snail species from northwest Minnesota, USA

The oxygen isotopic composition (δ18O) of land snail shells can be a valuable paleoenvironmental archive if the climatic parameters that influence the isotopic system are fully understood. Previous calibration studies have examined a limited number of species or individuals, and most have focused on larger (> 10 mm) taxa, which do not...

Yanes, Yurena; Nekola, Jeffery C.; Rech, Jason A.; Pigati, Jeffery S.

Year Published: 2017

Ecosystem services from transborder migratory species: Implications for conservation governance

This article discusses the conservation challenges of volant migratory transborder species and conservation governance primarily in North America. Many migratory species provide ecosystem service benefits to society. For example, insectivorous bats prey on crop pests and reduce the need for pesticides; birds and insects pollinate food plants; and...

Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Chester, Charles C.; Semmens, Darius J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Rodriguez-McGoffin, M. Sofia; Merideth, Robert; Diffendorfer, Jay E.
Lopez-Hoffman, L., Chester, C.C., Semmens, D.J., Thogmartin, W.E., Rodriguez-McGoffin, M.S., Merideth, R., and Diffendorfer, J.E., 2017. Ecosystem services from transborder migratory species: Implicatinos for conservation governance. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 42:1, 509-539.

Year Published: 2017

Continuously amplified warming in the Alaskan Arctic: Implications for estimating global warming hiatus

Historically, in situ measurements have been notoriously sparse over the Arctic. As a consequence, the existing gridded data of surface air temperature (SAT) may have large biases in estimating the warming trend in this region. Using data from an expanded monitoring network with 31 stations in the Alaskan Arctic, we demonstrate that the SAT has...

Wang, Kang; Zhang, Tingjun; Zhang, Xiangdong; Clow, Gary D.; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Overeem, Irina; Romanovsky, Vladimir; Peng, Xiaoqing; Cao, Bin
Wang, K., T. Zhang, X. Zhang, G. D. Clow, E. E. Jafarov, I. Overeem, V. Romanovsky, X. Peng, and B. Cao (2017), Continuously amplified warming in the Alaskan Arctic: Implications for estimating global warming hiatus, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 9029–9038, doi:10.1002/2017GL074232.