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

A rasterized building footprint dataset for the United States

Microsoft released a U.S.-wide vector building dataset in 2018. Although the vector building layers provide relatively accurate geometries, their use in large-extent geospatial analysis comes at a high computational cost. We used High-Performance Computing (HPC) to develop an algorithm that calculates six summary values for each cell in a raster...

Pourpeikari Heris, Mehdi; Foks, Nathan Leon; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Troy, Austin; Ancona, Zachary H.

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Year Published: 2020

Economic, land use, and ecosystem services impacts of Rwanda's Green Growth Strategy: An application of the IEEM+ESM platform

We develop and link the Integrated Economic-Environmental Modeling (IEEM) Platform to ecosystem services modeling (ESM). The IEEM+ESM Platform is an innovative decision-making framework for exploring complex public policy goals and elucidating synergies and trade-offs between alternative policy portfolios. The IEEM+ESM approach is powerful in its...

Banerjee, Onil; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Cicowiecz, Martin; Dudek, Sebastian; Horridge, Mark; Alavalapati, Janaki; Masozera, Michel K.; Rukundo, Emmanuel; Rutebuka, Evariste

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Year Published: 2020

The Landsat Burned Area algorithm and products for the conterminous United States

Complete and accurate burned area map data are needed to document spatial and temporal patterns of fires, to quantify their drivers, and to assess the impacts on human and natural systems. In this study, we developed the Landsat Burned Area (BA) algorithm, an update from the Landsat Burned Area Essential Climate Variable (BAECV) algorithm. Here,...

Hawbaker, Todd J.; Vanderhoof, Melanie K.; Schmidt, Gail L.; Beal, Yen-Ju G.; Picotte, Joshua J.; Takacs, Joshua; Falgout, Jeff T.; Dwyer, John L.