Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center (NOROCK)

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We hope you will enjoy learning about the variety of ecosystems and species we are studying throughout the United States. We are part of the Northwest Region of the USGS and our scientists work on diverse issues such as climate change, endangered species, wildlife health, invasive species, and much more. Click on Science to begin exploring the places we go and the species and landscapes we study.

NOROCK EcoLunch Seminar!

NOROCK EcoLunch Seminar!

USGS scientist Lance Clampitt will explain the USGS National Geospatial Programs (NGP) Geologic Mapping and Hazards Community of Use (COU), NGP Emergency Response and the USGS Geospatial Information Response Team (GIRT).

NOROCK EcoLunch!

Colorado River Flows Reduced

Colorado River Flows Reduced

A recent study by researchers from the University of Arizona, University of Nevada, and USGS uncovered the lesser known role of spring and summer temperatures on streamflow in the upper Colorado River basin.

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News

Mother grizzly and cub at Gibbon River, Yellowstone National Park.
September 21, 2016

Grizzly bears in the southern portion of the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem experienced a rapid increase in genetic diversity, according to a new study led by the USGS.

An American pika collects grass and flowers to stockpile its winter food supplies.
August 25, 2016

American pikas – small herbivores that typically live in rocky slopes, known as talus, across many mountain ranges in the American West – are disappearing from some locations across the West due to climate change, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and some of its partners.

Bull trout in the Flathead River.
August 15, 2016

Bull trout populations are lower, more variable, and declining where stream habitat is limited, invasive species and land-use (i.e., roads) are prevalent, and stream temperatures are highest, according to a new study led by the USGS.

Publications

Pika (Ochotona princeps) losses from two isolated regions reflect temperature and water balance, but reflect habitat area in a mainland region
Year Published: 2016

Pika (Ochotona princeps) losses from two isolated regions reflect temperature and water balance, but reflect habitat area in a mainland region

Although biotic responses to contemporary climate change are spatially pervasive and often reflect synergies between climate and other ecological disturbances, the relative importance of climatic factors versus habitat extent for species persistence remains poorly understood. To address this shortcoming, we performed surveys for American pikas (Ochotona princeps) at > 910 locations in 3...Read More

Disease introduction is associated with a phase transition in bighorn sheep demographics
Year Published: 2016

Disease introduction is associated with a phase transition in bighorn sheep demographics

Ecological theory suggests that pathogens are capable of regulating or limiting host population dynamics, and this relationship has been empirically established in several settings. However, although studies of childhood diseases were integral to the development of disease ecology, few studies show population limitation by a disease affecting juveniles. Here, we present empirical evidence that...Read More

Potential of environmental DNA to evaluate Northern pike (Esox lucius) eradication efforts: An experimental test and case study
Year Published: 2016

Potential of environmental DNA to evaluate Northern pike (Esox lucius) eradication efforts: An experimental test and case study

Determining the success of invasive species eradication efforts is challenging because populations at very low abundance are difficult to detect. Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling has recently emerged as a powerful tool for detecting rare aquatic animals; however, detectable fragments of DNA can persist over time despite absence of the targeted taxa and can therefore complicate eDNA sampling...Read More