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.

The Power of Partnerships

The Power of Partnerships

Partnerships between MSU, USGS and BLM provide opportunities for graduate students such as USGS Ecologist David Wood.

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NOROCK in the News

NOROCK in the News

Recent news and media featuring NOROCK Science. Click below for our most recent features.

Pika and Restoration

News

Fairfax County Public Schools Secondary Transition to Employment student volunteers
December 22, 2016

"It’s a grand slam for all involved,” said Dawn Childs, USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units.  “Recent high school graduates with special needs get real-world experience while helping USGS scientists on projects ranging from grizzly bears and energy to historic documents and bird migration. And a school system gets to successfully train students to enter the workforce."

Lakefront Airport, LA - A member of the 514th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and two New Orleans Paramedics
November 29, 2016

USGS has many partnerships, both foreign and domestic, that enhance our science capabilities, provide needed support to others, and expand our ability to serve the global community.  One little-known partnership that serves both foreign and domestic needs is the USGS science support to the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) - U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM).  

A mother grizzly bear and her cub in Yellowstone National Park.
November 16, 2016

Offspring of grizzly bear mothers with a history of human-bear conflicts are more likely to be involved in human-bear conflicts than offspring of mothers without a history of human-bear conflicts, according to a new study

Publications

Assessments of species' vulnerability to climate change: From pseudo to science
Year Published: 2017

Assessments of species' vulnerability to climate change: From pseudo to science

Climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) are important tools to plan for and mitigate potential impacts of climate change. However, CCVAs often lack scientific rigor, which can ultimately lead to poor conservation prioritization and associated ecological and economic costs. We discuss the need to improve comparability and consistency of CCVAs and either validate their findings or improve...

Whitebark pine mortality related to white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle outbreak, and water availability
Year Published: 2016

Whitebark pine mortality related to white pine blister rust, mountain pine beetle outbreak, and water availability

Whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) forests in the western United States have been adversely affected by an exotic pathogen (Cronartium ribicola, causal agent of white pine blister rust), insect outbreaks (Dendroctonus ponderosae, mountain pine beetle), and drought. We monitored individual trees from 2004 to 2013 and characterized stand-level biophysical conditions through a mountain pine beetle...

Predictors of current and longer-term patterns of abundance of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) across a leading-edge protected area
Year Published: 2016

Predictors of current and longer-term patterns of abundance of American pikas (Ochotona princeps) across a leading-edge protected area

American pikas (Ochotona princeps) have been heralded as indicators of montane-mammal response to contemporary climate change. Pikas no longer occupy the driest and lowest-elevation sites in numerous parts of their geographic range. Conversely, pikas have exhibited higher rates of occupancy and persistence in Rocky Mountain and Sierra Nevada montane ‘mainlands’. Research and monitoring efforts on...