Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center


Filter Total Items: 9
Date published: August 17, 2021
Status: Active

Remote Sensing Tools Advance Avalanche Research

The USGS Snow and Avalanche Project (SNAP) uses remotely sensed technologies to understand snowpack changes  that influence water storage, recreation, avalanche hazard and acts as a driver of landscape change.  Satellites, uninhabited aerial systems (UAS), and structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry are some of the tools scientists use to collect high resolution imagery that  supports...

Date published: March 15, 2021
Status: Active

Glaciers—Understanding Climate Drivers

 Across the globe, glaciers are decreasing in volume and number in response to climate change.  Glaciers are important for agriculture, hydropower, recreation, tourism, and biological communities. Loss of glaciers contributes to sea-level rise, creates environmental...

Date published: June 26, 2020
Status: Active

Alpine Vegetation Research

In 2003, USGS scientists joined the GLobal Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments (GLORIA) network in establishing vegetation plots at four alpine summits in Glacier National Park, MT, USA.  Vegetation and temperature data collected at the GLORIA sites are used to understand trends in species...

Contacts: Karen Milone, Dawn LaFleur
Date published: September 13, 2017
Status: Active

Science in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park (GNP) is considered a stronghold for a large diversity of plant and animal species and harbors some of the last remaining populations of threatened and endangered species such as grizzly bear and bull trout, as well as non threatened keystone species such as bighorn sheep and black bear. The mountain ecosystems of GNP that support these species are dynamic and influenced...

Date published: May 9, 2017
Status: Active

Time Series of Glacier Retreat

The retreat of glaciers (see PDF at end of page) in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA. In 2017, the USGS and Portland State University released a dataset which describes the...

Date published: May 5, 2016
Status: Active

Climate Change in Mountain Ecosystems (CCME)

Climate change is widely acknowledged to have a profound effect on the biosphere and cryosphere with many and diverse impacts on global resources. Mountain ecosystems in the western U.S., and the U.S. Northern Rocky Mountains in particular, are highly sensitive to climate change. Warming in western Montana is nearly 2 times greater than the rise in global temperatures over the last 100+ years...

Date published: April 7, 2016

Gigapixel Imagery of Glacier National Park

View and dynamically explore high resolution gigapixel images of Glacier National Park with GigaPan panoramas taken by CCME staff. This collection of images serves as landscape documentation and as an interactive forum for public exploration of Glacier National Park’s changing landscapes. Search “ccme” at By accessing these links you are...

Date published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Status of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Glaciers on the Glacier National Park (GNP) landscape have ecological value as a source of cold meltwater in the otherwise dry late summer months, and aesthetic value as the park’s namesake features. USGS scientists have studied these glaciers since the late 1800s, building a body of research that documents widespread glacier change over the past century. Ongoing USGS research pairs long-term...

Date published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Research

Climatic warming since the end of the Little Ice Age has resulted in substantial glacier ice loss around the world.  Most glaciers have undergone thinning and many exhibit retreat at their margins. Glacier loss triggers a cascade of hydrological and ecological effects that impact plants, animals and can create human hazard and economic hardship.  USGS scientists are using a variety of methods...