Southwest Biological Science Center

Multimedia

Filter Total Items: 126
A group of university students works on clearing cinder blocks from a future ecological restoration site
April 30, 2018

Investing in future biological science leaders

RAMPS works with a restoration club at Northern Arizona University, teaching best practices for restoration, and building capacity for future scientisits and land managers to tackle challenging ecological issues.

A group of people seed trays in a greenhouse
April 30, 2018

Restoration happens one seed at a time

In water-limited systems of the desert Southwest, land managers sometimes restore using seedlings (small plants) instead of seeds alone. This method has shown to be successful in extreme environments like the Mojave desert and also in grasslands where weed pressure can be to high for seeds to germinate and survive. Here, a group of interns starts seedlings of penstemon in

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Sonoran desert scene showing invasion by red brome grass and fire scars on a saguaro cactus.
April 30, 2018

Red Brome Carries Fire and Burns Saguaros

Bromus Rubens (red brome) is an invasive annual grass that grows in warmer deserts of the Southwest U.S. It can carry fires in systems that aren't fire adapted, causing lasting damage to desert flora, as shown here in the Sonoran desert north of Phoenix, AZ. The

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Photo of sideview of a structure that blocks rainfall
April 18, 2018

Rainout shelters allow researchers to study the effects of drought

This rainout shelter blcoks about 35% of the natural rainfall, allowing researchers to understand the effects of drought on plants in the southwestern United States.

Photo of structure which blocks about 35% of rainfall
April 17, 2018

Rainout shelters allow researchers to study effects of drought

Rainout shelters block about 35% of natural rainfall, allowing researchers to study the effects of drought on plants in the arid and semiarid southwestern United States. 

photo of structure which blocks rainfall
April 17, 2018

Rainout structures allow researchers to study the effects of drought

This rainout structure blocks about 35% of the natural rainfall, allowing researchers to study the effects of drought on plants in the southwestern United States.

Two men stand in a grassland beneath a sky filled with fluffy cumulus clouds and a blue sky.
March 31, 2018

Standing in the field with managers

Touring public lands, guided by the people who manage the lands, is a important to RAMPS. On these tours we get to meet the passionate people, understand their challenges and aspirations, and help make steps towards innovative science-based solutions. In this photo staff from BLM's Aqua Fria National Monument stand with USGS scientist, Seth Munson and discuss how to

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Three land managers stand in a sagebrush ecosystem.
March 31, 2018

Standing in the field with public land managers

RAMPS works with public land managers to better understand the challenges they face, so that the decision frameworks and tools they create are relevant. Learn more at RAMPS.

Skeletons of junipers (old trunks leftover from chaining) dot a rangeland.
March 22, 2018

Juniper Skeletons

Thinning rangelands by removing trees such as juniper is a common mangement action done across the intermountain west. The goals of this type of vegetation treatment typically are to increase forage and habitat for grazing animals, improve soil conditions, and/or reduce risks of catastrophic fire. In this photo, skeletons leftover from a chaining treatment dot a range in

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View of the sonoran desert at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument showing an organ pipe cactus and mountains of Mexico
February 28, 2018

Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

Organ pipe cactus are rare in the Sonoran desert in the U.S. They can only be found in and around Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, shown here. The distribution of Organ Pipe Cactus is limited due to lack of tolerance for cold temperatures. The biota of the Sonoran desert is particularly senstive to disturbance. Soils often erode quickly once vegetation is removed. The

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A discussion group looks at notes on a large easel pad
December 31, 2017

Collaborative Discussion

The USGS RAMPS program hosts workshops where land managers from federal, state, and local agencies, practitioners, and NGO's can come together to discuss challenges and develop creative solutions. Here,

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Close-up of dried, cracked soil with small plants trying to survive in this soil.
December 31, 2017

Dry, cracked soil (RAMPS)

Rangelands of the desert Southwest can be in a degraded condition and lacking perennial vegetation, which can lead to exposed soil and erosion. RAMPS is working to mitigate degradation by increasing 

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