Southwest Biological Science Center

Filter Total Items: 23
Dryland agriculture in the Northwestern Great Plains ecoregion.
October 17, 2017

Future high temperature extremes and soil moisture conditions may cause some regions to become more suitable for rainfed, or non-irrigated, agriculture, while causing other areas to lose suitable farmland, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.  

A wildfire in a forest
September 7, 2017

A growing number of wildfire-burned areas throughout the western United States are expected to increase soil erosion rates within watersheds, causing more sediment to be present in downstream rivers and reservoirs, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image: Burning Sagebrush
September 6, 2017

An examination of long-term data for lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management finds that land treatments in the southwestern United States are increasingly large, expensive and related to fire and invasive species control.

Rectangle plots in a dryland landscape containing different restoration treatments.
August 23, 2017

Northern Arizona University published an article that referenced SBSC’s Restoration Assessment & Monitoring Program for the Southwest (RAMPS) program. RAMPS is a program that scientifically tests and explores restoration approaches in the arid Southwest.

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 23, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

An adult bobcat approached a sleeping desert tortoise at a camera-monitored burrow at wind energy facility
May 16, 2017

Research on desert tortoises has received some press recently. SBSC scientists and their collaborators have been studying the influence of a wind turbine facility on potential predators of the tortoises and on the effects of drought on tortoises near Joshua Tree National Park. Their work was recently covered by Popular Science and the LA Times.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Large snapping turtle on green lawn.
April 25, 2017

The Camp Verde Bugle interviewed several SBSC scientists about the 40-pound nonnative snapping turtle that had to be relocated to a new home.

6" tall hardware cloth connectivity modifier (ConMod) used to provide a safe space for native plant seedling establishment
April 18, 2017

Mike Duniway and Becky Mann were interviewed by KZMU, a community radio station located in Moab, UT. They discussed a strategy that uses 6" tall structures to provide safe places for native plant seed germination and seedling survival, and should benefit restoration efforts in water-limited systems.

Photo of biocrusts providing soil stability in the desert
March 16, 2017

The Arizona Daily Sun published an article about a recently published paper that investigated the consequences of altered temperature and moisture regimes on biological soil crusts and the resultant effects on soil surface albedo

Research drone hovering about 20 feet off the snow-covered ground with pines and snow-covered mountains in the background
March 16, 2017

The Arizona Daily Sun published a piece about the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by USGS researchers in Flagstaff.