Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Southwest Biological Science Center

Welcome to the Southwest Biological Science Center (SBSC)! We conduct quality, objective research on the terrestrial and aquatic systems of the Colorado Plateau, Colorado River and its tributaries, drylands across the larger Southwest US, and beyond.

News

link

Impeding access to Bright Angel Creek and releasing experimental fall-timed floods increases brown trout immigration into Glen Canyon Dam’s tailwater

link

Friday's Findings - November 18 2022

link

JOB ALERT! Geographer: Fire ecology & management - opens 10/24

Publications

The influence of drying on the aeolian transport of river-sourced sand

Transgression and regression of water levels (stages) have impacted the evolution of aeolian landforms and sedimentary deposits throughout geologic history. We studied this phenomenon over a five-day period of reduced flow on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park, AZ, USA, in March 2021. These transient low flows exposed river-channel sand deposits to the air, causing progressive desicc

A review of current capabilities and science gaps in water supply data, modeling, and trends for water availability assessments in the Upper Colorado River Basin

The Colorado River is a critical water resource in the southwestern United States, supplying drinking water for 40 million people in the region and water for irrigation of 2.2 million hectares of land. Extended drought in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCOL) and the prospect of a warmer climate in the future pose water availability challenges for those charged with managing the river. Limited wat

Ecologically relevant moisture and temperature metrics for assessing dryland ecosystem dynamics

In drylands, water-limited regions that cover ~40% of the global land surface, ecosystems are primarily controlled by access to soil moisture and exposure to simultaneously hot and dry conditions. Quantifying ecologically relevant environmental metrics is difficult in drylands because the response of vegetation to moisture and temperature conditions is not easily explained solely by climate-based

Science

Climate Adaptation Strategies for Arid Grasslands

Helping National Parks in the 4-Corners region manage grasslands in a changing climate.
link

Climate Adaptation Strategies for Arid Grasslands

Helping National Parks in the 4-Corners region manage grasslands in a changing climate.
Learn More

Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
link

Actionable Science

The Colorado River Basin Pilot Project is exploring new approaches for the USGS to answer complex earth systems questions identified in partnership with stakeholders, which cannot be answered through a single discipline approach. Science coproduction is a method where scientists, managers, policy makers, and other stakeholders first identify specific decisions to be informed by science, and then...
Learn More

Integrated Science Approach

The USGS has a long history of delivering science and tools to help decision-makers manage and mitigate effects of drought. The timing is critical for the USGS to consolidate its diverse expertise into a single landscape-scale effort to rapidly provide integrated transdisciplinary, targeted data, tools, and models required by decision makers in the Basin. This initiative unifies USGS expertise...
link

Integrated Science Approach

The USGS has a long history of delivering science and tools to help decision-makers manage and mitigate effects of drought. The timing is critical for the USGS to consolidate its diverse expertise into a single landscape-scale effort to rapidly provide integrated transdisciplinary, targeted data, tools, and models required by decision makers in the Basin. This initiative unifies USGS expertise...
Learn More