Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center


Our Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center's priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community. Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. If you need additional assistance, please contact the UMESC Director Mark Gaikowski, (mgaikowski@usgs.gov), or Randy Hines (rkhines@usgs.gov). 

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Date published: May 27, 2021

Media Availability: Study of Invasive Carp Deterrent Underway in Keokuk

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center will be available on June 3 for in-person interviews and updates on an invasive carp deterrent study that is underway at Mississippi River Lock and Dam 19.  

Date published: March 8, 2021

Invasive Zebra Mussels Found in Pet Stores in 21 States

A citizen’s report of an invasive zebra mussel found in an aquarium moss package found in a pet store prompted a U.S. Geological Survey expert on invasive aquatic species to trigger nationwide alerts that have led to the discovery of the destructive shellfish in pet stores in at least 21 states from Alaska to Florida.  

Date published: January 11, 2021

Media Advisory: Study of Asian Carp Deterrent Begins in January

Reporters: Do you want to interview USGS scientists about the project? Please contact Randy Hines or Marisa Lubeck.


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Year Published: 2021

Initial estimates of net infiltration and irrigation from a soil-water-balance model of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study Area

The Mississippi embayment encompasses about 100,000 square miles and covers parts of eight States. In 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey began updating previous work for a part of the embayment known as the Mississippi Alluvial Plain to support informed water use and agricultural policy in the region. Groundwater, water use, economic, and other...

Westenbroek, Stephen, M.; Nielsen, Martha G.; Ladd, David E.
Westenbroek, S.M., Nielsen, M.G., and Ladd, D.E., 2021, Initial estimates of net infiltration and irrigation from a soil-water-balance model of the Mississippi Embayment Regional Aquifer Study Area: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021-1008, 29 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211008.

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Year Published: 2021

Understanding constraints on submersed vegetation distribution in a large, floodplain river: The role of water level fluctuations, water clarity and river geomorphology

Aquatic vegetation is a key component of large floodplain river ecosystems. In the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS), there is a long-standing interest in restoring aquatic vegetation in areas where it has declined or disappeared. To better understand what constrains vegetation distribution in large river ecosystems and inform ongoing efforts...

Carhart, Alicia; Kalas, John; Rogala, James T.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Drake, Deanne C.; Houser, Jeffrey N.

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Year Published: 2021

Machine-learning predictions of high arsenic and high manganese at drinking water depths of the glacial aquifer system, northern continental United States

Globally, over 200 million people are chronically exposed to arsenic (As) and/or manganese (Mn) from drinking water. We used machine-learning (ML) boosted regression tree (BRT) models to predict high As (>10 μg/L) and Mn (>300 μg/L) in groundwater from the glacial aquifer system (GLAC), which spans 25 states in the northern United States and...

Erickson, Melinda L.; Elliott, Sarah M.; Brown, Craig J.; Stackelberg, Paul; Ransom, Katherine Marie; Reddy, James E.; Cravotta, Charles A.