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). 

Employee Directory


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.

Date published: November 10, 2020

Friday's Findings - November 20 2020

Imperilment and Recovery of the Monarch Butterfly

Date: November 20, 2020 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Wayne Thogmartin, USGS-Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center


Date published: September 18, 2020

Use of Robotic DNA Samplers That Can Rapidly Detect Invasive Aquatic Species

USGS researchers and their collaborators demonstrated the efficacy of using robotic environmental DNA samplers for bio surveillance in freshwater systems, showing that samples collected, processed, and preserved by robotic sampler detect organism DNA in the environment at rates comparable to those collected traditionally by human technicians.


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Year Published: 2021

Monitoring wetland water quality related to livestock grazing in amphibian habitats

Land use alteration such as livestock grazing can affect water quality in habitats of at-risk wildlife species. Data from managed wetlands are needed to understand levels of exposure for aquatic life stages and monitor grazing-related changes afield. We quantified spatial and temporal variation in water quality in wetlands occupied by threatened...

Smalling, Kelly; Rowe, Jennifer; Pearl, Christopher; Iwanowiczl, Luke R.; Givens, Carrie E.; Anderson, Chauncey W.; Mccreary, Brome; Adams, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2020

Breeding birds of the upper Mississippi River floodplain forest: One community in a changing forest, 1994 to 1997

Floodplain forest on the upper Mississippi River (UMR), a unique habitat in the Midwest that is important for many bird species, has been reduced and is undergoing continued reduction and changes in structure and species diversity because of river engineering and invasive species. Hydrological changes are causing tree diversity to decline favoring...

Kirsch, Eileen M.
Kirsch, E.M., 2020, Breeding birds of the upper Mississippi River floodplain forest: One community in a changing forest, 1994 to 1997: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5114, 22 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205114.

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Year Published: 2020

Mussel community assessment tool for the Upper Mississippi River system

Upper Mississippi River (UMR) resource managers need a quantitative means of evaluating the health of mussel assemblages to measure effects of management and regulatory actions, assess restoration techniques, and inform regulatory tasks. Our objective was to create a mussel community assessment tool (MCAT), consisting of a suite of metrics and...

Dunn, Heidi L.; Zigler, Steven J.; Newton, Teresa