Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)
The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.
WERC science is driven forward by our scientists and staff.Research Scientists
Stories from the Field
Find out fun and interesting information uncovered from the field.Learn More
As part of the USGS Evening Public Lecture Series, WERC's Tim Tinker is giving a free "science talk" for the public on Thursday, 11/30/17 at 7PM PST. Watch live or online.
Around Halloween, USGS celebrates bats and other "spooky" creatures by sharing some of its research on these fascinating creatures! Check out social media on Gabe Reyes' and Brian Halstead's projects with bats at Pt. Reyes National Seashore, CA.
NAPA, SONOMA COUNTIES — As the Tubbs, Atlas, and Nuns fires raged across northern California, WERC's Jon Keeley appeared on NPR to provide insight into fire ecology across the state.
Behavioral response of giant gartersnakes (Thamnophis gigas) to the relative availability of aquatic habitat on the landscape
Most extant giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) populations persist in an agro-ecosystem dominated by rice, which serves as a surrogate to the expansive marshes lost to flood control projects and development of the Great Central Valley of California. Knowledge of how giant gartersnakes use the rice agricultural landscape, including how they...Reyes, Gabriel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Rose, Jonathan P.; Ersan, Julia S. M.; Jordan, Anna C.; Essert, Allison M.; Fouts, Kristen J.; Fulton, Alexandria M.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Wack, Raymond F.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.
Why were California's wine country fires so destructive?
As of late October more than a dozen wildfires north of San Francisco had killed more than 40 people, burned approximately 160,000 acres and destroyed more than 7,000 structures.This tragic loss of life and property is unprecedented in California. However, the fires are not anomalous events in terms of their size, intensity or the speed with which...Keeley, Jon E.
Patterns and correlates of giant sequoia foliage dieback during California’s 2012–2016 hotter drought
Hotter droughts – droughts in which unusually high temperatures exacerbate the effects of low precipitation – are expected to increase in frequency and severity in coming decades, challenging scientists and managers to identify which parts of forested landscapes may be most vulnerable. In 2014, in the middle of California’s historically...Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian J.; Ampersee, Nicholas J.; Cahill, Kathleen G.; Caprio, Anthony C.; Sanders, John E.; Williams, A. Park