Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

Home

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.

Research Scientists

Research Scientists

WERC science is driven forward by our scientists and staff.

Research Scientists

WERC Quick Links

Check out our most up-to-date data, events and science.

WERC's Mission and Vision

Staff Directory

Outreach

Image Gallery

Photo Contest Winners

News

Date published: October 10, 2019

New USGS research on 21st century California wildfires examines drivers of fire behavior and structure losses

Two new publications underscore the role of wind in destructive California wildfires

Date published: August 8, 2019

USGS WERC researcher wins award for reptile and amphibian conservation

SAN DIEGO—Dr. Robert Fisher wins Herpetological Conservation Award

Date published: July 18, 2019

What’s it like to be a tree in California today? WERC forest ecologist weighs in (Mashable)

Dr. Nate Stephenson says the rules are changing for Sierra Nevada trees

Publications

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Track tube construction and field protocol for small mammal surveys with emphasis on the endangered Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus)

Track tubes are used to identify small animals by their tracks. Animals that are small enough to fit into the tubes walk over ink pads and onto cardstock paper to obtain bait within the tube, leaving their footprints. The tracking tubes described in this document are designed to be set on the ground with free access and exit at either end with...

Brehme, Cheryl S.; Matsuda, Tritia A.; Adsit-Morris, Devin T.; Clark, Denise R.; Sebes, Jeremy B.; Burlaza, Melanie Anne T.; Fisher, Robert N.
Brehme, C.S., Matsuda, T.A., Adsit-Morris, D.T., Clark, D.R., Burlaza, M.A.T., Sebes, J.B., and Fisher, R.N., 2019, Track tube construction and field protocol for small mammal surveys with emphasis on the endangered Pacific pocket mouse (Perognathus longimembris pacificus): U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 2, chap. A15, 18 p., plus appendix, https://doi.org/10.3133/tm2A15.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Challenges for monitoring the extent and land use/cover changes in monarch butterflies’ migratory habitat across the United States and Mexico

This paper presents a synopsis of the challenges and limitations presented by existing and emerging land use/ land cover (LULC) digital data sets when used to analyze the extent, habitat quality, and LULC changes of the monarch (Danaus plexippus) migratory habitat across the United States of America (US) and Mexico. First, the characteristics,...

Rafael Moreno-Sanchez; James Raines; Diffendorfer, James E.; Drummond, Mark A.; Jessica Manko

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Sampling across 20 years (1996–2017) reveals loss of diversity and genetic connectivity in the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata)

The Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata) is a federally threatened, aeolian sand dune obligate, endemic to the Coachella Valley, California. Historically, U. inornata is thought to have formed a large interconnected metapopulation across the valley, with local dune habitat and population size fluctuations linked to...

Vandergast, Amy G.; Wood, Dustin A.; Fisher, Mark; Barrows, Cameron W.; Mitelberg, Anna; Smith, Julia G.
Vandergast, A.G., Wood, D.A., Fisher, M., Barrows, C., Mitelberg, A., and Smith, J.G., 2019, Sampling across 20 years (1996–2017) reveals loss of diversity and genetic connectivity in the Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1105, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191105.