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
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The Asian tiger mosquito can carry dread diseases like Zika, and yellow and dengue fever. After it vanished from Palmyra Atoll, an island in the tropical Pacific, USGS researchers and partners set out to find out why.
In the future of wildlife tracking, sea otters have their own social network.
SAN FRANCISCO BAY, Calif. — A new study published Wednesday in Science Advances introduces an innovative tool to help resource managers preserve Pacific coastal wetlands from rising sea levels.
Prey fish returned to Forster’s tern colonies suggest spatial and temporal differences in fish composition and availability
Predators sample the available prey community when foraging; thus, changes in the environment may be reflected by changes in predator diet and foraging preferences. We examined Forster’s tern (Sterna forsteri) prey species over an 11-year period by sampling approximately 10,000 prey fish returned to 17 breeding colonies in south San Francisco Bay...Peterson, Sarah; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark; Hartman, C. Alex
Enhanced invertebrate prey production following estuarine restoration supports foraging for multiple species of juvenile salmonids (Oncorhynchus spp.)
Estuaries provide crucial foraging resources and nursery habitat for threatened populations of anadromous salmon. As such, there has been a global undertaking to restore habitat and tidal processes in modified estuaries. The foraging capacity of these ecosystems to support various species of out-migrating juvenile salmon can be quantified by...Woo, Isa; Davis, Melanie; Ellings, Christopher S.; Nakai, Glynnis; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan
Gauging resource exploitation by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in restoring estuarine habitat
In the context of delta restoration and its impact on salmonid rearing, success is best evaluated based on whether out-migrating juvenile salmon can access and benefit from suitable estuarine habitat. Here, we integrated 3 years of post-restoration monitoring data including habitat availability, invertebrate prey biomass, and juvenile Chinook...Davis, Melanie; Ellings, Christopher S.; Woo, Isa; Hodgson, Sayre; Larsen, Kimberly A.; Nakai, Glynnis