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.

Research Scientists

Research Scientists

WERC science is driven forward by our scientists and staff.

Research Scientists

Stories from the Field

Stories from the Field

Find out fun and interesting information uncovered from the field.

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Photo Contest Winners


Barbara Kus and Mary Ann Madej Composite
May 25, 2018

This month, we recognize two WERC scientists for their decades of research on endangered songbirds, and the geology and hydrology of mountain ecosystems.

Collage of reptiles and amphibians affected by roads
May 17, 2018

In a new study, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists ranked more than 160 species and sub-species of reptiles and amphibians in terms of their vulnerability to vehicle strikes and habitat fragmentation from roadways. Their results are published in the journal Landscape Ecology.

Photo of USGS biological science tech Shannon Waters holding a salmon for release
April 13, 2018

WERC biological science technician Shannon Waters is part of a research team studying the effects of warming water temperatures on Chinook salmon. On Tuesday, April 3rd, she visited the California State University, Sacramento to talk to students and the interested public about the team's findings.