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
It's the first day of spring! Don't be surprised if you see young skunks scampering around California's inland marshes with an ear tag ID and a lightweight GPS collar -- it's for science.
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.
Construction and Analysis of a Giant Gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) Population Projection Model
The giant gartersnake (Thamnophis gigas) is a state and federally threatened species precinctive to California. The range of the giant gartersnake has contracted in the last century because its wetland habitat has been drained for agriculture and development. As a result of this habitat alteration, giant gartersnakes now largely persist in and...Rose, Jonathan P.; Ersan, Julia S. M.; Wylie, Glenn D.; Casazza, Michael L.; Halstead, Brian J.
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