Western Ecological Research Center


Click on the articles below to read about the latest WERC scientific discoveries.

Filter Total Items: 100
Date published: March 27, 2014

At the Lab Bench, Amid the Island Fog, and Under the Desert Sun, WERC Women Scientists Lean In

Like women researchers in other organizations and other scientific disciplines, women PI’s at USGS must manage unique career challenges, while pursuing their research questions and making an impact on our world.

Date published: March 3, 2014

WERC Center Director Steven Schwarzbach Retires

Steven Schwarzbach, Center Director of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, has retired from federal service. WERC Deputy Center Director Dr. Keith Miles acted as Acting Center Director in the interim, and is now the official Center Director.

Date published: February 26, 2014

"Nerds for Nature" Test out Tech Toys at SFBE Field Station in Vallejo

The USGS Western Ecological Research Center hosted passionate biogeeks and hackers on Dec. 8th for a "NatureNerdFest" and "Bio-Blitz". Members of the San Francisco Bay Area group Nerds for Nature gathered on Mare Island to test and share development ideas for research instruments and drones. The meetup was organized by N4N and Isa Woo of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. 

Date published: February 9, 2014

Celebrating North Coast Geomorphologist Mary Ann Madej

Research Geologist Mary Ann Madej retired from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center in 2013, concluding a federal service career spanning 35 years.

Date published: January 15, 2014

Large Old Trees Grow Fastest, Storing More Carbon

Trees do not slow in their growth rate as they get older and larger — instead, their growth keeps accelerating, according to a study published today in the journal Nature.

Date published: July 26, 2013

Fire Impacts in U.S. West: Droughts Lead to More Tree Deaths from Fire

Warming temperatures are likely causing many indirect effects and complex interactions. These nuanced and layered effects can be difficult for scientists to unravel and explore -- especially when environmental changes are affecting multiple environmental processes at the same time.

Date published: July 15, 2013

Bird and Fish Numbers Up: South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Offers Updates

Swaths of salt ponds once spanned the horizon beyond the levees of Alviso. But as part of a major project restoring wetland habitat to Silicon Valley’s waterfront, these ponds are now open to tidal waters and have become a vibrant nursery for the Bay’s fish species, from longfin smelt to leopard sharks.

Date published: July 9, 2013

Paved Roadways Can Disrupt Movement of Small Wildlife

When does the pocket mouse cross the road? If the road is paved, it may not. As evidenced by many a roadkill carcass, high traffic roads pose an obvious barrier to large wildlife species. Yet few studies to date have examined how different types of roadways impact smaller wildlife species like rodents and lizards. 

Date published: June 26, 2013

On California's Beaches, Mallard Ducks Have Learned to Surf for Food

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) — that familiar duck species ubiquitous to park ponds with males parading their emerald-green heads — have picked up a new feeding habit along the beaches of Santa Barbara. These ducks have learned to surf. For sand crabs.

Date published: June 14, 2013

Endangered Froglets with Radio Belts Released Into California Mountains

On Wednesday and Thursday this week, USGS Western Ecological Research Center scientists joined research partners in releasing 100 juveniles of the mountain yellow-legged frog (Rana muscosa) into the James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve near Idyllwild, Calif.

Date published: May 31, 2013

Renowned Point Reyes Natural Historian Gary Fellers Retires from USGS

One of the founding biologists of the USGS National Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) and a renowned expert on California amphibians and bats, USGS Western Ecological Research Center scientist and principal investigator Gary Fellers has retired from the agency.

Date published: May 23, 2013

More Silent Springs: New Study Confirms Amphibian Decline Trends in U.S.

Frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians are less commonly found today in the United States than they were nine years ago, according to a new study from the USGS Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI).