Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)

Environmental Stressors

Filter Total Items: 34
Date published: September 4, 2019
Status: Active

Seabird Vulnerability Assessment for Renewable Energy Projects

The WERC seabird studies team has developed a new framework for quantifying seabird species vulnerability to wind infrastructure in the California Current region of the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf. This tool supports marine resource-use planning by identifying sites where seabirds are most vulnerable and predicts how different species may be affected by wind-energy infrastructure.

Date published: June 20, 2019
Status: Active

Aerial Seabird and Marine Mammal Surveys

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions. The project is supported by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and will inform planning in advance of potential offshore wind energy development along the...

Date published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing heat stress in migrating Yukon River Chinook Salmon

We will examine evidence of heat stress in Yukon River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) using heat shock proteins and gene expression.

Date published: February 22, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Ecology and Multi-Species Habitat Use in Pacific Coast Estuaries

Waterbirds such as shorebirds, waders, and ducks depend on healthy and productive estuaries to “fuel up” for long distance migrations along the Pacific Flyway.   Estuarine ecosystems include a mosaic of managed, natural, and restoring wetlands...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Polar Bear Health and Disease Diagnostics

In 2012, scientists noticed that nearly a third of polar bears sampled in a study in Alaska were suffering from hair loss and poor health. Drs. Lizabeth Bowen and A. Keith Miles of WERC used new technology to track down and identify the factors responsible for driving disease in Alaskan polar bears.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Wildland Fire Science in Forests and Deserts

Fuel conditions and fire regimes in western forests and deserts have been altered due to past land management, biological invasions, and recent extreme weather events and climate shifts. These changes have created extreme fire risk to local and regional communities, threatening their economic health related to wildland recreation, forest production, livestock operations, and other uses of...

Contacts: Matthew Brooks
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Wetland Restoration in the San Francisco Bay Delta and Pacific Northwest

Estuaries and healthy coastal habitats are among the most productive ecosystems on Earth. They provide a variety of benefits, including habitat and food for fish and wildlife, flood and erosion protection, improved water quality, increased carbon sequestration, as well as beautiful scenery and opportunities for recreation.  Along the U.S. Pacific Coast, both the San Francisco Bay estuary and...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Supporting Informed Responses to Sea-Level Rise

To facilitate communication and outreach of sea level rise research results and implications, Dr. Karen Thorne and members of USGS WERC are hosting in-person workshops along the Pacific coast at different sites in Washington, Oregon, and California.

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Southwestern Desert Ecology of At-risk Species and their Habitats

The southwestern desert region is home to many sensitive species. Species are at-risk due to past, present, and future changes to the landscape. WERC’s Dr. Todd Esque, field researchers, and collaborators are using models, monitoring plans, and decision-support tools to provide land managers with the resources they need to answer questions about how environmental change influences plants,...

Contacts: Todd Esque
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Seabird Health and Adaptive Management

Dr. Josh Adams and his science team at WERC study seabird health and support adaptive management by quantifying abundance patterns and behaviors associated with habitats at sea, where seabirds spend the overwhelming majority of their lives. Adams’s team also employs conservation science to support resource managers on land, where seabirds are obligated to nest. His group provides scientific...

Contacts: Josh Adams
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Reptile Biodiversity in the Pacific Basin Islands

Dr. Robert Fisher and his colleagues have teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy and multiple universities to conduct several types of studies that will address high priority issues related to reptiles in the Pacific Basin Islands. These studies will provide new information about species diversity, endemicity, biology and demography of reptile fauna and will lay the...

Contacts: Robert N Fisher
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Process-based Approaches for Ecological Restoration of Degraded Drylands

Surface disturbances ranging from military training, recreation, energy exploration and development, and wildfires impact a large majority of federal lands in the western US, but the ecological and economic impacts are poorly understood. Explore this webpage to learn how Dr. Lesley DeFalco and her research team are currently evaluating and refining conventional approaches for post-fire...

Contacts: Lesley DeFalco