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Western Geographic Science Center

Our Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and the community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staf

News

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Friday's Findings - October 14th 2022

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Ancient methods of preventing desertification and recovering from drought

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Planning for Change: New Tools to Support Bird Habitat in the Central Valley

Publications

What to expect when you are expecting earthquake early warning

We present a strategy for earthquake early warning (EEW) alerting that focuses on providing users with a target level of performance for their shaking level of interest (for example, ensuring that users receive warnings for at least 95 per cent of the occurrences of that shaking level). We explore the factors that can affect the accuracy of EEW shaking forecasts including site conditions (which ca

Simulating burn severity maps at 30 meters in two forested regions in California

Climate change is altering wildfire behavior and vegetation regimes in California’s forested ecosystems. Present day fires are seeing an increase in high burn severity area and high severity patch size. The ability to predict future burn severity patterns would support better policy and land management decisions. Here we demonstrate a methodology to first, statistically estimate individual burn se

New generation hyperspectral data From DESIS compared to high spatial resolution PlanetScope data for crop type classification

Thoroughly investigating the characteristics of new generation hyperspectral and high spatial resolution spaceborne sensors will advance the study of agricultural crops. Therefore, we compared the performances of hyperspectral Deutsches Zentrum fur Luftund Raumfahrt- (DLR) Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) and high spatial resolution PlanetScope in classifying eight crop types in Californ

Science

Rancho Ancón – Water Cycle Augmentation

The USGS is working with partners to understand the impacts of installing structures made from rock, sandbags and wood in channels at a dryland ranch in southern Baja California. Hydrogeological instrumentation, recording observations, modeling hydrogeological scenarios, and an interdisciplinary scientific study of the watershed interactions between water, ecological systems, and human activities...
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Rancho Ancón – Water Cycle Augmentation

The USGS is working with partners to understand the impacts of installing structures made from rock, sandbags and wood in channels at a dryland ranch in southern Baja California. Hydrogeological instrumentation, recording observations, modeling hydrogeological scenarios, and an interdisciplinary scientific study of the watershed interactions between water, ecological systems, and human activities...
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Characterizing high-resolution soil burn severity, erosion risk, and recovery using Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS)

The western United States is experiencing severe wildfires whose observed impacts, including post-wildfire floods and debris flows, appear to be increasing over time.
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Characterizing high-resolution soil burn severity, erosion risk, and recovery using Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS)

The western United States is experiencing severe wildfires whose observed impacts, including post-wildfire floods and debris flows, appear to be increasing over time.
Learn More

Recreational Birdwatching and Habitat

Thousands of visitors flock to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge every year to look for birds both rare and common. Birdwatching activities contribute to economic activity for the Nisqually area and play a role in the broader outdoor-loving culture of the Pacific Northwest.
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Recreational Birdwatching and Habitat

Thousands of visitors flock to the Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge every year to look for birds both rare and common. Birdwatching activities contribute to economic activity for the Nisqually area and play a role in the broader outdoor-loving culture of the Pacific Northwest.
Learn More