Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Western Geographic Science Center

The WGSC is responsible for research and applications to understand coupled human-environmental systems in the face of land change and delivering pertinent information to decision makers on the vulnerability and resilience of these systems.  WGSC scientists collaborate with partners to advance the goals of the USGS Core Science Systems and Ecosystems Mission Areas and their programs. 

News

link

New NASA ROSES Award for 5-years (2023-2028) for the Global Food-and-Water Security-support Analysis Data (GFSAD) project of WGSC (PI: Prasad S. Thenkabail)

link

Release of LGRIP30 Data Product

link

Now Available: First CONUS-wide Coastal Wetland Collection

Publications

Toward a US framework for continuity of satellite observations of Earth's climate and for supporting societal resilience

There is growing urgency for improved public and commercial services to support a resilient, secure, and thriving United States (US) in the face of mounting decision-support needs for environmental stewardship and hazard response, as well as for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Sustained space-based Earth observations are critical infrastructure to support the delivery of science and deci
Authors
Duane E. Waliser, Waleed Abdalati, Nancy Baker, Stacey Boland, Michael Bonadonna, Carol Anne Clayson, Belay Demoz, Kelsey Foster, Christian Frankenburg, Maria Hakuba, Therese Jorgensen, Ryan J. Kramer, Daniel Limonadi, Anna M. Michalak, Asal Naseri, Pat Patterson, Peter Pilewskie, Steven Platnick, Charlie Powell, Jeff Privette, Chris Ruf, Tapio Schneider, Jorg Schulz, Paul Selmants, Rashmi Shah, Qianqian Song, Graeme Stephens, Timothy S. Stryker

Slope Unit Maker (SUMak): An efficient and parameter-free algorithm for delineating slope units to improve landslide modeling

Slope units are terrain partitions bounded by drainage and divide lines. In landslide modeling, including susceptibility modeling and event-specific modeling of landslide occurrence, slope units provide several advantages over gridded units, such as better capturing terrain geometry, improved incorporation of geospatial landslide-occurrence data in different formats (e.g., point and polygon), and
Authors
Jacob Bryson Woodard, Benjamin B. Mirus, Nathan J. Wood, Kate E. Allstadt, Ben Leshchinsky, Matthew Crawford

Ancient infrastructure offers sustainable agricultural solutions to dryland farming

For 1000 years, human populations in dryland regions of the North American Southwest (NAS) extensively constructed diverse forms of agricultural infrastructure, including canals, linear rock alignments, check dams, stock ponds, and other earthworks and rock structures. The long-term hydrological impacts of these and the demographic and socio-political drivers of construction and maintenance have y
Authors
Matthew C. Pailes, Laura M. Norman, Christopher H. Baisan, David Meko, Nicolas E. Gauthier, Jose Villanueva-Diaz, Jeff Dean, Jupiter Martinez, Nicholas V Kessler, Ron Towner

Science

Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
link

Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
Learn More

Remote Sensing of Invasive Annual Grasses -- Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Exotic annual grasses such as cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum ) have heavily invaded portions of the western United States, rapidly degrading habitats and increasing wildfire risk. Cheatgrass and other ESIs (desert alyssum [Alyssum desertorum], and annual wheatgrass [Eremopyrum triticeum]) are an emerging threat to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE); climatic changes including earlier snowmelt...
link

Remote Sensing of Invasive Annual Grasses -- Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Exotic annual grasses such as cheatgrass ( Bromus tectorum ) have heavily invaded portions of the western United States, rapidly degrading habitats and increasing wildfire risk. Cheatgrass and other ESIs (desert alyssum [Alyssum desertorum], and annual wheatgrass [Eremopyrum triticeum]) are an emerging threat to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE); climatic changes including earlier snowmelt...
Learn More

Global Food-and-Water Security-support Analysis Data (GFSAD)

The GFSAD is a NASA funded project (2023-2028) to provide highest-resolution global cropland data and their water use that contributes towards global food-and-water security in the twenty-first century. The GFSAD products are derived through multi-sensor remote sensing data (e.g., Landsat-series, Sentinel-series, MODIS, AVHRR), secondary data, and field-plot data and aims at documenting cropland...
link

Global Food-and-Water Security-support Analysis Data (GFSAD)

The GFSAD is a NASA funded project (2023-2028) to provide highest-resolution global cropland data and their water use that contributes towards global food-and-water security in the twenty-first century. The GFSAD products are derived through multi-sensor remote sensing data (e.g., Landsat-series, Sentinel-series, MODIS, AVHRR), secondary data, and field-plot data and aims at documenting cropland...
Learn More