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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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WGSC Research Geographer Visits India under the Professional Engineer and Scientist Exchange Program

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Cropland water in California: The view from space

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Friday's Findings - October 14th 2022

Publications

Changes in habitat suitability for wintering dabbling ducks during dry conditions in the Central Valley of California

In arid and Mediterranean regions, landscape-scale wetland conservation requires understanding how wildlife responds to dynamic freshwater availability and conservation actions to enhance wetland habitat. Taking advantage of Landsat satellite data and structured and community science bird survey data, we built species distribution models to describe how three duck species, the Northern Pintail (An

Five year analyses of vegetation response to restoration using rock detention structures in southeastern Arizona, United States

Rock detention structures (RDS) are used in restoration of riparian areas around the world. The purpose of this study was to analyze the effect of RDS installation on vegetation in terms of species abundance and composition. We present the results from 5 years of annual vegetation sampling which focused on short term non-woody vegetation response within the riparian channel at 3 restoration sites

New generation hyperspectral sensors DESIS and PRISMA provide improved agricultural crop classifications

Using new remote sensing technology to study agricultural crops will support advances in food and water security. The recently launched, new generation spaceborne hyperspectral sensors, German DLR Earth Sensing Imaging Spectrometer (DESIS) and Italian PRecursore IperSpettrale della Missione Applicativa (PRISMA), provide unprecedented data in hundreds of narrow spectral bands for the study of the E

Science

Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, more naturally dynamic flow conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. USGS continuous and discrete monitoring data on aspects related to sediment and geomorphic conditions will be integral to post-dam removal assessments and...
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Klamath Dam Removal Studies

Following the removal of four dams along the Klamath River, more naturally dynamic flow conditions may result in novel water quality, sediment transport, and geomorphic conditions leading to temporary or longer-term ecological impacts. USGS continuous and discrete monitoring data on aspects related to sediment and geomorphic conditions will be integral to post-dam removal assessments and...
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Cienega Ranch - Semi-desert Native Grassland Restoration

At the Cienega Ranch, near Willcox, Arizona, in the foothills of the Dos Cabeza Mountains, a rancher is working to restore and conserve high- quality native grasslands and critical wildlife habitat, while keeping the land as a working cattle ranch. Our objectives were to estimate the hydrological effect of water harvesting on grassland restoration and quantify how grassland conservation efforts...
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Cienega Ranch - Semi-desert Native Grassland Restoration

At the Cienega Ranch, near Willcox, Arizona, in the foothills of the Dos Cabeza Mountains, a rancher is working to restore and conserve high- quality native grasslands and critical wildlife habitat, while keeping the land as a working cattle ranch. Our objectives were to estimate the hydrological effect of water harvesting on grassland restoration and quantify how grassland conservation efforts...
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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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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...
Learn More