Western Geographic Science Center


The Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) conducts geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape.  Our tools and models help decision makers better use complex scientific information to understand their alternative options.  Our work links natural science and social science to analyze human/environmental interactions both spatially and temporally. 

Chris Soulard's map wins an ESRI award!

Chris Soulard

Christopher Soulard was named third place recipient of the 2019 ESRI Award for Best Scientific Paper in Geographic Information Systems for work on improving urban maps of the US spanning 1992-2011.

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Vegetation recovery science in the News!

Vegetation recovery science in the News!

 “Understanding the factors that encourage successful re-vegetation is critical for resource managers to make informed decisions about this region of economic and ecological importance.” Miguel Villarreal

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Date published: December 7, 2018

WGSC Scientists tour a restoration project

Laura Norman's Aridland Water Harvesting Study helps lead a tour of a restoration and monitoring project at the Boy Scouts of America, Heard Scout Pueblo (HSP) in Phoenix, Arizona.

Date published: November 21, 2018

The GFSAD30 project accomplished their goal!

The global croplands mapping project has succesfully mapped croplands across the entire planet in order to understand the security of food world wide. Below are many press anouncments and interviews with the project leader Prasad Thenkabail.

Date published: August 17, 2018

USGS Scientist Invited to Present for Society for Range Management

Laura Norman was asked to present her study of Watershed Restoration at the Arizona Section Summer Meeting for the Society for Range Management, "Managing for Resilient Rangelands in Southeast Arizona" by the Rangeland Program Manager at the Coronado National Forest.


Year Published: 2019

A bibliometric profile of the Remote Sensing Open Access Journal published by MDPI between 2009 and 2018

Remote Sensing Open Access Journal (RS OAJ) is an international leading journal in the field of remote sensing science and technology. It was first published in the year 2009 and is currently celebrating tenth year of publications. In this research, a bibliometric analysis of RS OAJ was conducted based on 5588 articles published during the 10-year...

Zhang, YuYing; Thenkabail, Prasad S.; Wang, Peng

Year Published: 2018


Key findings:Total grassland carbon stocks in the conterminous United States, estimated to be about 7.4 petagrams of carbon (Pg C) in 2005, are projected to increase to about 8.2 Pg C by 2050. Although U.S. grasslands are expected to remain carbon sinks over this period, the uptake rate is projected to decline by about half. In the U.S. Great...

Cavallaro, Nancy; Shrestha, Gyami; Birdsey, Richard; Mayes, Melanie A.; Najjar, Raymond G.; Reed, Sasha C.; Romero-Lankao, Patricia; Zhu, Zhiliang; Pendall, Elise; Bachelet, Dominique; Conant, Richard T.; El Masri, Bassil; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Knapp, Alan K.; Liu, Jinxun; Liu, Shuguang; Schaeffer, Sean M.

Year Published: 2018

Accuracies achieved in classifying five leading world crop types and their growth stages using optimal Earth Observing-1 Hyperion hyperspectral narrowbands on Google Earth Engine

As the global population increases, we face increasing demand for food and nutrition. Remote sensing can help monitor food availability to assess global food security rapidly and accurately enough to inform decision-making. However, advances in remote sensing technology are still often limited to multispectral broadband sensors. Although these...

Aneece, Itiya; Thenkabail, Prasad S.