Western Geographic Science Center


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November 30, 2020

La encrucijada del fuego silvestre

La relación entre la gente y los incendios forestales siempre ha sido paradójica: el fuego es esencial como proceso ecológico y herramienta de gestión, pero también puede ser perjudicial para la vida y la propiedad. En consecuencia, los regímenes de incendios se han modificado a lo largo de la historia, mediante quemas intencionales para promover sus beneficios o mediante

November 30, 2020

Wildfire at the Crossroads

The relationship between people and wildfire has always been paradoxical: fire is an essential ecological process and management tool but can also be detrimental to life and property. Consequently, fire regimes have been modified throughout history through both intentional burning to promote benefits and active suppression to reduce risks. Reintroducing fire and its

A graphic depicting an image classification
June 17, 2020

A UAS Image Used in Data Classification

Example map showing UAS image (A) and resulting image classification (B). 

A conceptual model of ecosystem services for the wetland habitats of Nisqually River Delta.
June 17, 2020

A Conceptual Model of Ecosystem Services of Nisqually River Delta.

A conceptual model of ecosystem services for the wetland habitats of Nisqually River Delta. Exogenous factors influence the quality and quantity of wetland habitat. This, in turn, controls the many functions that occur within wetlands. Ecosystem services, or benefits to people, are derived from the ability of wetlands to perform critical ecological functions.


Aerial map of modeling area in the Nisqually River Delta
June 15, 2020

Aerial Map of Modeling Area in the Nisqually River Delta

Aerial map of modeling area in the Nisqually River Delta. Managed freshwater marsh at the southern end of the refuge is excluded. Inset: Black point on terrain map shows the location of Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge within Washington State (grey outline).

Graphic of wells pads in the Colorado Plateau ecoregion
June 12, 2020

Well Pads in the Colorado Plateau

Density of oil and gas well pads per km2 in the Colorado Plateau ecoregion (including parts of Utah, Colorado and New Mexico) as counted in 2016. Oil/gas wells are particularly concentrated in this region with ~100,000 abandoned and current wells spanning 60 years of activity. These numbers are dramatically increasing with time.

Two photos of an active well pad and an abandoned well pad
June 12, 2020

Active and Reclaimed Well Pads

An active oil and gas well pad and an abandoned pad being reclaimed (top left inset).

A photo of a tidal forest of the Nisqually River Delta
June 11, 2020

Tidal Forest of the Nasqually River Delta

The tidal forests of the Nisqually River Delta become inundated to just below the trunk during the highest tides of the year.

A carousel photo of energy pads
June 11, 2020

Energy Pads

Engergy pads in an arid enverionment

A diagram of sampling approach for remote measurement of invasives around wind turbines.
June 2, 2020

Wind Turbine Sampling Approach

Sampling approach for remote measurements of invasives around wind turbines. 

Graphic of invasives increases after wind turbine construction
June 2, 2020

Invasives Increases After Wind Turbine Construction

Invasives index values before and after turbine construction compared to surrounding control areas (top). Green indicates turbines with higher index values in the period after construction, and yellow indicates no change or lower invasive index values after construction. 5-year average Early Season Invasives index values for 1989–1993 (middle) and 2014–2018 (bottom)

An image depiction how remote sensing is used to sense soil erosion
June 2, 2020

How Remote Sensing Was Used To Detect Soil Erosion

Information from satellite imagery helped to differentiate areas vulnerable to soil erosion from off-highway vehicle use. For this study we developed a “P-factor” by scaling ground measurements of soil compaction to vehicle disturbances mapped from aerial imagery. We also used NDVI to better represent the spatial complexity of vegetation cover, which helps to reduce soil