Western Geographic Science Center


Filter Total Items: 79
April 12, 2016

Whats The Big Idea? — Pulling Water Out of Thin Air

Alicia Torregrosa, physical scientist with the USGS Western Geographic Science Center, explains how her work with coastal fog might one day help access new sources of water.

Photo of Tidal marsh
March 18, 2016

Tidal marsh, Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA.

A tidal marsh at Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA.

March 3, 2016

What's the Big Idea? Using Remote Sensing to Understand Climate Change

Zhuoting Wu, research ecologist at the USGS Western Geographic Science Center, explains how the USGS uses remote sensing technology to help Tribal communities better understand the effects of climate change. 

Illustration of potential state changes related to drought, fire and grazing
July 23, 2015

Potential State Changes Related to Drought, Fire and Grazing

Illustration of potential state changes related to drought, fire and grazing. Native grassland sites (1) can transition (A) to non-native dominated (2) when the fire regime is altered and grazing occurs. Re-introduction of fire (B) can help restore native grasses and reduce woody plant cover (3), especially with optimal timing and amount of precipitation (C, 1).

Photo of an abandoned well pad site
July 13, 2015

Abandoned well pad site

Very old abandoned well pad site with vegetation cover. 

Picture of a mature salmon
January 21, 2015

Mature Salmon

A mature salmon returns to a shallow stream reach to spawn. 

July 31, 2014

PubTalk 7/2014 — The Ecological Value of Coastal Fog

Cooling relief and nebulous forecasts for northern California

by Alicia Torregrosa, USGS Physical Scientist


  • Did you know:
  • The Moss Beach/Montara area north of Half Moon Bay is the foggiest place in the San Francisco Bay Area?
  • Summertime fog in northern California depends on ocean
February 28, 2013

PubTalk 2/2013 — Is "THE IMPOSSIBLE" Possible in the Pacific Northwest

-- Coastal Community Tsunami Hazards and Risk

By Nathan Wood, Geographer


  • The movie "The Impossible", currently showing in theaters, portrays the destruction of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami
  • Recent tsunami disasters in the Pacific Ocean testify to their destructive power -- are similar events likely in the
Photo of off-highway vehicle tracks
February 17, 2013

Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Tracks

Example of off-highway vehicles (OHV) tracks in a remote part of the Sonoran Desert.

August 30, 2012

PubTalk 8/2012 — Global Food Security in the 21st Century

--the increasing need for food production, cropland areas, and agricultural water

by Prasad Thenkabail, Research Geographer

  • Worldwide demand for food will require more than one billion hectares of new cropland to feed 9 billion plus people by 2050
  • Presently, of all the water used by humans over 70% goes towards
A photo of desert grassland in southern New Mexico
April 12, 2012

Desert Grassland in Southern New Mexico

 Desert grassland in southern New Mexico.

Image of Mount Adams with grassland and trees
December 31, 2011

Mount Adams, WA

A photograph of Mount Adams, Washington. This image was taken as part of the Land Cover Trends Project field varification for land cover data.