Land Change Science Program


Changes in the environment, land use, and climate can have significant impacts on our Nation’s economy, natural resources, infrastructure, and water, food, and energy security. To strengthen our Nation’s ability to respond and adapt to these stressors, the USGS Land Change Science Program conducts research to improve understanding of rates, causes, and consequences of climate and land use change.


Date published: April 15, 2021

USGS Landsat Satellites Enable Google to Portray Global Change

USGS Landsat satellite data and imagery are the key foundation for the newly released Google Earth 3D Timelapse tool. The upgraded Timelapse presents a global, zoomable time-lapse video of the planet from 1984 to 2020.

Date published: February 9, 2021

2021 William T. Pecora Award Nominations Now Being Accepted

Nominations for the 2021 William T. Pecora Award are now being accepted through May 14, 2021. 

Date published: August 10, 2020

RAMPS Newsletter - Summer 2020 Edition

This season's edition of the Restoration Assessment and Monitoring Program for the Southwest Newsletter contains recent program highlights including research updates, new projects, field updates and more.

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Year Published: 2021

Drought stress and hurricane defoliation influence mountain clouds and moisture recycling in a tropical forest

Mountain ranges generate clouds, precipitation, and perennial streamflow for water supplies, but the role of forest cover in mountain hydrometeorology and cloud formation is not well understood. In the Luquillo Experimental Forest of Puerto Rico, mountains are immersed in clouds nightly, providing a steady precipitation source to support the...

Scholl, Martha A.; Bassiouni, Maoya; Torres-Sanchez, Angel J.

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Year Published: 2021

Identification of Global Priorities for New Mountain Protected and Conserved Areas

Mountain ecosystems are extremely diverse and fragile. They include astonishing biodiversity in terms of number of taxa and endemicity, and globally provide the most diverse range of ecosystem services. The world’s system of protected and conserved areas includes many outstanding areas within the earth’s mountainous landscape: about 19% of...

Jacobs, Peter; Beever, Erik A.; Carbutt, Clinton; Foggin, Marc; Juffe-Bignoli, Diego; Martin, Madeline Thomas; Orchard, Shane; Sayre, Roger

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Year Published: 2021

Carbon stock losses and recovery observed for a mangrove ecosystem following a major hurricane in Southwest Florida

Studies integrating mangrove in-situ observations and remote sensing analysis for specific sites often lack precise estimates of carbon stocks over time frames that include disturbance events. This study quantifies change in mangrove area from 1985 to 2018 with Landsat time series analysis, estimates above and belowground stored carbon...

Peneva-Reed, Elitsa I.; Krauss, Ken; Bullock, Eric L.; Zhu, Zhiliang; Woltz, Victoria; Drexler, Judith Z.; Conrad, Jeremy R.; Stehman, Stephen V