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.


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Anthropogenic landcover impacts fluvial dissolved organic matter composition in the Upper Mississippi River Basin

Landcover changes have altered the natural carbon cycle; however, most landcover studies focus on either forest conversion to agriculture or urban, rarely both. We present differences in dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations and dissolved organic matter (DOM) molecular composition within Upper Mississippi River Basin low order streams and...

Vaughn, Derrick R.; Kellerman, Anne M.; Wickland, Kimberly; Striegl, Robert G.; Podgorski, David C.; Hawkings, Jon R.; Nienhuis, Jaap; Dornblaser, Mark; Stets, Edward G.; Spencer, Robert GM

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

A global ecological classification of coastal segment units to complement marine biodiversity observation network assessments

A new data layer provides Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) labels for global coastal segments at 1 km or shorter resolution. These characteristics are summarized for six US Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) sites and one MBON Pole to Pole of the Americas site in Argentina. The global coastlines CMECS...

Sayre, Roger; Butler, Kevin; Van Graafeiland, Keith; Breyer, Sean; Wright, Dawn; Frye, Charlie; Karagulle, Deniz; Martin, Madeline T.; Cress, Jill Janene; Allen, Tom; Allee, Rebecca; Parsons, Rost; Nyberg, Bjorn; Costello, Mark; Harris, Peter; Muller-Karger, Frank

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Evidence for humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum

Archaeologists and researchers in allied fields have long sought to understand human colonization of North America. When, how, and from where did people migrate, and what were the consequences of their arrival for the established fauna and landscape are enduring questions. Here, we present evidence from excavated surfaces of in situ human...

Bennett, Matthew R.; Bustos, David; Pigati, Jeffrey S.; Springer, Kathleen B.; Urban, Thomas. M.; Holliday, Vance T.; Reynolds, Sally C.; Budka, Marcin; Honke, Jeffrey S.; Hudson, Adam M.; Fenerty, Brendan; Connelly, Clare; Martinez, Patrick J.; Santucci, Vincent L.; Odess, Daniel
Bennett, M.R., Bustos, D., Pigati, J.S., Springer, K.B., Urban, T.M., Holliday, V.T., Reynolds, S.C., Budka, M., Honke, J.S., Hudson, A.M., Fenerty, B., Connelly, C., Martinez, P.J., Santucci, V.L., Odess, D., 2021, Evidence for humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum. Science.