Environments Program


Scientists in the Environments Program conduct research on the various ecosystems that occur across 416 million acres of public lands in the United States and its territories. We conduct research on these natural systems to provide information to Department of Interior agencies, which they can use to make decisions about how to manage public lands and trust resources.

Ecosystem Management

Ecosystem Management

Our ecological research improves the Nation’s understanding of how management decisions and environmental variation are impacting ecosystems now and in the future.

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Wildland Fire Research

Wildland Fire Research

Wildfires are a natural process in most regions of the U.S. They serve a vital role in nature but can also be unusually intense, widespread, or frequent. As a result, response and recovery costs are increasing.

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Environments Science

USGS science provides tools and information to protect responders, communities, managers and species by identifying wildland fire risks, developing ways to reduce wildfire hazards, and assessing and minimizing the aftermath of wildfires.


The Arctic



Great Lakes

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Year Published: 2019

Global virtual water trade and the hydrological cycle: Patterns, drivers, and socio-environmental impacts

The increasing global demand for farmland products is placing unprecedented pressure on the global agricultural system and its water resources. Many regions of the world, that are affected by a chronic water scarcity relative to their population, strongly depend on the import of agricultural commodities and associated embodied (or virtual) water....

D'Odorico, Paolo; Carr, Joel A.; Dalin, Carole; Dell'Angelo, Jampel; Konar, Megan; Laio, Francesco; Ridolfi, Luca; Rosa, Lorenzo; Suweis, Samir; Tamea, Stefania; Tuninetti, Marta

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Year Published: 2019

Potential sea level rise for the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana

Situated in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain of the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCP LCC), the Chitimacha Tribe is one of four federally recognized tribes in Louisiana. The Tribal seat, trust lands/ reservation, and adjacent Tribal owned lands are located near Charenton, Louisiana, totaling nearly 1,000 acres. The...

Spear, Kathryn A.; Jones, William; Griffith, Kereen; Tirpak, Blair E.; Walden, Kimberly
Spear, K.A., Jones, W., Griffith, K., Tirpak, B.E., and Walden, K., 2019, Potential sea level rise on Chitimacha Tribal Lands in Louisiana: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1030, 1 sheet, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191030.

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Year Published: 2019

Drivers and uncertainties of forecasted range shifts for warm-water fishes under climate and land cover change

Land cover is an important determinant of aquatic habitat and is projected to shift with climate changes, yet climate-driven land cover changes are rarely factored into climate assessments. To quantify impacts and uncertainty of coupled climate and land cover change on warm-water fish species’ distributions, we used an ensemble model approach to...

Bouska, Kristen L.; Whitledge, Gregory W.; Lant, Christopher; Schoof, Justin
Bouska, K.L., Whitledge, G.W., Lant, C., Schoof, J. 2018. Drivers and uncertainties of forecasted range shifts for warm-water fishes under climate and land cover change. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 35 pgs. DOI: 10.1139/cjfas-2018-0002.