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.

Earth Science Matters Newsletter

Earth Science Matters Newsletter

Data and Tools

Climate history, land cover and land surface data and models are vital for assessing the impacts of climate change, evaluating ecosystem status and health, understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity, and informing land use planning.

Global Croplands

Global Ecosystems

Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium

National Climate Change Viewer (NCCV)

Publications Search


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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June 9, 2020

Earth Science Matters - Volume 10, Spring 2020

This issue of Earth Science Matters highlights recently published Land Change Science Program research that contributes to an improved understanding of how changing land use, climate, and environment affect communities, ecosystems, and the services they provide.

Date published: June 8, 2020

Continuous Monitoring of Land Surface Change Over 30 Years Using the Landsat Record

The USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment, and Projection project has released a new suite of land-cover change products for the conterminous U.S.


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Year Published: 2020

Solar and sensor geometry, not vegetation response, drive satellite NDVI phenology in widespread ecosystems of the western United States

Satellite-derived phenology metrics are valuable tools for understanding broad-scale patterns and changes in vegetated landscapes over time. However, the extraction and interpretation of phenology in ecosystems with subtle growth dynamics can be challenging. US National Park Service monitoring of evergreen pinyon-juniper ecosystems in the western...

Norris, Jodi R.; Walker, Jessica J.

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Year Published: 2020

Boreal blazes: Biomass burning and vegetation types archived in the Juneau Icefield

The past decade includes some of the most extensive boreal forest fires in the historical record. Warming temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, the desiccation of thick organic soil layers, and increased ignition from lightning all contribute to a combustive combination. Smoke aerosols travel thousands of kilometers, before blanketing the...

Kehrwald, Natalie; Jasmann, Jeramy Roland; Dunham, Melissa E.; Ferris, David G.; Osterburg, Erich C.; Kennedy, Joshua; Havens, Jeremy; Barber, Larry; Fortner, Sarah K.

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Year Published: 2020

Modelling marsh-forest boundary transgression in response to storms and sea-level rise

The lateral extent and vertical stability of salt marshes experiencing rising sea levels depend on interacting drivers and feedbacks with potential for non‐linear behaviors. A two‐dimensional transect model was developed to examine changes in marsh and upland forest lateral extent and to explore controls on marsh inland transgression. Model...

Carr, Joel A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Kirwan, Matthew