Land Change Science Program

Risk and Vulnerability

Risk and vulnerability studies develop quantitative, qualitative, and geospatial methods and decision support tools that characterize and communicate the vulnerability of both human communities and natural ecosystems to hazard events. Land Change Science research utilizes models, sensitivity analyses, and geographic distributions of people and infrastructure along with the probability of specific disturbance factors, to evaluate a community's vulnerability and risk.

Filter Total Items: 7
Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.

Date published: October 25, 2018
Status: Active

Cheatgrass Dieoff Time-series Dynamics (2000 – 2010)

Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) is a winter annual grass that has invaded and altered the shrub steppe ecosystem in the Great Basin for about 100 years. This highly competitive grass invades recently disturbed areas and then outcompetes most native vegetation by using requisite resources like soil water and nutrients in early spring before other native plants. It also can alter its phenotype...

Date published: September 12, 2018
Status: Active

Sea-Level Rise Vulnerability

The importance of sea-level rise in shaping coastal landscapes is well recognized within the earth science community, but as with many natural hazards, communicating the risks associated with sea-level rise remains a challenge.

Date published: March 19, 2018
Status: Active

Hazards Vulnerability Team

Our country faces a wide array of natural hazards that threaten its safety, security, economic well-being, and natural resources. To minimize future losses, communities need a clear understanding of how they are vulnerable to natural hazards and of strategies for increasing their resilience. Vulnerability and resilience are influenced by (1) how communities choose to use hazard-prone land, (2...

Date published: March 14, 2018
Status: Active

Aridland Water Harvesting Study

Most of western North America has been severely grazed by cattle, causing grasslands to deteriorate and desert scrub expansion. Climate in arid and semi-arid regions is often typified by short, intense rainfall events which contribute to short-term flooding and erosion. Associated arroyo cutting occurs when ephemeral creek beds are carved into the floodplain when erratic overland flow occurs;...

Date published: May 30, 2017
Status: Active

Patterns in the Landscape – Analyses of Cause and Effect

For two decades, USGS scientists with the Land Cover Trends team have used satellite data to study landscape change across the United States. Increasingly, research is focused on understanding why change occurs. Insights into the underlying causes of shifts in land use and land cover (LULC) will allow managers and stakeholders to make more informed...

Date published: April 13, 2017
Status: Active

Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support

The Ecosystem Modelling and Decision Support Project seeks to understand how drivers of ecosystem change like wildfire, drought, and land use affected past spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation communities and wildlife. Research methods involve 1) analyzing field-collected information (e.g. long-term plot/transect data, repeat photography) on soils, vegetation, and/or wildlife with...