Science and Decisions Center
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The USGS Science and Decisions Center (SDC) is an interdisciplinary organization advancing the use of science in natural resource decision making. The Center focuses on research and applications in three science areas: decision science (adaptive management and structured decision making), ecosystem services, and resilience/sustainability.Science and Decisions Center Website
Adaptive management is "learning by doing" and adapting based on what is learned, in an objective, science-based management strategy that explicitly recognizes and delineates uncertainty.
Ecosystem services are attributes and outputs of ecosystems that are valued by human users. Ecosystem services are produced by ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation, and maintenance of biodiversity. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.
Resilience is the ability of a system or a community to absorb shocks and still maintain the same basic structure and functions. Management for ecological resilience seeks flexible system behaviors that can deliver ecosystem goods and services on a sustained basis.
Rapid 3-D analysis of rockfalls
Recent fatal and damaging rockfalls in Yosemite National Park indicate the need for rapid response data collection methods to inform public safety and assist with management response. Here we show the use of multiple-platform remote sensing methods to rapidly capture pertinent data needed to inform management and the public following a several...Stock, Greg M.; Guerin, A.; Avdievitch, Nikita N.; Collins, Brian D.; Jaboyedoff, Michel
Supporting natural resource management—The role of economics at the Department of the Interior—A workshop report
The first U.S. Department of the Interior Economics Workshop was held April 5–7, 2017 in Washington, D.C., to identify, highlight, and better understand needs and opportunities for economic analysis to support the Department of the Interior’s mission. The Economics Workshop, jointly convened by the Department of the Interior Office of Policy...Pindilli, Emily J.; Crowley, Christian S.L.; Cline, Sarah A.; Good, Anthony J.; Shapiro, Carl D.; Simon, Benjamin M.
Geologic map of the Lower Valley quadrangle, Caribou County, Idaho
The Lower Valley 7.5-minute quadrangle, located in the core of the Southeast Idaho Phosphate Resource Area, includes Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary rocks, Pliocene to Pleistocene basalt, and Tertiary to Holocene surficial deposits. The Mississippian to Triassic marine sedimentary sequence was deposited on a shallow shelf between an...Oberlindacher, H. Peter; Hovland, R. David; Miller, Susan T.; Evans, James G.; Miller, Robert J.
Disentangling the effects of low pH and metal mixture toxicity on macroinvertebrate diversity
One of the primary goals of biological assessment of streams is to identify which of a suite of chemical stressors is limiting their ecological potential. Elevated metal concentrations in streams are often associated with low pH, yet the effects of these two potentially limiting factors of freshwater biodiversity are rarely considered to interact...Fornaroli, Riccardo; Ippolito, Alessio; Tolkkinen, Mari J.; Mykrä, Heikki; Muotka, Timo; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Schmidt, Travis S.
James Dwight Dana and John Strong Newberry in the US Pacific Northwest: The roots of American fluvialism
Recognition of the power of rivers to carve landscapes transformed geology and geomorphology in the late nineteenth century. Wide acceptance of this concept—then known as “fluvialism”—owes to many factors and people, several associated with exploration of western North America. Especially famous are the federal geographic and geologic surveys of...O'Connor, Jim E.
Stress concentrations at structural discontinuities in active fault zones in the western United States: Implications for permeability and fluid flow in geothermal fields
Slip can induce concentration of stresses at discontinuities along fault systems. These structural discontinuities, i.e., fault terminations, fault step-overs, intersections, bends, and other fault interaction areas, are known to host fluid flow in ore deposition systems, oil and gas reservoirs, and geothermal systems. We modeled stress transfer...Siler, Drew; Hinz, Nicholas H.; Faulds, James E.
The Colorado River and its deposits downstream from Grand Canyon in Arizona, California, and Nevada
Understanding the evolution of the Colorado River system has direct implications for (1) the processes and timing of continental-scale river system integration, (2) the formation of iconic landscapes like those in and around Grand Canyon, and (3) the availability of groundwater resources. Spatial patterns in the position and type of Colorado River...Crow, Ryan S.; Block, Debra L.; Felger, Tracey J.; House, P. Kyle; Pearthree, Philip A.; Gootee, Brian F.; Youberg, Ann M.; Howard, Keith A.; Beard, L. Sue
Ore-forming adakitic porphyry produced by fractional crystallization of oxidized basaltic magmas in a subcrustal chamber (Jiamate, East Junggar, NW China)
Adakitic intrusions are supposed to have a close genetic and spatial relationship to porphyry Cu deposits. However, the genesis of adakitic intrusions is still under dispute. Here, we describe newly discovered intrusive complex rocks, which are composed of ore-bearing, layered magnetite-bearing gabbroic and adakitic rocks in Jiamate, East Junggar...Hong, Tao; Xu, Xing-Wang; Gao, Jun; Peters, Stephen; Zhang, Di; Jielili, Reyaniguli; Xiang, Peng; Li, Hao; Wu, Chu; You, Jun; Liu, Jie; Ke, Qiang
Networking our science to characterize the state, vulnerabilities, and management opportunities of soil organic matter
Soil organic matter (SOM) supports the Earth's ability to sustain terrestrial ecosystems, provide food and fiber, and retains the largest pool of actively cycling carbon. Over 75% of the soil organic carbon (SOC) in the top meter of soil is directly affected by human land use. Large land areas have lost SOC as a result of land use practices, yet...Harden, Jennifer W.; Hugelius, Gustaf; Ahlström, Anders; Blankinship, Joseph C.; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Lawrence, Corey; Loisel, Julie; Malhotra, Avni; Jackson, Robert B.; Ogle, Stephen M.; Phillips, Claire; Ryals, Rebecca; Todd-Brown, Katherine; Vargas, Rodrigo; Vergara, Sintana E.; Cotrufo, M. Francesca; Keiluweit, Marco; Heckman, Katherine; Crow, Susan E.; Silver, Whendee L.; DeLonge, Marcia; Nave, Lucas E.
Early Cretaceous metamorphic age of the South Fork Mountain Schist in the northern Coast Ranges of California
No abstract available.Lanphere, Marvin A.; Blake, M. Clark; Irwin, W.P.
Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, Northwest Washington state, USA
Landslide volumes span many orders of magnitude, but large-volume slides tend to travel farther and consequently can pose a greater hazard. In northwest Washington State, USA, a landscape abounding with landslides big and small, the recent occurrence of the large-volume and tragically deadly State Route 530 (Oso) landslide is a stark reminder of...Perkins, Jonathan; Reid, Mark E.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
Analysis of the age and paleomagnetic orientation of the Broadwell Mesa Basalt, Bristol Mountains, CA
To add to the regional paleomagnetic data documenting block rotation in eastern California, we determined the age and paleomagnetic rotation of the Broadwell Mesa basalt, a basalt in the Bristol Mountains, CA as part of an effort to constrain the timing and rotation of blocks adjacent to the fault. The east-striking sinistral Broadwell Mesa fault...Phelps, Geoffrey; Hillhouse, John; Fleck, Robert J.; Miller, David; Buesch, David C.; Cyr, Andrew J.; Schmidt, Kevin M.
An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future
Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.
In a finding authors are coining an "unintentional rewilding," scientists identified a cave dung deposit as belonging to bighorn sheep that became extinct on a desert island sometime between the 6th and the 20th century.