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Publications

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Plants as vectors for environmental prion transmission

Prions cause fatal neurodegenerative diseases and exhibit remarkable durability, which engenders a wide array of potential exposure scenarios. In chronic wasting disease of deer, elk, moose, and reindeer and in scrapie of sheep and goats, prions are transmitted via environmental routes and the ability of plants to accumulate and subsequently transmit prions has been hypothesized, but not previousl
Authors
Christina M. Carlson, Samuel Thomas, Matthew W. Keating, Nicole M. Gibbs, Haeyoon Chang, Jamie K. Wiepz, Annabel G. Austin, Jay R. Schneider, Christopher J. Johnson, Joel A. Pedersen

Increased attack rates and decreased incubation periods in raccoons with chronic wasting disease passaged through meadow voles

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a naturally-occurring neurodegenerative disease of cervids. Raccoons (Procyon lotor) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) have previously been shown to be susceptible to the CWD agent. To investigate the potential for transmission of the agent of CWD from white-tailed deer to voles and subsequently to raccoons, we intracranially inoculated raccoons with brain
Authors
S. Jo Moore, Christina M. Carlson, Jay R. Schneider, Christopher J. Johnson, Justin J. Greenlee

Student and recent graduate opportunities

As an unbiased, multidisciplinary science organization, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is dedicated to the timely, relevant, and impartial study of the health of our ecosystems and environment, our natural resources, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the natural hazards that affect our lives. Opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as recent graduates, to pa
Authors
Laura K. Corey

Final report on the assessment of the U.S. Geological Survey’s bureauwide Research Grade Evaluation (RGE) process

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) formed the internal Research Grade Evaluation (RGE) Review Team in May 2017. The Team undertook a 2-year comprehensive review of RGE practices and policies at the USGS that included (1) the first-ever quantitative assessment of the USGS workforce evaluated under the RGE process, (2) a benchmarking meet­ing in March 2018 of the USGS and 11 other Federal science age
Authors

The 150th anniversary of the 1869 Powell expedition—USGS participation in the Sesquicentennial Colorado River Exploring Expedition and reflections from the ~1,000-mile journey down the Green and Colorado Rivers

In 1869, John Wesley Powell completed the first well-recorded scientific river journey to explore an extensive region of the Colorado River Basin. Powell later helped to establish the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and served as its second director (1881–94), cementing his position in the folklore of the Survey. In 2019, the USGS marked the 150th anniversary of Powell’s first expedition with a broa
Authors
Annie Scott, Eleanour Snow

Purpose and benefits of U.S. Geological Survey Trusted Digital Repositories

Federal mandates and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, also known as the Bureau) Fundamental Science Practices (FSP) policies require that publicly funded scientific data, publications, and derivative works be openly accessible to researchers and the public. Open access helps to leverage the public investment by making the acquired data and published information products—collectively referred to as “d
Authors
Natalie Latysh, Keith G. Kirk, John Faundeen

Chronic wasting disease—Research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners

IntroductionChronic wasting disease (CWD) is the only transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, a class of invariably fatal neurodegenerative mammalian diseases associated with a misfolded cellular prion protein found in wild free-ranging animals. Because it has a long incubation period, affected animals in Cervidae (the deer family; referred to as “cervids”) may not show signs of disease for sever
Authors
M. Camille Hopkins, Christina M. Carlson, Paul C. Cross, Christopher J. Johnson, Bryan J. Richards, Robin E. Russell, Michael D. Samuel, Glen A. Sargeant, Daniel P. Walsh, W. David Walter

Pleistocene and Holocene landscape development of the South Platte River Corridor, Northeastern Colorado

This report provides a synthesis of geologic mapping and geochronologic research along the South Platte River between the town of Masters and the city of Fort Morgan, northeastern Colorado. This work was undertaken to better understand landscape development along this part of the river corridor. The focus is on times of rapid change within the fluvial system that had a marked effect on the landsca
Authors
Margaret E. Berry, Janet L. Slate, Emily M. Taylor

Remote sensing of tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) impacts along 412 km of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA

Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) is an invasive plant species that is rapidly expanding along arid and semi-arid rivers in the western United States. A biocontrol agent, tamarisk beetle (Diorhabda carinulata), was released in 2001 in California, Colorado, Utah, and Texas. In 2009, the tamarisk beetle was found further south than anticipated in the Colorado River ecosystem within the Grand Canyon National P
Authors
Ashton Bedford, Temuulen T. Sankey, Joel B. Sankey, Laura E. Durning, Barbara Ralston

Coastal effects

The Coasts chapter of the Third National Climate Assessment, published in 2014, focused on coastal lifelines at risk, economic disruption, uneven social vulnerability, and vulnerable ecosystems. This Coastal Effects chapter of the Fourth National Climate Assessment updates those themes, with a focus on integrating the socioeconomic and environmental impacts and consequences of a changing climate.
Authors
Elizabeth Fleming, Jeffrey Payne, William V. Sweet, Michael Craghan, John W. Haines, Juliette Finzi Hart, Heidi Stiller, Ariana Sutton-Grier

Alaska

Alaska is the largest state in the Nation, almost one-fifth the size of the combined lower 48 United States, and is rich in natural capital resources. Alaska is often identified as being on the front lines of climate change since it is warming faster than any other state and faces a myriad of issues associated with a changing climate. The cost of infrastructure damage from a warming climate is pro
Authors
Carl Markon, Stephen Gray, Matthew Berman, Laura Eerkes-Medrano, Thomas Hennessy, Henry P. Huntington, Jeremy S. Littell, Molly McCammon, Richard Thoman, Sarah Trainor

Hawai‘i and U.S.-Affiliated Pacific Islands

The U.S. Pacific Islands are culturally and environmentally diverse, treasured by the 1.9 million people who call them home. Pacific islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts due to their exposure and isolation, small size, low elevation (in the case of atolls), and concentration of infrastructure and economy along the coasts.A prevalent cause of year-to-year changes in climate
Authors
Victoria Keener, David Helweg, Susan Asam, Seema Balwani, Maxine Burkett, Charles Fletcher, Thomas Giambelluca, Zena Grecni, Malia Nobrega-Olivera, Jeffrey Polovina, Gordon Tribble