Environmental Health

Filter Total Items: 41
Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Ecologically-Driven Exposure Pathways Science Team

Contaminant and pathogen exposure alone will not necessarily result in adverse health outcomes in animals or humans. There are numerous ecological and physiological pathways and processes that can alter the toxicity of environmental contaminants. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Scientists in the Ecological Pathways Team of the USGS Environmental Health Mission Area work to identify the...

Date published: July 6, 2018
Status: Active

Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory

Chemists and hydrologists at the Organic Chemistry Research Laboratory (OCRL) develop targeted analytical methods for the quantitation of chemicals that can impact the health of organisms and humans. 

Date published: June 6, 2018
Status: Active

Scientists Identify Processes that Affect Fish Mercury Concentrations in Estuarine Wetlands

In a study designed to help resource managers when considering mercury exposure risk, scientists determined that sulfur cycling—a process closely related to mercury methylation rates—and ecological conditions that influence exposure are important factors affecting fish mercury concentrations in estuarine wetlands.

Date published: April 18, 2018
Status: Active

Energy Science Team

The United States is one of the largest users of energy, consuming annually about one-quarter of the energy resources produced in the world. The energy industry and government regulators work to provide energy resources to the public safely and effectively. Management of energy byproducts such as waste materials (including both solid and liquid wastes) from oil and gas development are a...

Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active

Chronic Wasting Disease

Over the past 20 years, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Wyoming has been spreading slowly outward from the southeastern corner of the state toward the Greater Yellowstone Area and Wyoming's elk feed grounds, where more than 24,000 elk are supplementally fed each winter.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Angela Brennan & Matt Kauffman
Date published: November 16, 2017
Status: Active


Brucellosis is a nationally and internationally regulated disease of livestock with significant consequences for animal health, public health, and international trade.

Contacts: Paul Cross, Emily Almberg, Kelly Proffitt, Brandon Scurlock, & Eric Maichak, Jared Rogerson & Hank Edwards, Mark Drew & Paul Atwood , Eric Cole, Angela Brennan
Date published: March 21, 2017
Status: Active

Genomic and Behavioral Effects of the Neonicotinoid Imidacloprid in Birds Exposed Through Pesticide-Coated Seeds

The Challenge: Neonicotinoid pesticides act as agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and are designed to be lethal to insects while theoretically posing little to no threat to vertebrates. The perceived safety of neonicotinoids has led to a sharp increase in their use in the United States and globally, since they were first introduced in 1994. The use of the neonicotinoid...

Date published: March 17, 2017
Status: Active

Assessing Toxicogenomics Effects of a Synthetic Androgen on Japanese Quail and the Development of an Avian Vitellogenesis Model

The Challenge: Endocrine active chemicals (EAC) are known to interfere with hormonally regulated physiological processes, thereby affecting signaling in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-liver (HPGL) axis and commonly resulting in reproductive dysfunction. Computational models that relate hormonal and genomic biomarkers within the HPGL axis to the reproductive cycle and ecologically relevant...

Date published: March 16, 2017
Status: Active

The Role of Japanese Quail in Ecotoxicology

The Challenge: Wild birds are exposed throughout their lives to natural and synthetic chemicals that are present in the environment, many of which interfere with the animal’s physiological and developmental systems. Relative concentrations, routes, frequency, and the environment in which chemical exposure occurs will determine to a large extent the bird’s response. Well-designed avian field...

Date published: March 15, 2017
Status: Active

Identifying the Genetic Basis of Avian Susceptibility to Mercury

The Challenge: Mercury is a highly toxic element found throughout our environment. Although it occurs naturally in some environments, human industrial pollution has greatly increased the amount of mercury and the range of environments in which mercury is found. Recent studies have confirmed clear differences in the sensitivity of various bird species to methylmercury. Because the causes of...

Date published: March 14, 2017
Status: Active

Effects of Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) on developing birds

The Challenge: Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) are complex technical mixtures of polychlorinated n-alkanes used in lubricants and coolants in metalworking, as flame retardants, and in paints, adhesives, sealants, textiles and polymeric materials, plastics and rubber. SCCPs are of concern because they are globally transported, bioaccumulate in wildlife and humans, and are...

Date published: March 13, 2017
Status: Active

Assessing Adverse Outcomes Associated with Exposure of Birds to Flame Retardants

The Challenge: The use of flame retardants (FRs) as additives in a variety of consumer use products, including plastics, textiles, and electronics, is projected to continue and increase for the foreseeable future. Because of unanticipated environmental problems, some FRs have either been banned, restricted, or are being phased-out and replaced by other new and presumably safer FRs. Regrettably...