Mission Areas


The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of biological resources in wild and urban spaces, and places in between. Ecosystems scientists examine consequences of climate and environmental change; effects of management actions on communities, lands, and species; and risks and solutions to harmful invasive species, wildlife diseases, and contaminants in the environment.

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Newsletter - EcoNews

Newsletter - EcoNews

This quarterly newsletter highlights ecosystems science and activities coming out of our Science Centers and Cooperative Research Units across the Nation. 

EcoNews Issues

Webinar - Friday's Findings

Webinar - Friday

A public webinar series meant to offer our audience an opportunity to discover the Ecosystems science capacity within the USGS.

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Where's our Science?


Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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Date published: July 28, 2021

Fort Collins Science Center Ecologists Share Expertise on Invasive Species

Research Ecologists Amy Yackel Adams and Andrea Currylow present “Invasive Reptiles: Lizards, Treesnakes, and Burmese Pythons, Oh My!” lecture

Date published: July 28, 2021

Research Spotlight: Ignitions and Wind Speed are Strongest Drivers of Area Burned in Santa Ana Wind Fires

New research from USGS scientists and collaborators has found that the number of wildfire ignitions and wind speeds outweigh temperature and precipitation in determining the area burned in Southern California’s Santa Ana wind-driven fires.

Date published: July 26, 2021

Friday's Findings - August 6 2021

Structured decision making and adaptive management with the Central Valley Project Improvement Act fisheries program…progress? 

Date: August 6, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: James Peterson, Unit Leader, USGS Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit 


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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2018 annual report

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) was established in 2007 as a collaborative interagency partnership to develop and implement science-based conservation actions. During the past 11 years, partners from U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), State and Federal land management agencies, universities, and the public have collaborated to...

Anderson, Patrick J.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Alexander, Jason S.; Assal, Timothy J.; Aulenbach, Steven; Bowen, Zachary H.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Copeland, Holly; Edmunds, David R.; Germaine, Steve; Graves, Tabitha; Heinrichs, Julie A.; Homer, Collin G.; Huber, Christopher; Johnston, Aaron; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Manier, Daniel J.; McShane, Ryan R.; Eddy-Miller, Cheryl A.; Miller, Kirk A.; Monroe, Adrian P.; O'Donnell, Michael S.; Ortega, Anna; Walters, Annika W.; Wieferich, Daniel J.; Wyckoff, Teal B.; Zeigenfuss, Linda
Anderson, P.J., Aldridge, C.L., Alexander, J.S., Assal, T.J., Aulenbach, S., Bowen, Z.H., Chalfoun, A.D., Chong, G.W., Copeland, H., Edmunds, D.R., Germaine, S., Graves, T., Heinrichs, J.A., Homer, C.G., Huber, C.C., Johnston, A., Kauffman, M.J., Manier, D.J., McShan, R.R., Eddy-Miller, C.A., Miller, K.A., Monroe, A.P., O’Donnell, M.S., Ortega, A., Walters, A.W., Wieferich, D., Wyckoff, T.B., and Zeigenfuss, L., 2020, U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2018 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1067, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211067.

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Year Published: 2021

Evaluation of factors affecting migration success of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in the Yakima River, Washington, 2020

A study was conducted during June–October 2020 to evaluate factors affecting the migration success of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in the Yakima River, Washington. A total of 144 adult sockeye salmon were tagged and released during the study. Most fish (112 fish) were collected, tagged with passive integrated transponder (PIT), and...

Kock, Tobias J.; Hansen, Amy C.; Evans, Scott D.; Visser, Richard; Saluskin, Brian; Matala, Andrew; Hoffarth, Paul
Kock, T.J., Hansen, A.C., Evans, S.D., Visser, R., Saluskin, B., Matala, A., and Hoffarth, P., 2021, Evaluation of factors affecting migration success of adult sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) in the Yakima River, Washington, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1075, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211075.

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Year Published: 2021

Ignitions explain more than climate or weather in driving Santa Ana Wind fires

Autumn and winter Santa Ana wind (SAW)–driven wildfires play a substantial role in area burned and societal losses in southern California. Temperature during the event and antecedent precipitation in the week or month prior play a minor role in determining area burned. Burning is dependent on wind intensity and number of human-ignited fires. Over...

Keeley, Jon; Guzman-Morales, Janin; Gershunov, Alexander; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Cayan, Daniel; Pierce, David W; Flannigan, Michael; Brown, Tim J