Mission Areas


The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

Collaborative Conservation

Collaborative Conservation

What do gray wolves, manatees and bears have in common? They are just a few of the species that are part of important USGS research that informs U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decisions for endangered and threatened species.

Find out more

Outstanding in the Field

Outstanding in the Field

An Ecosystems Mission Area original podcast series that tells stories about our science, our adventures, and our efforts to better understand fish and wildlife and the ecosystems that support them.  

Ep 5 - GC Fish

Where's our Science?


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

Browse by Location


Date published: December 2, 2019

Yellowstone's migrating bison manipulate springtime green-up

On a typical June day in Yellowstone National Park, it’s not unusual to see hundreds of bison grazing in the Lamar Valley. The herds appear to aimlessly move back and forth through meadows threaded by a winding river, just passive figures in an idyllic scene. But as it turns out, that’s far from the full picture.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 30, 2019


Keep up to speed with the latest USGS deep-sea research cruise with this seafloor syntax.

Date published: October 28, 2019

People of the Sage

Meet one of the People of the Sage, Dr. Anna Chalfoun, Assistant USGS Cooperative Research Unit Leader and Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming. Don’t let the titles intimidate you, Anna Chalfoun loves all types of hockey, loves horses—all animals really! Even snakes.


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Year Published: 2019

Antibiotic resistant bacteria in wildlife: Perspectives on trends, acquisitions and dissemination, data gaps, and future directions

The proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment has potential negative economic and health consequences. Thus, previous investigations have targeted wild animals to understand the occurrence of antibiotic resistance in diverse environmental sources. In this critical review and synthesis, we summarize important concepts...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Ahlstrom, Christina

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Year Published: 2019

The future of barriers and trapping methods in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control program in the Laurentian Great Lakes

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission (GLFC) was created in 1955 to develop a program of eradication or management of sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes for the protection of the Great Lakes fishery. Beginning in the 1980s the GLFC shifted to an integrated pest management (IPM) model seeking to deploy control measures which target multiple...

Miehls, Scott M.; Paul Sullivan; Michael Twohey; Jessica Barber; Rodney McDonald

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Year Published: 2019

Synergistic interaction of climate and land-use drivers alter the function of North American, Prairie-pothole Wetlands

Prairie-pothole wetlands provide the critical habitat necessary for supporting North American migratory waterfowl populations. However, climate and land-use change threaten the sustainability of these wetland ecosystems. Very few experiments and analyses have been designed to investigate the relative impacts of climate and land-use change drivers...

McKenna, Owen P.; Kucia, Samuel Richard; Mushet, David M.; Anteau, Michael J.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.