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.

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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.

Upcoming Webinars

Where's our Science?


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

Browse by Location


Date published: September 28, 2020

USGS Science at The Wildlife Society 2020 Conference

Check out presentations by USGS scientists and collaborators and come talk with scientists at discussion boards and live video chats! 

Conference website: https://...

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: September 28, 2020

Friday's Findings - October 2 2020

Hawaii Avian Genomics: Searching the Genomic ‘Haystack’ for Genes Associated with Disease Immunity

Date: October 2, 2020 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speakers: Eben Paxton, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center


Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: September 18, 2020

Use of Robotic DNA Samplers That Can Rapidly Detect Invasive Aquatic Species

USGS researchers and their collaborators demonstrated the efficacy of using robotic environmental DNA samplers for bio surveillance in freshwater systems, showing that samples collected, processed, and preserved by robotic sampler detect organism DNA in the environment at rates comparable to those collected traditionally by human technicians.


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Year Published: 2020

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni nelsoni)

The key to Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni nelsoni) management is providing dense grasses or emergent vegetation near damp areas or freshwater wetlands. Nelson’s Sparrows have been reported to use habitats with 20–122 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 41 cm visual obstruction reading, 40–58 percent grass cover, 24 percent forb cover...

Shaffer, Jill A.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Rabie, Paul A.; Euliss, Betty R.
Shaffer, J.A., Igl, L.D., Johnson, D.H., Sondreal, M.L., Goldade, C.M., Rabie, P.A., and Euliss, B.R., 2020, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—Nelson’s Sparrow (Ammospiza nelsoni nelsoni), chap. KK of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 10 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1842KK.

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Year Published: 2020

USGS enterprise tools for efficient and effective management of science data

The Science Data Management Branch (SDM) of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) provides data management expertise and leadership and develops guidance and tools to support the USGS in providing the nation with reliable scientific information on the basis of which to describe the Earth. The SDM suite of tools supports the USGS Data Management...

Hutchison, Vivian B.; Liford, Amanda; McClees-Funinan, Ricardo; Zolly, Lisa; Ignizio, Drew; Langseth, Madison; Serna, Brandon; Sellers, Elizabeth; Hsu, Leslie; Norkin, Tamar; McNiff, Marcia; Donovan, Grace
Hutchison, V.B., Liford, A.N., McClees-Funinan, Ricardo, Zolly, Lisa, Ignizio, D.A., Langseth, M.L., Serna, B.S., Sellers, E.A., Hsu, Leslie, Norkin, Tamar, McNiff, Marcia, Donovan, G.C., 2020, USGS enterprise tools for efficient and effective management of science data: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3041, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203041.

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Year Published: 2020

The pathogenesis of a North American H5N2 clade group A highly pathogenic avian influenza virus in surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata)

BackgroundAquatic waterfowl, particularly those in the order Anseriformes and Charadriiformes, are the ecological reservoir of avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Dabbling ducks play a recognized role in the maintenance and transmission of AIVs. Furthermore, the pathogenesis of highly pathogenic AIV (HPAIV) in dabbling ducks is well...

Luczo, Jasmine M.; Prosser, Diann; Pantin-Jackwood, Mary J.; Berlin, Alicia; Spackman, Erica