Mission Areas

Ecosystems

The Ecosystems Mission Area priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. 

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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.

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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?

Where

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

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News

Date published: May 26, 2020

Secret, Pristine Grassland Provide Scientists Precious Insight Into How Undisturbed Ecosystems Function

Southwest Biological Science Center and National Park Service personnel were featured in a KSL TV story about a hidden, pristine grassland in Canyonlands National Park that is used for scientific study.

Date published: May 22, 2020

USGS Brown Treesnake Research Continues at Guam National Wildlife Refuge

On May 14, Director Reilly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The MOA provides for continuity of operations for the USFWS and the USGS with construction of new office and lab facilities on the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with DOD’s construction of a Marine Corps firing range.

Date published: May 20, 2020

RESEARCH BRIEF: Cost- benefit analysis of vegetation removal + seeding

Weighing costs relative to outcomes: woody and invasive plant removal followed by seeding in shrublands and woodlands.

New study by RAMPS researchers examines how the costs of vegetation treatments related to outcomes. 

Publications

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Year Published: 2020

Using remotely sensed data to map Joshua Tree distributions at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, 2018

Species distribution models (SDMs) that are derived through inference have been used to provide important insights toward species distributions. Their inferences can be robust in relation to known presences, but SDMs have error rates that cannot be quantified with certainty. For large plant species with unique signatures and in sparsely vegetated...

Esque, Todd C.; Baird, Patrick E.; Chen, Felicia C.; Housman, David C.; Holton, Tom J.
Esque, T.C., Baird, P.E., Chen, F.C., Housman, D., and Holton, J.T., 2020, Using remotely sensed data to map Joshua Tree distributions at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5053, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205053.

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Year Published: 2020

Understanding mountain lakes in a changing world: Introduction to the special issue

No abstract available.

Baron, Jill; Chandra, Sudeep; James J. Elser

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Year Published: 2020

Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Program: Mapping habitats in beach, dune, and intertidal environments along the Louisiana Gulf of Mexico shoreline, 2008 and 2015–16

Barrier islands, headlands, and coastal shorelines provide numerous valuable ecosystem goods and services, including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, and areas for recreation and tourism. These coastal features are dynamic...

Enwright, Nicholas M.; SooHoo, William M.; Dugas, Jason L.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Laurenzano, Claudia; Lee, Darin M.; Mouton, Kelly; Stelly, Spencer J.
Enwright, N.M., SooHoo, W.M., Dugas, J.L., Conzelmann, C.P., Laurenzano, C., Lee, D.M., Mouton, K., and Stelly, S.J., 2020, Louisiana Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Program—Mapping habitats in beach, dune, and intertidal environments along the Louisiana Gulf of Mexico shoreline, 2008 and 2015–16: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1030, 57 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201030.