Ecosystems

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February 22, 2021

USGS 21st Century Science - WILDLAND FIRE (portrait)

$71-$246 BILLION
Net annual economic impact of wildland fire across the U.S.1

650 MILLION
Acres of public lands that are managed for wildland fire.2

16.1 FATALITIES
Average annual fatalities from wildland fire.3

64,000 WILDFIRES

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central eastern U.S. states with boundary outline
February 19, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Watershed boundary, USA

The Chesapeake Bay watershed, or draingage basin, encompasses six states - New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. A drainage basin is a giant system of creeks, streams, and rivers that all flow into a common outlet, which in this case is the Chesapeake Bay.

A coloring page showing two scientists with labels identifying parts of their field outfit.
February 11, 2021

Ichthyologist Coloring Page - Tools of the Trade

This illustration is for an Ichthyologist coloring page. This coloring page can easily be added to lesson plans for students in science classes. 

On this coloring page, title "Tools of the Trade", it shows two scientists (one male, one female) wading in shin-high water. The male scientist is holding a net and the female scientist

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Attribution: Ecosystems
February 5, 2021

I Am A(n)...Ichthyologist

Welcome to the "The I Am A..." series. This is the fifth video in a series of USGS whiteboard animations that highlight USGS careers. The concept is to show "what society (or my mom) thinks I do" compared with "what I really do." One image captures a more whimsical representation of a "scientist" and the second demonstrates a more accurate representation of what we really

Attribution: Ecosystems
January 29, 2021

USGS Pacific Seabird Research

Alaska's coastal and offshore waters provide foraging habitat for an estimated 100 million birds comprising more than 90 different species. Researchers at the USGS Alaska Science Center work in collaboration with many partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities and rehabilitation centers to investigate seabirds. USGS ecosystems research is focused on

map of North America with different colored area
January 6, 2021

red-tailed hawk population heat map

Figure 4 from Katzner, et. al., 2020

Sperm Whale just below the surface of the ocean, viewed from above
December 31, 2020

Zoomed image of a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus)

Zoomed image of a Sperm Whale (Physeter macrocephalus) below the surface, with contrast increased for clarity.

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions
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Seven white birds viewed from above, at some distance, over a dark ocean
December 31, 2020

Small terns in flight

Zoomed image of small terns in flight.

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions. 

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Aerial view of five gulls, with grey backs and wings and white heads and tails, flying over the ocean
December 31, 2020

Group of adult and immature Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis)

Zoomed image of a group of adult and immature Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis).

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions. 

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Humpback whale viewed from above, just breaking the surface, with seabirds in flight nearby
December 31, 2020

Humpback Whale and shearwaters feeding in southern California

Zoomed image of a Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) and a group of shearwaters feeding in southern California.

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions. 

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Long, skinny Cuvier's Beaked Whale swimming just below the ocean surface, viewed from above
December 31, 2020

Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris)

Zoomed image of a Cuvier’s Beaked Whale (Ziphius cavirostris) below the surface.

The Seabird Studies Team at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center is conducting aerial photographic surveys of the ocean off central and southern California to create comprehensive maps of seabird and marine mammal distributions. 

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December 31, 2020

USGS End of Year Accomplishments 2020

A 2020 year in review of the many accomplishments of the US Geological Survey. A year that began with seismic activity in Southwest Puerto Rico, to the first-ever public testing of USGS ShakeAlerts, USGS scientists and technicians helped to track storm data during the 2020 Atlantic Hurricane season. Mapping in high resolution the Nation's rivers and streams, to precise