Ecosystems

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April 22, 2021

Image of the Week — Stream Restoration in Iowa

A small watershed restoration project proves that land farmed for half a century can be returned to a previous state. In 2002, Mike Osterholm bought 98 acres in northeastern Iowa, most of it annually tilled cropland. The land included the confluence of Duck Creek and Waterloo Creek. He observed soggy patches of ground during wet periods and marked the locations with flags

A man monitors plants alongside a transect or measuring tape placed on the ground.
April 21, 2021

Pre-construction monitoring of vegetation for the Gemini Solar Array

The United States is developing renewable energy resources, especially solar, at a rapid rate. Although renewable energy development is widely perceived by the public as “green technology,” construction, operation, maintenance, and eventual decommissioning of facilities all have known and potential negative impacts to natural resources, including plant communities and

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April 15, 2021

I Am A...Wetland Ecologist

Welcome to the "The I Am A..." series. This is the seventh 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

Attribution: Ecosystems
Scientist installing a swallow nesting box near a pond
April 12, 2021

Scientist installing a nest box near Ashumet Pond, Cape Cod, Mass.

Scientist istalling a swallow nest box near Ashumet Pond, Cape Cod Massachusetts as part of a study on the fate and effects of PFAS chemicals. 

Outstanding in the Field - Episode 7 artwork
April 7, 2021

Outstanding in the Field Episode 7 - Science in the Swamp

In this episode of Outstanding in the Field, we take you to the swamps and coastal wetlands of Louisiana, the land of bayous and beignets and a state with one of the most dynamic coastlines in the United States. The wetlands that make up the Louisiana coast are vast and help protect important cultural and natural resources. Here we learn about how USGS plays a key role in

April 5, 2021

USGS Ecosystem Research

The U.S. Geological Survey is the science research agency for the U.S. Department of the Interior. We conduct research on the natural hazards that threaten lives and livelihoods around the country. We also monitor the water, energy, minerals and other natural resources we rely on; the health of our ecosystems and environment; and the impacts of climate and land-use change

Attribution: Ecosystems
Malacologist coloring page
April 1, 2021

I Am A...Malacologist Coloring Page

Welcome to the "The I Am A..." series. This is the sixth 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

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Blackfoot & Jackson Glaciers in 1914 and 2009
March 22, 2021

Blackfoot & Jackson Glaciers in 1914 and 2009

Blackfoot & Jackson Glaciers:  8/1/1914 EC Stebinger, USGS Photographic Library – 9/3/2009 L McKeon, USGS

Since the historic photo was taken, Blackfoot Glacier has retreated and fragmented into two separate glaciers, Blackfoot (foreground) and Jackson (distant) Glaciers. 

View the full collection at

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Repeat photo of Grinnell Glacier
March 22, 2021

Repeat photo of Grinnell Glacier (1910, 2007)

Boulder Glacier in 1910 (Elrod photo, GNP Archives) and in 2007 (Fagre/Pederson photo, USGS).  Matching the intersection of the peaks in the background helps the repeat photographer locate the photo point.  USGS Public domain

 

Kintla Glacier in 1901 and 2019
March 19, 2021

Kintla Glacier in 1901 and 2019

Grinnell, Gem & Salamander Glaciers: 8/9/1910 M Elrod, U of M Library – 9/27/2016 L McKeon, USGS 

View the full collection at USGS Photographic Library 

Map of U.S. mainland showing temperate, transitional and tropical temperature patterns
March 16, 2021

U.S. regions in the tropical-to-temperate transition

A map showing North America's tropical-to-temperate transition zone. Red, orange, and yellow depict the more tropical zones, and blues depict the more temperate zones, based on to the coldest recorded temperature for each area between 1980 and 2009. Photos show some cold-sensitive plants and animals with northern range limits governed by winter cold temperature extremes.

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A school of snook, large subtropical game fish, in a Florida spring
March 15, 2021

Subtropical snook gather at a warm Florida springhead in winter

 Winter temperature extremes control the distributions of subtropical fishes. Common snook (Centropomus undecimalis), aggregate at a spring in northern Florida during winter. Snook are warm saltwater game fish, common in Florida, that have been moving further northward as extreme cold spells become less frequent and less intense.