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The Ecosystems Mission Area is considered the biological research arm of the U.S. Department of Interior and provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of biological resources. Below you will find our Programs and science topics.


Biological Threats and Invasive Species Research Program

The Biological Threats Research Program delivers science to protect public safety, property, and ecosystems from invasive plants and animals and infectious fish and wildlife diseases that pose significant ecologic and economic threats to the resources of the United States.


Climate Adaptation Science Centers

From the expansion of invasive species to wildfire, from drought to sea-level rise, changes in climate have created new and evolving challenges for our nation’s resource managers and communities. Our science helps managers of fish, wildlife, and ecosystems understand these impacts and strategically adapt to changing conditions. 


Climate Research and Development Program

The Climate Research and Development (Climate R&D) Program strives to advance the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological components of the Earth system, the causes and consequences of climate and land-use change, and the vulnerability and resilience of the Earth system to such changes.


Cooperative Research Units

Established in 1935, our mission is our hallmark: meet the actionable science needs of our cooperators, provide technical assistance, and develop the future workforce through graduate education/mentoring. The Coop Units are located on 40 universities in 38 states. They are called Coop Units because each cooperator plays a role in the staffing, funding and directing the units. 


Environmental Health Program

The Environmental Health Program (Toxic Substances Hydrology and Contaminant Biology) supports integrated natural science expertise and capabilities across the USGS related to environmental contaminants and pathogens.   This science informs stakeholder decisions to manage fish and wildlife health and provides environmental exposure information to partners in public health.


Land Management Research Program

The Land Management Research Program conducts research to improve the effectiveness of land management and inform restoration of priority ecosystems on millions of acres including public lands such as National Parks, refuges, and other critical landscapes that support the biodiversity of fish, wildlife, and plant species, as well as thriving economies.


Species Management Research Program

The Species Management Research Program provides science that is used by managers, policymakers, and others for decisions that protect, conserve, and enhance healthy fish and wildlife populations across the United States and beyond.