Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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The Ecosystems Mission Area provides impartial science information and tools to the Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOI bureaus to manage species, lands and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; respond to and reduce threats to natural resources; and manage mineral and energy resources.

 

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Filter Total Items: 756
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

San Francisco Bay

USGS scientists have made great strides in refining and extending the capabilities of the Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem (CASCaDE II model systems); a collaboration among the USGS and several academic and international organizations. This paved the way for more reliable and objective evaluations of the ecosystem consequences of management actions and...

Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Chesapeake Bay

USGS research has a critical role in providing scientific information to improve the understanding and management of the Nation’s largest estuary: the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The 64,000-square-mile watershed supports over 3,600 species of fish, wildlife, and plants and provides spawning grounds for many ecologically and economically important species including striped bass and blue crabs....

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

River Environments

Protecting endangered species while managing economically important species is an ongoing natural
resource management challenge, especially in rivers. The USGS develops tools like biological/economic models to identify optimal strategies and economic and biological tradeoffs when adding nonnative species to rivers where endangered native species exist. This ongoing research will provide...

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Montane Environments

Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate change, and USGS is conducting montane research across the West to help resource managers plan now for the future. Coordination with scientists around the world has led to mountain research networks to expand our understanding of how these ecosystems respond to climate change.

Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

Mangrove Science Network

The Mangrove Science Network is a collaboration of USGS scientists focused on working with natural resource managers to develop and conduct research whose findings will support and evaluate decisions made in mangrove management and restoration.

USGS research on mangrove ecosystem biology includes mangrove regeneration, tree growth, sedimentation, and early seedling development. We are...

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Active

Forests

Forests are a key component of a healthy ecosystem. Management of these resources is vital to their protection as a recreational resource as well as an environmental resource.

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystem Ecology

Ecological research is largely concerned with the system levels beyond that of the organism. An ecological community is all the animal and plant populations occupying a given area. The community (biotic) and the nonliving environment function (abiotic) together as an ecological system or “ecosystem” which is governed by principles such as population dynamics, competition, and energy and...

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Active

Decision Analysis

USGS scientists work with decision makers and stakeholders to develop decision analytic frameworks to deliberately reduce the uncertainty that negatively affects the quality of decisions whether made once (i.e., Structured Decision Making) or repeatedly (i.e., Adaptive Management).

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Active

Forecasting

Informed forecasting of landscape structure, function, composition, and condition requires an understanding of the factors that control, constrain, and regulate ecosystem dynamics. USGS science is focused on understanding these driving factors using ecological research, long-term field studies and ecosystem modeling. Additionally, the USGS works with partners to provide alternative strategies...

Date published: June 25, 2018
Status: Active

System Understanding

The Environments Program responds to the needs and requirements of resource management bureaus within the Interior and other science and resource management organizations by designing, developing and conducting research required for the resource management and policy decisions made by a variety of stakeholders.

Date published: June 22, 2018
Status: Active

White-Nose Syndrome

Since the winter of 2006-07, millions of North American bats have died from white-nose syndrome (WNS). As of September 2015, bats with WNS were confirmed in 26 states and five Canadian provinces.

White-nose syndrome gets its name from the white fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which infects the skin on the muzzle, ears, and wings of hibernating bats and was ...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: June 22, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Malaria

Avian malaria is a mosquito-borne disease of birds caused by a protozoan parasite (Plasmodium relictum). P. relictum reproduces in avian red blood cells. If the parasite load is sufficiently high, the bird loses red blood cells (anemia). Because red blood cells are critical for moving oxygen about the body, loss of these cells can lead to progressive weakness and, eventually...

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Filter Total Items: 158
Date published: March 4, 2016

Web Soil Survey (WSS)

Provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: March 4, 2016

National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) — Wetlands Mapper

This tool produces and provides information on the characteristics, extent, and status of the Nation's wetlands and deepwater habitats and other wildlife habitats.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 6, 2015

Prevalence of West Nile virus in migratory birds during spring and fall migration, 2001-2003

To investigate the role of migratory birds in the dissemination of West Nile virus (WNV), we measured the prevalence of infectious WNV and specific WNV neutralizing antibodies in birds, principally Passeriformes, during spring and fall migrations in the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways from 2001-2003. Blood samples were obtained from 13,403 birds, representing 133 species. Specific WNV...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- tabular data

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- shapefile

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Boat ramp locations within the Columbia River Basin with associated recreational use, water quality measurements, and risk assessment data for zebra and quagga mussels- service definition file

Aquatic invasive species are often transported between water bodies on boats or boat trailers. Thus, contaminated boats and boat trailers are considered one of the primary vectors for introduction of invasive species into a new water body. This data set was compiled in response to a funding grant from the Bonneville Power Administration Technology Innovation group (Cooperative agreement #59650...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Temperature-dependent growth of Geomyces destructans, the fungus that causes bat white-nose syndrome

White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emergent disease estimated to have killed over five million North American bats. Caused by the psychrophilic fungus Geomyces destructans, WNS specifically affects bats during hibernation. We describe temperature-dependent growth performance and morphology for six independent isolates of G. destructans from North America and Europe. Thermal performance curves for...

Date published: January 1, 2015

Avian botulism type E in waterbirds of Lake Michigan, 2010-2013

During 2010 to 2013, waterbird mortality surveillance programs used a shared protocol for shoreline walking surveys performed June to November at three areas in northern Lake Michigan. In 2010 and 2012, 1244 total carcasses (0.8 dead bird/km walked) and 2399 total carcasses (1.2 dead birds/km walked), respectively, were detected. Fewer carcasses were detected in 2011 (353 total carcasses, 0.2...

Date published: December 17, 2013

American Fisheries Society List of Freshwater Gastropods (Snails) from Canada and the United States

At this website, one can view lists of native freshwater snails by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of snails by political boundaries. Lists can be downloaded for use in reports or analyses. Data file last updated 12/17/2013.

Date published: April 25, 2013

The 2008 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of imperiled freshwater and diadromous fishes of North America

At this website, one can view lists of imperiled fishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of imperiled fishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 4/25/2013.

Date published: March 17, 2011

The 2007 AFS Endangered Species Committee list of common and imperiled freshwater crayfishes of the United States and Canada

At this website, one can view lists of crayfishes by freshwater ecoregion, by state or province boundary, and plot distributions of crayfishes by ecoregions or political boundaries. Data file last updated 3/17/2011.

Date published: January 1, 2011

Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events

The National Wildlife Health Center, with help from partners and support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, organized “Lake Michigan Volunteer AMBLE – Avian Monitoring for Botulism Lakeshore Events” in 2011. The goal of AMBLE was to empower concerned citizens to monitor bird health and beach conditions along the Lake Michigan shoreline, thus increasing knowledge of avian botulism...

Filter Total Items: 30,899
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Year Published: 2019

Environmental DNA as a tool to help inform zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha, management in inland lakes

Zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) are an aquatic invasive species that plague much of North America and are difficult to impossible to eradicate once they become established. Therefore, prevention and monitoring are key elements in the control of these organisms. Traditional microscopy is commonly used in monitoring but requires the presence of...

Amberg, Jon J.; Merkes, Christopher M.; Stott, Wendylee; Rees, Christopher B.; Erickson, Richard A.

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Year Published: 2019

The effectiveness of non-native fish removal techniques in freshwater ecosystems: a systematic review

In aquatic systems, biological invasions can result in adverse ecological effects. Management techniques available for non-native fish removal programs (including eradication and population size control) vary widely, but include chemicals, harvest regimes, physical removal, or biological control. For management agencies, deciding on what non-...

Rytwinski, Trina; Taylor, Jessica J.; Donaldson, Lisa A.; Britton, J. Robert; Browne, David R.; Gresswell, Robert E.; Lintermans, Mark; Prior, Kent A.; Pellatt, Marlow G.; Vis, Chantal; Cooke, Steven J.

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Year Published: 2019

Pesticides and pollinators: A socioecological synthesis

The relationship between pesticides and pollinators, while attracting no shortage of attention from scientists, regulators, and the public, has proven resistant to scientific synthesis and fractious in matters of policy and public opinion. This is in part because the issue has been approached in a compartmentalized and intradisciplinary way,...

Sponsler, Douglas B.; Grozinger, Christina M.; Hitaj, Claudia; Rundlof, Maj; Botias, Cristina; Code, Aimee; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Melthapoulos, Andony P.; Smith, David J.; Suryanarayanan, Sainath; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Williams, Neal M.; Zhang, Minghua; Douglas, Margaret R.

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Year Published: 2019

Fish culling reduces tapeworm burden in Arctic charr by increasing parasite mortality rather than by reducing density‐dependent transmission

Two common Dibothriocephalus (formerly Diphyllobothrium) tapeworm species were significantly reduced by experimental culling of their fish host Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) in a subarctic lake.Between 1984 and 1991, funnel traps were used to cull ~35 metric tons of Arctic charr, reducing charr density by ~80%. As charr...

Henriksen, Eirik H.; Frainer, Andre; Knudsen, Rune; Kristoffersen, Roar; Kuris, Armand M.; Lafferty, Kevin D.; Amundsen, Per-Arne

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Year Published: 2019

Scale‐dependent effects of isolation on seasonal patch colonisation by two Neotropical freshwater fishes

The metapopulation paradigm has been central to improve the conservation and management of natural populations. However, despite the large number of studies on metapopulation dynamics, the overall support for the relationships on which the paradigm is based has not been strong. Here, we studied the occupancy dynamics of two Neotropical fishes (i.e...

Penha, Jerry; Hakamada, Karlo Y. P.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.

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Year Published: 2019

Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population biology at Big Sur and Monterey, California --Investigating the consequences of resource abundance and anthropogenic stressors for sea otter recovery

The range of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) spans most of the central California coast from Half Moon Bay to Gaviota. Some coastal areas within this range are heavily developed and highly impacted by humans, while other areas are wild and largely pristine. Determining the relative importance of food resource abundance,...

Tinker, M. Tim; Tomoleoni, Joseph A.; Weitzman, Benjamin P.; Staedler, Michelle; Jessup, Dave; Murray, Michael J.; Miller, Melissa; Burgess, Tristan; Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Thometz, Nicole; Tarjan, Lily; Golson, Emily; Batac, Francesca; Dodd, Erin; Berberich, Eva; Kunz, Jessica; Bentall, Gena; Fujii, Jessica; Nicholson, Teri; Newsome, Seth; Melli, Ann; LaRoche, Nicole; MacCormick, Holly; Johnson, Andy; Henkel, Laird; Kreuder-Johnson, Chris; Conrad, Pat
Tinker, M.T., Tomoleoni, J.A., Weitzman, B.P., Staedler, M., Jessup, D., Murray, M.J., Miller, M., Burgess, T., Bowen, L., Miles, A.K., Thometz, N., Tarjan, L., Golson, E., Batac, F., Dodd, E., Berberich, E., Kunz, J., Bentall, G., Fujii, J., Nicholson, T., Newsome, S., Melli, A., LaRoche, N., MacCormick, H., Johnson, A., Henkel, L., Kreuder-Johnson, C., and Conrad, P., 2019, Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population biology at Big Sur and Monterey, California --Investigating the consequences of resource abundance and anthropogenic stressors for sea otter recovery: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019 -1022, 225 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191022.

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Year Published: 2019

Stream metabolism increases with drainage area and peaks asynchronously across a stream network

Quantifying the spatial and temporal dynamics of stream metabolism across stream networks is key to understanding carbon cycling and stream food web ecology. To better understand intra-annual temporal patterns of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) and their variability across space, we continuously measured dissolved...

Mejia, Francine H.; Fremier, Alexander K.; Benjamin, Joseph R.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Grimm, Adrianne Z.; Watson, Grace A.; Newsom, Michael

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Year Published: 2019

Relative abundance and molecular evolution of Lake Sinai Virus (Sinaivirus) clades

Lake Sinai Viruses (Sinaivirus) are commonly detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) but no disease phenotypes or fitness consequences have yet been demonstrated. This viral group is genetically diverse, lacks obvious geographic structure, and multiple lineages can co-infect individual bees. While phylogenetic analyses have been performed, the...

Cornman, Robert S.

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Year Published: 2019

Social–ecological mismatches create conservation challenges in introduced species management

Introduced species can have important effects on the component species and processes of native ecosystems. However, effective introduced species management can be complicated by technical and social challenges. We identify “social–ecological mismatches” (that is, differences between the scales and functioning of interacting social and ecological...

Beever, Erik A.; Simberloff, Daniel; Crowley, Sarah L.; Al-Chokhachy, Robert; Jackson, Hazel A.; Petersen, Steven L.

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Year Published: 2019

State-space analysis of power to detect regional brook trout population trends over time

Threats to aquatic biodiversity are expressed at broad spatial scales, but identifying regional trends in abundance is challenging owing to variable sampling designs, and temporal and spatial variation in abundance. We compiled a regional dataset of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis counts across their southern range representing 326 sites from...

Pregler, Kasey C.; Hanks, R. Daniel; Childress, Evan S.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Hocking, Daniel J.; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Kanno, Yoichiro

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Year Published: 2019

Seasonal assembly of arthropod communities on milkweeds experiencing simulated herbivory

The seasonal assembly of arthropod communities is shaped by biotic and abiotic aspects of the habitat that limit the appearance or activity phenology of potential community members. In addition, previous interactions within the community, such as herbivore-induced plant defensive responses, aggregation, and predator avoidance likely affect the...

Pearse, Ian S.; McMunn, Marshall; Yang, Louie H.

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Year Published: 2019

Wind erosion and dust from US drylands: a review of causes, consequences, and solutions in a changing world

Erosion by wind is one of the principal processes associated with land degradation in drylands and is a significant concern to land managers and policymakers globally. In the drylands of North America, millions of tons of soil are lost to wind erosion annually. Of the 60 million ha in the United States identified as most vulnerable to wind erosion (...

Duniway, Michael C.; Pfennigwerth, Alix A.; Fick, Stephen E.; Nauman, Travis W.; Belnap, Jayne; Barger, Nichole N.

Filter Total Items: 740
American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western NA.
August 8, 2017

American pika in the Northern Cascades.

American pika in the Northern Cascades. American pikas occupy talus slopes in mountain ecosystems throughout western North America.

August 3, 2017

C1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: C1 West Transect; Depth: 9.3 Meters (30.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57361291; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:04, 0:38 seconds). Though seaweeds were absent in 2016

...
August 3, 2017

A2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A2 East Transect; Depth: 12.9 Meters (42.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.58766124; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Five species of seaweeds are present though not abundant. The two most

...
August 3, 2017

A2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A2 West Transect; Depth: 12.8 Meters (42.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: Kilometers 1.8 (1.1 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14130295, -123.5883331; Site Description: One of our deeper sites at over 40 feet. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with scattered boulders. Seven species of seaweeds are present though not

...
August 3, 2017

C1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: C1 East Transect; Depth: 8.5 Meters (28.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 0.7 Kilometers (0.4 Miles); Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.14525225,-123.57294101; Site Description: Substrate is entirely sand. Current was high and contained lots of drift seaweed and eelgrass (0:05 seconds). In 2016 all seaweeds were absent but this

...
August 2, 2017

H2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: H2 East Transect; Depth: 7.6 Meters (24.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53210661; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

...
August 2, 2017

H2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: H2 West Transect; Depth: 7.3 Meters (23.8 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.6 Kilometers (1.6 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15008216,-123.53277857; Site Description: This site is medium to shallow depth. Substrate is mainly gravel with some sand, cobble and an occasional boulder and has not changed since dam

...
August 2, 2017

A1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A1 East Transect; Depth: 7.7 Meters (25.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.8 Kilometers (1.1 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.5855312; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud. Previous small boulders appear to still be buried. The sand on

...
August 2, 2017

A1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: A1 West Transect; Depth: 8.7 Meters (28.7 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.9 Kilometers (1.2 Miles) West; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13870775, -123.586203; Site Description: Transect is in eastern part of Freshwater Bay. Sediment is primarily sand/sandy mud with patches of boulders. The sandy areas on the entire transect

...
August 1, 2017

K1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: K1 East Transect; Depth: 6.2 Meters (20.4 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.5101581; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (1:29 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant but this year browns were

...
August 1, 2017

K1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: K1 West Transect; Depth: 5.5 Meters (18.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 4.5 Kilometers (2.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.13592923,-123.51082988; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Sediment is a gravel/sand mixture. Both red (0:20, 0:25 seconds) and brown seaweed was abundant with the browns more

...
August 1, 2017

F2 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: F2 West Transect; Depth: 11.1 Meters (36.3 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.55036603; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel/cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seven species of brown seaweed were present. Seaweed was abundant but not

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Filter Total Items: 299
Date published: August 3, 2016

Claudia Regan Takes the Helm as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey's Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman

New Center Director to sustain NOROCK’s tradition of productivity and partnership in generating ground-breaking science relevant to resource managers in the Northern Rocky Mountains and beyond.

Date published: August 3, 2016

The Case of the Naturalist’s Prank

Featuring fake fishes, made-up mammals, and taxonomic tomfoolery

Date published: July 31, 2016

Hot off the Press! Great Balls of Fire!

The USGS Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit in partnership with the Nebraska Intelligent MoBile Unmanned Systems Lab (NIMBUS) and the Applied Complex Adaptive Systems Lab have designed a drone prototype that drops balls filled with combustible material that ignites fire as part of prescribed fire management.

Date published: July 27, 2016

Videos Reveal Birds, Bats and Bugs near Solar Project Power Towers

Video surveillance is the most effective method for detecting animals flying around solar power towers, according to a study of various techniques by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System facility in southeastern California.

Date published: July 18, 2016

More than 160 years of Walrus Haulout Observations Reported by Russians and Americans Published as Database

Information will aid marine and conservation planning

Date published: July 13, 2016

Islands in Ice: Lake Huron Fish Spawning Habitat Created by Ancient Streams of Ice

Paleo-ice streams, or corridors within ice sheets that move more quickly than surrounding ice, may have formed much of the egg-laying habitat for critical fish species in Lake Huron during the last glacial period.

Date published: July 11, 2016

EarthWord–Morbidity

When you’re not dead yet, but aren’t feeling well either, there’s an EarthWord for that...

Date published: July 7, 2016

Some Birds and Reptiles Vulnerable to Climate Change in the Southwestern US

New study offers insights to minimize projected climate impacts through proactive land-management activities

Date published: July 6, 2016

The Case of the Missing Holotypes

Featuring lost museum specimens & watercolors...

Date published: July 4, 2016

EarthWord – Holotype

This week's EarthWord, to quote Indiana Jones, belongs in a museum...