Mission Areas


The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

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?


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

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Date published: January 23, 2020

New Study Provides Insights for Detecting the Invasive Brown Treesnake

Research by the USGS and Dickinson College reveals why scientists fail to detect brown treesnakes at low densities

Date published: December 18, 2019

The Other 364 Days of the Year: The Real Lives of Wild Reindeer

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. To learn more about how  these Arctic antler-bearers spend the other 364 days of the year,  we talked to USGS caribou  expert Dr. Layne Adams, who has studied these animals for more than 35 years.


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Year Published: 2020

Does Lake Erie still have sufficient oxythermal habitat for cisco Coregonus artedi?

In Lake Erie, cisco Coregonus artedi once supported one of the most valuable freshwater fisheries on earth, yet overfishing caused their eventual extirpation from the lake. With warming lake temperatures, some have questioned whether Lake Erie still contains suitable oxythermal conditions for cisco. Using published oxythermal thresholds for cisco...

Schmitt, Joseph; Christoper S. Vandergoot; O'Malley, Brian P.; Kraus, Richard

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Year Published: 2020

Waterfowl occurrence and residence time as indicators of H5 and H7 avian influenza in North American Poultry

Avian influenza (AI) affects wild aquatic birds and poses hazards to human health, food security, and wildlife conservation globally. Accordingly, there is a recognized need for new methods and tools to help quantify the dynamic interaction between wild bird hosts and commercial poultry. Using satellite-marked waterfowl, we applied Bayesian joint...

Humphreys, John M.; Ramey, Andy; Douglas, David C.; Mullinax, Jennifer M.; Soos, Catherine; Link, Paul T.; Walther, Patrick; Prosser, Diann J.

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Year Published: 2020

A review of Cattail (Typha) invasion in North American wetlands

OverviewCattail (Typha) is an iconic emergent wetland plant found worldwide. By producing an abundance of wind-dispersed seeds, cattail can colonize wetlands across great distances, and its rapid growth rate, large size, and aggressive expansion result in dense stands in a variety of aquatic ecosystems such as marshes, ponds, lakes, and riparian...

Bansal, Sheel; Tangen, Brian; Lishawa, Shane; Newman, Sue; Wilcox, Douglas
Bansal, S., Tangen, B., Lishawa, S., Newman, S., and Wilcox, D., 2020, A review of Cattail (Typha) invasion in North American wetlands: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3076, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193076.