Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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.

Find out more

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 3 - CWD

Where's our Science?

Where

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

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News

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in southern Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona and Utah, 2016–17

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon contamination related to boat use is one of the most important water-quality issues affecting Lake Powell. High concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water are common around marinas and other areas with extensive motorboat activity because of releases of uncombusted or partially combusted oil and...

Coes, Alissa L.; Paretti, Nicholas V.; Alvarez, David A.; Macy, Jamie P.
Coes, A.L., Paretti, N.V., Alvarez, D.A., and Macy, J.P., 2019, Assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon concentrations in southern Lake Powell, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Arizona and Utah, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5065, 26 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195065.

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Year Published: 2019

Wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey—supporting wildland fire and land management across the United States postcard

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Wildland Fire Science Program produces information to identify the causes of wildfires, understand the impacts and benefits of both wildfires and prescribed fires, and help prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. USGS fire scientists provide information and develop tools that are widely used by stakeholders to...

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.; Soileau, Suzanna C.
Attribution: Ecosystems
Steblein, P.F., Miller, M.P., and Soileau, S.C., 2019, Wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey—Supporting wildland fire and land management across the United States: U.S. Geological Survey General Information Product 190 [postcard], 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/gip190.

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Year Published: 2019

Biocrust science and global change

Global environmental changes such as climate and land‐use change affect ecosystems worldwide, and this New Phytologist Virtual Issue brings together fundamental research questions and novel approaches associated with the study of biological soil crusts in the context of such shifts. In a changing world, organisms can display a limited set of...

Reed, Sasha C.; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Ferrenberg, Scott