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.

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Newsletter - EcoNews

Newsletter - EcoNews

This quarterly newsletter highlights ecosystems science and activities coming out of our Science Centers and Cooperative Research Units across the Nation. 

EcoNews Issues

Webinar - Friday's Findings

Webinar - Friday

A public webinar series meant to offer our audience an opportunity to discover the Ecosystems science capacity within the USGS.

Upcoming Webinars

Where's our Science?


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

Browse by Location


Date published: July 2, 2020

Friday's Findings - July 10 2020

How Social Science Informs the Management of North American Waterfowl Hunting and Birdwatching.

Date: July 10, 2020 from 2 - 2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Nicholas Cole, U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center


Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: June 11, 2020

Plant Genetics Informing Restoration in the West

Three recently published papers by the Southwest Biological Science Center illustrate how genetics can aid in plant restoration efforts in the arid American West. Collectively, the papers reveal genetic variation of a bunchgrass species used in restoration efforts, evidence for hybridization between two species of grass used in restoration, and a discussion of seed transfer zones


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Year Published: 2020

Biological assessment of a proposed vegetation management program to benefit tribes in eastern Oklahoma

Tribal communities may benefit from land management activities that enhance their use of resources on tribal lands. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is implementing a 5-year vegetation management program to provide support for projects that develop and use natural and cultural resources and improve opportunities for agricultural activities to benefit...

Harms, Benjamin R.; Bencin, Heidi L.; Carr, Natasha B.
Harms, B.R., Bencin, H.L., and Carr, N.B., 2020, Biological assessment of a proposed vegetation management program to benefit Tribes in eastern Oklahoma: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1013, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201013.

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Year Published: 2020

When and where: estimating the date and location of introduction for exotic pests and pathogens

1. A fundamental question during the outbreak of a novel disease or invasion of an exotic pest is: At what location and date was it first introduced? With this information, future introductions can be anticipated and perhaps avoided. 2. Point process models are commonly used for mapping species distribution and disease occurrence. If the time and...

Hefley, Trevor J.; Russell, Robin E.; Ballmann, Anne; Zhang, Haoyu

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Year Published: 2020

Space use and relative habitat selection for immature green turtles within a Caribbean marine protected area

Background A better understanding of sea turtle spatial ecology is critical for the continued conservation of imperiled sea turtles and their habitats. For resource managers to develop the most effective conservation strategies, it is especially important to examine how turtles use and select for habitats within their developmental foraging...

Griffin, Lucas P; Smith, Brian J.; Cherkiss, Michael; Crowder, Andrew; Pollock, Clayton G; Hillis-Starr, Zandy; Danylchuk, Andy J.; Hart, Kristen