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.

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?


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

Browse by Location


Date published: August 14, 2019

Rising Sea Levels Could Accelerate Florida Bay Mangrove Loss

USGS scientists look to the past to learn about the future of Florida mangroves

Date published: July 25, 2019

Big Sagebrush Recovery After Fire Inhibited by its Own Biology

Plant age drives mortality, reproductive success and population dynamics


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Year Published: 2019

The state of the world’s mangrove forests: Past, present, and future

Intertidal mangrove forests are a dynamic ecosystem experiencing rapid changes in extent and habitat quality over geological history, today and into the future. Climate and sea level have drastically altered mangrove distribution since their appearance in the geological record ∼75 million years ago (Mya), through to the Holocene. In contrast,...

Friess, Daniel A.; Rogers, Kerrylee; Lovelock, Catherine E.; Krauss, Ken; Hamilton, Stuart E.; Lee, Shing Yip; Lucas, Richard; Primavera, Jurgenne; Rajkaran, Anusha; Shi, Suhua

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Year Published: 2019

Fish and habitat assessment in Rock Creek, Klickitat County, Washington 2016–17

Executive SummaryIntermittent streams are important and productive for salmonid habitat. Rock Creek, in southeastern Washington, flows south to the Columbia River at river kilometer (rkm) 368 and is an intermittent stream of great significance to the Yakama Nation and to the Kah-miltpah (Rock Creek) Band in particular. Historically, native...

Hardiman, Jill M.; Harvey, Elaine
Hardiman, J.M., and Harvey, Elaine, 2019, Fish and habitat assessment in Rock Creek, Klickitat County, Washington 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1092, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191092.

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Year Published: 2019

Local, temporal trajectories explain population-level responses to climate change in saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea)

Population demography is typically assumed to be strongly influenced by climatic factors, particularly with succulent plants and cacti. The saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea) is a long‐lived columnar cactus of the Sonoran Desert that experiences episodic recruitment and mortality. Previous studies have attributed long‐term changes in saguaro...

Rodríguez-Buriticá, Susana; Winkler, Daniel E.; Webb, Robert H.; Venable, Lawrence