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.

Contact Us

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: 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

June 1, 2020

USGS EcoNews - Vol. 1 | Issue 1

Welcome to the first edition of EcoNews! We highlight our Invasive Species Program; the USGS led North American Bat Monitoring Program; the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative; Scientist Spotlight; our new webinar series, Friday's Findings; and our educational resources and podcasts for students of all ages. Plus, check out how to connect with us through our social media and our staff page.

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: June 1, 2020

Friday's Findings - June 5 2020

Constructing Realistic Species Distribution and Habitat Modelling Map Products: Challenges and Opportunities

Date: June 5, 2020 from 2 - 2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Thomas C. Edwards, Jr., USGS Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University


Attribution: Ecosystems


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Migratory behavior and winter geography drive differential range shifts of eastern birds in response to recent climate change

Over the past half century, migratory birds in North America have shown divergent population trends relative to resident species, with the former declining rapidly and the latter increasing. The role that climate change has played in these observed trends is not well understood, despite significant warming over this period. We used 43 y of...

Clark Rushing; Royle, Andy; Ziolkowski, David; Pardieck, Keith L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

The effects of management practices on grassland birds—LeConte’s Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii)

Keys to LeConte’s Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii) management include controlling succession and providing uplands and lowlands with tall, thick herbaceous vegetation and thick litter. LeConte’s Sparrows have been reported to use habitats with 30–90 centimeters (cm) average vegetation height, 19–41 cm visual obstruction reading, 35–43 percent grass...

Shaffer, Jill A.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Zimmerman, Amy L.; Euliss, Betty R.
Shaffer, J.A., Igl, L.D., Johnson, D.H., Sondreal, M.L., Goldade, C.M., Zimmerman, A.L., and Euliss, B.R., 2020, The effects of management practices on grassland birds—LeConte’s Sparrow (Ammospiza leconteii), chap. JJ of Johnson, D.H., Igl, L.D., Shaffer, J.A., and DeLong, J.P., eds., The effects of management practices on grassland birds: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1842, 14 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1842JJ.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Sample-size considerations for a study of shorebird nest survival in the 1002 Area, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Authorization of lease sales for oil development in the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has highlighted gaps in information about biological communities in the area. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is planning a study to evaluate spatial variation in the nest survival of tundra-breeding shorebirds to identify hotspots...

Weiser, Emily L.
Weiser, E., 2020, Sample-size considerations for a study of shorebird nest survival in the 1002 Area, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1066, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201066