Mission Areas

Ecosystems

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The Ecosystems Mission Area provides impartial science information and tools to the Nation’s natural resource managers, with particular focus on the science needs of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and DOI bureaus to manage species, lands and priority ecosystems; fulfill treaty obligations; respond to and reduce threats to natural resources; and manage mineral and energy resources.

 

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Filter Total Items: 747
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Scientific Support of Salmon and Steelhead Reintroductions in Impounded River Basins of the Pacific Northwest

Salmon and steelhead populations in the Pacific Northwest were severely affected by hydropower development that occurred during the first half of the 20th century.  Impassable dams were constructed on many rivers throughout the region which prevented returning adult salmonids from accessing important habitats where spawning and rearing historically occurred.  In the past two decades...

Contacts: Tobias J Kock
Date published: August 1, 2018
Status: Active

Wetland Forest Regeneration Dynamics and Productivity in Southeastern Cypress Swamp Ecosystems

Relict forests (i.e., forests unable to reestablish after disturbance) may develop in the southeastern U.S. in future predicted extreme climates of temperature, flooding, and drought, according to the International Panel on Climate Change.

Date published: July 31, 2018
Status: Active

Computer-Assisted Sperm Motion Analysis in Measuring Reproductive Effects in Bass

The objective of this research is to assess the sensitivity of female and male LMB reproductive capabilities at the time of year when they are physiologically preparing for spawning season (also known as gonad recrudescence).

Date published: July 30, 2018
Status: Active

Aleutian Islands Ecosystem Recovery Studies

The Aleutian archipelago is a 2,000 km long chain of volcanically-derived treeless islands stretching from Unimak Island in the east to the Commander Islands in the west.  These volcanic islands support a wide range of species including large numbers of seabirds and marine mammal species, some of which are threatened and endangered, leading to a high level of federal management concern.

Date published: July 24, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Influenza

Avian influenza is a viral disease caused by various strains of avian influenza viruses that can be classified as low pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) or highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  It remains a global disease with potential high consequence with the potential to threaten wildlife, agriculture, and human health. 

Date published: July 24, 2018
Status: Active

Avian Influenza Surveillance

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) serves on the U.S. Interagency Steering Committee for Surveillance for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Birds to standardize surveillance for this disease and is a leading partner in conducting morbidity and mortality investigations in support of the Interagency Strategic Plan for Early Detection and Monitoring for Avian Influenzas of...

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Index of Wildlife Disease Information Resources

The USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC) provides the following index of wildlife disease information resources as a starting point to learn about selected wildlife diseases. The index includes informational web pages and communications and outreach products from the NWHC. To search for scientific literature, please visit the USGS Publications...

Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

BOR environmental DNA sampling for invasive mussels at USGS gages

As part of an ongoing project funded by the Bureau of Reclamation and lead by the Idaho Water Sciences Center (IDWSC) and Northern Rocky Mountain Research Center (NOROCK), the Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) will analyze environmental DNA samples collected at gage stations directly downstream of multiple reservoirs throughout the Columbia River Basin. The goal of this...

Contacts: Jon Amberg
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Avoidance behavior of cold-, cool-, and warmwater fish exposed to Zequanox in a two-choice preference chamber

Zebra (Dreissenia polymorpha, Pallas 1771) and quagga (D. bugensis, Andrusov 1897) mussels, collectively referred to as dreissenid mussels, are invasive bivalves native to the Ponto-Caspian region of Eurasia (Stepien et al. 2013; Benson 2018a). High fecundity and a free-swimming planktonic life stage allow for easy and rapid dispersal of dreissenid mussels (Mackie 1991;...

Contacts: James Luoma
Date published: July 23, 2018
Status: Active

Assessment of newly developed acoustic stimuli for manipulating movement of bigheaded carps

Bigheaded carps, like other cyprinids, have specialized structures known as Weberian ossicles that increase their hearing range and sensitivity. Recent results from controlled laboratory studies have indicated that playback of a recording of an outboard boat motor was effective at altering silver and bighead carp behavior. 

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Emerging Viruses - HSL

Fish Diseases

Emerging Viruses

Date published: July 12, 2018
Status: Active

Nucleospora Salmonis - HSL

Fish Diseases

Nucleospora Salmonis

Filter Total Items: 153
Date published: October 1, 2016

Approved Data Releases

This public folder contains approved data release products produced by the USGS Western Ecologial Research Center. This folder also includes metadata that will be harvested and displayed by the USGS Science Data Catalog ( http://data.usgs.gov/datacatalog) to improve access and discovery. 

Date published: July 14, 2016

Diamondback Terrapins in Chesapeake Bay, 2002 Beach Survey

The survey was conducted in summer 2002 to assess the presence of terrapins in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Results are spatial locations of evidence related to nesting.

Date published: July 13, 2016

Snake fungal disease: an emerging threat to wild snakes

Snake fungal disease (SFD) is an emerging disease of wild snakes in eastern North America caused by the fungus Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola. The data presented here describe: 1) the types of fungi recovered in culture from the skin of snakes with and without fungal skin infections, 2) the presence or absence of skin lesions in populations of snakes surveyed at several sites in Wisconsin and...

Date published: May 2, 2016

Evidence of Absence Webinar

This video describes a statistical software package called "Evidence of Absence" that can be used to provide evidence of compliance with incidental take permits. It will be useful to wildlife managers and wind energy operators to estimate, with reasonable certainty, that a certain number of birds or bats have been killed at wind energy facilities, even when no carcasses are found.

Date published: April 27, 2016

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA)

South Florida Information Access (SOFIA) was established to provide coherent information access in support of research, decision-making, and resource management for the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort.

Date published: April 21, 2016

Sea-Level Rise Visualization for Alabama and Mississippi

The interactive sea-level rise visualization tool results from a collaborative effort between NOAA's Coastal Services Center, USGS WARC, and USGS Mississippi Water Science Center. The tool illustrates the scale of potential flooding, but not the exact location, and does not account for erosion, subsidence, sediment accretion, or future construction. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Alabama Strategic Habitat Units Applications

WARC's Advanced Applications Team develops and maintains databases and applications to help the Alabama Department of Transportation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ensure new road construction and existing road maintenance at waterway crossings don't adversely affect threatened and endangered species dependent on those waterways. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Hurricane Sandy Ecosystems Application Development

This showcases the data and analytical products from studies related to habitat change, storm surge and ecological modeling, migratory bird impacts, and other studies conducted at WARC and funded by the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013. WARC's Advanced Applications Team also supports the efforts of scientists conducting research in Hurricane Sandy-impacted areas. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS)

CRMS is the largest of all Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPRRA) funded projects and has established a network of ~400 biological monitoring stations across coastal Louisiana spanning all coastal habitat types and generating tremendous volumes of data. 

Date published: April 21, 2016

Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program (MsCIP) Barrier Island Restoration

MsCIP was developed in 2009 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, in conjunction with other Federal and State agencies, to help reduce future storm damage along the Mississippi Gulf coast. In 2014, in cooperation with the USACE Mobile District, WARC's Advanced Applications Team began development on the MsCIP Data Viewer, an interactive web-mapping environment. 

Date published: April 20, 2016

Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act (CWPPRA)

CWPPRA is the oldest and largest coastal restoration effort operating across coastal Louisiana and has constructed 105 restoration projects since its establishment over 20 years ago. WARC's Advanced Applications Team has proudly worked with the CWPPRA Task Force over the years to ensure timely and accurate project-specific information is publicly available. 

Date published: April 20, 2016

Joint Ecosystem Modeling (JEM) Support

The JEM community of practice is focused on ecological modeling and monitoring across the Greater Everglades, with particular interest in habitats, how various factors affect habitat change, and how the organisms dependent on those habitats respond today and into the future.

Filter Total Items: 30,796
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Year Published: 2019

Scale‐dependent effects of isolation on seasonal patch colonisation by two Neotropical freshwater fishes

The metapopulation paradigm has been central to improve the conservation and management of natural populations. However, despite the large number of studies on metapopulation dynamics, the overall support for the relationships on which the paradigm is based has not been strong. Here, we studied the occupancy dynamics of two Neotropical fishes (i.e...

Penha, Jerry; Hakamada, Karlo Y. P.; Hines, James E.; Nichols, James D.

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Year Published: 2019

Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population biology at Big Sur and Monterey, California --Investigating the consequences of resource abundance and anthropogenic stressors for sea otter recovery

The range of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) spans most of the central California coast from Half Moon Bay to Gaviota. Some coastal areas within this range are heavily developed and highly impacted by humans, while other areas are wild and largely pristine. Determining the relative importance of food resource abundance,...

Tinker, M. Tim; Tomoleoni, Joseph A.; Weitzman, Benjamin P.; Staedler, Michelle; Jessup, Dave; Murray, Michael J.; Miller, Melissa; Burgess, Tristan; Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Thometz, Nicole; Tarjan, Lily; Golson, Emily; Batac, Francesca; Dodd, Erin; Berberich, Eva; Kunz, Jessica; Bentall, Gena; Fujii, Jessica; Nicholson, Teri; Newsome, Seth; Melli, Ann; LaRoche, Nicole; MacCormick, Holly; Johnson, Andy; Henkel, Laird; Kreuder-Johnson, Chris; Conrad, Pat
Tinker, M.T., Tomoleoni, J.A., Weitzman, B.P., Staedler, M., Jessup, D., Murray, M.J., Miller, M., Burgess, T., Bowen, L., Miles, A.K., Thometz, N., Tarjan, L., Golson, E., Batac, F., Dodd, E., Berberich, E., Kunz, J., Bentall, G., Fujii, J., Nicholson, T., Newsome, S., Melli, A., LaRoche, N., MacCormick, H., Johnson, A., Henkel, L., Kreuder-Johnson, C., and Conrad, P., 2019, Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population biology at Big Sur and Monterey, California --Investigating the consequences of resource abundance and anthropogenic stressors for sea otter recovery: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019 -1022, 225 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191022.

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Year Published: 2019

Stream metabolism increases with drainage area and peaks asynchronously across a stream network

Quantifying the spatial and temporal dynamics of stream metabolism across stream networks is key to understanding carbon cycling and stream food web ecology. To better understand intra-annual temporal patterns of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) and their variability across space, we continuously measured dissolved...

Mejia, Francine H.; Fremier, Alexander K.; Benjamin, Joseph R.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; Grimm, Adrianne Z.; Watson, Grace A.; Newsom, Michael

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Year Published: 2019

Relative abundance and molecular evolution of Lake Sinai Virus (Sinaivirus) clades

Lake Sinai Viruses (Sinaivirus) are commonly detected in honey bees (Apis mellifera) but no disease phenotypes or fitness consequences have yet been demonstrated. This viral group is genetically diverse, lacks obvious geographic structure, and multiple lineages can co-infect individual bees. While phylogenetic analyses have been performed, the...

Cornman, Robert S.

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Year Published: 2019

Social–ecological mismatches create conservation challenges in introduced species management

Introduced species can have important effects on the component species and processes of native ecosystems. However, effective introduced species management can be complicated by technical and social challenges. We identify “social–ecological mismatches” (that is, differences between the scales and functioning of interacting social and ecological...

Beever, Erik A.; Simberloff, Daniel; Crowley, Sarah L.; Al-Chokhachy, Robert; Jackson, Hazel A.; Petersen, Steven L.

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Year Published: 2019

State-space analysis of power to detect regional brook trout population trends over time

Threats to aquatic biodiversity are expressed at broad spatial scales, but identifying regional trends in abundance is challenging owing to variable sampling designs, and temporal and spatial variation in abundance. We compiled a regional dataset of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis counts across their southern range representing 326 sites from...

Pregler, Kasey C.; Hanks, R. Daniel; Childress, Evan S.; Hitt, Nathaniel P.; Hocking, Daniel J.; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Kanno, Yoichiro

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Year Published: 2019

Seasonal assembly of arthropod communities on milkweeds experiencing simulated herbivory

The seasonal assembly of arthropod communities is shaped by biotic and abiotic aspects of the habitat that limit the appearance or activity phenology of potential community members. In addition, previous interactions within the community, such as herbivore-induced plant defensive responses, aggregation, and predator avoidance likely affect the...

Pearse, Ian S.; McMunn, Marshall; Yang, Louie H.

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Year Published: 2019

Wind erosion and dust from US drylands: a review of causes, consequences, and solutions in a changing world

Erosion by wind is one of the principal processes associated with land degradation in drylands and is a significant concern to land managers and policymakers globally. In the drylands of North America, millions of tons of soil are lost to wind erosion annually. Of the 60 million ha in the United States identified as most vulnerable to wind erosion (...

Duniway, Michael C.; Pfennigwerth, Alix A.; Fick, Stephen E.; Nauman, Travis W.; Belnap, Jayne; Barger, Nichole N.

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Year Published: 2019

Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey: Wildland Fire Science Publications, 2006–17

Wildland fire characteristics, such as area burned, number of large fires, burn intensity, and fire season duration, have increased steadily over the past 30 years, resulting in substantial increases in the costs of suppressing fires and managing damages from wildland fire events (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017)....

Steblein, Paul F.; Miller, Mark P.
Steblein, P.F., and Miller, M.P., 2018, Characterizing 12 years of wildland fire science at the U.S. Geological Survey—Wildland fire science publications, 2006–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1002, 67 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191002.

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Year Published: 2019

Vegetation and precipitation shifts interact to alter organic and inorganic carbon storage in cold desert soils

Dryland ecosystems are experiencing shifts in rainfall and plant community composition, which are expected to alter cycling and storage of soil carbon (C). Few experiments have been conducted to examine long‐term effects on (1) soil organic C (SOC) pools throughout the soil profile, and (2) soil inorganic C (SIC) pools as they relate to dynamic...

Huber, David P.; Lohse, Kathleen A.; Commendador, Amy; Joy, Stephen; Aho, Ken A.; Finney, Bruce P.; Germino, Matthew J.

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Year Published: 2019

Changes in belowground biodiversity during ecosystem development

We do not know how and why belowground biodiversity may change as soils develop over centuries to millennia, hampering our ability to predict the myriad of ecosystem processes regulated by belowground organisms under changing environments. We conducted a global survey of 16 soil chronosequences spanning a wide range of ecosystem types and found...

Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Bardgett, Richard D.; Vitousek, Peter M.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Williams, Mark A.; Eldridge, David J.; Lambers, Hans; Neuhauser, Sigrid; Gallardo, Antonio; García-Velázquez, Laura; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Abades, Sebastián R.; Alfaro, Fernando D.; Berhe, Asmeret A.; Bowker, Matthew A.; Currier, Courtney M.; Cutler, Nick A.; Hart, Stephen C.; Hayes, Patrick E.; Hseu, Zeng-Yei; Kirchmair, Martin; Pérez, Cecilia A.; Peña-Ramírez, Victor M.; Reed, Sasha C.; Santos, Fernanda; Siebe, Christina; Sullivan, Benjamin W.; Weber-Grullon, Luis; Fierer, Noah

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Year Published: 2019

Detection of Bisgaard taxon 40 in Rhinoceros Auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata) with pneumonia and septicemia from a mortality event in Washington, USA

We isolated Bisgaard taxon 40 from Rhinoceros Auklets (Cerorhinca monocerata) with pneumonia and septicemia from Washington, US, found dead in 2016. Previously isolated only from the respiratory tract of a gull (Laridae), little is known about its pathogenic potential and whether it acts as a primary or opportunistic pathogen.

Knowles, Susan; Bodenstein, Barbara; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Thomas, Susan M; Pearson, Scott F; Lorch, Jeffrey M.

Filter Total Items: 720
Sonoran desert scene, complete with prickly pear, saguaro, and cholla cactus species.
October 31, 2017

Sonoran Desert Cactus Guild

The iconic Sonoran Desert is home to many species of cactus, vascular plants, and wildlife, including the giant saguaro, cholla, and prickley pear cacti seen here. Plants and animals have adapted to living in such a harsh dry environment. For example, the plants in this photo have grown up in the shade of one another, and survived due to protection from the hot sun. The

...
R/V Arcticus at Sturgeon Bay
September 21, 2017

R/V Arcticus at Sturgeon Bay

Fog surrounds the USGS Research Vessel Arcticus as it comes into port at Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.

Man measuring a little red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi banding 2

Measuring the wing length of a banded Iiwi

Photomicrograph of a green desmid alga resembling a holiday ornament
August 31, 2017

A natural marvel in a single cell

This single-celled freshwater algae wasa collected as part of the first-ever study of the green algae family called desmids in Florida’s Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, in the northern Everglades. USGS biologist Barry H. Rosen, an expert on freshwater algae who leads the study, used a technique called differential interference microscopy to highlight the relief of

...
Man holding red bird.
August 31, 2017

Iiwi with transmitter

Iiwi with small radio transmitter attached to help track the bird's movement through the forest

View of the lush green San Rafael grasslands of southern Arizona and northern Mexico, framed by a cloudy blue sky.
August 31, 2017

The Sonoran desert has grasslands, too.

The San Rafael grasslands are a diverse ecosystem in southern Arizona along the U.S./Mexico border region, a part of the Madrean Archipelago ecoregion. The USGS RAMPS program conducts collaborative

...
August 28, 2017

GP1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Control Site: GP1 East Transect; Depth: 6.7 m (22.1 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31538047; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

...
August 28, 2017

GP1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Control Site: GP1 West Transect; Depth: 8.0 m (26.2 feet); Distance from river mouth: 19.0 Kilometers (11.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.11852521,-123.31605203; Site Description: This site was established as the eastern control. Depth is medium-shallow. Substrate is mainly a gravel/sand/cobble mixture surrounding

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August 27, 2017

F1 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: F1 East Transect; Depth: 6.6 Meters (21.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55011402; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Substrate remains predominantly sand, but patches of gravel were present (0:39 seconds) as well as cobble onto which large

...
August 27, 2017

F1 West Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: F1 West Transect; Depth: 6.7 Meters (22.0 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.3 Kilometers (0.8 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15292999, -123.55078602; Site Description: This is a shallow site. Substrate remains predominantly sand. Larger brown seaweeds were present. These species are usually attached to gravel-

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August 27, 2017

F2 East Transect – 2017

Permanent Site: F2 East Transect; Depth: 11.2 Meters (36.9 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 1.5 Kilometers (0.9 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.15672004,-123.54969397; Site Description: Substrate is mainly a gravel/cobble mixture with an occasional boulder. Seven species of brown seaweed were present. Seaweed was abundant but not

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Filter Total Items: 289
Date published: December 12, 2016

Coastal Wetland Decision Support Tools Now Available for Great Lakes

Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Launches Coastal Wetland Decision Support Tools

Date published: December 12, 2016

Not Just for Kissing: Mistletoe and Birds, Bees, and Other Beasts

Perhaps some of you have already experienced a sweet smooch or two under the holiday mistletoe, enjoying this fairly old kissing ritual for people. While figuring prominently in ancient lore, mistletoe is important in other vital ways: it provides essential food, cover and nesting sites for an amazing number of critters. In fact, some animals couldn’t even survive without mistletoe.

Date published: November 22, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

True or false? People are the leading cause of wildfires in the United States.

Date published: November 17, 2016

Wild Turkey Talk

A group of turkeys is referred to as either a rafter or a gang.  So this Thanksgiving, when celebrating with your own gang, remember the turkey as more than just the main course, but, as Benjamin Franklin said so many years ago, as a noble fowl of American tradition.

Date published: November 16, 2016

Small Alpine Insects are Big Messengers of Climate Change

West Glacier, Mont. – Two rare alpine insects – native to the northern Rocky Mountains and dependent on cold waters of glacier and snowmelt-fed alpine streams – are imperiled due to climate warming induced glacier and snow loss according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and its partners.

Date published: November 16, 2016

USGS Study Reveals Interactive Effects of Climate Change, Invasive Species on Native Fish

A new USGS study shows non-native Brown Trout can place a burden on native Brook Trout under the increased water temperatures climate change can cause.

Date published: November 1, 2016

Hazard a Guess? The riskiest science quiz you will ever take!

True or False? People can catch white-nose syndrome from bats or the environment. 

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: October 21, 2016

Stories from the Field: Ecology of California Ridgway's Rails

Notes from field biologists studying the endangered Ridgway's rail.

Date published: October 3, 2016

Rising Sea Levels, Coastal Development’s Effect on Gulf Coast Wetlands

As coastal development along the Gulf Coast continues to expand, tidal saline wetlands could have difficulty adjusting to rising sea levels.

Date published: September 28, 2016

Local Wind Energy Development Has Broad Consequences for Golden Eagles

Roughly over a quarter of the golden eagles killed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in Northern California from 2012-2014 were recent immigrants to the local population, according to research led by the U.S. Geological Survey.