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



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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

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Year Published: 2019

Diel feeding behavior in a partially migrant Mysis population: A benthic-pelagic comparison

Populations that exhibit partial migration include migrants and non-migrants. For benthic-pelagic organisms that exhibit partial diel vertical migration (PDVM), migrants and non-migrants spend different amounts of time in benthic and pelagic foraging arenas over a diel cycle. For example, mysids exhibit PDVM and can feed on benthic and pelagic...

O'Malley, Brian; Stockwell, Jason D.