Dive into the world of science! Read these stories and narratives to learn about news items, hot topics, expeditions underway, and much more.
Alder, aspen, birch, elm, maple and oak are some of the most popular trees in North America. But it might come as a surprise that aspen, with their iconic white bark and beautiful autumn colors, have the largest range of any tree on the continent – one that extends from Alaska to Mexico and Vancouver to Maine, including almost every elevation in between.
El Niño is a phenomenon that occurs when unusually warm ocean water piles up along the equatorial west coast of South America. When this phenomenon develops, it affects weather patterns around the globe, including the winter weather along the west coast of North America. This unusual pattern of sea surface temperatures occurs in irregular cycles about three to seven years apart.
Do you eat fruits and vegetables? What about nuts? If so, you can thank an insect pollinator, usually a honey bee. These small insects play a major role in pollinating the world’s plants, including those we eat regularly. They also increase our nation’s crop values each year by more than 15 billion dollars.
It may be hard to believe the legend that sailors long-at-sea once believed manatees to be mermaids. The manatee nickname the “Sea Cow” – named so for their affinity for grazing on vegetation and their slow, ambling way – just makes more sense. But a new U.S. Geological Survey video reveals that while they may be cow-like, they also have more than a bit of the magical mermaid to them.
Reflecting on the natural hazards of 2015 serves as a reminder of the dangers we face and the need for preparedness to save lives and property.
U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring record flooding on rivers and streams in 12 states across the country. USGS is making preparations for a prolonged field effort along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers as major flooding will extend well into mid-to-late January, particularly along the lower Mississippi River.
Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer, of course, is another common name for caribou (Rangifer tarandus) a large, cold-adapted, herding herbivore related to deer, elk and moose.
The national parks of the United States are often compared to, and indeed inspire, works of art. In fact, the USGS has been regularly contributing new and updated works of art for the national parks—maps.
From striking craggy pinnacles to cavernous underground lairs, the national parks are renowned for their grand wildernesses. However, the inhabitants of these landscapes – the wilds’ wildlife – are perhaps the most beloved of the parks’ draws.
Perhaps some of you have already experienced a sweet holiday smooch or two under the Christmas mistletoe, enjoying this fairly old kissing ritual for people.
At the founding of this nation, Benjamin Franklin wrote his daughter, Mrs. Sarah Bache, endorsing the turkey as the national bird. He believed the turkey to be an honorable and noble fowl and the perfect representative of this new and free nation.