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Fossil Fuels

Oil and gas extraction and coal mining activities are several stressors to sensitive ecosystems. USGS scientists are studying the effects of fossil fuel extraction on landscapes and on terrestrial and aquatic species. Scientists are also developing monitoring and management tools to help restore disturbed lands. 

Filter Total Items: 32

Polar Bear Research

Polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) are one of 4 marine mammal species managed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The USGS Alaska Science Center leads long–term research on polar bears to inform local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation of the species and its habitat. Our studies, ongoing since 1985, are focused on population dynamics, health and energetics...
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Polar Bear Research

Polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) are one of 4 marine mammal species managed by the U.S. Department of Interior. The USGS Alaska Science Center leads long–term research on polar bears to inform local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation of the species and its habitat. Our studies, ongoing since 1985, are focused on population dynamics, health and energetics...
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Walrus Research

The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts long-term research on the Pacific walrus to provide scientific information to Department of Interior management agencies and Alaska Native co-management partners. In addition, the USGS Pacific walrus research program collaborates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the State of Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game and Alaska Native co...
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Walrus Research

The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts long-term research on the Pacific walrus to provide scientific information to Department of Interior management agencies and Alaska Native co-management partners. In addition, the USGS Pacific walrus research program collaborates with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the State of Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game and Alaska Native co...
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Nearshore Marine Ecosystem Research

Nearshore ecosystems include many resources that are of high ecological, recreational, subsistence, and economic value. They also are subject to influences from a wide variety of natural and human-caused perturbations, which can originate in terrestrial or oceanic environments. Our research is designed to evaluate sources of variation in the nearshore and how they influence resources of high...
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Nearshore Marine Ecosystem Research

Nearshore ecosystems include many resources that are of high ecological, recreational, subsistence, and economic value. They also are subject to influences from a wide variety of natural and human-caused perturbations, which can originate in terrestrial or oceanic environments. Our research is designed to evaluate sources of variation in the nearshore and how they influence resources of high...
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Changing Arctic Ecosystems

Arctic regions of Alaska are important for cultural and economic sustainability and host a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are of conservation and management interest to the U.S. Department of the Interior. The USGS and collaborators provide information about Arctic ecosystems that are used by Arctic residents, management agencies, and industry.
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Changing Arctic Ecosystems

Arctic regions of Alaska are important for cultural and economic sustainability and host a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are of conservation and management interest to the U.S. Department of the Interior. The USGS and collaborators provide information about Arctic ecosystems that are used by Arctic residents, management agencies, and industry.
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Cook Inlet Seabird and Forage Fish Study

A massive die-off of Common Murres was documented in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) during the fall and winter of 2015-2016 in association with a record-breaking marine heat wave in the GOA.
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Cook Inlet Seabird and Forage Fish Study

A massive die-off of Common Murres was documented in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) during the fall and winter of 2015-2016 in association with a record-breaking marine heat wave in the GOA.
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Loon Research

Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have conducted research on Alaska’s three loon species since the late 1970s. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and fish and invertebrates inhabiting lakes and marine ecosystems for food. All three loon species in Alaska occur within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast. Research by the USGS is...
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Loon Research

Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have conducted research on Alaska’s three loon species since the late 1970s. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and fish and invertebrates inhabiting lakes and marine ecosystems for food. All three loon species in Alaska occur within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast. Research by the USGS is...
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Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
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Southwest Energy Exploration, Development, and Reclamation (SWEDR)

Approximately 35% of the US and approximately 82% of DOI lands are “drylands” found throughout the western US. These lands contain oil, gas, oil shale, shale oil, and tar sand deposits and the exploration for and extraction of these resources has resulted in hundreds of thousands of operating and abandoned wells across the West. These arid and semi-arid lands have unique soil and plant communities...
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Terrestrial Mammal Ecology Research

Understanding the population dynamics, predator/prey relationships and habitat ecology of terrestrial mammals, such as caribou and muskoxen, is critical for the management of these species and their habitats in Alaska.
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Terrestrial Mammal Ecology Research

Understanding the population dynamics, predator/prey relationships and habitat ecology of terrestrial mammals, such as caribou and muskoxen, is critical for the management of these species and their habitats in Alaska.
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Well Pad Reclamation and Research

Reclamation on lands impacted by energy development is complicated and extremely challenging in arid environments due to unstable soils, exotic species, and low and variable precipitation. The reclamation tactics employed by energy operators vary widely and outcomes can differ across plant communities and soil types. In order to address the knowledge gaps regarding how to successfully and...
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Well Pad Reclamation and Research

Reclamation on lands impacted by energy development is complicated and extremely challenging in arid environments due to unstable soils, exotic species, and low and variable precipitation. The reclamation tactics employed by energy operators vary widely and outcomes can differ across plant communities and soil types. In order to address the knowledge gaps regarding how to successfully and...
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Connectivity of Coral Ecosystems in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Connectivity among coral communities influences the probability of speciation and contributes to their ability to adapt to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Results from this study will enhance our understanding of Gulf of Mexcio ecosystems with regional conservation initiatives to inform the restoration of degraded deepwater coral communities and preserve long-term viability of coastal...
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Connectivity of Coral Ecosystems in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico

Connectivity among coral communities influences the probability of speciation and contributes to their ability to adapt to natural and anthropogenic stressors. Results from this study will enhance our understanding of Gulf of Mexcio ecosystems with regional conservation initiatives to inform the restoration of degraded deepwater coral communities and preserve long-term viability of coastal...
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Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist.
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Exploring the potential effects of shale oil and gas development on freshwaters

Widespread shale oil and gas (unconventional oil and gas, UOG) has only recently begun and many gaps in our knowledge of its potential effects to freshwaters exist.
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Science Related to Oil Spills

Crude oil or oil distilled product (e.g. gasoline, diesel fuels, jet fuels) spills can occur during oil exploration, production, and transportation activities. Environmental impacts of spills are complex and can be difficult to assess. The chemical makeup of oil and oil products is diverse which affects oil behavior (e.g. volatilization, sinking). Oil degradation and fate are also influenced by...
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Science Related to Oil Spills

Crude oil or oil distilled product (e.g. gasoline, diesel fuels, jet fuels) spills can occur during oil exploration, production, and transportation activities. Environmental impacts of spills are complex and can be difficult to assess. The chemical makeup of oil and oil products is diverse which affects oil behavior (e.g. volatilization, sinking). Oil degradation and fate are also influenced by...
Learn More