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U.S. Geological Survey Rocky Mountain Region 2022 science exchange, showcasing interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art USGS science

June 28, 2023


The Rocky Mountains and the Colorado River Basin in the Western United States represent complex, interconnected systems that sustain a number of species, including tens of millions of humans. These systems face several challenges, including worsening drought, altered wildfire regimes, climate change, and the spread of invasive species. These factors can exacerbate one another, further contributing to habitat loss and affecting species of conservation concern. Characterizing and managing these challenges require interdisciplinary communities of scientists to develop information and decision-support tools that can inform holistic land and water management solutions. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Rocky Mountain Region 2022 Science Exchange focused on the use of interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art science being conducted by USGS scientists in the region to address these complex problems.

The USGS Rocky Mountain Regional Office organized its first Science Exchange in 2017 to share scientific information between leaders and early career scientists throughout the region. Science Exchanges held in 2018 and 2020 focused on drought science relevant to the region and the Earth Monitoring, Analyses, and Prediction (EarthMAP) concept, which is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary, timely, and actionable science related to drought in the Colorado River Basin and other areas. Based on the emerging need for more holistic approaches to address increasingly complex natural resource issues that affect society, the Region hosted a virtual fourth Science Exchange for three days in April 2022. This event focused on barriers and bridges to interdisciplinary science and highlighted studies from the Region to inspire collaboration across disciplines. Presentations described recent and ongoing research that applied collaborative and state-of-the-art methods to address problems in the fields of geology, hydrology, ecology, and natural hazards. Science collaboration and outreach to all levels of stakeholders are vital elements needed for providing timely and actionable data, interpretations, analytical tools, and products. These presentations led to active online chats and panel discussions and showcased interdisciplinary science and advanced methods that may inform and lead to more effective, holistic management decisions as the Western United States adapts to ongoing and future changes.

Publication Year 2023
Title U.S. Geological Survey Rocky Mountain Region 2022 science exchange, showcasing interdisciplinary and state-of-the-art USGS science
DOI 10.3133/fs20233017
Authors Dana E. Peterson, Katherine L. French, Jeannette H. Oden, Patrick J. Anderson, Timothy N. Titus, Katharine G. Dahm, Jessica M. Driscoll, William J. Andrews
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Fact Sheet
Series Number 2023-3017
Index ID fs20233017
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Astrogeology Science Center; Central Energy Resources Science Center; Colorado Water Science Center; Fort Collins Science Center; Mineral Resources Program; Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center; Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center