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USGS Science in the Canyons today

The USGS are SCREE are collecting data on the expedition. We will be producing educational materials using these data.

Expedition Science

Expedition Science

More about the science on the 2019 Expedition 

(under construction)

Science Explorer

Science Explorer

Find out about all of USGS science.

Take a look

Check back after the expedition for lesson plans and other resources relating to the river journey!  To demonstrate the geology and ecology of the nearly 1,000 miles of river, each day at camp we are conducting the following activities:

  • Aquatic insect light box sampling, to add data on the abundance and diversity of insects emerging from the river to the existing Citizen Science Light Trapping Grand Canyon project; to learn more about this exciting research, check out the Grand Canyon Citizen Science Story Map.  If you’d like to try light box sampling near your own stream, check out the USGS protocols here, and adapt them for use by your class.

  • Sediment sampling, to look at how lithography and trace-elements change as we move down the river; we will also be checking sediment and water for microplastics, which are tiny pieces of plastic from human waste that are spreading throughout the environment.  Learn more about microplastics here. Do you think we will find any along the river?

  • Water-quality measurements, to record variations in temperature, pH, conductivity, and relative water clarity; to see water quality data for a stream near you, check out USGS Water-Quality Data for the Nation.  How does water quality change in your stream after a big storm?

  • Riparian vegetation imaging, to depict the dominant species at each stop along the river; to learn about how dams can affect these important ecosystems, click here. Do you think we will find invasive species along the river?

  • Wildlife acoustics recording, to better understand the presence of bird and bat species along the river.  We can’t wait to hear the sounds that our equipment captures- perhaps you can help us identify birds by their calls and songs!