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Science and Decisions Center

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The USGS Science and Decisions Center (SDC) is an interdisciplinary organization advancing the use of science in natural resource decision making. The Center focuses on research and applications in three science areas: decision science (adaptive management and structured decision making), ecosystem services, and resilience/sustainability.

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News

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 19, 2014

In a finding authors are coining an "unintentional rewilding," scientists identified a cave dung deposit as belonging to bighorn sheep that became extinct on a desert island sometime between the 6th and the 20th century.

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USGS science for a changing world logo
February 29, 2016

Adaptive management is "learning by doing" and adapting based on what is learned, in an objective, science-based management strategy that explicitly recognizes and delineates uncertainty.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 29, 2016

Ecosystem services are attributes and outputs of ecosystems that are valued by human users. Ecosystem services are produced by ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling, climate regulation, and maintenance of biodiversity. Ecosystems also provide marketable goods like seafood and timber.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 29, 2016

Resilience is the ability of a system or a community to absorb shocks and still maintain the same basic structure and functions. Management for ecological resilience seeks flexible system behaviors that can deliver ecosystem goods and services on a sustained basis.

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Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California
Year Published: 2017

Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California

IntroductionThe Providence Mountains are in the eastern Mojave Desert about 60 km southeast of Baker, San Bernardino County, California. This range, which is noted for its prominent cliffs of Paleozoic limestone, is part of a northeast-trending belt of mountainous terrain more than 100 km long that also includes the Granite Mountains, Mid Hills,...

Stone, Paul; Miller, David M.; Stevens, Calvin H.; Rosario, Jose J.; Vazquez, Jorge A.; Wan, Elmira; Priest, Susan S.; Valin, Zenon C.
Stone, Paul, Miller, D.M., Stevens, C.H., Rosario, Jose, Vazquez, J.A., Wan, Elmira, Priest, S.S., and Valin, Z.C., 2017, Geologic map of the Providence Mountains in parts of the Fountain Peak and adjacent 7.5' quadrangles, San Bernardino County, California: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3376, pamphlet 52 p., scale 1:24,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3376.
Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity
Year Published: 2017

Excursions in fluvial (dis)continuity

Lurking below the twin concepts of connectivity and disconnectivity are their first, and in some ways, richer cousins: continuity and discontinuity. In this paper we explore how continuity and discontinuity represent fundamental and complementary perspectives in fluvial geomorphology, and how these perspectives inform and underlie our conceptions...

Grant, Gordon E.; O'Connor, James E.; Safran, Elizabeth
Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams
Year Published: 2017

Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams

To evaluate the risks of metal mixture effects to natural stream communities under ecologically relevant conditions, the authors conducted 30-d tests with benthic macroinvertebrates exposed to cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) in experimental streams. The simultaneous exposures were with Cd and Zn singly and with Cd+Zn mixtures at environmentally...

Mebane, Christopher A.; Schmidt, Travis S.; Balistrieri, Laurie S.
Mebane, C.A., T.S. Schmidt, and L.S. Balistrieri. 2016. Larval aquatic insect responses to cadmium and zinc in experimental streams. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/etc.3599
Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range
Year Published: 2016

Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range

As part of a long term geologic and hydrologic study of several regional groundwater flow systems in western Utah and eastern Nevada, the U.S. Geological Survey was contracted by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to provide geophysical data. The primary object of these data was to enable construction of the geological framework of the flow...

Mankinen, Edward A.; Rowley, Peter D.; Dixon, Gary L.; McKee, Edwin H.
Mankinen, E.A., Rowley, P.D., Dixon, G.L., and McKee, E.H., 2016, Regional geophysics of western Utah and eastern Nevada, with emphasis on the Confusion Range, in Comer, J.B., Inkenbrandt, P.C., Krahulec, K.A., and Pinnell, M.L., editors, Resources and Geology of Utah's West Desert: Utah Geologic Association Publication 45, p. 147-166.
Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region:  Immediate precursors to the Colorado River
Year Published: 2016

Paleogeographic implications of Late Miocene lacustrine and nonmarine evaporite deposits in the Lake Mead region: Immediate precursors to the Colorado River

Thick late Miocene nonmarine evaporite (mainly halite and gypsum) and related lacustrine limestone deposits compose the upper basin fill in half grabens within the Lake Mead region of the Basin and Range Province directly west of the Colorado Plateau in southern Nevada and northwestern Arizona. Regional relations and geochronologic data indicate...

Faulds, James E; Schreiber, Charlotte; Langenheim, Victoria; Hinz, Nicholas H; Shaw, Tom; Heizler, Matthew T.; Perkins, Michael E; El Tabakh, Mohammed; Kunk, Michael J.
The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6
Year Published: 2016

The Bonneville Flood—A veritable débâcle: Chapter 6

The Bonneville Flood was one of the largest floods on Earth. First discovered by G.K. Gilbert in the 1870s during his inspection of the outlet at Red Rock Pass, it was rediscovered in the 1950s by Harold Malde and coworkers, leading to mapping and assessment of spectacular flood features along Marsh Creek, Portneuf River, and Snake River for over...

O'connor, James
Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data
Year Published: 2016

Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data

The upper Santa Cruz Basin is an important groundwater basin containing the regional aquifer for the city of Nogales, Arizona. This report provides data and interpretations of data aimed at better understanding the bedrock morphology and structure of the upper Santa Cruz Basin study area which encompasses the Rio Rico and Nogales 1:24,000-scale U...

Bultman, Mark W.; Page, William R.
Bultman, M.W., and Page, W.R., 2016, Bedrock morphology and structure, upper Santa Cruz Basin, south-central Arizona, with transient electromagnetic survey data: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1152, 49 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161152.
Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff
Year Published: 2016

Probing the volcanic-plutonic connection and the genesis of crystal-rich rhyolite in a deeply dissected supervolcano in the Nevada Great Basin: Source of the late Eocene Caetano Tuff

Late Cenozoic faulting and large-magnitude extension in the Great Basin of the western USA has created locally deep windows into the upper crust, permitting direct study of volcanic and plutonic rocks within individual calderas. The Caetano caldera in north–central Nevada, formed during the mid-Tertiary ignimbrite flare-up, offers one of the best...

Watts, Kathryn E.; John, David A.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Henry, Christopher D.; Bindeman, Ilya N.; Schmitt, Axel K.
USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States
Year Published: 2016

USGS mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the western United States

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed an assessment of the mineral-resource potential of nearly 10 million acres of Federal and adjacent lands in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. The assessment of these lands, identified as Sagebrush Focal Areas, was done at the request of the Bureau of Land Management.

Frank, David G.; Frost, Thomas P.; Day, Warren C.
Frank, D.G., Frost, T.P., Day, W.C., and the USGS SaMiRA team, 2016, U.S. Geological Survey mineral-resource assessment of Sagebrush Focal Areas in the Western United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2016–3074, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20163074.
Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas: Chapter B in M

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Vikre, Peter G.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; Colgan, Joseph P.; Cossette, Pamela M.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; du Bray, Edward A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Glen, Jonathan M.G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Hall, Susan M.; Hofstra, Albert H.; John, David A.; Ludington, Stephen; Mihalasky, Mark J.; Rytuba, James J.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Wallis, John C.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.; Zürcher, Lukas
Vikre, P.G., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., Colgan, J.P., Cossette, P.M., DeAngelo, J., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, du Bray, E.A., Fernette, G.L., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Hall, S.M., Hofstra, A.H., John, D.A., Ludington, S., Mihalasky, M.J., Rytuba, J.J., Shaffer, B.N., Stillings, L.L., Wallis, J.C., Williams, C.F., Yager, D.B., and Zürcher, L., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Oregon and Nevada), the Southeastern Oregon and North-Central Nevada, and the Southern Idaho and Northern Nevada (and Utah) Sagebrush Focal Areas (ver. 1.1, October 28, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–B, 224 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089B.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter C in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Lund, Karen; Zürcher, Lukas; Hofstra, Albert H.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Box, Stephen E.; Anderson, Eric D.; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; John, David A.; Robinson,, Gilpin R.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.
Lund, K., Zürcher, L., Hofstra, A.H., Van Gosen, B.S., Benson, M.E., Box, S.E., Anderson, E.D., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J., John, D.M., Robinson, G.R., Jr., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., and Williams, C.F., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Idaho Sagebrush Focal Area (ver. 1.1, October 27, 2016): U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089 –C, 147 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089C.
Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming
Year Published: 2016

Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: Chapter D in Mineral resources of the Sagebrush Focal Areas of Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming

SummaryThe U.S. Department of the Interior has proposed to withdraw approximately 10 million acres of Federal lands from mineral entry (subject to valid existing rights) from 12 million acres of lands defined as Sagebrush Focal Areas (SFAs) in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming (for further discussion on the lands involved see...

Mauk, Jeffrey L.; Zientek, Michael L.; Hearn, B. Carter; Parks, Heather L.; Jenkins, M. Christopher; Anderson, Eric D.; Benson, Mary Ellen; Bleiwas, Donald I.; DeAngelo, Jacob; Denning, Paul D.; Dicken, Connie L.; Drake, Ronald M.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Folger, Helen W.; Giles, Stuart A.; Glen, Jonathan M. G.; Granitto, Matthew; Haacke, Jon E.; Horton, John D.; Kelley, Karen D.; Ober, Joyce A.; Rockwell, Barnaby W.; San Juan, Carma A.; Sangine, Elizabeth S.; Schweitzer, Peter N.; Shaffer, Brian N.; Smith, Steven M.; Williams, Colin F.; Yager, Douglas B.
Mauk, J.L., Zientek, M.L., Hearn, B.C., Jr., Parks, H.L., Jenkins, M.C., Anderson, E.D., Benson, M.E., Bleiwas, D.I., DeAngelo, J., Denning, P.D., Dicken, C.L., Drake, R.M., II, Fernette, G.L., Folger, H.W., Giles, S.A., Glen, J.M.G., Granitto, M., Haacke, J.E., Horton, J.D., Kelley, K.D., Ober, J.A., Rockwell, B.W., San Juan, C.A., Sangine, E.S., Schweitzer, P.N., Shaffer, B.N., Smith, S.M., Williams, C.F., and Yager, D.B., 2016, Geology and mineral resources of the North-Central Montana Sagebrush Focal Area: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2016–5089–D, 104 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sir20165089D.
Filter Total Items: 1
Filter Total Items: 1
USGS science for a changing world logo
March 19, 2014

In a finding authors are coining an "unintentional rewilding," scientists identified a cave dung deposit as belonging to bighorn sheep that became extinct on a desert island sometime between the 6th and the 20th century.

Filter Total Items: 1