U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Environmental Health Mission Area defines the pathways of chemical and microbial disease agents in the environment needed to understand ecological and human exposures and subsequent health outcomes.View Full Web Site
USGS specializes in science at the environment-health interface, by characterizing the processes that affect the interaction among the physical environment, the living environment, and people, and the resulting factors that affect ecological and human exposure to disease agents.Our Science Strategy
Human dimensions in the context of natural resource management refers to the ways humans value natural resources, resource management preferences, and how humans affect or are affected by natural resource management decisions. Natural resource management and policy decisionmaking require incorporation of sound biological, social, and economic science. SEA scientists...
Monarch butterfly populations have declined sufficiently to result in noticeably fewer overwintering at sites in central Mexico as in California.
The goal of this investigation is to provide improved information and tools to support decisions related to management, risk assessment, remediation planning, and mitigation of the effects of hard-rock metal mining and uranium mining on watersheds and ecosystems.
This study is assessing the environmental health risks associated with wastes from unconventional oil and gas development by characterizing waste materials, identifying potential environmental pathways, and evaluating the potential effects on organisms from exposure to unintended waste releases.
The USGS is investigating a wastewater plume in a shallow aquifer near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to increase the understanding of the physical, chemical, and microbiological processes that affect the fate and transport of contaminants in groundwater.
The USGS is developing methods to measure new pesticides and their byproducts in environmental media, conducting studies on the fate of these chemicals, and assessing exposure and potential effects on fish, wildlife, and human health.
This investigation focuses on understanding mercury sources, pathways and key processes in the environment, with particular emphasis on mercury methylation and accumulation in aquatic ecosystems.
The objective of research at the Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada, is to improve understanding of processes controlling the migration and fate of contaminants in arid environments, and the environmental-health implications of disposed radioactive and industrial waste.
The USGS is conducting source-to-receptor research on a broad range of chemical and microbial contaminants including pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pathogens, antibiotic resistant genes, and natural toxins that are not commonly considered in environmental research but have the potential to impact environmental health.
The USGS is investigating the occurrence and environmental effects of complex mixtures of both natural and man-made chemicals in environmental waters.
This investigation focuses on the long-term persistence in soils and groundwater of petroleum hydrocarbon spills, including crude oil and refined petroleum fuels. The study site near Bemidji, MN, is a laboratory for developing site assessment tools and understanding chemical changes affecting human and environmental health that occur during natural attenuation of petroleum hydrocarbons.
The USGS is investigating the hydrological, geochemical, and microbiological processes controlling contaminant fate in fractured-rock aquifers. Long-term field experiments are currently conducted at a former aircraft engine test facility in West Trenton, New Jersey, where high concentrations of trichloroethene persist in sedimentary rocks despite two decades of groundwater pumping and...
The Environmental Health Mission Area develops methods and tools to measure and assess the environmental health of watersheds and the organisms living in them. Our investigations generate and interpret environmental contaminant, biological activity, and effects data. All of which is provided to the public in our publications.
The Toxic Substances Hydrology Program develops new methods and tools are to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of collecting and interpreting environmental data; measuring and modeling the processes affecting contaminant occurrence, transport, and fate; evaluating the potential implications of existing contamination; and designing management and remediation alternatives.
The Clinch-Powell River Basins Spanning Virginia and Tennessee
The Sediment-bound Contaminant Resiliency and Response (SCoRR) Mapping Application was developed to allow users to visualize and view information generated during this study. Additional datasets including Census data, the National Land Cover Database, and National Hydrography data are also provided for users to generate custom maps.
Mobilized seafloor sediment can impact benthic reef communities through burial, scour, and turbidity. These processes are ubiquitous in coastal oceans and, through their influence on the survival, fitness, and interactions of species, can alter the structure and function of benthic communities. In northern Monterey Bay, California, USA, as much as...Jared D. Figurski, Jan Freiwald, Steve I. Lonhart, and Curt D. Storlazzi
This study is an investigation into the roles of wildfire and changing agricultural practices in controlling the inter-decadal scale trends of suspended sediment production from semi-arid mountainous rivers. In the test case, a decreasing trend in suspended sediment concentrations was found in the lower Salinas River, California between 1967 and...A.B. Gray, G.B. Pasternack, E.B. Watson, M.A. Goñi, J.A. Hatten, J.A. Warrick
Sediment rating curves, which are fitted relationships between river discharge (Q) and suspended-sediment concentration (C), are commonly used to assess patterns and trends in river water quality. In many of these studies, it is assumed that rating curves have a power-law form (i.e. C = aQb, where a and b are fitted parameters). Two fundamental...Jonathan A. Warrick
Chemical, physical, and biological data were collected during 2009-2011 as part of a study of the Clinch River in Virginia and Tennessee. The data from this study, data-collection methods, and laboratory analytical methods used in the study are documented in this report.Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Johnson, Gregory C.; Ostby, Brett J.K.
A beach nourishment with approximately 1/3 fine-grained sediment (fines; particle diameterM. A. Rippy, P. J. S. Franks, F. Feddersen, R. T. Guza, and J. A. Warrick
In addition to news releases on our latest papers, we provide Science Feature Articles that highlight results from environmental health science activities across the U.S. Geological Survey.See Our Science Feature Articles
A new USGS-NASA study found widespread shoreline loss along heavily oiled areas of Louisiana's coast after the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and compared the erosion from the spill with coastal changes Hurricane Isaac caused in 2012.
Studies on the aquatic food web, tree swallows, and the spread of contaminants take center stage at SETAC 2016.
Building knowledge to protect ecological and human health
Environmental Ratios of Cadmium and Zinc are less Toxic to Aquatic Insects than Expected
As coastal development along the Gulf Coast continues to expand, tidal saline wetlands could have difficulty adjusting to rising sea levels.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Some gulls in southcentral Alaska are carriers of antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli, according to a new study co-authored by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Mercury contamination is widespread, at various levels across western North America in air, soil, sediment, plants, fish and wildlife.
A recent study looks at the impact of climate change on certain fish in Wisconsin lakes.
“Whatcha gonna do when they come for you”-thinks this week’s EarthWord...
When you’re not dead yet, but aren’t feeling well either, there’s an EarthWord for that...
New USGS models help predict storm effects on beaches
First-of-its-kind survey shows that algal toxins are found nationwide