Web-Based Tool Aids in Understanding the Movement of Avian Influenza
Visualization tool helps scientists see how relations between poultry density and waterfowl migration routes affect avian influenza riskScience Feature
USGS Scientist Receives Award for Assistance with Wetlands Assessment
Dr. Keith A. Loftin received the EPA's Achievement in Science and Technology Award for his contributions to the National Wetlands AssessmentScience Feature
Studying Shifts in Stream Microbial Communities Exposed to Wastewaters
Shifts in microbial community structure were present in stream sediments that had chemicals associated with unconventional oil and gas wastewatersScience Feature
Nitrate Addition Enhances Arsenic Immobilization in Groundwater
The addition of nitrate in a low oxygen groundwater resulted in the immobilization of naturally occurring dissolved arsenicScience Feature
Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
The U.S. Geological Survey Environmental Health Mission Area works to safeguard the Nation’s health, economy, and resources by leading science to understand and minimize exposures to toxicological and infectious disease agents in the environment.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
The Challenge: Neonicotinoid pesticides act as agonists of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and are designed to be lethal to insects while theoretically posing little to no threat to vertebrates. The perceived safety of neonicotinoids has led to a sharp increase in their use in the United States and globally, since they were first introduced in 1994. The use of the neonicotinoid...
The Challenge: Endocrine active chemicals (EAC) are known to interfere with hormonally regulated physiological processes, thereby affecting signaling in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal-liver (HPGL) axis and commonly resulting in reproductive dysfunction. Computational models that relate hormonal and genomic biomarkers within the HPGL axis to the reproductive cycle and ecologically relevant...
The Challenge: Wild birds are exposed throughout their lives to natural and synthetic chemicals that are present in the environment, many of which interfere with the animal’s physiological and developmental systems. Relative concentrations, routes, frequency, and the environment in which chemical exposure occurs will determine to a large extent the bird’s response. Well-...
The Challenge: Mercury is a highly toxic element found throughout our environment. Although it occurs naturally in some environments, human industrial pollution has greatly increased the amount of mercury and the range of environments in which mercury is found. Recent studies have confirmed clear differences in the sensitivity of various bird species to methylmercury. Because the causes of...
The Challenge: Short-Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCPs) are complex technical mixtures of polychlorinated n-alkanes used in lubricants and coolants in metalworking, as flame retardants, and in paints, adhesives, sealants, textiles and polymeric materials, plastics and rubber. SCCPs are of concern because they are globally transported, bioaccumulate in wildlife and humans, and are...
The Challenge: The use of flame retardants (FRs) as additives in a variety of consumer use products, including plastics, textiles, and electronics, is projected to continue and increase for the foreseeable future. Because of unanticipated environmental problems, some FRs have either been banned, restricted, or are being phased-out and replaced by other new and presumably safer FRs. Regrettably...
The Challenge: Neonicotinoids are now the most widely applied class of insecticides in the United States, and are predominantly used in the form of seed treatments. Compared to invertebrates, neonicotinoids are less toxic to wildlife, although genotoxic, cytotoxic, immunological, behavioral and reproductive effects have been reported in studies with birds. At present, little is known...
The Challenge: As a rule, plants and animals contain lower concentrations of lead than are present in soils that support them. Lead does not biomagnify along trophic levels in ecosystems but instead remains relatively immobile in soil. The exposure of wildlife to soil lead depends mainly on the incidental ingestion of soil. The native earthworm, Eisenoides lonnbergi, is anomalous in its...
Although there are ways of developing causal relationships between stressors and aquatic community responses without experimentation; some argue that experimental manipulation under controlled conditions is both critical and necessary to establish causation. Single species toxicity tests are the gold standard for developing toxicant biological response relationships however these tests are...
The Challenge: Black-tailed prairie dogs are considered a keystone species for the prairie habitat. Many avian species are associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in winter. Raptors feed on prairie dogs and non-raptor avian species forage within prairie dog colonies. However prairie dogs are also considered agricultural pests. The first generation...
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...
The Challenge: Agricultural, industrial and urban activities have had major effects on waterbirds in Chesapeake and Delaware Bays. Some legacy pollutants (PCBs, organochlorine pesticides, flame retardants, metals) pose a potential threat to wildlife in some locations. Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and endocrine disrupting compounds have been detected in...
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.
Geologic materials and human health: Chapter 5.14
No abstract available.Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Morman, Suzette A.
Family inspiration for my career(s) in transdisciplinary science
I have been fortunate to spend the last 31 years working for an organization that has allowed me to make multiple career shifts across earth science disciplines and to collaborate with people in fields well beyond the earth sciences. Many inspirational colleagues have guided me along this transdisciplinary science path, but perhaps my biggest...Plumlee, Geoffrey S.
Energy and Minerals Science at the U.S. Geological Survey
The economy, national security, and standard of living of the United States depend on adequate and reliable supplies of energy and mineral resources. Based on population and consumption trends, the Nation’s and World’s use of energy and minerals is expected to grow, driving the demand for scientific understanding of resource formation, location,...Ferrero, Richard C.; Kolak, Jonathan J.; Bills, Donald J.; Bowen, Zachary H.; Cordier, Daniel J.; Gallegos, Tanya J.; Hein, James R.; Kelley, Karen D.; Nelson, Philip H.; Nuccio, Vito F.; Schmidt, Jeanine M.; Seal, Robert R., II
Water quality, sediment characteristics, aquatic habitat, geomorphology, and mussel population status of the Clinch River, Virginia and Tennessee, 2009-2011
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. The study was conducted to describe the conditions of the Clinch River and to...Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Johnson, Gregory C.; Ostby, Brett J.K.
Meeting the Science Needs of the Nation in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy-- A U.S. Geological Survey Science Plan for Support of Restoration and Recovery
n late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy came ashore during a spring high tide on the New Jersey coastline, delivering hurricane-force winds, storm tides exceeding 19 feet, driving rain, and plummeting temperatures. Hurricane Sandy resulted in 72 direct fatalities in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States, and widespread and substantial...Buxton, Herbert T.; Andersen, Matthew E.; Focazio, Michael J.; Haines, John W.; Hainly, Robert A.; Hippe, Daniel J.; Sugarbaker, Larry J.
Environmental health science at the U.S. Geological Survey
USGS environmental health science focuses on the environment-health interface. Research characterizes the processes that affect the interaction among the physical environment, the living environment, and people, as well as the factors that affect ecological and human exposure to disease agents and the resulting toxicologic or infectious disease....Buxton, Herbert T.; Bright, Patricia R.
The role of airborne mineral dusts in human disease
Exposure to fine particulate matter (PM) is generally acknowledged to increase risk for human morbidity and mortality. However, particulate matter (PM) research has generally examined anthropogenic (industry and combustion by-products) sources with few studies considering contributions from geogenic PM (produced from the Earth by natural processes...Morman, Suzette A.; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.
Review of samples of water, sediment, tailings, and biota at the Little Bonanza mercury mine, San Luis Obispo County, California
Background and Objectives The Little Bonanza mercury (Hg) mine, located in San Luis Obispo County, California, is a relatively small mine with, a historical total Hg production of about 1,000 flasks. The mine workings and tailings are located in the headwaters of the previously unnamed west fork of Las Tablas Creek (WF Las Tablas Creek), which...Rytuba, James J.; Hothem, Roger L.; Goldstein, Daniel N.; Brussee, Brianne E.; May, Jason T.
Geologic map of the Sand Creek Pass quadrangle, Larimer County, Colorado, and Albany County, Wyoming
New geologic mapping within the Sand Creek Pass 7.5 minute quadrangle defines geologic relationships within the northern Front Range of Colorado along the Wyoming border approximately 35 km south of Laramie, Wyo. Previous mapping within the quadrangle was limited to regional reconnaissance mapping; Eaton Reservoir 7.5 minute quadrangle to the east...Workman, Jeremiah B.; Braddock, William A.
Digital tabulation of stratigraphic data from oil and gas wells in the Santa Maria Basin and surrounding areas, central California coast
Stratigraphic information from 694 oil and gas exploration wells from the onshore Santa Maria basin and surrounding areas are herein compiled in digital form from reports that were released originally in paper form. The Santa Maria basin is located within the southwesternmost part of the Coast Ranges and north of the western Transverse Ranges on...Sweetkind, Donald S.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Langenheim, V.E.; Shumaker, Lauren E.
Three-dimensional geologic model of the Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer, south-central Oklahoma
The Arbuckle-Simpson aquifer of south-central Oklahoma encompasses more than 850 square kilometers and is the principal water resource for south-central Oklahoma. Rock units comprising the aquifer are characterized by limestone, dolomite, and sandstones assigned to two lower Paleozoic units: the Arbuckle and Simpson Groups. Also considered to be...Faith, Jason R.; Blome, Charles D.; Pantea, Michael P.; Puckette, James O.; Halihan, Todd; Osborn, Noel; Christenson, Scott; Pack, Skip
A Review of Aeromagnetic Anomalies in the Sawatch Range, Central Colorado
This report contains digital data and image files of aeromagnetic anomalies in the Sawatch Range of central Colorado. The primary product is a data layer of polygons with linked data records that summarize previous interpretations of aeromagnetic anomalies in this region. None of these data files and images are new; rather, they are presented in...Bankey, Viki
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
Every few days, a fleet of satellites orbiting 700 kilometers above the Earth scans the continental United States to help keep Americans safe. But these eyes in the sky aren’t seeking terrorists or enemy combatants: they scrutinize lakes to locate problems of the microbial variety, namely cyanobacteria.
A joint collaboration between EPA, NOAA, NASA, and USGS scientists has demonstrated that satellite imagery can be used to track the frequency of harmful algal blooms. The satellites can accomplish this by measuring certain algal pigments in the water.
The U. S. Geological Survey is poised to bring a dynamic array of science and tools to help decision-makers manage and offset effects of increased drought across the United States, according to a drought plan report released today.
U.S. Geological Survey scientists and partners are taking technology to the next level, using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly called drones, to acquire both fire intensity and emissions data during prescribed burns.
Budget Focuses on Core USGS Science and Efficiency
The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.
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.