Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in action at the Kilauea Volcano
Scientists are using UAS mounted sensors to help support monitoring and data acquisition needs at the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii.Learn More
10 Things You May Not Know About Our Coasts
Coasts provide many benefits to their inhabitants but are threatened by changing conditions. Scientists are working to understand the related impacts.Learn More
Mission Areas L2 Landing Page Tabs
Understanding a changing world and how it affects our natural resources, livelihoods, and communities. Science plays an essential role in helping communities and resource managers understand the local to global implications of change, anticipate the effects of change, prepare for change, and reduce the risks associated with decisionmaking in a changing environment.
Land Resource science is essential to improve understanding of past and present change; develop relevant forecasts; and identify those lands, resources, and communities most vulnerable to Earth system change processes.Our Science Strategy
EROS work on fire activity in the United States includes the creation of an atlas of fire perimeters for fires occurring on U.S. National Wildlife Refuges from 1984 through 2013. Fire Atlas perimeter data provide information to refuge managers as they plan land management activities for their units.
EROS analysts use data provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), which...
LANDFIRE (LF), Landscape Fire and Resource Management Planning Tools, is a shared program between the wildland fire management programs of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior, providing agency leaders and managers with a common "all-lands" data set of vegetation and wildland fire/fules information for strategic fire and resource managemnt...
USGS Emergency Response strives to ensure that the disaster response community has rapid access to timely, accurate, and relevant geospatial imagery, products, and services before, during, and after a disaster.
This webpage showcases the key research advances made in hyperspectral remote sensing of agricultural crops and vegetation over the last 50 years. There are three focus areas:
Phenology is the study of plant and animal life cycles in relation to the seasons. EROS maintains a set of nine annual phenological metrics for the conterminous United States, all curated from satellite data. Taken together, the metrics represent a powerful tool for documenting life cycle trends and the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.
Instrumental measurements of climate variables (e.g., precipitation, temperature, ocean circulation, etc.) are only available over the past century or less. In order to quantify the rate and magnitude of natural climate variability going back in time beyond the 20th century, scientists rely on paleoclimate reconstructions.
A sediment trap time series in the northern Gulf of Mexico is used to better assess the control of environmental variables (e.g., temperature and salinity) on the flux of both microfossils and molecular fossils to the sediments. The information gained from sediment trap studies is used to develop better proxy-based estimates of past oceanographic conditions from analyses of microfossils and ...
The William T. Pecora Award is presented annually to individuals or groups that have made outstanding contributions toward understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. Nominations for the 2018 award must be received by June 15, 2018.
Climate Change in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed: Effects on Riverine Discharge, Ecosystems, and Water Quality
The 64,000-square mile watershed that drains to the Chesapeake Bay is highly populated and has diverse land use, including forested, agricultural, and urbanized areas. Increased precipitation in the eastern United States over the last 100 years has affected stream flow and thus the loading of pollutants delivered to the bay. Such pollutants as suspended sediment and dissolved phosphorus and...
The retreat of glaciers in Glacier National Park, Montana, has received widespread attention by the media, the public, and scientists because it is a clear and poignant indicator of change in the northern Rocky Mountains of the USA. In 2017 the...
The simulation reflects the predicted exponential rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, a 2xCO2 "global warming" scenario, by 2030 with a concurrent warming of 2-3 degrees centigrade (4-5 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2050. In addition it assumes that precipitation, primarily during the winter, will increase over the same time period five to 10 percent. The animation view of the Blackfoot-...
USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems. SEM is increasingly used in ecological and environmental studies and this site seeks to provide...
In this interactive matching game developed by USGS and AmericaView, you’ll compare satellite images that show land cover change at various locations around the world. The goal is to find all the matching pairs of images in the shortest amount of time.
The Coastal National Elevation Database (CoNED) Project Viewer is a portal to the topobathymetric models created with the expertise of the expertise of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD.
The EarthNow! Landsat Image Viewer displays imagery in near real-time as Landsat 7 and Landsat 8 orbit the Earth. Along with the near real-time video stream, EarthNow! also replays acquisition recordings from a list of previous Landsat overpasses. When Landsat 7 or Landsat 8 are out of viewing range of a ground station, the most recent overpass is displayed.
Shoreline change rates in salt marsh units in Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
This dataset displays shoreline change rates at the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, USA
Area of the Named Glaciers of Glacier National Park (GNP) and Flathead National Forest (FNF) Derived from Aerial and Satellite Imagery, 1966, 1998, 2005, 2015
These data represent a time series of the 37 named glaciers of Glacier National Park, MT, USA and two named glaciers in the Flathead National Forest.
USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems.
The EarthExplorer (EE) tool provides users the ability to query, search, and order satellite images, aerial photographs, and cartographic products. In addition to data from the Landsat missions, EE provides access to MODIS land data products from the NASA Terra and Aqua missions, and ASTER level-1B data products over the U.S. and and Territories from the NASA ASTER mission.
Map interface to view and download LANDFIRE data sets, receive alerts and notifications.
A snapshot of women of the U.S. Geological Survey in STEM and related careers
IntroductionThe term “STEM” has been used to group together the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and to describe education and professions related to these fields. The professional fields connected to STEM education are thought of as engineering, medicine, and computer technology. Yet these professional fields are merely...Aragon-Long, Susan C.; Burkett, Virginia R.; Weyers, Holly S.; Haig, Susan M.; Davenport, Marjorie S.; Warner, Kelly L.
A review of coastal management approaches to support the integration of ecological and human community planning for climate change
The resilience of socio-ecological systems to sea level rise, storms and flooding can be enhanced when coastal habitats are used as natural infrastructure. Grey infrastructure has long been used for coastal flood protection but can lead to unintended negative impacts. Natural infrastructure often provides similar services as well as added benefits...Powell, Emily J.; Tyrrell, Megan C.; Milliken, Andrew; Tirpak, John M.; Staudinger, Michelle D.
Spatial patterns of development drive water use
Water availability is becoming more uncertain as human populations grow, cities expand into rural regions and the climate changes. In this study, we examine the functional relationship between water use and the spatial patterns of developed land across the rapidly growing region of the southeastern United States. We quantified the spatial pattern...Sanchez, G.M.; Smith, J.W.; Terando, Adam J.; Sun, G.; Meentemeyer, R.K.
Potential impacts of projected climate change on vegetation-management strategies in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park
Climate change is expected to alter the seasonal and annual patterns of rainfall and temperature in the Hawaiian Islands. Land managers and other responsible agencies will need to know how plant-species habitats will change over the next century in order to manage these resources effectively. This issue is a major concern for resource managers at...Camp, Richard J.; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Brink, Kevin W.; Jacobi, James D.; Loh, Rhonda; Price, Jonathan; Fortini, Lucas B.
U.S. Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers and U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center—Annual report for 2017
IntroductionThe year 2017 was a year of review and renewal for the Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC). The Southeast, Northwest, Alaska, Southwest, and North Central CSCs’ 5-year summary review reports were released in...Varela Minder, Elda
Movers and stayers: Novel assemblages in changing environments
How species will respond to ongoing climate and other change is of increasing concern.Most attention is given to how species move or are moved, but many species stay.Understanding the dynamics of new species combinations is essential for successful conservation in a changing climate.Increased attention to species movement in response to...Hobbs, Richard L.; Valentine, Leonie E.; Standish, Rachel J.; Jackson, Stephen T.
Temperature variations in the southern Great Lakes during the last deglaciation: Comparison between pollen and GDGT proxies
Our understanding of deglacial climate history in the southern Great Lakes region of the United States is primarily based upon fossil pollen data, with few independent and multi-proxy climate reconstructions. Here we introduce a new, well-dated fossil pollen record from Stotzel-Leis, OH, and a new deglacial temperature record based on branched...Watson, Benjamin I.; Williams, John W.; Russell, James M.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Shane, Linda; Lowell, Thomas V.
Development of a multimetric index for integrated assessment of salt marsh ecosystem condition
Tools for assessing and communicating salt marsh condition are essential to guide decisions aimed at maintaining or restoring ecosystem integrity and services. Multimetric indices (MMIs) are increasingly used to provide integrated assessments of ecosystem condition. We employed a theory-based approach that considers the multivariate relationship...Nagel, Jessica L.; Neckles, Hilary A.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Rocks, Erika N.; Schoolmaster, Donald; Grace, James B.; Skidds, Dennis; Stevens, Sara
Ad hoc instrumentation methods in ecological studies produce highly biased temperature measurements
In light of global climate change, ecological studies increasingly address effects of temperature on organisms and ecosystems. To measure air temperature at biologically relevant scales in the field, ecologists often use small, portable temperature sensors. Sensors must be shielded from solar radiation to provide accurate temperature measurements...Terando, Adam J.; Youngsteadt, Elsa; Meineke, Emily K.; Prado, Sara G.
Building translational ecology communities of practice: insights from the field
Translational ecology (TE) prioritizes the understanding of social systems and decision contexts in order to address complex natural resource management issues. Although many practitioners in applied fields employ translational tactics, the body of literature addressing such approaches is limited. We present several case studies illustrating the...Lawson, Dawn M.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Yung, Laurie; Enquist, Carolyn A. F.
Developing a translational ecology workforce
We define a translational ecologist as a professional ecologist with diverse disciplinary expertise and skill sets, as well as a suitable personal disposition, who engages across social, professional, and disciplinary boundaries to partner with decision makers to achieve practical environmental solutions. Becoming a translational ecologist...Schwartz, Mark W.; Hiers, J. Kevin; Davis, Frank W.; Garfin, Gregg; Jackson, Stephen T.; Terando, Adam J.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Morelli, Toni; Williamson, Matthew A.; Brunson, Mark W.
Early-career experts essential for planetary sustainability
Early-career experts can play a fundamental role in achieving planetary sustainability by bridging generational divides and developing novel solutions to complex problems. We argue that intergenerational partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration among early-career experts will enable emerging sustainability leaders to contribute fully to a...Lim, Michelle; Lynch, Abigail J.; Fernández-Llamazares, Alvaro; Balint, Lenke; Basher, Zeenatul; Chan, Ivis; Jaureguiberry, Pedro; Mohamed, A.A.A.; Mwampamba, Tuyeni H.; Palomo, Ignacio; Pliscoff, Patricio; Salimov, R.A.; Samakov, Aibek; Selomane, Odirilwe; Shrestha, Uttam B.; Sidorovich, Anna A.
The Earth Resources Observation and Science Center offers educational resources designed for elementary- and middle-school students. The U.S. Geological Survey offers more options through its science education resource page.
Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.
Ponderosa pine forests in the Black Hills of South Dakota are the focus of this week’s USGS Image of the Week.
Mountain pine beetles are about the size of a grain of rice, so of course we can’t see them from space in satellite images. What is visible is what the beetles can do to a pine forest. The washed-out pink color indicates large areas of standing dead or...
Every year, tens of thousands of people descend upon an unforgiving windswept playa in northwestern Nevada to build a city.
Within months, the city is gone.
Burning Man is named for the wooden effigy set ablaze at the end of the weeklong celebration in the temporary metropolis of Black Rock City.
It all happens on an ancient alkali flat nestled between...
A total solar eclipse darkened the skies over the United States on Aug. 21, 2017.
Fourteen states were in the path of totality, a 70-mile-wide band under which the moon fully blocked the sun for just under three minutes.
Oshkosh, a town in the Nebraska Sandhills was a prime location for viewing the eclipse. This Landsat 7 image shows the town at 11:33 a.m....
This short video provides a quick look at the Application for Extracting and Exploring Analysis Ready Samples (AppEEARS). AppEEARS provides a simple and efficient way to subset, transform, and visualize geospatial data distributed from a variety of federal archives. AppEEARS can be accessed by visiting https...
Landsat 8 captured satellite views of California’s largest wildfire on record in the summer of 2018. The Mendocino Complex Fire in northern California is a combination of two fires: the Ranch Fire and the River Fire.
Both fires started July 27, and hot, dry, windy conditions caused them to spread rapidly. Landsat 8 imaged the area the day before the fires broke out...
Landsat 8 captured satellite views of California's largest wildfire on record in the summer of 2018. The Mendocino Complex fire in northern California is a combination of two fires: the Ranch Fire and the River Fire.
The Landsat archive has added its 8 millionth scene.
This stunning image was captured by Landsat 8 on July 28, 2018. It shows the coastline of Nordaustlandet, the second-largest island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago.
Most of the island is covered by massive white ice caps. The exposed rocky coast appears in reddish brown, peppered with blue and black lakes...
Landsat sensor technology has come a long way since the days of the Return Beam Vidicon cameras on the first three Landsat satellites. Known as the RBV, it wasoriginally intended to be the satellites’ primary sensor. But the Multispectral
Scanner, or MSS, became the more stable and superior instrument.
Each week, the Earth Resources Observation and Science (...
What it takes each day to keep Landsat 7 operating smoothly. Hear the stories from inside the L7 Mission Operation Center.
Waterfowl populations in the northern Gulf of Mexico (NGOM) rely extensively on plants that grow under the surface in shallow waters, know as submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), as a critical food resource in the winter season. SAV roots, shoots, and seeds provide high carbohydrate wildlife food that sustains valuable waterfowl species, including the American Wigeon,...
The Big Thompson Floods of 1976 and 2013 shown visually. The inundation images reflect the location and peak streamflows at certain points between Estes Park and Loveland, Colorado.
The EROS Center could very well end up playing several significant roles in dealing with the monstrous hurricane called Florence now barreling down on the Carolinas and American’s Eastern Seaboard.
Tom Loveland, the recently retired chief scientist at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, was inducted Sept. 7-8, 2018, into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in Chamberlain, SD, for his career and work in remote sensing.
When they step out of their science or engineering realms, staff members at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center near Sioux Falls, SD, often tell a different story about the work they do.
In many ways, a more interesting story.
The design work is done. The development, off and running. With a Dec. 15, 2020, launch date penciled in for Landsat 9, the business of building the L9 Ground System is ready to springboard off a final Ground System Critical Design Review being hosted by the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center at the end of September.
Over the past five years, private companies have launched hundreds of shoebox-sized Earth observation “cubesat” satellites into space with promises of high-resolution daily imagery.
The rapid emergence of smallsats begs the question: What role does a legacy satellite like Landsat play in the development and use of these relatively inexpensive orbiters?
They say there are forests in West Africa where spirits abide. Where people walk among woodland burial grounds and speak to the dead. Where life plays out from beginning to end.
The National Land Imaging (NLI) Program of the USGS Land Resources Mission Area is soliciting applications from qualified Educational Institutions, State and Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations (NPOs).
The South Dakota Department of Health (DOH) wants to break the model scientists made for it, which might seem an odd goal until one considers the context.
Jim Vogelmann discovered something interesting about Analysis Ready Data (ARD) these last few months as he and his colleagues worked on finding a better way to quantify fire risk in the Great Basin of the western United States.
ARD, Vogelmann learned, works really well.
Kyle Douglas-Mankin wants to know where the raindrops go when they fall on the arid and semi-arid landscapes of the Upper Rio Grande Basin.
Life in satellite flight operations is busy enough without the disruption of uprooting and moving an entire Mission Operations Center (MOC). Yet that’s been the reality for the Landsat 7 MOC as it transitioned this spring into a new address at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD.