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
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...
Modeling Past Variation in Florida Manatee Survival, Breeding, and Movements Rates to Establish Baselines for Aquatic Ecosystem and Restoration Research
Long-term monitoring data in the Manatee Individual Photo-identification System (MIPS), developed and coordinated by WARC-Sirenia Project in collaboration with Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory, are the basis for modeling manatee demography rates.
The Challenge: Accelerations in sea-level rise and changing environmental stressors have important implications for the integrity of coastal wetlands and for efforts to restore and protect the ecosystem services they provide. Their persistence and adaptation to these stressors depends on the net effects of changes in physical processes and biotic responses. Future planning by decision makers...
High-severity crown fires in Southwestern dry-conifer forests — resulting from fire suppression, fuel buildups, and drought — are creating large treeless areas that are historically unprecedented in size. These recent stand-replacing fires have reset extensive portions of Southwest forest landscapes, fostering post-fire successional vegetation that can alter ecological recovery trajectories...
Tropical storms and hurricanes wreak havoc with coastal forests where damage can vary with wind speed and approach from isolated treefalls to wide-area blowdowns of whole forests.
Monitoring and Assessing Effects of the Picayune Strand Restoration Project (PSRP) on the Florida Manatee
Critical information predicting condition changes in manatee habitat resulting from the alteration of freshwater flows to estuaries is needed to develop the PSRP Detailed Design and PSRP Operations Plan components and complete consultation under the Endangered Species Act.
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.
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.
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.
Foundations of translational ecology
Ecologists who specialize in translational ecology (TE) seek to link ecological knowledge to decision making by integrating ecological science with the full complement of social dimensions that underlie today's complex environmental issues. TE is motivated by a search for outcomes that directly serve the needs of natural resource managers and...Enquist, Carolyn A. F.; Jackson, Stephen T.; Garfin, Gregg M.; Davis, Frank W.; Gerber, Leah R.; Littell, Jeremy; Tank, Jennifer L.; Terando, Adam; Wall, Tamara U.; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Morelli, Toni L.; Hiers, J. Kevin; McNie, Elizabeth; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Williamson, Matthew A.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Yung, Laurie; Brunson, Mark W.; Hall, Kimberly R.; Hallett, Lauren M.; Lawson, Dawn M.; Moritz, Max A.; Nydick, Koren R.; Pairis, Amber; Ray, Andrea J.; Regan, Claudia M.; Safford, Hugh D.; Schwartz, Mark W.; Shaw, M. Rebecca
Toward an effective practice of translational ecology
No abstract available.Jackson, Stephen T.; Garfin, Gregg; Enquist, Carolyn A.F.
A three-dimensional mapping of the ocean based on environmental data
The existence, sources, distribution, circulation, and physicochemical nature of macroscale oceanic water bodies have long been a focus of oceanographic inquiry. Building on that work, this paper describes an objectively derived and globally comprehensive set of 37 distinct volumetric region units, called ecological marine units (EMUs). They are...Sayre, Roger; Wright, Dawn J.; Breyer, Sean P.; Butler, Kevin; Van Graafeiland, Keith; Costello, Mark J.; Harris, Peter T.; Goodin, Kathleen; Guinotte, John M.; Basher, Zeenatul; Kavanaugh, Maria T.; Halpin, Patrick N.; Monaco, Mark E.; Cressie, Noel; Aniello, Peter; Frye, Charles; Stephens, Drew
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.
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,...
A unique effort to seasonally translocate fish, termed “fish rescue”, has quietly emerged in the Pacific Northwest as a way to reduce drought related mortality in wild fish by manually moving individuals from fragmented areas to either free-flowing habitat or artificial rearing facilities, providing refuge during periods of low flow. Work supported by the Northwest CASC...
Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire. Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS
A group of second-graders from the Garretson School District in Garretson, South Dakota pose for a photo at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Center near Sioux Falls, SD.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor is located onboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites. The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) sensor is located onboard the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) and data products created by NASA provide a continuation of the MODIS data heritage. These data are crucial...
Landsat 8 shows the effects after Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala.
At the USGS EROS Center, we study land change, operate the Landsat satellites, and maintain the longest, continuously acquired collection of images of the Earth's land surface.
USGS EROS Center (https://eros.usgs.gov/)
Kass Green talks about the role Landsat plays to help create high resolution maps, the benefits of the archive at EROS and the value of Landsat imagery to agencies throughout the government.
The “LP DAAC Prospectus: 2017 to 2019” short video features the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC), a key access point for global land remote sensing data. The video provides an overview of the significance of the LP DAAC’s archive and distribution functions, explains the depth of the user...
Engineers and scientists from both Landsat and Sentinel missions are working together to calibrate observation data and validate its quality to improve the science using these resources.
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.
The advent of remote sensing was a boon to the ancient science of phenology.
Satellite data offered a global view of nature’s seasonal life cycles that historical tabulators of budding trees and buzzing bees could scarcely imagine.
From the start, however, remotely sensed phenology has come with caveats.
It sounds like a kind of science-fiction fantasy—space trains chugging along on orbital tracks 705 kilometers above the Earth.
In fact, they are real—in a manner of speaking.
It began with a tree falling onto a power line.
There were sparks, then very quickly a wilderness ablaze. In its first 13 hours, the Las Conchas Fire that erupted just west of Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico on June 26, 2011, spread at an acre per second. By the time the last embers died weeks later, it had grown into what then was the largest wildfire in New Mexico history....
New research has revealed significant changes to Alaska’s landscape in recent decades
EROS team earns top honor from Department of Interior for work with international body.
Remotely-sensed data key to response in tracking danger in areas like Montecito
Former Chief Scientist's contributions as head of Landsat Science Team, commitment to education recognized
Scientists at EROS use remote sensing data to assist in the understanding of water dynamics in Upper Klamath