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One of the major strengths of the Northeast Area is the enthusiasm and commitment of our scientists to produce the type of high quality science that the USGS is known for. Working together with our partners across the nation, we have the ability to provide complete, integrated and holistic environmental information that will produce the best results that we can achieve.

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Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina
Date Published: August 26, 2016
Status: Completed

The Eastern Box Turtle at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, MD

The Challenge: Once common to forest and backyard habitats, the eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina) has declined sharply. Threats to box turtles include loss and fragmentation of their habitat, road mortality, and commercial taking for the international pet trade. Researchers at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center have 70 years of records on a turtle population located within a 12...

Mammals of South America Vol 1 & 2
Date Published: August 23, 2016

The Mammals of South America

The Challenge: Accurate comprehensive information on current names of species and subspecies, their distributions, and means for their identification are required for effective conservation, management, scientific study, and enforcement of laws governing take, protection, and commerce. For the South American continent, up-to-date references containing this information have not been available...

Rafinesque's Cabree
Date Published: August 19, 2016

Rafinesque’s Mammals

The Challenge: Taxonomic nomenclature relies, in part, upon an accurate taxonomic history in order to establish the correct name for a taxon. Constantine S. Rafinesque (1783–1840), was a knowledgeable North American natural historian who was is responsible for describing and naming such iconic American mammals as the mule deer [Odocoileus hemionus (Rafinesque, 1817)] and the white-footed mouse...

Inverted x-rays of femurs of a least shrew
Date Published: August 19, 2016

Survival of the Least Fit: Incidence of Physical Trauma in a Wild Mammal Community

The Challenge: It has been generally considered that a severe injury to a wild mammal that seemingly limits its ability to forage for food or escape predators will almost certainly lead to that individual’s demise.  Inspection of skeletons of wild caught small mammals, however, has revealed a surprising number of individuals with healed fractures of the skeletal bones―including the primary...

Tree shrew cover page for Journal of Mammalogy
Date Published: August 19, 2016
Status: Active

Diversity and Biogeography of Treeshrews

The Challenge: Treeshrews (order Scandentia) are small-bodied mammals endemic to South and Southeast Asia. Since it was first described in 1820, the Common Treeshrew (Tupaia glis) has had a complex taxonomic history that has led to widely variable estimates of diversity, misidentification of populations, and general confusion regarding it and closely related species. One result is that T. glis...

Sea Otter
Date Published: August 19, 2016

Biodiversity of North American Mammals

The Challenge: Despite more than a century and a half of study, accurate understanding of the diversity North American mammalian species and the distribution of those species remains unrefined. Yet this understanding is essential for determining the conservation status of species, for mapping out potential disease reservoirs, and for understanding the response of species to habitat...

X-ray of a snake that has eaten a lizard
Date Published: August 18, 2016

Collections and Collection Management

The Challenge: How can we preserve and maintain evidence from our scientific past and continue to smartly expand that resource to help scientists find the answers to the questions and challenges they will face in the future?

A genetic analysis illustration
Date Published: August 10, 2016

Molecular Ecology Lab (MEL)

The Molecular Ecology Laboratory applies genetic and genomic technologies to address a variety of complex questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species. Information...

Collecting measurements from SET
Date Published: August 1, 2016
Status: Active

Hurricane Sandy Impacts on Coastal Wetland Resilience in the Northeast United States

The Challenge: The high winds and storm surge associated with Hurricane Sandy impacted coastal wetlands from Virginia to Maine. Understanding the ecological and geological impacts of hurricanes on coastal wetlands and their interactive effects with local conditions is important for identifying resilience of these communities to predicted global sea-level rise. Given the projected increase in...

Date Published: July 19, 2016
Status: Active

Patuxent Library Services

The Patuxent Library provides reference services and support to the staff of the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center and also responds to inquiries from the general public. The collection focuses on birds, contaminants, monitoring, and wetlands as related to wildlife research. 

Herring Gull
Date Published: July 14, 2016

Species Identification in the White-headed Gull Complex

The Challenge: The Federal Aviation Administration has long relied on the expertise provided by the Smithsonian Feather Identification Lab for identification of bird remains recovered from bird-aircraft (birdstrike) collisions. Recently, these identifications are increasingly reliant on data from mitochondrial DNA. While generally successful in delimiting species, mitochondrial DNA is not...

Rufous Antpitta Grallaria rufula
Date Published: July 13, 2016

Biodiversity of Birds of the Americas

The Challenge: Accurate taxonomic delineation of species and subspecies provides the biological and legal foundation for effective conservation action, whether by domestic resource management agencies or by other countries throughout the hemisphere that may be involved through international treaties or common conservation threats. Although birds are among the most well-known groups of...

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February 29, 2016

Setting up Communication in TRDI SxS Pro

In this video, we will review the process for setting up a connection between an ADCP and the TRDI SxS Pro software. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2

January 31, 2016

Midsection ADCP Measurements for Check Measurements

In this video, we will highlight the advantages of using an ADCP with the midsection method as a check measurement. Note: Use of trade names is for descriptive purposes only, and does not imply endorsement by the USGS. For additional videos in this series, visit the following link: https://www2.

Scientist collects samples from a temporary wooden platform in a New Jersey salt marsh
December 31, 2015

USGS scientist collects samples in a New Jersey salt marsh

Caption: USGS scientist Zafer Defne measures water and sediment movement at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey. Defne is co-author with USGS' Neil Ganju of a 2017 study on how to estimate coastal salt marshes' potential longevity, based on their sediment budgets and the ratio of open water to vegetation. Photo: Sandra Brosnahan, USGS

USGS' Owen Brenner wading with GPS backpack
December 31, 2015

Wading in the breach to precisely measure it

USGS employee Owen Brenner walks across the Fire Island wilderness breach carrying a GPS backpack that allows him to collect precise elevation data in the shallows.

Scientist sets up solar-powered research station amid Fire Island dunes
December 31, 2015

Setting up a science base in a barrier island wilderness

USGS scientist BJ Reynolds sets up a solar-powered, satellite-uplinked GPS base station in the Fire Island Wilderness Area to support detailed elevation surveys.

December 31, 2015


The Eastern, migratory population of monarch butterflies has declined by about 80 percent over the last decade.


01103040 Mystic River at Medford, MA
August 4, 2015

Mystic River at Medford, MA

Mystic River at Medford, MA near the streamgage station 01103040

Hurricane Sandy Tribes Visits
December 31, 2014

Hurricane Sandy Mashpee Tribe Visit

Attribution: Northeast
Chesapeake Bay 2014 Landsat imagery
December 31, 2014

Chesapeake Bay Landsat mosaic 2014

Chesapeake Bay and surroundings, mosaic of 5 Landsat images taken in October and November 2014.

Attribution: Ecosystems, Northeast
USGS' Brian Selck samples a private well in Lycoming County, PA
December 31, 2014

Sampling a private well in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania

Brian Selck, a USGS National Association of Geoscience Teachers intern, collects a water level measurement from a domestic well at a site north of Jersey Shore in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, June 2014.

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