Regions

Northwest - Pacific Islands

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 72
Naval Reactors Facility, Idaho National Laboratory
Date Published: September 20, 2017
Status: Completed

Naval Reactors Facility Groundwater-Quality Monitoring

As part of the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act, it is important to evaluate the effect of Naval Reactors Facility (NRF) activities on the water quality of the eastern Snake River Plain aquifer.

Contacts: Gordon Rattray
Sampling for Bsal
Date Published: September 20, 2017
Status: Active

Herpetological Research Team (FRESC)

The Herpetological Research Team focuses on issues related to conservation and management of amphibians and other aquatic and semi-aquatic species. Among our current studies are effects of invasive species, disease, and land use change on the dynamics of amphibian communities to inform conservation and management decision making.

Hailey, Idaho
Date Published: September 19, 2017
Status: Active

Wood River Valley Groundwater-Flow Model

Rapid population growth in the Wood River Valley since the 1970s has caused concern about the long-term sustainability of the groundwater resource. Water-resource planners and managers, as well as other decision makers, need a tool for water rights administration and water-resource management and planning.

Hydrologist measuring groundwater level
Date Published: August 30, 2017
Status: Active

Upper Klamath Basin Groundwater Studies

Since the late 1990s the USGS has worked to characterize the regional groundwater hydrology of the upper Klamath Basin. Research focuses on collecting data to help evaluate the state of the groundwater system and its response to external stresses, and to develop computer models to provide insights useful for water management. These efforts build on earlier USGS studies in the basin going back...

Wood River, Oregon
Date Published: August 29, 2017
Status: Active

Upper Klamath Basin Studies

In 1992, the USGS began studying possible causes for the change in trophic status of Upper Klamath Lake. Since then research has expanded to include groundwater, geomorphology, streamflow forecasting, and fish ecology.

Boise River near Middleton, Idaho
Date Published: August 18, 2017
Status: Active

Monitoring Mercury in Fish Tissue, Boise and Snake Rivers and Brownlee Reservoir

To meet National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting requirements, the City of Boise will be responsible for collecting fish tissue samples for mercury analysis upstream of and downstream of their wastewater treatment facilities discharging to the lower Boise and Snake Rivers.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that ultimately makes its way into aquatic...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
USGS streamgage
Date Published: August 10, 2017
Status: Active

Groundwater-Flow Model for the Treasure Valley and Surrounding Area

in partnership with the Idaho Department of Water Resources (IDWR) and Idaho Water Resource Board (IWRB), we will construct a numerical groundwater-flow model of the Treasure Valley and surrounding area. Resource managers will use the model to simulate potential anthropogenic and climatic effects on groundwater for water-supply planning and management. As part of model construction, the...

USGS biologist with rainbow trout from the Big Wood River, Idaho
Date Published: August 8, 2017
Status: Active

Wood River Valley Aquatic Biology and Habitat Assessment

Blaine County’s population nearly quadrupled from about 5,700 to 22,000 people between 1970 and 2010. Residents and resource managers of the Wood River Valley of south-central Idaho are concerned about the potential effects that population growth and the expected increased demand for water might have on the quantity and quality of the valley’s ground and surface waters. Increased water use has...

Image: Blackfoot River, Southeastern Idaho
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Selenium in the Blackfoot River Watershed

The upper Blackfoot River receives runoff from 12 large phosphate mines. Shale waste rock that is a byproduct of mining is highly enriched in naturally occurring selenium. At optimal concentrations, selenium can be a positive nutrient and antioxidant in mammals and fish. At elevated concentrations, however, it can damage fish and animal immune systems. As early as 1996, livestock deaths...

U.S. Geological Survey and Bureau of Reclamation technicians using radio telemetry equipment to document bull trout migration b
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Completed

Identifying Bull Trout Migration in the Upper Boise River Basin

In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) listed the bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) as a threatened species. In 2010, the FWS designated critical habitat for the bull trout, including the upper Boise River basin. The Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) operates three reservoirs on the upper Boise River for irrigation and flood control. Reclamation and FWS have a need to understand...

Contacts: Dorene MacCoy
Image: Owyhee Canyonlands Streamgage Installation
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Streamflow Evaluation for Water Right Claims for Wild and Scenic Rivers, Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness

Several river segments in the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness have been designated as “Wild and Scenic” under the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009. This designation is intended to protect the “outstanding remarkable values” (ORVs) in this area—specifically fish and wildlife habitat, scenic and geological features, and recreational opportunities.

The Bureau of Land Management (...

Contacts: Ryan L Fosness
Microplastics sampling on Lake Mead
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

Occurrence and Potential Risk of Microplastics in Lake Mead and the Delaware River

There is mounting evidence that microplastics present a significant threat to aquatic organisms. Microplastics – defined as plastic particles less than 5 mm in diameter – come from many different sources, including synthetic textiles, industrial waste products, personal care products, and the breakdown of litter, car tires, and other objects. This study will assess the occurrence of...

Filter Total Items: 495
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Groundwater-level, groundwater-temperature, and barometric-pressure data, July 2017 to February 2018, Hālawa Area, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi

The Red Hill Bulk Fuel Storage Facility, operated by the U.S. Navy and located in the Hālawa area, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, includes 20 underground storage tanks that can hold a total of 250 million gallons of fuel. In January 2014, the U.S. Navy notified the Hawaiʻi Department of Health and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of release of an estimated...

Mitchell, Jackson N.; Oki, Delwyn S.
Mitchell, J.N., and Oki, D.S., 2018, Groundwater-level, groundwater-temperature, and barometric-pressure data, July 2017 to February 2018, Hālawa Area, O‘ahu, Hawai‘i: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1147, 35 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181147.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru

Climate during the Early Cretaceous in tropical South America has often been reconstructed as arid. However, some areas seem to have been humid. We reconstructed the floristic composition of two tropical stratigraphic successions in Peru using quantitative palynology (rarefied species richness and abundance), and used the abundance of aridity vs....

Mejia-Velasquez, Paula J.; Manchester, Steven R.; Jaramillo, Carlos A.; Quiroz, Luiz; Fortini, Lucas B.
Mejia-Velasquez, P. J., S. R. Manchester, C. A. Jaramillo, L. Quiroz, and L. Fortini. 2018. Floristic and climatic reconstructions of two Lower Cretaceous successions from Peru. Palynology 42:420–433.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands

Accidental introductions of rodents present one of the greatest threats to indigenous island biota, especially seabirds. On uninhabited remote islands, such introductions are likely to come from shipwrecks. Here we use a comprehensive database of shipwrecks in Western Alaska to model the frequency of shipwrecks per Aleutian and Bering Sea island,...

Renner, Martin; Nelson, Eric; Watson, Jordan; Haynie, Alan; Poe, Aaron; Robards, Martin D.; Hess, Steve C.
Renner, M., E. Nelson, J. Watson, A. Haynie, A. Poe, M. Robards, and S. C. Hess. 2018. The risk of rodent introductions from shipwrecks to seabirds on Aleutian and Bering Sea islands. Biological Invasions 20:2679–2690.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling

Obtaining accurate information on the distribution, density, and abundance of animals is an important first step toward their conservation. Methodological approaches using automatic acoustic recorders for species that communicate acoustically are gaining increased interest because of their advantages over traditional sampling methods. In this...

Sebastián-González, Esther; Camp, Richard J.; Tanimoto, Ann M.; Monteiro de Oliveira, Priscilla; Lima, Bruna Barreto; Marques, Tiago A.; Hart, Patrick J.
Sebastián-González, E., R. J. Camp, A. M. Tanimoto, P. M. De Oliveira, B. B. Lima, T. A. Marques and P. J. Hart. 2018. Density estimation of sound-producing terrestrial animals using single automatic acoustic recorders and distance sampling. Avian Conservation and Ecology 13 (2):7.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Research and management priorities for Hawaiian forest birds

Hawai‘i's forest birds face a number of conservation challenges that, if unaddressed, will likely lead to the extinction of multiple species in the coming decades. Threats include habitat loss, invasive plants, non-native predators, and introduced diseases. Climate change is predicted to increase the geographic extent and intensity of these...

Paxton, Eben H.; Laut, Megan; Vetter, John P.; Kendall, Steve J.
Paxton, E. H., M. Laut, J. P. Vetter, and S. J. Kendall. 2018. Research and management priorities for Hawaiian forest birds. Condor 120:557–565.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in Willow Flycatchers

Changes in habitat quality, including those caused by extreme events like droughts and floods, could alter costs and benefits of territoriality and thereby the prevalence and reproductive consequences for individuals capable of breeding that do not do so (floaters). We studied floating behavior in a population of Southwestern Willow Flycatchers (...

Theimer, Tad; Sogge, Mark K.; Cardinal, Suzanne N.; Durst, Scott L.; Paxton, Eben H.
Theimer, T. C., M. K. Sogge, S. N. Cardinal, S. L. Durst, and E. H. Paxton. 2018. Extreme drought alters frequency and reproductive success of floaters in willow flycatchers. Auk 135:647–656.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwestern songbird

Few regions have been more severely impacted by climate change in the USA than the Desert Southwest. Here, we use ecological genomics to assess the potential for adaptation to rising global temperatures in a widespread songbird, the willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), and find the endangered desert southwestern subspecies (E. t. extimus) most...

Ruegg, Kristin; Bay, Rachael A.; Anderson, Eric C.; Saracco, James F.; Harrigan, Ryan J.; Whitfield, Mary J.; Paxton, Eben H.; Smith, Thomas B.
Ruegg, K., R. A. Bay, E. C. Anderson, J. F. Saracco, R. J. Harrigan, M. Whitfield, E. H. Paxton, and T. B. Smith. 2018. Ecological genomics predicts climate vulnerability in an endangered southwestern songbird. Ecology Letters 21:1085–1096. Available: https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.12977

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Characterization of Plasmodium relictum, a cosmopolitan agent of avian malaria

BackgroundMicroscopic research has shown that Plasmodium relictum is the most common agent of avian malaria. Recent molecular studies confirmed this conclusion and identified several mtDNA lineages, suggesting the existence of significant intra-species genetic variation or cryptic speciation. Most identified lineages have a broad range...

Valkiunas, Gediminas; Ilgūnas, Mikas; Bukauskaitė, Dovilė; Fragner, Karin; Weissenböck, Herbert; Atkinson, Carter T.; Iezhova, Tatjana
Valkiūnas, G., M. Ilgūnas, D. Bukauskaitė, K. Fragner, H. Weissenböck, C. T. Atkinson, and T. A. Iezhova. 2018. Characterization of Plasmodium relictum, a cosmopolitan agent of avian malaria. Malaria Journal 17:184.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership 2017 Annual Report

The Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership (PNAMP) continued to promote the integration of monitoring resources and development of tools to support monitoring in 2017. Improved coordination and integration of goals, objectives, and activities among Pacific Northwest monitoring programs is essential to improving the quality and...

Puls, Amy L.; Scully, Rebecca A.; Dethloff, Megan M.; Bayer, Jennifer M.; Olson, Sheryn J.; Cimino, Samuel A.
Puls, A.L., R.A. Scully, M.M. Dethloff, J.M. Bayer, S.J. Olson, and S.A. Cimino. 2018. Pacific Northwest Aquatic Monitoring Partnership 2017 Annual Report. https://pnamp.org/document/6111

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Biology and impacts of Pacific Islands invasive species. 14. Sus scrofa the feral pig (Artiodactyla: Suidae)

Feral pigs (Sus scrofa L.) are perhaps the most abundant, widespread, and economically significant large introduced vertebrate across the Pacific island region. Unlike many other nonnative invasive species, feral pigs have both cultural and recreational importance in the region, complicating their management. Today, Pacific island feral pigs...

Wehr, Nathaniel H. ; Hess, Steven C.; Litton, Creighton M.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Potential impacts of projected climate change on vegetation management in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Climate change will likely alter the seasonal and annual patterns of rainfall and temperature in Hawai`i. This is a major concern for resource managers at Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park where intensely managed Special Ecological Areas (SEAs), focal sites for managing rare and endangered plants, may no longer provide suitable habitat under future...

Camp, Richard J.; Loh, Rhonda; Berkowitz, S. Paul; Brinck, Kevin W.; Jacobi, James D.; Price, Jonathan; McDaniel, Sierra; Fortini, Lucas B.
Camp, R. J., R. Loh, P. Berkowitz, K. W. Brinck, J. D. Jacobi, J. Price, S. McDaniel, and L. B. Fortini. 2018. Potential impacts of projected climate change on vegetation management in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Park Science 34:22–31. Available: https://www.nps.gov/articles/parkscience34-1_22-31_camp_et_al_3875.htm

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2018

Population estimates of the Endangered Hawaiʻi ʻĀkepa (Loxops coccineus) in different habitats on windward Mauna Loa

Endangered Hawai‘i ʻĀkepas (Loxops coccineus) are endemic to Hawai‘i island, where they occur in five spatially distinct populations. Data concerning the status and population trends of these unique Hawaiian honeycreepers are crucial for assessing the effectiveness of recovery and management actions. In 2016, we used point‐transect distance...

Judge, Seth W.; Camp, Richard J.; Hart, Patrick J.; Kichman, Scott T.
Judge, S. W., R. J. Camp, P. J. Hart, and S. T. Kichman. 2018. Population estimates of the Endangered Hawaiʻi ʻĀkepa (Loxops coccineus) in different habitats on windward Mauna Loa. Journal of Field Ornithology 89:11–21.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 301
January 20, 2017

Post-wildfire debris flow: 2016 Fish Fire, Las Lomas Canyon

The June 2016 Fish Fire burned over 12 km^2 in Los Angeles County, California. After the fire, the USGS installed an automated rain-triggered camera to monitor post-wildfire flooding and debris flow in a small canyon above the Las Lomas debris basin in Duarte. This video shows the peak flow triggered by an intense rainstorm on January 20, 2017.
 

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler
January 9, 2017

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler

A U.S. Geological Survey field crew uses an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler to measure water velocity on the Truckee River in Reno, Nevada.

Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains.
December 31, 2016

Alaska Interior Mountain Range

Alaska Interior mountain range shot with snow capped mountains. 

USGS employees and Flathead National Forest staff dig pits in the snow to examine snow structure and depth in Montana.
December 31, 2016

USGS employees and Flathead National Forest staff dig pits in the snow

USGS employees and Flathead National Forest staff dig pits in the snow to examine snow structure and depth for avalanche research and forecasting in northwest Montana.

The Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet) is used for avalanche research and forecasting.
December 31, 2016

The Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400)

The Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet) is used for avalanche research and forecasting along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It records air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, and incoming and outgoing shortwave and longwave radiation.

USGS staff ski to and from  the Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet).
December 31, 2016

USGS staff ski to and from the Garden Wall weather station.

USGS staff ski to and from  the Garden Wall weather station in Glacier National Park (elev. 7400 feet) to complete maintenance and examine the snowpack for avalanche research.

Hikers in Glacier National Park use the new USGS ScienceCache geocaching mobile application.
December 31, 2016

Hikers using ScienceCache

Hikers in Glacier National Park use the new USGS ScienceCache geocaching mobile application. This scientific geocaching mobile application framework consists of a website and app to help engage geo-cachers, youth, and scientists in citizen science.

December 31, 2016

Caddisflies in an Artificial Stream

 

Sometimes the whole is actually *less* than the sum of its parts. In this case, it turns out that cadmium and zinc, when combined in ratios like you'd see in the environment, they are actually less toxic to aquatic insects than adding up their individual toxicities. Read more:

...
Recording information during a point count
December 31, 2016

Recording Information During a Point Count

Sarah Frey, a Northwest Climate Science Center graduate fellow at Oregon State University, records information during a point count at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon.

Girls points to a location on a map laying on the ground.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls learn about the eruption of Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls learn about how the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens impacted the ecology of the area.

Closed canopy plantation
December 31, 2016

Closed Canopy Plantation

Example of a closed canopy plantation logged 60 years ago at the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon, old growth forests have bigger trees and a more complex understory.

Group of students and scientists stand in semi circle with mountain in the background.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain and learn about Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain to learn more about Mount St. Helens’ historical

eruptions.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 79
Image shows remnants of an abandoned mine in a hilly, forested area
June 9, 2017

At USGS, although the rocks we study are millions of years old, our scientific methods are cutting edge! Here's just one example of how we use creative problem-solving to help crystalize a solution to a complex issue.

Illustration of Fijian Gau iguanas.
June 6, 2017

Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey, Taronga Conservation Society Australia, The National Trust of Fiji and NatureFiji-MareqetiViti have discovered a new species of banded iguana.

Image shows several insets against the backdrop of Mount St. Helens erupting
May 18, 2017

Today, in 1980, Mount St. Helens unleashed the most devastating eruption in U.S. history. Two years later, USGS founded the Cascades Volcano Observatory to monitor Mount St. Helens and all the Cascades Volcanoes.

Side-by-side comparison of the northwest wall of Kīlauea Caldera on a clear day (left) and a day with thick vog (right).
May 18, 2017

Just like smog and fog, this EarthWord is not what you want to see while driving...

2014 South Napa Earthquake in California
May 15, 2017

Early on the morning of August 24, 2014, Loren Turner was awoken by clattering window blinds, a moving bed, and the sound of water splashing out of his backyard pool. He experienced what is now named the “South Napa Earthquake.” 

Image shows a scan of an apatite grain on a black background
May 11, 2017

No one wants to have an active volcano in their backyard (just ask Dionisio Pulido), but ancient eroded volcanoes can sometimes be literal goldmines for mineral ores.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

BART
April 6, 2017

Although no one can reliably predict earthquakes, today’s technology is advanced enough to rapidly detect seismic waves as an earthquake begins, calculate the maximum expected shaking, and send alerts to surrounding areas before damage can occur. This technology is known as “earthquake early warning” (EEW).

Earthquake Early Warning: Vital for City Transit
April 6, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey along with university, state and private-sector partners will highlight the rollout of Version 1.2 of the USGS ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system on April 10, 2017.

Image shows a scan of a grain of pyrite rimmed with stibnite, with varying levels of arsenic shown in a color gradient. Image pr
April 6, 2017

Today’s high-end electronics increasingly rely on mineral commodities...and research into those mineral commodities is increasingly using high-end electronics too!

bue and white street sign, circle with wave -shaped drawing indicating a tsunami evacuation route
March 20, 2017

Hours before Japan was struck by the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and the ensuing catastrophic tsunami, John Schelling spoke at a public meeting in the coastal community of Oceans Shores, Washington, about preparing for tsunami hazards. The few dozen people attending the meeting went home that evening and watched in horror as the events in Japan unfolded.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Our scientists in the Northwest Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of the Northwest states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

Filter Total Items: 59