Regions

Northwest

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: 134
Wide eyed elk in a feedgrounds.
Date Published: April 9, 2016

Ecology of Elk on Department of Interior Lands in Southwest Wyoming

Between 2005 and 2010, we radio- collared 61 female elk (Cervus elaphus) on Fossil Butte National Monument and 12 female elk near Cokeville, Wyoming, slightly northwest of the Monument, all from the West Green River herd. We are using the 209,250 locations from these elk to identify seasonal distribution patterns, evaluate habitat use, and assess factors influencing the timing of migration.  ...

Getting the shot of Blackfoot Glacier, GNP.
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Status: Active

Repeat Photography Project

Climate change research in Glacier National Park, Montana entails many methods of documenting the landscape change, including the decline of the parks namesake glaciers. While less quantitative than other high-tech methods of recording glacial mass, depth, and rate of retreat, repeat photography has become a valuable tool for communicating effects of global warming. With evidence of worldwide...

Contacts: Lisa McKeon
It requires heavy machinery to remove snow and debris along the road. In this image, crews are removing 20+ feet of snow from th
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Going-to-the-Sun Road Avalanche Forecasting Program

The Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTTSR) is one of the premier attractions in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana. It opened in 1933 after 12 years of construction and is one of GNP’s most heavily used facilities. The two-lane, 80-kilometer road traverses the park from west to east, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass at 2026m elevation. The Park closes a 56km section of the road each...

A USGS scientist skis in to Dead Horse Point on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP.
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Natural Hazards of Spring Opening of Going to the Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun (GTTS) Road in Glacier National Park, Montana is one of the park's premier attractions and the most heavily used facility. The road traverses Glacier, from the west entrance in West Glacier to the east entrance in St. Mary. The narrow, 52-mile road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, at an elevation of 6880 feet. The Logan Pass section of the GTTS Road is...

Image: Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 1913
Date Published: April 6, 2016

History of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

The history of glaciation within current Glacier National Park boundaries spans centuries of glacial growth and recession, carving the features we see today. Glaciers were present within current Glacier National Park boundaries as early as 7,000 years ago but may have survived an early Holocene warm period (Carrara, 1989), making them much older. These modest glaciers varied in size, tracking...

Image: Shepard Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana - 2005
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Retreat of Glaciers in Glacier National Park

Worldwide glacial glacier recession is well documented (1,2) and varied model projections suggest that certain studied GNP glaciers will disappear in the next few decades, between 2030 (3) to 2080 (4).  USGS scientists in Glacier National Park are collaborating with glaciologist from Alaska and Washington and using...

Setting up a weather station in Glacier National Park
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Alpine Climatology of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a topographically diverse region, making localized effects of elevation, aspect, and cold air drainage several of many important factors that necessitate a diversity of long-term climate monitoring sites. Additionally, many studies have shown more rapid warming at higher elevations across the Intermountain West, but with relatively few high-elevation stations available...

Image: Getting the Shot, Grinnell Glacier, Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 6, 2016

Landscape Change Photography

Repeat photography is being used by the CCME program to document landscape change. Glaciers have been the primary focus of this park-wide survey and this collection of repeat photographs, available for download on the CCME website, have been used to illustrate the effects of climate change in venues across the globe. These powerful images, with their inherent ease of interpretation, have...

Avalanche forecasters ski out to investigate the crown of a large wet slab avalanche in Haystack Creek drainage. This drainage i
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Snow and Avalanche Research

Since 1991, CCME staff have conducted snow surveys throughout Glacier National Park. These data have contributed to regional climate change and hydrologic models. Snowpack characteristics have also been evaluated in relation to avalanche forecasting and plowing of GNP’s Going to the Sun Road efforts. Studies of natural snow avalanches reveal connections with large-scale climate and wildfire...

Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Secondary Glacier Network

The Secondary Glacier Network includes six glaciers (Chaney, Grinnell, Stanton, Agassiz, Swiftcurrent, Jackson-Blackfoot Glaciers) that form a north-south transect of approx. 60 km through the region, with Sperry Glacier just south of center. While these glaciers will be monitored less frequently than the benchmark glacier, Sperry, this network will provide data about the variability of...

Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park.
Date Published: April 5, 2016

Benchmark Glacier: Sperry

Sperry Glacier was chosen as the benchmark glacier for the glacier monitoring studies, due to the combination of its topographic characteristics, historic data, and access. Annual mass balance measurements began in 2005. Sperry Glacier joined the long-established USGS Benchmark Glacier Research program in 2013 where common field and analysis methods enable regional comparison and improved...

Researchers studying Sperry Glacier in Glacier National Park
Date Published: April 5, 2016
Status: Active

Glacier Research

As Glacier National Park’s namesake glaciers recede, CCME staff are monitoring many of the park’s glaciers to determine the causes of change, assess their ecological and hydrological effects, and predict future changes and effects. Intensive research to determine the mass balance of Sperry Glacier will determine whether small cirque glaciers like Sperry can serve as reliable indicators of...

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: 335
February 23, 2016

Getting the bear's weight

One of the first measurements taken is the bear’s weight using a quadpod and electronic scale. 

February 23, 2016

Getting set up

Biologists are very careful to keep the grizzly bear under shade and protected from the elements while they collect biological data.  Vital signs are monitored throughout the handling period. 

February 23, 2016

Close up

The kerchief over the grizzly bear’s eyes protects it from dust and debris and reduces visual stimulation. The small tubing in its nose, known as a nasal cannula, delivers oxygen to the animal while it is tranquilized.  

February 23, 2016

Assessing body fat percentage of grizzly bear

Field personnel use bioelectrical impedance to assess body fat percentage of captured bears.  The procedure is similar to how body fat is measured in humans and is based on the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal.  The electrical current is impeded more by fat tissues compared with tissues that are composed mostly of water, thus

...
February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's head length

A biologist measures a grizzly bear’s head length.

February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's body length

Biologists measure a grizzly bear’s body length.

February 23, 2016

Measuring the bear's paw

Biologists measure a grizzly bear’s paw width. 

February 23, 2016

Fitting a radio collar

Biologists with IGBST and the National Park Service fit a grizzly bear with a radio collar.  Once a bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry.

February 18, 2016

Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout in the North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana.

Westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout in the North Fork of the Flathead River, Montana.

February 18, 2016

Getting the Shot

USGS scientist shoots a repeat photograph of Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park to illustrate glacial recession due to impacts of climate change.

February 17, 2016

Top of the world.

USGS scientist Greg Pederson and field collaborator set up a repeat photograph in Glacier National Park.  

USGS hydrologic technician collecting streamflow data
January 4, 2016

USGS hydrologic technician collecting streamflow data

USGS hydrologic technician Deena Green collects streamflow data at streamgage station 12413875, St. Joe River at Red Ives Ranger Station, Idaho

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: 86
USGS science for a changing world logo
February 24, 2014

An increase in the barred owl population is contributing to the decline of threatened Northern spotted owls, according to models developed by U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Forest Service scientists.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Northwest region of the United States-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

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.