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Pacific

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The Pacific Region has nine USGS Science Centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions. Our scientists do a broad array of research and technical assistance throughout the U.S. and across the globe.

Where are we?

Where are we?

The USGS Pacific Regional Directors Office is located at 6000 J Street, Placer Hall, Sacramento, CA 95819. For more information, please contact (916) 278-9551.

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Who are we?

Who are we?

We help support the USGS mission by providing objective science and technical support to address a wide array of important societal issues, our capabilities and activities are diverse.

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News

Sandy ocean beach with low cliffs on the right side. Ocean visible at left side. One person walking on beach
February 14, 2017

In a study released today, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues document how the 2015-16 winter featured one of the most powerful El Niño climate events of the last 145 years.

Image shows a satellite view of several California reservoirs
February 10, 2017

See a decade of California drought ease in this EarthView from Landsat.

K2 Seismic Station
February 2, 2017

The U. S. Geological Survey is seeking volunteers to host temporary seismic stations in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord California area. Volunteers will be assisting with a new ground motion study that will begin in March 2017.

USGS is the nation's premiere earth and natural science research organization. Because our core mission is to provide objective science and technical support to address a wide array of important societal issues, our capabilities and activities are diverse. Our work is conducted by employees at our Science Centers, and in collaboration with our many external partners.

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A Burmese python coiled in the grass in the Everglades.
December 4, 2016

Invasive species are considered to be second only to habitat degradation in terms of negative impacts on the Earth’s ecosystems, and our scientists make up a significant proportion of the global expertise in the rapidly-growing problem of invasive reptiles....

A photo of the beach on Guam, by Bob Reed.
December 1, 2016

USGS scientists and staff associated with the Brown Treesnake Project are co-located at the Guam National Wildlife Refuge at the northern end of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean. Project staff work on developing and testing control tools for invasive brown treesnakes, as well as understanding their impacts on Guam's ecosystems. Project staff also lead the multi-agency Brown Treesnake...

Ducks eating brine flies
October 19, 2016

The Challange: The Laysan Teal is an endangered, endemic, Hawaiian dabbling duck that has been pushed to the brink of extinction numerous times. The previous range includes the Main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and its current range is less than 10 sq. km within the National Wildlife Refuges of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. This non-migratory...

Box Springs Field Station
October 19, 2016

Deserts in the southwestern United States are experiencing rapid changes due to human activities. The growth of human populations and development of cities and towns affect adjacent rare, threatened, and endangered species and their associated ecosystems in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts of southeastern California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, and western Arizona. ...

A genetic analysis illustration
August 10, 2016

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....

A brown treesnake in a tree in Guam. Photo by Bob Reed, USGS, 2009.
July 6, 2016

The Brown Treesnake is a highly destructive reptile species that has extirpated many native species of birds, bats, and lizards from the U.S. Territory of Guam. For more than two decades branch scientists with the Invasive Reptile Project have developed, validated, and tested the feasibility of Brown Treesnake control and suppression at various spatial scales....

The National Map
April 19, 2016

Would you like to learn more about USGS National Map products and services? Then welcome to the National Geospatial Program User Engagement office. We can help you leverage NGP products and services through The National Map and other venues. Connect with us through our network of National Map Liaisons. There's a liaison for every state!

Development of an Environmental Assessment and Eradication Plan to Remove Tilapia from Ponds and Wetlands in National Parks on t
April 17, 2016

Mozambique tilapia, a highly invasive non-native fish of the family Cichlidae, were discovered in a wetland in Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawai'i. As the U.S. National Park Service works to restore the natural communities and functions of wetland ecosystems on the island, the eradication of the tilapia population is considered necessary to fully...

homes damaged by hurricane Sandy on Fire Island, New York
April 13, 2016

Scientists perform a range of studies that document, assess, and model coastal change, risk, and vulnerability. Studies include historical shoreline change, the geologic structure and history of coastal regions, sediment supply and transport, sea-level rise, and how extreme storm events affect rates and impacts of coastal change.

Devastation of the coastal city of Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
April 13, 2016

We study the distribution and hazard potential of coastal and submarine events such as earthquakes and submarine landslides and associated tsunami potential, hurricane induced coastal inundation, extreme storms, sea-level rise and oil and gas spills. We also model development to help evaluate and forecast coastal hazard probability and occurrence.

Methane hydrate
April 13, 2016

Our scientists conduct research studies focused on geologic mapping, sampling and understanding of mineral and energy resources and studies of the geologic setting and processes to inform renewable energy development offshore.

crustose coralline algae
April 13, 2016

We bring together multidisciplinary expertise focused on developing tools and models to improve understanding of how healthy ecosystems function as well as how they respond to environmental changes and human impacts including ecosystem restoration. Research studies address coral reef, coastal wetland, benthic habitat and groundwater resources.

USGS is known for the producing objective, high-quality data that is relevant to decision-makers, resource managers, the scientific community, and the public. We are recognized as the world leader in making data and tools readily available; as a result, our tools and data are widely used to better understand our world and protect human life and property.

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Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

Elevation Data

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of lidar point clouds (LPC), standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Fish on seafloor, Offshore Northern California
April 18, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geology Video and Photography Portal

This portal contains U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) video and photography of the seafloor off of coastal California and Massachusetts, and aerial imagery of the coastline along segments of the Gulf of Mexico and mid-Atlantic coasts. These data were collected as part of several USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program Seafloor Mapping projects and Hurricane and Extreme Storm research.

Lidar data of the Gulf Islands, Florida
March 17, 2016

Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System

Site provides access to Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) data via Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards services; serving data to GeoMapApp and Virtual Ocean 2-D and 3-D earth browsing tools, for data integration, visualization and analysis; and metadata catalogs for data discovery.

Colored, shaded multibeam data, offshore of Monterey, CA.
March 15, 2016

California State Waters Map Series GIS Data and Metadata

GIS data files for map areas offshore of California are listed with a brief description, a small image, and links to the metadata files and the downloadable data files.

USGS is a world leader in producing and distributing maps and geospatial data, ranging from local to national scales.

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WERC Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 2011-2012 Density map (birds/sq km) Summer - north
November 9, 2016

Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) Density map (birds/sq km) Summer - north as part of the Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA) project. 
Project contacts: Josh Adams josh_adams@usgs.gov,  John Takekawa john_takekawa@usgs.gov, Jonathan Felis jfelis@usgs.gov
Partner partners: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

Digital Elevation Model in the Atchafalaya Basin, LA
April 19, 2016

The 3DEP products and services available through The National Map consist of standard digital elevation models (DEMs) at various horizontal resolutions, elevation source and associated datasets, an elevation point query service and bulk point query service. All 3DEP products are available, free of charge and without use restrictions.

Fish on seafloor, Offshore Northern California
April 14, 2016

CSMP is a cooperative program to create a comprehensive coastal and marine geologic and habitat base map series for all of California's State waters. Data collected during this project reveal the seafloor offshore of the California coast in unprecedented detail and provide an ecosystem context for the effective management of this precious marine resource.

Map shows color-coded seafloor character offshore of Monterey, California
March 7, 2016

This portal is a “go to” source for maps related to ocean and coastal mapping. Information is organized by geography or region, by theme, and by the year data was published.

USGS publications include a wide array of products, from maps to reports to scientific journal articles and more. These products provide information that advances scientific understanding and inform decision-making across a broad spectrum of national and international issues.

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A preliminary study of the effects of water circulation in the San Francisco Bay estuary : A. Some effects of fresh-water inflow on the flushing of south San Francisco Bay, B. Movement of seabed drifters in the San Francisco Bay estuary and the adjacent
January 1, 1994

A preliminary study of the effects of water circulation in the San Francisco Bay estuary : A. Some effects of fresh-water inflow on the flushing of south San Francisco Bay, B. Movement of seabed drifters in the San Francisco Bay estuary and the adjacent

Publication's summary is not available

McCulloch, D.S.; Peterson, D.H.; Carlson, P.R.; Conomos, T.J.
A preliminary study of the effects of water circulation in the San Francisco Bay estuary : A. Some effects of fresh-water inflow on the flushing of south San Francisco Bay, B. Movement of seabed drifters in the San Francisco Bay estuary and the adjacent Pacific Ocean; 1970; CIR; 637-A,B; McCulloch, D. S.; Peterson, D. H.; Carlson, P. R.; Conomos, T. J.
The floor of central San Francisco Bay
January 1, 1970

The floor of central San Francisco Bay

Publication's summary is not available

Carlson, P.R.; Alpha, T.R.; McCulloch, D.S.
A review of benthic faunal surveys in San Francisco Bay
January 1, 1994

A review of benthic faunal surveys in San Francisco Bay

During the past 60 years, considerable effort has been expended in studies of the relations of the biotic community and physicochemical characteristics of San Francisco Bay water. In very recent years these studies have emphasized the relations between the 'state of health' of bottom-living invertebrates (the benthos) and the levels of pollutants...

Nichols, Frederic H.
A review of benthic faunal surveys in San Francisco Bay; 1973; CIR; 677; Nichols, Frederic H.
Biological and chemical aspects of the San Francisco Bay turbidity maximum
January 1, 1974

Biological and chemical aspects of the San Francisco Bay turbidity maximum

No abstract available.

Conomos, T.J.; Peterson, D.H.
Movement of spilled oil as predicted by estuarine nontidal drift
January 1, 1980

Movement of spilled oil as predicted by estuarine nontidal drift

Information on water movement obtained from bimonthly releases of surface and seabed drifters in the San Francisco Bay and adjacent Pacific Ocean is used to understand major processes controlling dispersal of oil after a spill of 3,200 m3 of Bunker C in the bay in January 1971. River-induced nontidal estuarine circulation was the dominant factor...

Conomos, T.J.
Processes controlling the dissolved silica distribution in San Francisco Bay
January 1, 1975

Processes controlling the dissolved silica distribution in San Francisco Bay

No abstract available.

Peterson, D.H.; Conomos, T.J.; Broenkow, W.W.; Scrivani, E. P.
Longitudinal distribution of selected micro-nutrients in northern San Francisco Bay during 1972
November 10, 1973

Longitudinal distribution of selected micro-nutrients in northern San Francisco Bay during 1972

No abstract available

Conomos, T.J.; Peterson, D.H.
Recent limnological changes in southern Kootenay Lake, British Columbia
January 1, 2000

Recent limnological changes in southern Kootenay Lake, British Columbia

n response to a significant abatement of phosphate loading and the construction of a dam on its major inflow (the Kootenay River), southern Kootenay Lake experienced a number of limnological changes between 1969 and 1974. Water temperatures in 1974–1975 were similar to those previously reported for 1966–1969. However, water transparency has...

Cloern, James E.
Distribution of seed plants with respect to tide levels and water salinity in the natural tidal marshes of the northern San Francisco Bay Estuary, California
January 1, 1994

Distribution of seed plants with respect to tide levels and water salinity in the natural tidal marshes of the northern San Francisco Bay Estuary, California

Shoaling of subtidal and intertidal mud flats has permitted tidal marshes to spread across large marginal areas of the San Francisco Bay estuary during the past several thousand years. By 1850 A.D. the tidal marshes of the estuary, including those of the Sacramento - San Joaquin Delta, covered an area nearly twice as large as the area of open...

Atwater, Brian F.; Hedel, Charles W.
Distribution of seed plants with respect to tide levels and water salinity in the natural tidal marshes of the northern San Francisco Bay Estuary, California; 1976; OFR; 76-389; Atwater, Brian F.; Hedel, Charles W.
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head shot of man
January 2017 (approx.)
Dr. Guy Gelfenbaum, geologist and director of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.
January 26, 2017
A presentation on "Unusual Sources of Tsunamis From Krakatoa to Monterey Bay" by Eric Geist, USGS Research Geophysicist - Not all tsunamis are generated by earthquakes. - Tsunamis can be caused by volcanoes, landslides, and even atmospheric disturbances - Data from tide gauges can help unravel the complex physics of these sources Videographers: Mitch Adelson, William Seelig, USGS
Photographic panorama showing the San Lorenzo river flowing wide and muddy into the ocean, past the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
January 8, 2017
An atmospheric river, or narrow band of moisture moving from the tropics to the higher latitudes, hit California in early January and brought the first heavy rains of 2017. While these storms help a drought-stricken state, the onslaught of rain triggers floods and mudslides, and fills rising rivers with sediment and debris. Here the San Lorenzo River flows full and muddy past the Santa Cruz Beach...
Large waves crashing on rocks at beach.
2016 (approx.)
Large storm waves crashing on the rocks near Santa Cruz, California
man pointing to image on computer screen in an office setting
2016 (approx.)
USGS research geologist Jon Warrick explains how his team applied structure-from-motion analysis to photos from the California Coastal Records Project to measure coastal change. Jon Warrick explains a “difference map” constructed from structure-in-motion data. Red areas indicate loss of material (erosion); blue areas show addition of material (deposition).
November 17, 2016
Ecological Stressors: It's a Lot of 'WERC' "There's is no place like California" by A. Keith Miles, Center Director, USGS Western Ecological Research Center Highlights of the science of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center: Wildlife, drought, sea level rise Endangered species, species of concern Alternate energy, urbanization, species connectivity
October 27, 2016
Rock falls in California’s Sierra Nevada - Pursuing explanations for exfoliation and seemingly spontaneous fracture of rock
October 19, 2016
All clips show the deck of a barge in San Pablo Bay, California. Clip 1 - USGS technicians lower and raise a grab sampler Clips 2, 3, 4 - USGS technicians lower and raise a vibracore Clip 5 - Tanker passes as USGS technicians work on anchor lines Clip 6 - USGS technicians raise anchor, while another works on a vibracore tube Clip 7 - USGS scientists and technicians extract and examine a short...
July 28, 2016
Volcanic eruptions occur int he State about as frequently as the large San Andreas Fault Zone earthquakes. California's "watch list" volcanoes are dispersed throughout the State and future eruptions are inevitable—the likelihood of renewed volcanism is on the order of one in a few hundred to one in a few thousand annually. With Margaret Mangan, Scientist-in-Charge, USGS CalVO
July 24, 2016
Stunning 4K aerial and ground b-roll of the Kīlauea Volcano Halemaʻumaʻu Crater Summit Vent Lava Lake taken between July 24 and July 31, 2016. Here is the shotlist: 00:11 Kīlauea summit lava lake spatter, night, medium shot 00:33 Lava lake spatter, night medium shot 00:43 Lava lake wide shot, night, spatter on right of frame 1:01 Wide shot, Evening pan right to left Halemaʻumaʻu Crater to lava...

Research and technical support provided by USGS makes a difference Some recent press releases and media advisories from the Pacific Region are highlighted below.

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Sandy ocean beach with low cliffs on the right side. Ocean visible at left side. One person walking on beach
February 14, 2017

In a study released today, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues document how the 2015-16 winter featured one of the most powerful El Niño climate events of the last 145 years.

K2 Seismic Station
February 2, 2017

The U. S. Geological Survey is seeking volunteers to host temporary seismic stations in the Walnut Creek/Pleasant Hill/Concord California area. Volunteers will be assisting with a new ground motion study that will begin in March 2017.

Clark's Grebe at Thermalito Afterbay, CA
January 24, 2017

A new study published in PLOS ONE demonstrates that current conservation planning efforts for waterbird habitat in the Central Valley can likely compensate for habitat loss through the middle of the century.

head shot of man
January 19, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Guy Gelfenbaum as the new director of their Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California Gelfenbaum succeeds Dr. Robert Rosenbauer who held the position for the past six years. Rosenbauer is retiring to a Scientist Emeritus position.

Man in orange safety suit and helmet, and thumb up,  standing while riding a personal watercraft
January 12, 2017

On January 13, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey will be working on the beach in Santa Cruz at the mouth of the San Lorenzo River. Using a sonar-equipped boat and personal watercraft, they will be surveying the beach and the nearby ocean bottom to compile a three-dimensional map of how the beach changed during storms that struck this week.

USGS: Science for a changing world
January 10, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center is hosting a media event Wednesday, Jan. 11 at a USGS streamgage location about 7 miles north of Santa Cruz, California. A hydrologist will be available for interviews as field crews collect streamflow data.

 

Image: USGS Logo
January 8, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey’s California Water Science Center is hosting a media event Monday, Jan. 9 at a USGS streamgage location below Friant Dam, a streamflow site with significance to the San Juan River Restoration Project.

still waters reflecting image of grasses growing next to it, with bright blue sky.
November 15, 2016

Successfully resolving California’s long-standing water supply and ecosystem restoration conflicts in the Delta requires developing sound policy solutions based on data derived from the best available science.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 14, 2016

Residents should not be alarmed to witness a low-flying helicopter over the eastern Mojave Desert starting around November 14.

still waters reflecting image of grasses growing next to it, with bright blue sky.
November 9, 2016

Scientists, engineers and resource managers meet in Sacramento to explore the theme of “Science for Solutions: Linking Data and Decisions” at the 9th Biennial Bay-Delta Science Conference.

Nine USGS Science Centers are administered by the Pacific Regional office, which is headquartered in Sacramento, California.

The Pacific Region works with a wide array of partners across the country, including other Federal and state agencies, regional and local governments, academic institutions, research organizations, non-governmental organizations, and more.

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