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Year Published: 2018

Comparison of estimators for monitoring long-term population trends in deer mice, Peromyscus maniculatus, on the California Channel Islands

Capture-recapture methods are commonly used to estimate abundance and density of wild animal populations. Although a variety of sophisticated analytical techniques are available to evaluate capture-recapture data, vertebrate monitoring programs often lack the resources (e.g., time, personnel, and/or analytical expertise) to apply these methods. As...

Schwemm, Catherin A.; Drost, Charles A.; Orrock, John L.; Coonan, Timothy J.; Stanley, Thomas R.
Schwemm, C.A., Drost, C.A., Orrock, J.L., Coonan, T.J., and Stanley, T.R., 2018, Comparison of estimators for monitoring long-term population trends in Deer Mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) on the California Channel Islands: Western North American Naturalist, v. 78, no 3,

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Year Published: 2018

Assessment of environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed, Arizona

This report summarizes analyses of middle Verde River watershed environmental flows detailed in U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5100, “Preliminary synthesis and assessment of environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed, Arizona," by N.V. Paretti, A.M.D. Brasher, S.L. Pearlstein, D.M. Skow, B. Gungle, and B....

Gungle, Bruce W.; Paretti, Nicholas V.
Gungle, B., and Paretti, N.V., 2018, Assessment of environmental flows in the middle Verde River watershed, Arizona: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018-3062, 6 p.,

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Year Published: 2018

Are hatchery-reared Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout effective predators on juvenile native fish?

Hatchery‐reared Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss and Brown Trout Salmo trutta are typically fed exclusively on commercially prepared pelleted feeds and have no experience catching or consuming live fish at the time of stocking. Despite this lack of predation experience, it is commonly assumed that stocked Rainbow Trout and...

Ward, David L.; Morton-Starner, Rylan; Vaage, Benjamin

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Year Published: 2018

Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities

Changing climate will impact species’ ranges only when environmental variability directly impacts the demography of local populations. However, measurement of demographic responses to climate change has largely been limited to single species and locations. Here we show that amphibian communities are responsive to climatic variability, using >...

Miller, David A.W.; Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Muths, Erin L.; Amburgey, Staci M.; Adams, M.J.; Joseph, Maxwell B.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Johnson, Pieter T.J.; Ryan, Maureen E.; Schmidt, Benedikt R.; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Davis, Courtney L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Green, David M.; Hossack, Blake R.; Rittenhouse, Tracy A.G.; Walls, Susan C.; Bailey, Larissa L.; Cruickshank, Sam S.; Fellers, Gary M.; Gorman, Thomas A.; Haas, Carola A.; Hughson, Ward; Pilliod, David S.; Price, Steven J.; Ray, Andrew M.; Sadinski, Walter; Saenz, Daniel; Barichivich, William J.; Brand, Adrianne B,; Brehme, Cheryl S.; Dagit, Rosi; Delaney, Katy S.; Glorioso, Brad M.; Kats, Lee B.; Kleeman, Patrick M.; Pearl, Christopher; Rochester, Carlton J.; Riley, Seth P. D.; Roth, Mark F.; Sigafus, Brent
Miller, D. A. W., Grant, E. H. C., Muths, E., Amburgey, S. M., Adams, M. J., Joseph, M. B., Waddle, J. H., Johnson, P. J. T., Ryan, M. E., Schmid, B. R., Calhoun, D. L., Davis, C. L., Fisher, R. N., Green, D. M., Hossack, B. R., Rittenhouse, T. A. G., Walls, S. C., Bailey, L. L., Cruickshank, S. S., Fellers, G. M., Gorman, T. A., Haas, C. A., Hughson, W., Pilliod, D. S., Price, S. J., Ray, A. M., Sadinski, W., Saenz, D., Barichivich, W. J., Brand, A. B., Brehme, C. S., Dagit, R., Delaney, K. S., Glorioso, B. M., Kats, L. B., Kleeman, P. M., Pearl, C. A., Rochester, C. J., Riley, S. P. D., Roth, M., and Sigafus, B. H., 2018, Quantifying climate sensitivity and climate-driven change in North American amphibian communities: Nature Communications, v. 9, no. Article number: 3926, p. 1-15.

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Year Published: 2018

Plant production responses to precipitation differ along an elevation gradient and are enhanced under extremes

The sensitivity of plant production to precipitation underlies the functioning of ecosystems. Studies that relate long-term mean annual precipitation and production across multiple sites(spatial relationship) or examine interannual linkages within a site (temporal relationship) can reveal biophysical controls over ecosystem function...

Munson, Seth M.; Bunting, Erin L.; Bradford, John B.; Butterfield, Bradley J.; Gremer, Jennifer R.
Munson, S.M., Bunting, E.L., Bradford, J.B., Butterfield, B.J., and Gremer, J.R., 2018, Plant production responses to precipitation differ along an elevation gradient and are enhanced under extremes: Ecosystems, online,

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Year Published: 2018

Genetic analyses of Astragalus sect. Humillimi (Fabaceae) resolve taxonomy and enable effective conservation

Premise of the StudyAstragalus sect. Humillimi is distributed across the southwestern United States and contains two endangered taxa, A. cremnophylax var. cremnophylax and A. humillimus. The former was originally described from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Analysis of individuals discovered on the...

Massatti, Robert; Belus, Matthew; Dowlatshahi, Shahed; Allan, Gerard J.
Massatti, R.T., Belus, M.T., Dowlatshahi, S., and Allan, G.J., 2018, Genetic analyses of Astragalus sect. Humillimi (Fabaceae) resolve taxonomy and enable effective conservation: American Journal of Botany, v. 105, no. 10,

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Year Published: 2018

Quantifying and forecasting changes in the areal extent of river valley sediment in response to altered hydrology and land cover

In river valleys, sediment moves between active river channels, near-channel deposits including bars and floodplains, and upland environments such as terraces and aeolian dunefields. Sediment availability is a prerequisite for the sustained transfer of material between these areas, and for the eco-geomorphic functioning of river networks in...

Kasprak, Alan; Sankey, Joel B.; Buscombe, Daniel; Caster, Joshua; East, Amy E.; Grams, Paul E.

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Year Published: 2018

Population history provides foundational knowledge for utilizing and developing native plant restoration materials

A species’ population structure and history are critical pieces of information that can help guide the use of available native plant materials in restoration treatments and decide what new native plant materials should be developed to meet future restoration needs. In the western United States, Pseudoroegneria spicata (bluebunch...

Massatti, Robert; Prendeville, Holly R.; Larson, Steve; Richardson, Bryce A.; Waldron, Blair; Kilkenny, Francis F.
Massatti, R., Prendeville, H.R., Larson, S., Richardson, B.A., Waldron, B., and Kilkenny, F.F., 2018, Population history provides foundational knowledge for utilizing and developing native plant restoration materials: Evolutionary Applications,

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Year Published: 2018

Where have all the turtles gone, and why does it matter?

Of the 356 species of turtles worldwide, approximately 61% are threatened or already extinct. Turtles are among the most threatened of the major groups of vertebrates, in general, more so than birds, mammals, fishes or even the much besieged amphibians. Reasons for the dire situation of turtles worldwide include the familiar list of impacts to...

Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Agha, Mickey; Gibbons, J. Whitfield
Lovich, J.E., Ennen, J.R., Agha, M., and Gibbons, J.W., 2018, Where have all the turtles gone and why does it matter?: BioScience, online,

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Year Published: 2018

Changes in Earth’s gravity reveal changes in groundwater storage

Changes in the amount of water stored in underground aquifers cause small changes in Earth’s gravitational field. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Southwest Gravity Program has developed methods for measuring terrestrial gravity changes with part-per-billion precision. The measurements allow scientists to map changes in groundwater storage and to...

Kennedy, Jeffrey R.
Kennedy, J.R., 2018, Changes in Earth’s gravity reveal changes in groundwater storage: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2018–3032, 4 p.,

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Year Published: 2018

Approaches for improving field soil identification

Use of soil survey information by non-soil-scientists is often limited by their inability to select the correct soil map unit component (COMP). Here, we developed two approaches that can be deployed to smartphones for non-soil-scientists to identify COMP from the location alone or location together with easily observed field data (i.e., slope,...

Fan, Zhaosheng; Wills, Skye A.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Nauman, Travis W.; Brungard, Colby W.; Beaudette, Dylan E.; Levi, Matthew R.; O’Geen, Anthony T.
Fan, Z., Wills, S.A., Herrick, J.E., Nauman, T.W., Brungard, C.W., Beaudette, D.E., Levi, M.R., and O'Geen, A.T., 2018, Approaches for Improving Field Soil Identification: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 82, no. 4, p. 871-877,

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Year Published: 2018

Soil property and class maps of the conterminous United States at 100-meter spatial resolution

With growing concern for the depletion of soil resources, conventional soil maps need to be updated and provided at finer and finer resolutions to be able to support spatially explicit human–landscape models. Three US soil point datasets—the National Cooperative Soil Survey Characterization Database, the National Soil Information System, and the...

Ramcharan, Amanda; Hengl, Tomislav; Nauman, Travis W.; Brungard, Colby W.; Waltman, Sharon; Wills, Skye A.; Thompson, James
Ramcharan, A., Hengl, T., Nauman, T., Brungard, C., Waltman, S., Wills, S., and Thompson, J., 2018, Soil Property and Class Maps of the Conterminous United States at 100-Meter Spatial Resolution, v. 82, no. 1, p. 186-201,

Filter Total Items: 239
Photo of shoreline with very little sandy beach. Heavy equipment is  piling up large boulders (rip rap) along the eroded shore
February 28, 2017

Armoring the shore at Goleta Beach

Installing large boulders as rip rap to armor the shore against further erosion at Goleta Beach in Southern California. The tide is very low (negative).

photo of bare rocks exposed below cliffs at low tide along a shoreline.
February 28, 2017

Exposed bedrock at low tide

Exposed bedrock on the beach, below the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Large ruler-like instrument under a bridge standing up in the river water
February 11, 2017

USGS staff gage measuring the height of the water in the Carson River

USGS staff gage (ruler) measuring the height of the water, on the Carson River, near Brunswick Canyon, Nevada.

person sitting on the shore, watch a floating instrument tied to a cableway over a river
February 8, 2017

Streamgaging on Martin Creek in Nevada

Streamgaging on Martin Creek, near Paradise Valley, Nevada.

January 31, 2017

Hatching an Engineer

What does it take to become an ocean engineer? Here is the path that USGS Gerry Hatcher took.

two men standing in a boat tied up to a dock
January 31, 2017

Readying a sonar-equipped boat for mapping

USGS scientists readying a sonar-equipped boat to map the ocean bottom near Santa Cruz, Calif.

person standing up riding a personal watercraft across small ocean swells, with buildings and a long pier in the background
January 31, 2017

Sonar-equipped personal watercraft mapping bathymetry.

A sonar-equipped personal watercraft mapping the bathymetry underwater near Santa Cruz, Calif.

man walking along wet sand on beach wearing a backpack with an antenna sticking pout of it
January 31, 2017

Mapping the beach with a GPS-equipped backpack unit.

USGS scientist Daniel Hoover mapping the beach at Santa Cruz with a GPS-equipped backpack unit.

two young men standing on a pier with a large tripod, looking down at camera, and holding equipment.
January 31, 2017

Setting up a lidar scanner to map the beach.

 USGS scientists setting up a lidar scanner on the pier to map the beach near Capitola, California.

January 31, 2017

What's Drifting Beneath Kauai's Ocean?

Residents and visitors both revel in Kauai’s lush landscape, and beneath its seascape. However, it’s underwater where things don’t look so healthy. Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey put together a detailed picture of the physical environment of the coral reefs at Makua Beach. Understanding just what these reefs are exposed to and for how long, may help explain why

January 26, 2017

PubTalk 1/2017 — Unusual sources of tsunamis

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


Photographic panorama showing the San Lorenzo river flowing wide and muddy into the ocean, past the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
January 8, 2017

Atmospheric River Fills California Rivers with Water and Sediment

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


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

Filter Total Items: 72
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.

November 1, 2016

A new study from the USGS suggests that some early 20th century earthquakes in southern California might have been induced (man-made) by past practices that were used by the oil and gas industry.

Satellite images showing the condition of vegetation after the 2014 Minute 319 pulse flow.
October 24, 2016

In 2014, a large pulse of water was released into the mostly dry delta of the Colorado River along the U.S.-Mexico border. U.S. Geological Survey scientists are studying the effects of the pulse on the environment as part of a historic, bi-national collaborative effort. The pulse flow and the need to study its effects were accepted as part of the Minute 319 of the 1944 U.S.-Mexico Water Treaty.

Two side-by-side (before, 2002 & after) aerial photos of the same cliff by the beach. Photo on right from 2010 shows landslide.
October 21, 2016

U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their coauthors from the California Coastal Records Project have found a way to use historical aerial photographs not just to see evidence of coastal erosion, but to accurately measure how much has occurred over time.

October 20, 2016

Scientists have discovered possible evidence for water-rich minerals on the surface of the largest metallic asteroid in the solar system, according to a study by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. 

October 17, 2016

A new study offers the most sophisticated analyses to date on how Los Angeles-area groundwater supplies are replenished. The analyses provide water managers with a clearer understanding of the sources and amount of available groundwater in the region – information that is important for planning and management of the vital resource.

Image shows sagebrush lands with cloudy sky
October 4, 2016

At the request of the Bureau of Land Management, USGS has released an assessment of mineral resources in six Western states.

Golden Eagle in flight
September 28, 2016

Roughly over a quarter of the golden eagles killed at the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in Northern California from 2012-2014 were recent immigrants to the local population, according to research led by the U.S. Geological Survey. 

A sea otter female and large pup, counted during the range-wide survey, feed on kelp crabs.
September 19, 2016

SANTA CRUZ, California — The southern sea otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, continues its climb toward recovery, according to the annual count released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

map of Alameda, Calif. with various shades of red indicating tsunami evacuation zones
September 12, 2016

Tsunami evacuation planning in coastal communities is typically based on maximum evacuation zones that reflect a combination of all potential extreme tsunamis. However, in the case of a smaller tsunami, this approach may result in more people being evacuated than need to be, and in doing so, may overly disrupt the local economy, and strain resources needed during emergency response.

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.

Filter Total Items: 66