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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.

Filter Total Items: 17
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Pacific Islands Water Science Center

This center is one of 48 Water Science Centers in the USGS, and its mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States, the State of Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands.

USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016

Salton Sea Science Office

USGS Salton Sea Science Office works closely with Federal, State, local, nongovernmental, and tribal partners, providing information for management actions. This USGS office has a unique charter to serve as an independent liaison between resource managers and the scientific community. In that capacity the the office provides scientific information and evaluations to decision makers who are...

Attribution: Southwest
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC)

WGSC scientists conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape. We develop tools and models to help decision makers better understand complex scientific information so that alternative options/scenarios can be assessed.

Attribution: Southwest
USGS science for a changing world logo
Date Published: March 9, 2016
Status: Active

Western Ecological Research Center

The Pacific Region contains a dazzling array of habitats from below-sea-level deserts to alpine tundra to coastal mountains, seashores, and marine ecosystems. The Western Ecological Research Center reflects the qualities of this region with equally diverse expertise. Our scientists are trained in research, monitoring, and technology development to basic biology and modeling.

Attribution: Southwest
California Volcano Observatory emblem
Date Published: March 2, 2016

USGS California Volcano Observatory (CalVO)

CalVO operates real-time volcano monitoring networks, disseminates forecasts and notifications of significant activity, assesses volcano hazards, researches volcano processes, and works with communities to prepare for volcanic eruptions in California and Nevada. The Observatory is located at USGS offices in Menlo Park, California.

Filter Total Items: 2,176
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Year Published: 2018

Global conservation status of turtles and tortoises (order Testudines)

We present a review and analysis of the conservation status and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) threat categories of all 360 currently recognized species of extant and recently extinct turtles and tortoises (Order Testudines). Our analysis is based on the 2018 IUCN Red List status of 251 listed species, augmented by...

Rhodin, Anders G.J.; Stanford, Craig B.; van Dijk, Peter Paul; Eisemberg, Carla; Luiselli, Luca; Mittermeier, Russell A.; Hudson, Rick; Horne, Brian D.; Goode, Eric; Kuchling, Gerald; Walde, Andrew; Baard, Ernst H. W.; Berry, Kristin H.; Bertolero, Albert; Blanck, Torsten E. G.; Bour, Roger; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Cayot, Linda J.; Collett, Sydney; Currylow, Andrea; Das, Indraneil; Diagne, Tomas; Ennen, Joshua R.; Forero-Medina, Germán; Frankel, Matthew G.; Fritz, Uwe; García, Gerardo; Gibbons, J. Whitfield; Gibbons, Paul M.; Shiping, Gong; Guntoro, Joko; Hofmeyr, Margaretha D.; Iverson, John B.; Kiester, A. Ross; Lau, Michael; Lawson, Dwight P.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Moll, Edward O.; Páez, Vivian P.; Palomo-Ramos, Rosalinda; Platt, Kalyar; Platt, Steven G.; Pritchard, Peter C. H.; Quinn, Hugh R.; Rahman, Shahriar Caesar; Randrianjafizanaka, Soary Tahafe; Schaffer, Jason; Selman, Will; Shaffer, H. Bradley; Sharma, Dionysius S. K.; Haitao, Shi; Singh, Shailendra; Spencer, Ricky; Stannard, Kahleana; Sutcliffe, Sarah; Thomson, Scott; Vogt, Richard C.

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Year Published: 2018

Agriculture

Agricultural production is a fundamental activity conducted on 45% of the U.S. land area, 55% of Mexico’s land area, and 7% of Canada’s land area (World Bank 2016). Because of this vast spatial extent and the strong role that land management plays in how agricultural ecosystems function, agricultural lands and activities represent a large portion...

Cavallaro, Nancy; Shrestha, Gyami; Birdsey, Richard; Mayes, Melanie A.; Najjar, Raymond G.; Reed, Sasha C.; Romero-Lankao, Patricia; Zhu, Zhiliang; Hristov, Alexander N.; Johnson, Jane M. F.; Rice, Charles W.; Brown, Molly E.; Conant, Richard T.; Del Grosso, Stephen J.; Gurwick, Noel P.; Rotz, C. Alan; Sainju, Upendra M.; Skinner, R. Howard; West, Tristram O.; Runkle, Benjamin R. K.; Janzen, Henry; Reed, Sasha C.; Cavallaro, Nancy; Shrestha, Gyami

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Year Published: 2018

Revisiting the Apollo photogrammetric mapping system

The integrated photogrammetric mapping system flown on the last three Apollo lunar missions (15, 16, and 17) in 1971 and 1972 incorporated a Metric (mapping) Camera, a high-resolution Panoramic Camera, and a star camera and laser altimeter to provide support data. The U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center, the Intelligent Robotics...

Edmundson, Kenneth; Alexandrov, Oleg; Archinal, Brent; Becker, Kris J.; Becker, Tammy L; Mapel, Jesse; Moratto, Zachary M.; Nefian, Ara V.; Richie, Janet; Robinson, Mark S.; Shepherd, Makayla; Shinaman, John; Smith, Ethan

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Year Published: 2018

Increasing temperature seasonality may overwhelm shifts in soil moisture to favor shrub grass dominance in Colorado Plateau drylands

Ecosystems in the southwestern U.S. are hotspots for climate change, and are predicted to experience continued warming and drying. In these water-limited systems, the balance between herbaceous and woody plant abundance impacts biodiversity and ecosystem processes, highlighting the need to understand how climate change will influence functional...

Gremer, Jennifer R.; Andrews, Caitlin M.; Norris, Jodi R.; Thomas, Lisa P.; Munson, Seth M.; Duniway, Michael C.; Bradford, John B.

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Year Published: 2018

Groundwater, surface-water, and water-chemistry data, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona—2015–2016

The Navajo (N) aquifer is an extensive aquifer and the primary source of groundwater in the 5,400-square-mile Black Mesa area in northeastern Arizona. Availability of water is an important issue in the Black Mesa area because of continued water requirements for industrial and municipal use by a growing population and because of the arid climate....

Mason, Jon P.; Macy, Jamie P.
Mason, J.P., and Macy, J.P., 2018, Groundwater, surface-water, and water-chemistry data, Black Mesa area, northeastern Arizona—2015–2016: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1193, 60 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181193.

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Year Published: 2018

What environmental conditions reduce predation vulnerability for juvenile Colorado River native fishes?

The incompatibility of native Colorado River fishes and nonnative warm-water sport fishes is well documented with predation by nonnative species causing rapid declines and even extirpation of native species in most locations. In a few rare instances native fishes are able to survive and recruit despite the presence of nonnative warm water...

Ward, David L.; Vaage, Benjamin

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Year Published: 2018

Filtering of cyclic period infiltration in a layered vadose zone: 1. Approximation of damping and time lags

Infiltration and downward percolation of water in the vadose zone are important processes that can define the availability of water resources. We present an approach that provides insight into how periodic infiltration forcings at the land surface filter in a layered vadose zone in terms of changes in the timing and magnitude of hydrologic...

Dickinson, Jesse E.; Ferre, T.P.A

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Year Published: 2018

Land mollusks of the California Channel Islands: An overview of diversity, populations, and conservation status

The land snails and slugs have the highest level of endemism among all major animal groups on the California Channel Islands, with nearly 75% of the native terrestrial species confined to one or more of the 8 islands. In spite of this endemism, and in spite of the rarity of some species, the snails and slugs are one of the most poorly known groups...

Drost, Charles A.; Nekola, Jeffrey C.; Roth, Barry; Pearce, Timothy A.

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Year Published: 2018

Remote sensing vegetation index methods to evaluate changes in greenness and evapotranspiration in riparian vegetation in response to the Minute 319 environmental pulse flow to Mexico

During the spring of 2014, 130 million m3 of water were released from the United States' Morelos Dam on the lower Colorado River to Mexico, allowing water to reach the Gulf of California for the first time in 13 years. Our study assessed the effects of water transfer or ecological environmental flows from one nation to another,...

Nagler, Pamela L.; Jarchow, Christopher J.; Glenn, Edward P.

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Year Published: 2018

Biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles at the Camp Cady Wildlife Area, Mojave Desert, California and comparisons with other desert locations

We examined the biodiversity of amphibian and reptile species living in and near constructed ponds in the riparian area at the Camp Cady Wildlife Area (CCWA) in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County, California, based on field work from 1998-1999, 2016-2017, review of the literature, and searches for museum specimens using VertNet.org. A...

Cummings, Kristy L.; Puffer, Shellie R.; Holmen, Jenny B.; Wallace, Jason K.; Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Meyer-Wilkins, Kathie; Petersen, Chris; Lovich, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2018

Executive summary. In Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report (SOCCR2): A Sustained Assessment Report

Central to life on Earth, carbon is essential to the molecular makeup of all living things and plays a key role in regulating global climate. To understand carbon’s role in these processes, researchers measure and evaluate carbon stocks and fluxes. A stock is the quantity of carbon contained in a pool or reservoir in the Earth system (e.g., carbon...

Cavallaro, Nancy; Shrestha, Gyami; Birdsey, Richard; Mayes, Melanie A.; Najjar, Raymond G.; Reed, Sasha C.; Romero-Lankao, Patricia; Zhu, Zhiliang; Birdsey, Richard; Mayes, Melanie A.; Romero-Lankao, Patricia; Najjar, Raymond G.; Reed, Sasha C.; Cavallaro, Nancy; Shrestha, Gyami; Hayes, Daniel J.; Lorenzoni, Laura; Marsh, Anne; Tedesco, Kathy; Wirth, Tom; Zhu, Zhiliang

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Year Published: 2018

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

No abstract available.

Lovich, Jeffrey E.; Ennen, Joshua R.; Agha, Mickey; Gibbons, J. Whitfield

Filter Total Items: 239
Two women stand at plywood table on which rest three long plastic tubes full of dark seafloor sediment.
September 17, 2017

Sampling core fluid from sediment cores collected off southeast Alaska

Mary McGann (left, USGS) and Rachel Lauer (University of Calgary) sample pore fluids from sediment cores collected aboard the Canadian Coast Guard Ship John P. Tully along the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault offshore of southeast Alaska. Expedition scientists will use their findings to better understand the history of the fault and the hazards it poses to

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 USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample; hydrothermal vent poster in the background
September 12, 2017

USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample

USGS scientist Carol Reiss holding a hydrothermal vent sample. The poster in the background is a scientific rendering by Véronique Robigou (then at University of Washington) of a hydrothermal vent deposit with the submersible Alvin drawn to scale. This structure stood 45 meters above the seafloor when it was discovered by University of Washington researchers using Alvin

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Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample using hand lens
September 12, 2017

USGS geologist Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample

USGS geologist Carol Reiss examining hydrothermal vent sample using hand lens. Sulfide-silicate minerals precipitate from 330°C mineral laden water venting along volcanically active spreading ridges.

July 31, 2017

Historic Context of the Continuous Slope Area Method

The Arizona Water Science Center details the history and development of the Continuous Slope-Area Method. Learn about the people and events that began these new advances in the field of stream gaging. 

Music Artist: Glenn Jones, “Bergen County Farewell”. CC License. Music provided by www.FreeMusicArchive.com

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge
July 31, 2017

WERC Elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay NWR

WERC researcher conducting elevation surveys in San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge

WERC Coastal ecosystem
July 31, 2017

WERC Coastal Ecosystem Studies

Coastal ecosystem studies at Trinidad coast, California. 

July 30, 2017

A Record of Change: Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo N.

A Record of Change—Science and Elder Observations on the Navajo Nation is a 25-minute documentary about collaborative studies using conventional physical sciences, combined with tribal elder observations to show that local knowledge and conventional science partnerships can effectively document ecosystem change and determine the resulting challenges to livelihoods. 

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Two same-size items: Pack of playing cards (top) and circuit board with fan and electronic components (bottom).
July 18, 2017

Small computer that controls video cameras above beach in Santa Cruz

The small computer, or “micro-controller,” at the bottom of this photo controls the operation of two video cameras mounted on the 10-story Dream Inn hotel in Santa Cruz, California. The cameras take 10-minute videos of Santa Cruz Main Beach and Cowells Beach every half hour during daylight hours (view the most recent images).

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Photo of seeding experiment to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest.
July 17, 2017

Seeding experiment to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest.

USGS ecologists Molly McCormick (left) and Katie Laushman (right) conducting a seeding experiment that is a part of RAMPS, a new USGS-led initiative to improve restoration outcomes in the Southwest. 

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July 6, 2017

Wildlife on the Nevada National Security Site

Mountain lions, desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, and a variety of other wildlife live on and pass through the Nevada National Security Site each day. It’s a highly restricted area that is free of hunting and has surprisingly pristine areas.This 22-minute program highlights an extraordinary study on how mountain lions interact with their prey. It shows how the scientists

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June 22, 2017

PubTalk 6/2017 — Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Path Forward

Title: The Effects of Climate Change: A Scientific Pathway Forward

  • The frequency of extreme and unpredictable weather events is increasing.
  • What are the effects of an increase or decrease in carbon emissions?
  • What is scientific research projecting for the future of climate change?
May 31, 2017

Reach-Scale Monitoring | Advances in Stream Gaging

The Arizona Water Science Center demonstrates new methods in Reach-Scale Monitoring to improve accuracy and measurability of high flow events. By installing pressure transducers and using LiDAR to measure topography data, hydrologists are able to simulate flows with two dimensional models which will help better calibrate stream gages. These advances have potential to aid

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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
Three-dimensional view of the west Ceti Mensa area looking toward the southeast.
May 12, 2017

A new set of high-resolution geologic maps reveal complex geologic processes that suggest a dynamic, wet environment once existed on early Mars, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Image shows a color-based map of the various magnetic readings of the Great Basin
May 3, 2017

Vast mineral wealth has been discovered in the Great Basin since the 1800s. As each new generation of prospectors and geologists brings their cutting-edge tools with them, the arid ridgelines of the desert Southwest have shown more and more potential.

A radio-tracked adult desert tortoise basks in the sun among the wind turbines at a wind energy facility
May 3, 2017

How a wind energy facility is designed can influence the behavior of animal predators and their prey, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Wildlife Management by researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

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.

house perched at the top of cliff edge above beach.
March 27, 2017

Using a newly-developed computer model called “CoSMoS-COAST” (Coastal Storm Modeling System – Coastal One-line Assimilated Simulation Tool) scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67 percent of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters.

Santa Cruz River
March 27, 2017

Desert communities throughout the Southwest are putting water availability at the top of their municipal agendas.

USGS
March 20, 2017

Seal Beach, Calif.— A new collaborative study shows evidence of prior abrupt sinking of the wetlands near Seal Beach, caused by ancient earthquakes that shook the area at least three times in the past 2,000 years, according to researchers.

View from Canyonlands Research Center
March 15, 2017

Arid and semiarid ecosystems are expected to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation patterns, which may affect soil organisms in ways that cause surfaces to become lighter in color and thus reflect more sunlight, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey study.

Chinook Salmon
March 13, 2017

The water in the Delta arrives primarily from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, supplying water for more than 22 million people. This water source supports California’s trillion-dollar economy—the sixth largest in the world—and its $27 billion agricultural industry.

USGS
March 2, 2017

Pasadena, Calif. – A new U.S. Geological Survey study offers a view into the past behavior of large earthquakes along the southern San Andreas Fault. 

 

Large waves crashing on rocks at beach.
February 22, 2017

Atmospheric rivers are a global weather phenomenon that can bring large amounts of rain or snow to the U.S. West Coast each year. These rivers of wet air form over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaiʻi and pick up large amounts of moisture from the tropics and on their way to the West Coast. This moisture is carried in narrow bands across the Pacific Ocean to California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada.

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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