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Filter Total Items: 365
A screenshot of the December 2015 WERC research update.
Date Published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

WERC Newsletters

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters ran from 2012 to early 2016. Explore the archives for exciting information on projects, events, and news interviews involving our scientists.

Screenshot of WERC handout
Date Published: October 28, 2016
Status: Active

Research Handouts

USGS Western Ecological Research Center compiles one-page handouts on WERC scientists' projects involving high-profile topics like renewable energy, drought, climate change, and more. These handouts are perfect for conferences and meetings with partners and resource managers. 

An underwater photo of a kelp forest.
Date Published: October 24, 2016
Status: Active

Kelp Forest Community Ecology

The near shore waters along the coast of southern California host one of the most productive marine ecosystems on earth: giant kelp forests. These complex environments provide habitat, food, and hiding places for more than 1,000 species of plants and animals, but are easily disturbed by both natural events and human activities. Strong storms, fluctuating water temperatures, coastal development...

Contacts: Kevin Lafferty
A screenshot of the March 2016 newsletter from WERC.
Date Published: October 21, 2016

USGS WERC Ecology Research Update: March 2016

USGS Western Ecological Research Center newsletters are posted on our blog. Check back for a rundown of new research and events on ecology and wildlife science in California and Nevada. 

This photo of a Pacific sheath-tailed bat is the last good photo of this bat from Aguiguan in existence.
Date Published: August 1, 2016

Ecology of Insect-eating Bats

Bats are the only flying mammals that are active mostly at night and occur on all continents except Antarctica. Bats are ecologically diverse, with a range of species that specialize in feeding on fruit, nectar, blood, fish, small mammals, and insects. However, of the more than 1,100 known species of bats on Earth, the majority specialize in feeding on insects. In the United States for example...

a birder on a bridge looking at the birds
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

A crowd of people in a National Park.
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

A cutthroat trout. Photo by James Roberts, USGS.
Date Published: July 21, 2016

Using Quantile Regression to Investigate Ecological Limiting Factors

Unexplained heterogeneity in statistical models of animal responses to their physical environment is reasonable to expect because the measured habitat resources are a constraint on—but not the sole determinant of—abundance, survival, fecundity, or fitness. The ecological understanding and reliability of management predictions based on animal habitat models can be improved by shifting focus ...

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp
Date Published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

The sunset on the main city beach in Laguna Beach, CA.
Date Published: July 19, 2016

Quantitative and Statistical Research Collaboration

Mathematical and statistical models are powerful research tools that play several important roles in conceptualizing and understanding the structure and dynamics of complicated ecological systems, including developing mechanistic hypotheses pertaining to ecological systems, designing studies that elucidate ecosystem structure and function, and extracting information from data.

A California Condor flying with a GPS device on its wing.
Date Published: June 27, 2016

Using Cell Technology to Track Species Movement

The Information Science Branch explored and developed ways to track species locations using a standard cellular phone network. This technology provides more tracking data at a faster rate and lower cost than traditional satellite tracking systems. The initial implementation of this approach currently provides support for the California Condor recovery program and is being extended to include...

Contacts: Tim Kern
homes damaged by hurricane Sandy on Fire Island, New York
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Understanding Coastal Change

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.

Filter Total Items: 348
Orthoimagery of Augusta Ga
April 12, 2016

Orthoimagery data typically are high resolution aerial images that combine the visual attributes of an aerial photograph with the spatial accuracy and reliability of a planimetric map. The National Map offers public domain, 1-meter orthoimagery for the conterminous United States with many urban areas and other locations at 2-foot or finer resolution.

Small Scale Collection USA
April 12, 2016

The National Map offers a collection of small-scale datasets, most of which are at 1:1,000,000. The National Map publishes two data collections at one million-scale: one for Global Map users and one for National Map users. In terms of vector geometry, the lines, points, and areas in these data collections are identical. The difference is in the attributes assigned to these features.

Photographs and line drawings that show a long sediment core and its various attributes with graphs and plots.
March 25, 2016

The seven files included in this U.S. Geological Survey data release are data from a set of sediment cores acquired from the continental slope, offshore Los Angeles and the Palos Verdes Peninsula, adjacent to the Palos Verdes Fault, in 2009 and 2010.

Screen grab of study sites for Southern California Coastal Wetlands data release
March 20, 2016

The objective was to compare an urbanized wetland with limited sediment supply (Seal Beach) with a less modified marsh (Pt. Mugu) with fluvial sediment supply. Marine temperature, conductivity, pressure sensors, optical turbidity sensors and acoustic velocity meters were deployed on bottom platforms to quantify the conditions in the water column.

Tephra and gas eruption from Mount St. Helens crater with dome
March 17, 2016

Many volcanoes in the U.S. are monitored by arrays of several instruments that detect subtle movements within the earth and changes in gas and water chemistry. The Volcano Hazards Program streams this data to its Volcano Observatories and makes it available on volcano-specific websites.

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

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
March 11, 2016

During 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies made approximately 1,026 water-level measurements in the Mojave River and Morongo groundwater basins. These data document recent conditions and, when compared with previous data, changes in groundwater levels. A water-level contour map was drawn using data from about 610 wells, providing coverage for most of the basins. Twenty-f

Ash-rich plume rises out of Halemaʻumaʻu Crater, Kilauea Volcano Hawaiʻi
March 4, 2016

Volcano-alert notifications are produced by Volcano Observatory scientists based on analysis of data from monitoring networks, direct observations, and satellite sensors. They are issued for both increasing and decreasing volcanic activity and include text about the nature of the unrest or eruption and about potential or current hazards and likely outcomes.

USGS
January 1, 2016

This dataset includes swell-filtered, high-resolution seismic-reflection data jointly collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University in 2012, between Punta Gorda and Fort Bragg in northern California.

USGS
January 1, 2016

This dataset includes swell-filtered, high-resolution seismic-reflection data jointly collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University in 2010, between Fort Bragg and Point Arena in northern California.

USGS
January 1, 2016

This dataset includes raw, high-resolution seismic-reflection data jointly collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University in 2010, between Fort Bragg and Point Arena in northern California.

USGS
January 1, 2016

This dataset includes navigation data for marine geophysical data jointly collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Oregon State University in 2012, between Punta Gorda and Fort Bragg in northern California.

Filter Total Items: 317
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1975

Geohydrologic Reconnaissance of the Imperial Valley, California

Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge; Robison, J.H.; Olmsted, F.H.
Geohydrologic Reconnaissance of the Imperial Valley, California; 1975; PP; 486-K; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water Resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea Area; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge; Robison, J. H.; Olmsted, F. H.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Needles area, Arizona, California, and Nevada

Metzger, D.G.; Loeltz, Omar J.
Geohydrology of the Needles area, Arizona, California, and Nevada; 1973; PP; 486-J; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Metzger, D. G.; Loeltz, O. J.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Parker-Blythe-Cibola area, Arizona and California

Metzger, D.G.; Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge
Geohydrology of the Parker-Blythe-Cibola area, Arizona and California; 1973; PP; 486-G; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Metzger, D. G.; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1973

Geohydrology of the Yuma area, Arizona and California

Olmsted, F.H.; Loeltz, Omar J.; Irelan, Burdge
Geohydrology of the Yuma area, Arizona and California; 1973; PP; 486-H; USGS NUMBERED SERIES; Water resources of Lower Colorado River-Salton Sea area; Olmsted, F. H.; Loeltz, O. J.; Irelan, Burdge

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 1970

Physiographic diagrams of parts of the continental borderlands of California and Alaska: 12 physiographic diagrams: Southern California Borderland; Eastern Murray Fracture Zone and Transverse Ranges; Southern Monterey Bay; Monterey Canyon; Central San

Alpha, Tau Rho
Physiographic diagrams of parts of the continental borderlands of California and Alaska: 12 physiographic diagrams: Southern California Borderland; Eastern Murray Fracture Zone and Transverse Ranges; Southern Monterey Bay; Monterey Canyon; Central San; 1970; OFR; 70-5; Alpha, Tau Rho

Filter Total Items: 1,151
With gloved hands and tweezers, folding a water filter
May 12, 2017

A hydrologist carefully folds a filter used to collect an eDNA sample

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a hydrologist carefully folds a filter used to collect a sample for analysis of eDNA.

Man standing ankle-deep in creek takes notes
May 12, 2017

A hydrologic technician records stream habitat characteristics

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a hydrologic technician records characteristics of the habitat of a highly urbanized stream.

A man walks knee-deep in stream next to outfall pipe
May 11, 2017

A geomorphologist walks a stream as part of an ecological survey

As part of the Regional Stream Quality Assessments (RSQA), hydrologists, ecologists, and technicians did ecological surveys of aquatic biota and stream habitat.  Here, a geolomorphologist assesses stream banks.

Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

“Snapshot” or first frame of beach video, Santa Cruz, California

Snapshot, or first frame of from a 10-minute video taken May 6, 2017, in Santa Cruz, California. View is from atop a hotel looking down on Cowells Beach, a popular surf spot. Researchers at the USGS are using these and other video images to improve understanding and computer modeling of beach processes, especially those that change the coast. 

...
Distant view of the shore from a flat rooftop that is visible at bottom of image.
May 6, 2017

Time-averaged image from video of beach in Santa Cruz, California

Time-averaged image, or “timex,” created by averaging the intensity of light recorded at each spot, or “pixel,” during a 10-minute video taken at Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. Blurred white zones show where waves are breaking. Line between wet and dry sand shows the maximum height on the beach reached by the waves (“runup”). Researchers at the USGS are using

...
Image in mostly black and white tones, showing distant view of beach stretching from bottom left to upper right.
May 6, 2017

Variance image from video of beach in Santa Cruz, California

“Variance” image produced from video shot at Cowells Beach in Santa Cruz, California, on May 6, 2017. The more the light intensity changes at a given spot, or “pixel,” during the video, the brighter the value assigned to that pixel. Motion tends to produce changes in light intensity. Note bright areas along and beyond the shore where waves were breaking. Researchers are

...
An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed in the Mojave Desert.
May 4, 2017

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle

An extremely rare Mojave River western pond turtle was recently observed by USGS scientists and staff from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in the Mojave Desert. Turtles of this population have rarely been seen since the late 1990s.

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA
May 2, 2017

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA

Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge, CA

View from a boat of a man snorkeling in a marshy waterway with thick vegetation along the edge of and in the water.
April 5, 2017

Brazilian waterweed

Tips of Brazilian waterweed (Egeria densa) break the surface at low tide in Lindsey Slough in the northern Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. More commonly, this invasive plant is completely submerged.

March 31, 2017

Establishing Forster's Tern Nesting Colonies

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) are conducting a "social attraction" study for seabirds in the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Historically, this region offered wetland habitats to local wildlife. With the introduction of industrial salt ponds and human development, however, much of this habitat was lost. Now,

...
Satellite image showing wildflower blooming in California.
March 28, 2017

The Wildflower Superbloom in California from Landsat’s Perspective

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers.

There were many places to see this wildflower “superbloom” in southern California. This pair of images from Landsat

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California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8
March 28, 2017

California Wildflower Superbloom, Spring 2017, Landsat 8

After 5 years of drought, California finally got relief during the winter of 2016–2017 with much needed precipitation. One result of this additional moisture was a springtime abundance of wildflowers in 2017. This Landsat 8 image shows a large area of wildflower "superbloom" just north of Los Padres National Forest in southern California.

 

Filter Total Items: 911
USGS
March 29, 2013

Barium and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in 5 percent of untreated groundwater used for public-water supply in the San Francisco Bay region, while human-made organic chemical constituents were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent. 

USGS
March 25, 2013

Two years after the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan and caused millions of dollars in damage to California coastal communities, the state's Emergency Management Agency and the California Geological Survey continue to work with their local, state and federal partners to reduce the impacts of future tsunamis in California. 

USGS
March 13, 2013

Climate factors such as snowpack and precipitation are playing an increasingly important role in the abundance of American pikas in the Great Basin, according to a continuing ecological study by the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Montana and Montana State University.

USGS
March 13, 2013

The U.S. Geological Survey is cancelling its March 28th Evening Public Lecture "Preparing for California Climate Change," due to travel restrictions the agency has implemented because of the federal budget sequestration.

USGS
March 12, 2013

February 2013 marked the first year of successful volcano monitoring and preparing for possible volcanic eruption for the California Volcano Observatory (CalVO).

USGS
February 25, 2013

The movie "The Impossible" graphically depicts destruction caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which resulted in catastrophic loss of life and property – are similar, equally destructive events likely to occur in the Pacific Northwest?

Meeting between California Emergency Management Agency, CalVO, and ...
February 21, 2013

Many of California's young volcanoes pose a threat to people and property.

USGS
February 11, 2013

Arsenic, uranium, fumigants and nitrate were detected at high concentrations in untreated groundwater at depths in the aquifer system typically used for public water supply in the Madera County region of California’s San Joaquin Valley.

USGS
January 29, 2013

Lake Mead National Recreation Area's water quality is good, the sport fish populations are sufficient, and the lakes provide important habitat for an increasing number of birds. 

USGS
January 18, 2013

A century of scientific creativity and innovation has allowed seismologists to "see" into the outer layers of our planet, revealing the deep properties of the Earth's crust.

USGS
January 9, 2013

Inorganic elements - arsenic, boron, fluoride, and five other inorganic elements - were detected at high concentrations in 35 percent of untreated groundwater used for public water supply in the desert region of southern California. In contrast, human-made organic chemical constituents and nitrate were found at high concentrations in less than 1 percent of the desert region’s aquifers.

USGS
December 10, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Exciting discoveries are spurring research to uncover hidden secrets deep within South Pacific tropical forests.