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Filter Total Items: 363
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.

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

Geologic Hazards and Catastrophic Events

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
Date Published: April 13, 2016

Ocean Resources for America's Needs

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.

Filter Total Items: 323
Water-supply basins in California that drain to the SF Bay Delta
February 26, 2014

Soil water deficit was calculated from soil moisture storage simulated for Jan. 1, 2014 for 23 water-supply basins surrounding the California Central Valley that drain to the Bay-Delta by using the monthly California Basin Characterization Model and ArcGIS. 

Icon made to look like a zipper on piece of paper is being unzipped, with the word ZIP at the bottom of the paper.
January 1, 2014

ZIP file (3.6 MB) contains three files when uncompressed: 

  • an essential readme.txt file and
  • model projections of two Southern California flooding hazard scenarios:
     - ARkStorm, and
     - January 2010 El Niño and Sea-Level Rise.

For more information, see CoSMoS 1.0: Southern California

 Screen Shot of the Land Treatment Digital Library Home Page
November 23, 2013

The Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL) was created by the USGS to catalog legacy land treatment information on Bureau of Land Management lands in the western United States. The LTDL can be used by federal managers and scientists for compiling information for data-calls, producing maps, generating reports, and conducting analyses at varying spatial and temporal scales.

Animation shows map of land and sea, land doesn't change and the ocean and bay change colors according to tidal height.
October 2, 2013

This web page provides a link to files that may be used to run a basic depth-averaged (2DH) Deltares Delft3D version 4.00.01 astronomic tide model for San Francisco Bay. These files are provided ‘as is’ with the aim of promoting scientific advancement in the understanding of San Francisco Bay processes.

Land Treatment Digital Library version 6, application splash screen
July 24, 2013

This software allows agencies, organizations, and individuals to download an empty, stand-alone Land Treatment Digital Library database to individual or networked computers. Data entered in these databases may be submitted to the USGS for possible inclusion in the online Land Treatment Digital Library (https://ltdl.wr.usgs.gov).

Screen shot of the NSDI node for SIR 2010-5193
September 20, 2011

This dataset was created in support of a USGS study focusing on groundwater resources in the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system (GBCAAS). The GBCAAS is a complex aquifer system comprised of both unconsolidated and bedrock formations covering an area of approximately 110,000 square miles. The aquifer system is situated in the eastern portion of the Great Basin Province.

Screen shot of the NSDI node for SIR 2010-5193
September 20, 2011

This dataset consists of potentiometric contours, control points used to guide the creation of the contours, and a grid of 2 square-mile cells used to average the water-level value of selected control points. Control points are based on water-level measurements at well and spring locations from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS).

Screen shot of NSDI node for SIR 2010-5193
September 20, 2011

This dataset was created in support of a study focusing on groundwater resources in the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system (GBCAAS). The GBCAAS is a complex aquifer system comprised of both unconsolidated and bedrock formations covering an area of approximately 110,000 square miles. The aquifer system is situated in the eastern portion of the Great Basin Province of the western US.

Screen shot of the NSDI node for SIR 2010-5193
September 20, 2011

This dataset was created in support of a study focusing on groundwater resources in the Great Basin carbonate and alluvial aquifer system (GBCAAS). The GBCAAS is a complex aquifer system comprised of both unconsolidated and bedrock formations covering an area of approximately 110,000 square miles. The aquifer system is situated in the eastern portion of the Great Basin Province of the western US.

Screen shot of NSDI node for HA694C
January 1, 2009

This data set consists of hydrographic area and major flow system boundaries and polygons delineated at 1:1,000,000-scale for the Great Basin.

Screen shot of NSDI node for SIR 2004-5155
November 8, 2004

This dataset consists of digital geologic data for the Dry Valley Hydrographic area, Nevada and California. It was compiled from individual 1:250,000-scale geologic data for Washoe County, Nevada, 1:62,500-scale geologic data for the Chilcoot and Doyle 15' quadrangles in California and the results of field mapping within the study area in 2004. 

Filter Total Items: 314
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: 1,143
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

...
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.

 

Men stand on a boat wearing safety gear and they are recovering damaged instrumentation from the water using cables and ropes.
March 21, 2017

Recovering instrument package from Monterey Canyon

On March 21, 2017, the sediment trap from this instrument package (deployed the previous October into Monterey Canyon) is gone and the mounting frame is mangled, having been exposed to several significant turbidity currents in one deployment. 

Photo of scientist climbing an island off the coast of Big Sur
March 15, 2017

WERC Big Sur Deployment

Scientists from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center deploy to Big Sur to study seabird populations.

USGS hydrologic technician stands in waist-high waters of a flooded Santa Maria River while taking streamflow measurements
March 1, 2017

Santa Maria River Flooding

A USGS hydrologic technician takes streamflow measurements during flooding of the Sisquoc River, a tributary of the Santa Maria River, near the town of Garey in Santa Barbara County. 

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.

row of palm trees along a low cliff behind a narrow beach with very little sand
February 28, 2017

Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach

Beach loss and armoring at Goleta Beach, very low (negative) tide

Filter Total Items: 908
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.

USGS
November 30, 2012

USGS Science at AGU

SAN FRANCISCO — From over well over 500 abstracts by USGS presenters at this year’s American Geophysical Union conference, we’ve selected some of the newest, most exciting topics that USGS scientists will explore at AGU. Tips are presented in topic areas, chronologically with room numbers, session numbers and a summary.

USGS
November 28, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. —New insights into the differences between fire ecologies of the Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts in the southwestern United States are coming through the use of terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging, or lidar, technology. Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey show that while fire is detrimental to some areas of the desert, it is beneficial to others. 

USGS
November 23, 2012

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Holiday shoppers can pick up free gift wrap now from the U.S. Geological Survey and California Geological Survey’s Maps and Publications Sales Office at our new location on the Menlo Park campus.