Unified Interior Regions

Colorado

The Rocky Mountain Region ranges from the Colorado Rockies to the Western Deserts to the Great Plains. The Rocky Mountain Region conducts multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring in locations across the Region, the United States, around the world, and across our solar system.

States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 207
Date published: March 25, 2020
Status: Active

Past Perspectives of Water in the West

In the intermountain west, seasonal precipitation extremes, combined with population growth, are creating new challenges for the management of water resources, ecosystems, and geologic hazards. This research contributes a comprehensive long-term context for a deeper understanding of past hydrologic variability, including the magnitude and frequency of drought and flood extremes and ecosystem...

Date published: February 13, 2020
Status: Active

Avian Malaria Genomic Research Project

Habitat destruction, invasive plants, non-native predators and competitors, and introduced diseases have decimated the diverse, endemic native forest bird community of Hawai‘i. In particular, avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum), which is transmitted by the introduced Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito, has caused dramatic declines and extinctions in many native birds. Fortunately, Cx....

Date published: November 13, 2019
Status: Active

Developing tools to image the Earth in 3D using gravity and magnetic fields - Anjana Shah

Develop cutting-edge computational tools that provide 3D views of Earth’s crust using gravity and magnetic fields. Results of these efforts will have a wide range of applications from mapping natural resources to evaluating natural hazards. These tools will be applied to airborne geophysical data, especially those collected for the USGS Earth MRI effort.

Date published: November 6, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Infrastructure Study: Brooklyn Mine Superfund Site

A study site of the Geophysical Infrastructure Studies: Earthen Dams and Abandoned Mine Lands project.

Contacts: Bethany Burton
Date published: October 25, 2019
Status: Active

Economics and Ecosystem Services

Federal policymakers and land managers are accountable to the public for how they use public resources and for the outcomes of policy and management decisions. Through a variety of economic analyses and custom modeling, SEA economists evaluate how investments and management decisions affect individuals, local communities, and society as a whole.

Date published: April 23, 2019
Status: Active

Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Petroleum Geochemistry Research Laboratory (PGRL) provides analytical capabilities and technical expertise in support of research and assessment projects within the Energy Resource Program (ERP) with a commitment to the provision of quality petroleum organic geochemistry and mineralogy data.

Date published: February 26, 2019
Status: Completed

August-September 2014 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the August-September 2014 Floods, caused by heavy rains followed by remnants of Hurricane Odile which brought major flooding to parts of Arizona.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

September 2013 Southwest Floods

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the September 2013 Southwest Floods that occurred when rains brought major flooding to parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Summer 2011 Missouri River Basin flood

Learn more about USGS flood activities related to the 2011 Missouri River Basin Flood resulting from higher-than-average snowmelt runoff combined with heavy spring rains.

Date published: February 19, 2019
Status: Active

Topographic Survey Data of Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the Confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River

Starting in 2012, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with Colorado Springs Utilities selected 10 reaches or study areas along Fountain Creek between Colorado Springs and the confluence of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River for annual bed and bank characterization and topographic surveys.  

The selected 10 study areas are approximately 5 to 20 bank-full channel widths in...

Contacts: Laura Hempel
Filter Total Items: 143
Date published: November 9, 2020

Hydrologic reconnaissance to identify areas of emergent groundwater, Mineral Creek, near Silverton, Colorado, June 2020

Hydrologic reconnaissance of Mineral Creek near Silverton, Colo., was conducted from June 25-27, 2020. Both banks of Mineral Creek and the adjacent hillsides were walked, starting near the ghost town of Chattanooga and proceeding downstream to the confluence of Mineral Creek with the Middle Fork of Mineral Creek. The purpose of this reconnaissance was to identify areas of emergent ground

Date published: October 30, 2020

Invertebrate community data from native trout lakes and streams in the Southern Rocky Mountains

Native trout in the West suffer a high degree of vulnerability, as highlighted by cutthroat trout, a group of 14 subspecies, most of which have been petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). In the Southern Rocky Mountains, greenback cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii stomias; GBCT) are listed as threatened under the ESA, and few populations remain, i

Date published: October 9, 2020

Drone- and ground-based measurements of velocity, depth, and discharge collected during 2017-18 at the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in Colorado and the Salcha and Tanana Rivers in Alaska, USA

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is actively investigating the use of innovative remote-sensing techniques to estimate surface velocity and discharge of rivers in ungaged basins and river reaches that lack the infrastructure to install conventional streamgaging equipment. By coupling discharge algorithms and sensors capable of measuring surface velocity, streamgage networks can be establis...

Date published: October 9, 2020

Surface velocity data acquired from QCam (drone-based Doppler velocity radar) for the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in Colorado and the Salcha and Tanana Rivers in Alaska

This dataset contains data collected during science flights using the drone-based QCam, which is a Doppler (velocity) radar designed to measure surface velocity and compute river discharge when channel bathymetry is known. Five science flights were conducted on four rivers including the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in Colorado and the Salcha and Tanana Rivers in Alaska. Data are present...

Date published: October 9, 2020

Velocity profiles and river discharge for cross sections on the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in Colorado and the Salcha and Tanana Rivers in Alaska

This dataset includes vertical velocity profiles and river discharges at cross sections of interest acquired at the Arkansas and South Platte Rivers in Colorado and the Salcha and Tanana Rivers in Alaska. Velocity measurements were measured at various depths at the y-axis, which is the vertical in the cross section where the maximum velocity (umax) occurs. When wading was possible, veloci

Date published: October 9, 2020

Wading survey of bed topography, gage height, and cross-sectional area for the Arkansas River near Parkdale, Colorado

This dataset contains survey data including wading and real-time kinematic (RTK) Global Positioning System (GPS) of water surface elevation and channel bed topography at cross section 5 (xs5) on March 20, 2018, which is adjacent to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgage at Arkansas River at Parkdale, Colorado (USGS 07094500). The RTK Global Navigation Satellite Sy

Date published: September 29, 2020

Environmental tracer data from surface water and groundwater samples collected in Redwell Basin near Crested Butte, Colorado, 2017-2019

This dataset contains environmental tracer data from surface water and groundwater samples collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in Redwell Basin, an alpine watershed in the Elk Mountains near the town of Crested Butte, Colorado. The basin is underlain by interbedded shale and sandstone that have been variably hydrothermally altered and silicified by local magmatic intrusions. Samples were...

Date published: September 28, 2020

Cross-Section Geometry and Sediment-Size Data from Muddy Creek and North Fork Gunnison River below Paonia Reservoir, western Colorado, 2019

This dataset contains cross-section geometry and sediment-size data collected in the fall of 2019 from Muddy Creek and North Fork Gunnison River below Paonia Reservoir, western Colorado. Six cross sections were surveyed using Real-Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite System (RTK-GNSS) methods to document channel geometry below Paonia Reservoir. One cross section was surveyed on Muddy...

Date published: September 25, 2020

Geochemical data for alkaline igneous rock units in the Cripple Creek district, Colorado USA: 1989-2016

This data release includes new major and trace element geochemical data acquired by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for igneous rocks in the Cripple Creek district in Colorado. Cripple Creek is among the largest epithermal districts in the world, with more than 800 metric tons (t) Au (>26.4 Moz). The ores are associated spatially, temporally, and genetically with ~34 to 28

Date published: September 16, 2020

Airborne electromagnetic and magnetic survey data of the San Juan-Silverton Caldera complex, Silverton, Colorado, 2019

Airborne electromagnetic (AEM) and magnetic survey data were collected during April and May 2019 along 1,467 line-kilometers in the San Juan-Silverton Caldera complex, Colorado, in the Southern Rocky Mountain Volcanic Field. Data were acquired by Geotech, Ltd. with the versatile time-domain electromagnetic (VTEM) system together with a Geometrics optically pumped cesium vapor magn

Date published: September 4, 2020

Data for Groundwater-Quality and Select Quality-Control Data for the Colorado Plateaus Principal Aquifer

Groundwater samples were collected from 60 public supply wells in the Colorado Plateaus principal aquifer. Water quality evaluations of groundwater for drinking water at public supply depths were made with the purpose of summarizing the current quality of source water (that is, untreated water) from public supply wells using two types of assessments; (1) status: an assessment that

Date published: September 3, 2020

Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Habitat Viewer

The Flycatcher Habitat Viewer was developed to meet the needs of organizations by providing maps of predicted flycatcher breeding habitat throughout its range. Maps are provided from 2013 to present and cover 57 satellite scenes. Maps identify predicted flycatcher habitat based upon the amount of green vegetation within a 120-m radius of each cell, and the size of floodplain within a 360-m...

Filter Total Items: 15
Colorado Flood Database
October 24, 2010

An easy-to-use, Web-based geodatabase of historical flood and paleoflood information which includes links to sources of flood data.  The interface makes this collection of information useful to water-resource managers to better understand the historic events for improved flood-frequency estimates of the largest floods in Colorado.

Nodes and Subreaches Along Monument and Fountain Creeks and Location of Streamflow Stations Used in Transit-Loss Accounting Prog
September 6, 2007

Nodes and Subreaches Along Monument and Fountain Creeks and Location of Streamflow-Gaging Stations, Wastewater-Treatment Facilities, and Diversions Used in New Transit-Loss Accounting Program

Filter Total Items: 407
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Year Published: 2020

Assessment of dissolved-selenium concentrations and loads in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, as part of the Selenium Management Program, 2011–17

The Gunnison Basin Selenium Management Program implemented a water-quality monitoring network in 2011 to measure concentrations of selenium in the lower Gunnison River Basin in Colorado. Selenium is a trace element that bioaccumulates in aquatic food chains. Selenium is essential for life, but elevated amounts can cause reproductive failure,...

Henneberg, Mark F.
Henneberg, M.F., 2020, Assessment of dissolved-selenium concentrations and loads in the Lower Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, as part of the Selenium Management Program, 2011–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1078, 21 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201078

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Year Published: 2020

Groundwater levels in the Denver Basin bedrock aquifers of Douglas County, Colorado, 2011–19

Municipal and domestic water users in Douglas County, Colorado, rely on groundwater from the bedrock aquifers in the Denver Basin aquifer system as part of their water supply. The four principal Denver Basin bedrock aquifers are, from shallowest to deepest, the Dawson aquifer (divided administratively into “upper” and “lower” Dawson aquifers in...

Malenda, Helen F.; Penn, Colin A.
Malenda, H.F., and Penn, C.A., 2020, Groundwater levels in the Denver Basin bedrock aquifers of Douglas County, Colorado, 2011–19: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5076, 44 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205076.

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Year Published: 2020

Incipient bed-movement and flood-frequency analysis using hydrophones to estimate flushing flows on the upper Colorado River, Colorado, 2019

In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Upper Colorado River Wild and Scenic Stakeholder Group, studied the magnitude and recurrence interval of streamflow (discharge) needed to initiate bed movement of gravel-sized and finer sediment in a segment of the Colorado River in Colorado to better understand sediment movement and its...

Kohn, Michael S.; Marineau, Mathieu D.; Hempel, Laura A.; McDonald, Richard R.
Kohn, M.S., Marineau, M.D., Hempel, L.A., and McDonald, R.R., 2020, Incipient bed-movement and flood-frequency analysis using hydrophones to estimate flushing flows on the upper Colorado River, Colorado, 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5069, 39 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205069.

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Year Published: 2020

Changes in climate and land cover affect seasonal streamflow forecasts in the Rio Grande headwaters

Seasonal streamflow forecast bias, changes in climate, snowpack, and land cover, and the effects of these changes on relations between basin‐wide snowpack, SNOw TELemetry (SNOTEL) station snowpack, and seasonal streamflow were evaluated in the headwaters of the Rio Grande, Colorado. Results indicate that shifts in the seasonality of precipitation...

Penn, Colin A.; Clow, David W.; Sexstone, Graham A.; Murphy, Sheila F.

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Year Published: 2020

Elevation and elevation-change maps of Fountain Creek, southeastern Colorado, 2015–19

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with Colorado Springs Utilities, has been collecting topographic data at 10 study areas along Fountain Creek, Colorado, annually since 2012. The 10 study areas are located between Colorado Springs and the terminus of Fountain Creek at the Arkansas River in Pueblo. The purpose of this report is to present...

Hempel, Laura A.
Hempel, L., 2020, Elevation and elevation-change maps of Fountain Creek, southeastern Colorado, 2015–19: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3456, 10 sheets, 9 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3456.

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Year Published: 2020

Relating hydroclimatic change to streamflow, baseflow, and hydrologic partitioning in the Upper Rio Grande Basin, 1980 to 2015

Understanding how changing climatic conditions affect streamflow volume and timing is critical for effective water management. In the Rio Grande Basin of the southwest U.S., decreasing snowpack, increasing minimum temperatures, and decreasing streamflow have been observed in recent decades, but the effects of hydroclimatic changes on baseflow, or...

Rumsey, Christine; Miller, Matthew; Sexstone, Graham A.

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Year Published: 2020

Hydrogeologic characterization, groundwater chemistry, and vulnerability assessment, Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Colorado and Utah

The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe (UMUT), initiated a study in 2016 to increase understanding of the hydrogeology and chemistry of groundwater within select areas of the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation (UMUR) in Colorado and Utah, identify vulnerabilities to the system and other natural resources, and outline...

Bauch, Nancy J.; Arnold, L. Rick
Bauch, N.J., and Arnold, L.R., 2020, Hydrogeologic characterization, groundwater chemistry, and vulnerability assessment, Ute Mountain Ute Reservation, Colorado and Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5122, 76 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195122.

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Year Published: 2020

Preferential elution of ionic solutes in melting snowpacks: Improving process understanding through field observations and modeling in the Rocky Mountains

The preferential elution of ions from melting snowpacks is a complex problem that has been linked to temporary acidification of water bodies. However, the understanding of these processes in snowpacks around the world, including the polar regions that are experiencing unprecedented warming and melting, remains limited despite being instrumental in...

Costa, Diogo; Sexstone, Graham A.; Pomeroy, J.W.; Campbell, Donald H.; Clow, David W.; Mast, Alisa

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Year Published: 2020

The influence of frost weathering on the debris flow sediment supply in an alpine basin

Rocky, alpine mountains are prone to mass wasting from debris flows. The Chalk Cliffs study area (central Colorado, USA) produces debris flows annually. These debris flows are triggered when overland flow driven by intense summer convective storms mobilizes large volumes of sediment within the channel network. Understanding the debris flow...

Rengers, Francis K.; Kean, Jason W.; Reitman, Nadine G.; Smith, Joel B.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; McGuire, Luke

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of John Martin Reservoir on water quality and quantity: Assessment by chemical, isotopic, and mass-balance methods

Water quality and quantity can be influenced by transit through and storage in reservoirs. Assessing such effects can be challenging, however, because of mixing and residence times, and inter-annual net storage and release from both the reservoir itself and surrounding porosity. Here, different methodologies were used to assess the effect of John...

Bern, Carleton R.; Holmberg, Michael; Kisfalusi, Zachary

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Year Published: 2020

Mercury and selenium concentrations in fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin, southwestern United States: A retrospective assessment

Mercury (Hg) and selenium (Se) are contaminants of concern for fish in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). We explored Hg and Se in fish tissues (2,324 individuals) collected over 50 years (1962–2011) from the UCRB. Samples include native and non-native fish collected from lotic waterbodies spanning 7 major tributaries to the Colorado River....

Day, Natalie K.; Schmidt, Travis; Roberts, James J.; Osmundson, Barbara C.; Willacker, James; Eagles-Smith, Collin

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Year Published: 2019

Managing sand along the Colorado River to protect cultural sites downstream of Glen Canyon Dam

The construction of Glen Canyon Dam in northern Arizona has greatly reduced the supply of sand to the Colorado River corridor through Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and Grand Canyon National Park, hereafter referred to as Glen Canyon and Grand Canyon, respectively. This deficit has strongly affected the natural sediment cycle in this iconic...

Cook, Terri; East, Amy; Fairley, Helen; Sankey, Joel B.
Cook, T., East, A., Fairley, H., and Sankey, J.B., 2019, Managing sand along the Colorado River to protect cultural sites downstream of Glen Canyon Dam: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3054, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193054.

Filter Total Items: 196
June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool—Step 1: Describe Proposed Treatment

This video describes Step 1 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 1 the user defines a name, the planned treatment/s, and a file name for exported items.

These tutorial videos were created to aid in the use of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool (LTET). These videos guide a user through the main steps of the tool.

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 2: Select Treatment Boundary

This video describes Step 2 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 2 the user defines their planned treatment boundary. The user can load a zipped shapefile or on-screen digitize their boundary.  

These tutorial videos were created to aid in the use of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool (LTET). These videos guide a

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 3: Explore Site Characteristics

This video describes Step 3 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 3 the user is guided to the Site History tab to explore land treatment and wildfire history of their planned treatment area. They are also directed to the Fish and Wildfire Information for Planning and Consultation tool to investigate areas of overlap with endangered species, migratory birds, and

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool— Step 4: Prop. Treatment Area & Report

This video describes Step 4 and the developing report of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 4 the used selects layers to generate spatial overlap statistics with their planned treatment boundary. Summary tables are generated and displayed in the Report tab, where a user can create a PDF Site Characterization Report for their planned treatment boundary. Optionally

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 5: Select Search Parameters

This video describes Step 5 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 5 the user determines a distance or boundary to search for legacy Land Treatment Digital Library records. The user also indicates if the returned LTDL treatments are statistically evaluated against the planned treatment boundary using a Bray-Curtis Dissimilarity calculation.

These tutorial

June 11, 2020

Land Treatment Exploration Tool — Step 6: Compare the LTDL Treatments

This video describes Step 6 of the Land Treatment Exploration Tool. In Step 6 the user filters through the returned list of legacy LTDL treatments to identify records that contain useful information or context for the current planned treatment boundary. Selected treatments are added to the developing report and subsequent exported Site Characterization PDFs.  

These

North Platte River ADCP Measurement
April 30, 2020

North Platte River ADCP Measurement

Recent warm weather has increased flow in the North Platte River to above average for the date at the streamgage at Northgate, CO (just upstream of the WY-CO stateline). Real-time data online at: http://ow.ly/vodL50zt6YO

Real-Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) surveying equipment near Non-Potable Reservoir 1
December 12, 2019

GNSS Surveying Equipment near Non-Potable Reservoir 1

Real-Time Kinematic Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) surveying equipment near Non-Potable Reservoir 1

A group of people gather around a list of climate adaptation strategies inside of a conference room.
December 5, 2019

Collaborating on Climate Adaptation

RAMPS expands drought adaptation project with national parks in the 4-Corners area. National parks across the desert Southwest are experiencing ecological impacts due to climate change. Since late 2018, USGS RAMPS scientists have been working with Southeast Utah Group of national parks to better understand climate change impacts and build a suite of science-driven

...
Ice Lake at dusk, looking north from the main outlet structure
November 15, 2019

Ice Lake at dusk, looking north from the main outlet structure

Ice Lake at dusk, looking north from the main outlet structure

•	Research vessel with bathymetric surveying equipment Non-Potable Reservoir 2
November 12, 2019

Bathymetric surveying equipment at Non-Potable Reservoir 2

Research vessel with bathymetric surveying equipment Non-Potable Reservoir 2

Research vessel with bathymetric surveying equipment and U.S. Geological Survey hydrologist on Kettle Lake 3
October 17, 2019

Research vessel on Kettle Lake 3

Research vessel with bathymetric surveying equipment andU.S. Geological Survey hydrologist on Kettle Lake 3.

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Landsat 8 after image of the Camp Fire in California – a 2018 wildfire.
March 4, 2021

The value of Landsat satellite imagery to the U.S. and global economies has increased notably in recent years. Landsat imagery provided an estimated $3.45 billion in economic benefits to users worldwide in 2017, compared to worldwide benefits of $2.19 billion in 2011. 

Image shows a satellite view of the United States, with parts of Mexico and Canada visible.
February 16, 2021

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has updated its USMIN Mineral Deposit Database (USMIN) for the mineral commodity niobium, one of 35 mineral commodities declared critical by the U.S. Department of the Interior. Sites in this dataset occur in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas.

Catastrophic landslide near Oso, Washington, March 22, 2014....
January 7, 2021

Post-wildfire hazards in Colorado can be as dangerous as the fires themselves.

Mill Tailings Pile, Town of Moriah, New York
December 22, 2020

Waste rock from long-closed mines in the eastern Adirondack Mountains, New York, may prove valuable due to its rare earth element content, according to newly published research. The results are from airborne and ground surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and collaborators.

Animation of Growth to Pine Gulch Fire
September 3, 2020

The accumulated wildfires engulfing miles of California countryside in the late summer of 2020 are historic in their collective size: more than 500 fires burning across hundreds of thousands of acres.

USGS
August 21, 2020

NSF's Long Term Ecological Reaserach Network (LTER) is releasing a call for proposals for synthesis working groups.

Dragonfly larvae being held in an open hand
July 21, 2020

A team of federal, academic, and NGO researchers conducted a national-scale assessment of mercury bioaccumulation in aquatic ecosystems using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels.

Invasive Burmese Python
July 10, 2020

Washington – Today, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), U.S. National Park Service (NPS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and Conservancy of Southwest Florida announced they have teamed up to radio-track Burmese pythons in Big Cypress National Preserve, Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge and other areas of Southwest Florida.

dark space with golden solar flare
March 16, 2020

The U.S. Geological Survey released a new report on geoelectric hazards for two-thirds of the contiguous U.S., spanning from the northeast to the west coast of the Nation. 

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