Unified Interior Regions

Region 1: North Atlantic-Appalachian

Our Science Centers

Our Science Centers

The NAA Region has 15 Science Centers spanning 14 NE States and Washington, DC. The Centers conduct interdisciplinary biologic, geologic, hydrologic, and energy monitoring and research addressing natural resource issues facing our nation.

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February Photo Contest

February Photo Contest

Check out the winning photographs in the February 2020 Photo Contest! Categories include People, USGS at Work, Where We Work, and Honorable Mention

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Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 1,140
Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Completed

The Release of Parent-reared Whooping Crane Colts into the Eastern Migratory Population

The Challenge: Whooping cranes have been successfully introduced using costume rearing techniques in either a direct autumn release or in an ultralight led migration from Wisconsin to Florida. In Florida, we have also released parent-reared whooping cranes. Not much is known about the learning that takes place in this K-selected species over the almost one year that the young whooping crane...

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Implementing Cross Validation Approaches for Model Selection and Evaluating Goodness of Fit in Complex Hierarchical Models

It is (relatively) easy to construct complex hierarchical models for analysis of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS), but deciding which model best describes population change is difficult.  We are developing methods for model selection for BBS and other important survey data sets, and using them to refine our estimates of population change from this important survey.

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Population Change and Abundance of Black Ducks and Mallards in Eastern North America

The boreal forest in the northeastern United States and eastern Canada contains most of the breeding range of the American black duck (Anas rubripes).  We collaborate with scientists from the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service to design and analyze waterfowl surveys in this large and often inaccessible area.

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Design and Analysis of Surveys for Estimation of Temporal and Spatial Change in Animal Populations

Designing and analyzing large-scale animal surveys is an important focus of our research.  Although we conduct research into analysis methods for many surveys, the primary focus of this project is to conduct analyses and develop web-based summaries of data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS).

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Hierarchical Models of Animal Abundance and Occurrence

The Challenge: Research goals of this project are to develop models, statistical methods, sampling strategies and tools for inference about animal population status from survey data. Survey data are always subject to a number of observation processes that induce bias and error. In particular, inferences are based on spatial sampling – we can only ever sample a subset of locations where species...

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Spatial Capture-Recapture Models to Estimate Abundance and Density of Animal Populations

The Challenge: For decades, capture-recapture methods have been the cornerstone of ecological statistics as applied to population biology.  While capture-recapture has become the standard sampling and analytical framework for the study of population processes (Williams, Nichols & Conroy 2002) it has advanced independent of and remained unconnected to the spatial structure of the population...

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Hierarchical Models for Estimation of Population Parameters

The Challenge: Much of wildlife research consists of the description of variation in data. Some of the variation results from spatial and temporal change in populations, while some results from biologically irrelevant sampling variation induced by the process of data collection. Distinguishing relevant from irrelevant variation is the first task of statistical analysis, but the job does not...

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Development of Statistical Methods for Biological Applications

The Challenge: Wildlife science and management are guided by data, and it is unquestionably the case that the greatest success occurs when good data are analyzed by good statistical methods.

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Completed

Managing Free-Roaming Cats at the Patuxent Research Refuge

The Challenge: Free-roaming cats (Felis catus) are nonnative predators of small mammals, songbirds and gamebirds, reptiles, amphibians, and insects. They are also competitors of native predators and vectors for diseases to human and wildlife. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is authorized to remove cats from National Wildlife Refuges. Presently cat trapping on Refuge lands is conducted...

Date published: December 19, 2016
Status: Active

Characterization of Avian Hazards Following Chlorophacinone Use for Prairie Dog Control

The Challenge: Black-tailed prairie dogs are considered a keystone species for the prairie habitat. Many avian species are associated with black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in winter. Raptors feed on prairie dogs and non-raptor avian species forage within prairie dog colonies.  However prairie dogs are also considered agricultural pests. The first-generation anticoagulant...

Date published: December 16, 2016
Status: Active

Webcams - New York Water Science Center

Webcams have been installed at a number of locations in New York to allow you to view, in real time, the current river-stage conditions. 

Date published: December 14, 2016
Status: Active

Development of Computer Software for the Analysis of Animal Population Parameters

Biologists at USGS Patuxent, as well as cooperating agencies are constantly looking for new ways of answering questions about the status of animal populations and how animal populations change over time. To address these questions, data are collected on captures and or sightings of animals which can be used to estimate parameters which affect the population using legacy software. Over time,...

Contacts: James Hines
Filter Total Items: 15,667
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Year Published: 2017

Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem

Subterranean estuaries extend inland into density-stratified coastal carbonate aquifers containing a surprising diversity of endemic animals (mostly crustaceans) within a highly oligotrophic habitat. How complex ecosystems (termed anchialine) thrive in this globally distributed, cryptic environment is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate...

Brankovits, D.; Pohlman, John; Niemann, H.; Leigh, M.B.; Leewis, M.C.; Becker, K. W.; Iliffe, T.M.; Alvarez. F.; Lehmann, M.F.; Phillips, B.
Brankovits, P., Niemann, L., Leewis, B., Iliffe, A., Lehman, P., 2017, Methane- and dissolved organic carbon-fueled microbial loop supports a tropical subterranean estuary ecosystem: Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-017-01776-x.

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Year Published: 2017

Rapid 3-week transition from migration to incubation in a female Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)

A female Roseate Tern that staged in Puerto Rico on 10 May 2008 on its migration north was first observed in the nesting area at Bird Island, Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts on 21 May. It was incubating a complete clutch of two eggs by 1 June and likely had initiated laying within 20 days of having been in Puerto Rico.

Spendelow, Jeffrey A.
Spendelow, J. A., 2017, Rapid 3-week transition from migration to incubation in a female Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii): North American Bird Bander, v. 42, no. 3, p. 62-64.

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Year Published: 2017

Spatial mismatch between sea lamprey behaviour and trap location explains low success at trapping for control

Crucial to the management of invasive species is understanding space use and the environmental features affecting space use. Improved understanding of space use by invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) could help researchers discern why trap success in large rivers is lower than needed for effective control. We tested whether manipulating...

Rous, Andrew M.; McLean, Adrienne R.; Barber, Jessica; Bravener, Gale; Castro-Santos, Theodore; Holbrook, Christopher M.; Imre, Istvan; Pratt, Thomas C.; McLaughlin, Robert L.
Andrew M. Rous, Adrienne R. McLean, Jessica Barber, Gale Bravener, Theodore Castro-Santos, Christopher M. Holbrook, Istvan Imre, Thomas C. Pratt, and Robert L. McLaughlin. 2017. Spatial mismatch between sea lamprey behaviour and trap location explains low success at trapping for control. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.74:2085-2097

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Year Published: 2017

Cobalt—Styles of deposits and the search for primary deposits

Cobalt (Co) is a potentially critical mineral. The vast majority of cobalt is a byproduct of copper and (or) nickel production. Cobalt is increasingly used in magnets and rechargeable batteries. More than 50 percent of primary cobalt production is from the Central African Copperbelt. The Central African Copperbelt is the only sedimentary rock-...

Hitzman, Murray W.; Bookstrom, Arthur A.; Slack, John F.; Zientek, Michael L.
Hitzman, M.W., Bookstrom, A.A., Slack, J.F., and Zientek, M.L., 2017, Cobalt—Styles of deposits and the search for primary deposits: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1155, 47 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171155.

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Year Published: 2017

North American Breeding Bird Survey in Mississippi

Does it seem like you are hearing fewer Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus) calls in recent years than you remember when you were younger? Conversely, have you also noticed hearing more “cooing” of Eurasian Collared-Doves (Streptopelia decaocto)? Do such experiences reflect changes in bird populations or are they false impressions? Well,...

Twedt, Daniel J.; Pardieck, Keith L.
Twedt, D. J. and Pardieck, K. L., 2017, North American Breeding Bird Survey In Mississippi: Mississippi Kite, v. 47, no. 2, p. 70-83. https://sora.unm.edu/node/140488

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Year Published: 2017

Refining the formation and early evolution of the Eastern North American Margin: New insights from multiscale magnetic anomaly analyses

To investigate the oceanic lithosphere formation and early seafloor spreading history of the North Atlantic Ocean, we examine multiscale magnetic anomaly data from the Jurassic/Early Cretaceous age Eastern North American Margin (ENAM) between 31 and 40°N. We integrate newly acquired sea surface magnetic anomaly and seismic reflection data with...

Greene, John A.; Tominaga, Masako; Miller, Nathaniel C.; Hutchinson, Deborah; Karl, Matthew R.
Greene, J. A., Tominaga, M., Miller, N. C., Hutchinson, D. R. & Karl, M. R. (2017). Refining the Formation and Early Evolution of the Eastern North American Margin (ENAM): New Insights from Multiscale Magnetic Anomaly Analyses. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 122. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JB014308

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Year Published: 2017

The hyper-enrichment of V and Zn in black shales of the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Bakken Formation (USA)

Black shales of the Late Devonian to Early Mississippian Bakken Formation are characterized by high concentrations of organic carbon and the hyper-enrichment (> 500 to 1000s of mg/kg) of V and Zn. Deposition of black shales resulted from shallow seafloor depths that promoted rapid development of euxinic conditions. Vanadium hyper-...

Scott, Clint; Slack, John F.; Kelley, Karen Duttweiler
Clint Scott, John F. Slack, Karen D. Kelley, The hyper-enrichment of V and Zn in black shales of the Late Devonian-Early Mississippian Bakken Formation (USA), In Chemical Geology, Volume 452, 2017, Pages 24-33

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Year Published: 2017

Determining fine-scale use and movement patterns of diving bird species in federal waters of the Mid-Atlantic United States using satellite telemetry

Offshore wind energy development in the United States is projected to expand in the upcoming decades to meet growing energy demands and reduce fossil fuel emissions. There is particular interest in commercial offshore wind development within Federal waters (i.e., > 3 nautical miles from shore) of the mid-Atlantic. In order to understand the...

Spiegel, Caleb; Berlin, Alicia; Gilbert, Andrew; Gray, Carrie E.; Montevecchi, William; Stenhouse, Iain; Ford, Scott; Olsen, Glenn H.; Fiely, Jonathan; Savoy, Lucas; Goodale, M. Wing; Burke, Chantelle
Spiegel, C. S., Berlin, A. M., Gilbert, A. T., Gray, C. O., Montevecchi, W. A., Stenhouse, I. J., Ford, S. L., Olsen, G. H., Fiely, J. L., Savoy, L., Goodale, M. W., and Burke, C. M., 2017, Determining fine-scale use and movement patterns of diving bird species in federal waters of the Mid-Atlantic United States using satellite telemetry: Sterling, VA , U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. OCS Study BOEM 2017-069, 260 p.

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Year Published: 2017

Solid-phase arsenic speciation in aquifer sediments: A micro-X-ray absorption spectroscopy approach for quantifying trace-level speciation

e of this research is to identify the solid-phase sources and geochemical mechanisms of release of As in aquifers of the Des Moines Lobe glacial advance. The overarching concept is that conditions present at the aquifer-aquitard interfaces promote a suite of geochemical reactions leading to mineral alteration and release of As to groundwater. A...

Nicholas, Sarah L.; Erickson, Melinda L.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Knaeble, Alan R.; Marcus, Matthew A.; Lynch, Joshua K.; Toner, Brandy M.
Sarah L. Nicholas, Melinda L Erickson, Laurel G Woodruff, Alan R Knaeble, Matthew A Marcus, Joshua K Lynch, and Brandy M Toner, 2017. Solid -phase arsenic speciation in aquifer sediments: a micro-X-ray absorption spectroscopy approach for quantifying trace-level speciation. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta., 211, pp 228-255, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2017.05.018

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Year Published: 2017

Spatially explicit dynamic N-mixture models

Knowledge of demographic parameters such as survival, reproduction, emigration, and immigration is essential to understand metapopulation dynamics. Traditionally the estimation of these demographic parameters requires intensive data from marked animals. The development of dynamic N-mixture models makes it possible to estimate demographic...

Zhao, Qing; Royle, Andy; Boomer, G. Scott
Zhao, Q., Royle, J. A., and Boomer, G. S., 2017, Spatially explicit dynamic N-mixture models: Population Ecology, v. 59, no. 4, p. 293-300. https://doi.org/10.1007/s1014

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Year Published: 2017

The value of information for woodland management: Updating a state–transition model

Value of information (VOI) analyses reveal the expected benefit of reducing uncertainty to a decision maker. Most ecological VOI analyses have focused on population models rarely addressing more complex community models. We performed a VOI analysis for a complex state–transition model of Box-Ironbark Forest and Woodland management. With three...

Morris, William K.; Runge, Michael C.; Vesk, Peter A.
Morris, W. K., Runge, M. C., and Vesk, P. A., 2017, The value of information for woodland management: updating a state–transition model: Ecosphere, v. 8, no. 11, e01998 p. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1998

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Year Published: 2017

Integrated wetland management for waterfowl and shorebirds at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina

Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) offers a mix of open water, marsh, forest, and cropland habitats on 20,307 hectares in coastal North Carolina. In 1934, Federal legislation (Executive Order 6924) established MNWR to benefit wintering waterfowl and other migratory bird species. On an annual basis, the refuge staff decide how to manage...

Tavernia, Brian G.; Stanton, John D.; Lyons, James E.
Tavernia, B.G., Stanton, J.D., and Lyons, J.E., 2017, Integrated wetland management for waterfowl and shorebirds at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, North Carolina: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1052, 43 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171052.

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Mohawk River flowing under railroad bridge at Stockade district
March 30, 2017

Ice Jam Webcam at the Stockade railroad bridge, Schenectady, NY

Mohawk River Live Ice Jam Web Camera monitoring conditions at the railroad bridge in the Stockade district, Schenectady, NY

Picture of the burned area within the Great Dismal Swamp
March 21, 2017

Great Dismal Swamp Burn Area, March 2017

USGS scientists recently collected peat and lake core samples from the swamp to help reconstruct natural, environmental conditions over the past 12,000 years. 

The USGS is working with the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge on this effort. Learn more: https://www2.usgs.gov/climate_landuse/

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Living up to it's name, this picture shows the interior of the Great Dismal Swamp
March 21, 2017

Great Dismal Swamp, March 2017

Centuries of ditching, draining and harvesting resources have greatly altered the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia. USGS scientists recently collected peat and lake core samples from the swamp to help reconstruct natural, environmental conditions over the past 12,000 years. This project will help managers understand how this system has changed in order to better manage and

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snow and ice on Mohawk River at Lock 8
March 20, 2017

Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady, NY (01354330)

Mohawk River at Lock 8 near Schenectady, New York (01354330)