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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July Photo Contest

July Photo Contest

Check out the winning photographs in the July 2021 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: 1,126
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
Date published: December 13, 2016
Status: Active

Groundwater-level Monitoring for Characterization of Hydraulic Connections in the Basal Sand & Gravel Aquifer, Hoosic River Valley, Hoosick Falls, New York

Hydrogeologic characterization of the basal sand and gravel aquifer in the Hoosic River valley in Hoosick Falls, New York is important for determination of sources, extent, and future migration of PFOA groundwater contamination; evaluation of potential remedial actions; and appraisal of alternative groundwater supplies. Variations in the current pumping stresses and a planned 72-hour aquife...

Filter Total Items: 16,116
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Year Published: 2018

Uncertainty in United States coastal wetland greenhouse gas inventorying

Coastal wetlands store carbon dioxide (CO2) and emit CO2 and methane (CH4) making them an important part of greenhouse gas (GHG) inventorying. In the contiguous United States (CONUS), a coastal wetland inventory was recently calculated by combining maps of wetland type and change with soil, biomass, and CH4 flux data from a literature...

James Holmquist; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Blanca Bernal; Byrd, Kristin B.; Steve Crooks; Gonneea Eagle, Meagan; Nathan Herold; Sara Knox; Kroeger, Kevin D.; John McCombs; J. Patrick Megonigal; Lu Meng; James Morris; Ariana Sutton-Grier; Tiffany Troxler; Donald Weller

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Year Published: 2018

Contribution of hurricane-induced sediment resuspension to coastal oxygen dynamics

Hurricanes passing over the ocean can mix the water column down to great depths and resuspend massive volumes of sediments on the continental shelves. Consequently, organic carbon and reduced inorganic compounds associated with these sediments can be resuspended from anaerobic portions of the seabed and re-exposed to dissolved oxygen (DO) in the...

Bianucci, Laura; Balaguru, Karthik; Smith, Richard W.; Leung, Ruby; Moriarty, Julia M.

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Year Published: 2018

Natural climate solutions for the United States

Limiting climate warming to <2°C requires increased mitigation efforts, including land stewardship, whose potential in the United States is poorly understood. We quantified the potential of natural climate solutions (NCS)—21 conservation, restoration, and improved land management interventions on natural and agricultural lands—to increase...

Fargione, Joseph E.; Bassett, Steven; Boucher, Timothy; Bridgham, Scott D.; Conant, Richard T.; Cook-Patton, Susan C.; Ellis, Peter W.; Falcucci, Alessandra; Fourqurean, James W.; Gopalakrishna, Trisha; Gu, Huan; Henderson, Benjamin; Hurteau, Matthew D.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Kroeger, Timm; Lark, Tyler J.; Leavitt, Sara M.; Lomax, Guy; McDonald, Robert I.; Megonigal, Patrick; Miteva, Daniela A.; Richardson, Curtis J.; Sanderman, Jonathan; Shoch, David; Spawn, Seth A.; Veldman, Joseph W.; Williams, Christopher A.; Woodbury, Peter B.; Zganjar, Chris; Baranski, Marci; Elias, Patricia; Houghton, Richard A.; Landis, Emily; McGlynn, Emily; Schlesinger, William H.; Siikamaki, Juha V.; Sutton-Grier, Ariana; Griscom, Bronson W.

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Year Published: 2018

Radium attenuation and mobilization in stream sediments following oil and gas wastewater disposal in western Pennsylvania

Centralized waste treatment facilities (CWTs) in Pennsylvania discharged wastewater from conventional and unconventional oil and gas (O&G) wells into surface waters until 2011, when a voluntary request from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) encouraged recycling rather than...

Van Sice, Katherine; Cravotta, Charles A.; McDevitt, Bonnie; Tasker, Travis L.; Landis, Joshua D.; Puhr, Johnna; Warner, Nathaniel R.

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Year Published: 2018

Blue carbon as a tool to support coastal management and restoration: Bringing wetlands to market case study

A collaborative research approach involving substantial end user and stakeholder engagement was applied to great effect to guide broad, integrated investigation of the science, policy, and management of blue carbon and carbon markets as drivers for coastal wetland management and restoration.Expanding awareness about blue carbon concepts among...

Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Crooks, Stephen; Troxler, Tiffany G.; Surgeon-Rogers, Tonna-Marie; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Gonneea Eagle, Meagan; Abdul-Aziz, Omar I.; Tang, Jianwu; Moseman-Valtierra, Serena

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Year Published: 2018

Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the Lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States

The seasonal activity pattern of immature Ixodes scapularis Say (Acari: Ixodidae) varies geographically in the United States, which may affect the efficiency of transmission cycles of pathogens transmitted by this species. To study the factors that determine seasonality, a multiyear study at seven sites across the geographic range of...

Ogden, Nicholas H.; Pang, Genevieve; Ginsberg, Howard S.; Hickling, Graham J.; Burke, Russell L.; Beati, Lorenza; Tsao, Jean I.
Ogden, N. H., Pang, G., Ginsberg, H. S., Hickling, G. J., Burke, R. L., Beati, L., and Tsao, J. I., 2018, Evidence for geographic variation in life-cycle processes affecting phenology of the lyme disease vector Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) in the United States: Journal of Medical Entomology, v. 55, no. 6, p. 1386-1401. https://doi.org/10.1093/jme/tjy104

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Year Published: 2018

The complete maternal mitochondrial genome sequences of two imperiled North American freshwater mussels: Alasmidonta heterodon and Alasmidonta varicosa (Bivalvia: Unionoida: Unionidae)

The freshwater mussels Alasmidonta heterodon and A. varicosa historically inhabited rivers along the North American Atlantic coast from the Carolinas, U.S.A., to New Brunswick, CA. However, many populations have been extirpated, and A. heterodon is now federally listed in the U.S.A. as endangered, and both A....

Aunins, Aaron; Morrison, Cheryl L.; Galbraith, Heather; Eackles, Michael; Schill, W. Bane; King, Tim L.

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Year Published: 2018

The Global food‐energy‐water nexus

Water availability is a major factor constraining humanity's ability to meet the future food and energy needs of a growing and increasingly affluent human population. Water plays an important role in the production of energy, including renewable energy sources and the extraction of unconventional fossil fuels that are expected to become important...

D'Odorico, Paolo; Frankel Davis, Kyle; Rosa, Lorenzo; Carr, Joel A.; Chiarelli, Davide; Dell’Angelo, Jampel; Gephart, Jessica; MacDonald, Graham K.; Seekell, David A.; Suweis, Samir; Rulli, Maria Cristina
D'Odorico, P., Davis, K. F., Rosa, L., Carr, J. A., Chiarelli, D., Dell'Angelo, J., Gephart, J., MacDonald, G. K., Seekell, D. A., Suweis, S., and Rulii, M. C., 2018, The global food-energy-water nexus: Reviews of Geophysics, v. 56, no. 3, p. 456-531. https://doi.org/10.1029/2017RG000591

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Year Published: 2018

Sediment infilling benefits rainbow trout passage in a baffled channel

Fish are thought to exploit low velocity recirculation zones in the wakes of baffles to take refuge from challenging hydraulic conditions in baffled culverts. Here, we investigate how sediment deposition in the wakes of baffles affects passage and behaviors of juvenile rainbow trout in a baffled experimental flume. High...

Duguay, Jason; Foster, Brendan; Lacey, R.W. Jay; Castro-Santos, Theodore R.

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Year Published: 2018

Endangered species recovery: A resource allocation problem

Many nations have laws to identify and protect imperiled species and their ecosystems. In the United States, actions taken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) have prevented many extinctions, but few listed species have recovered to the point where they can have the ESA protections removed (1, 2). One reason for this [among many (3)] is a...

Gerber, Leah R.; Runge, Michael C.; Maloney, Richard F.; Iacona, Gwenllian D.; Drew, C. Ashton; Avery-Gomm, Stephanie; Brazill-Boast, James; Crouse, Deborah T.; Epanchin-Niell, Rebecca S.; Hall, Sarah B.; Maguire, Lynn A.; Male, Tim; Morgan, Don; Newman, Jeff; Possingham, Hugh P.; Rumpff, Libby; Weiss, Katherine C. B.; Wilson, Robyn S.; Zablan, Marilet A.

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Year Published: 2018

Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines

A research priority can be defined as a knowledge gap that, if resolved, identifies the optimal course of conservation action. We (a group of geographically distributed and multidisciplinary research scientists) used tools from nominal group theory and decision analysis to collaboratively identify and prioritize information...

Campbell Grant, Evan H.; Adams, M.J.; Fisher, Robert N.; Grear, Daniel A.; Halstead, Brian J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Muths, Erin L.; Richgels, Katherine L. D.; Russell, Robin E.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Waddle, J. Hardin; Walls, Susan C.; White, C. LeAnn
Grant, E. H. C., Adams, M. J., Fisher, R. N., Grear, D. A., Halstead, B. J., Hossack, B. R., Muths, E., Richgels, K. L. D., Russell, R. E., Smalling, K. L., Waddle, J. H., Walls, S. C., and White, C. L., 2018, Identifying management-relevant research priorities for responding to disease-associated amphibian declines: Global Ecology and Conservation, v. 16, article e00441, 9 p. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2018.e00441

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Year Published: 2018

Investigating home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of Bar-headed Geese during breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China

The Bar-headed Goose is an important species in Asia, both culturally and ecologically. While prior studies have shown Qinghai Lake supports one of the largest breeding areas for Bar-headed Geese, little is known regarding the species movement ecology during the breeding season. In this study, we examined Bar-headed Goose home range size within...

Zheng, Ruobing; Smith, Lacy M.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Newman, Scott H.; Sullivan, Jeffery D.; Luo, Ze; Yan, Baoping
Zheng, R., Smith, L. M., Prosser, D. J., Takekawa, J. Y., Newman, S. H., Sullivan, J. D., Luo, Z., and Yan, B., 2018, Investigating home range, movement pattern, and habitat selection of bar-headed geese during breeding season at Qinghai Lake, China: Animals, v. 8, no. 10, article 182, 13 p. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani8100182

Filter Total Items: 1,757
A short animation contrasts the difference between near-bottom current magnitude and surface current magnitude, showing waves of
December 31, 2017

A short animation contrasts the sand movement during Hurricane Sandy

 USGS scientists built a model that reproduces the waves, currents (shown in meters per second [m/s]), and sand movement at Fire Island during Hurricane Sandy’s passage (Warner and others, 2017).

USGS geologist leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor
December 31, 2017

USGS geologist leads a professional-development workshop

USGS geologist Elizabeth Pendleton leads a professional-development workshop for science teachers on geologic mapping of the Massachusetts seafloor.

Samples Repository Collections map interface
December 31, 2017

Samples Repository Collections map interface

Map interface of Cores, grabs, dredges, slides, and other samples, primarily of marine, estuarine, and lacustrine sediments, curated at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center.

Steve Suttles and Neil Ganju surveying the position of a deployed oceanographic platform in Great South Bay, NY
December 31, 2017

Scientific Research in Great South Bay, NY

Steve Suttles and Neil Ganju surveying the position of a deployed oceanographic platform in Great South Bay, NY

Map shows survey lines of the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula in green, and data from partners in blue
December 31, 2017

The USGS conducted surveys on the inner continental shelf of the Delma

The USGS conducted surveys on the inner continental shelf of the Delmarva Peninsula (shown in green) to complement related datasets previously collected in the area by partners NOAA and BOEM. The inset map shows location of the study area.

Overview of 4 terrain models
December 31, 2017

Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone

Overview of the 4 Continuous Bathymetry and Elevation Models of the Massachusetts Coastal Zone and Continental Shelf

overview image of elevation model
December 31, 2017

Elevation Model

Basemap of the United States with an overview image of elevation models

Images of Matanzas, Florida, from before and after Hurricane Matthew, and DEM showing the associated change
December 31, 2017

Orthomosaic and DEM images of Matanzas, Florida

Orthomosaic images of Matanzas, Florida, from (a) before and (b) after Hurricane Matthew, and (c) a digital elevation model (DEM) showing the associated topographic change. Note, these results were produced by applying Structure-from-Motion (SfM) to NOAA oblique photographs, but similar results can be obtained using UAS aerial imagery.

From a distance, a man stands behind a table set up on the edge of a marsh operating a small orange craft in the water by cable
December 31, 2017

USGS scientist measures water, sediment movement in coastal salt marsh

USGS scientist Zafer Defne measures water and sediment movement at Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey. Defne is co-author with Neil Ganju of a 2017 study on how to estimate coastal salt marshes’ potential longevity, based on their sediment budgets and the ratio of open water to vegetation.

Map of marsh shoreline change rates for Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
December 31, 2017

Map of Marsh shoreline change rates

Map of Edwin B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, N.J., marsh shoreline change rates.