Unified Interior Regions

Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7: Upper Colorado Basin

Map of Region 7:  Upper Colorado Basin

Map Showing USGS/DOI Unified Region 7 and parts of adjoining Regions

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin conduct a large number of cooperative and collaborative projects with other agencies and partners. A sampling of those projects are shown below on this web page.

Filter Total Items: 388
Date published: May 3, 2018
Status: Active

WLCI: Long-term streamflow, water-quality, and groundwater data collection

Riparian and aquatic ecosystems in semiarid landscapes like Southwest Wyoming contribute substantially to regional biodiversity. Long-term monitoring data that describe streamflow, surface-water quality, and groundwater levels are needed for assessing possible effects of changes in land use on those ecosystems.

Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

Jackson Hole Airport Groundwater Study

In 2008 the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Jackson Hole Airport Board and Teton Conservation District, began a study designed to characterize the alluvial aquifer at the Jackson Hole Airport. The purpose of this study was to determine the direction of groundwater flow, calculate hydraulic gradients, and characterize groundwater quality both upgradient and downgradient of...

Contacts: Peter R Wright
Date published: May 2, 2018
Status: Active

WLCI: Groundwater Streamgages in the upper Green River Basin

Real-time groundwater streamgages are created at existing streamgages by adding streambank wells (piezometers) to expand the understanding of groundwater/surface-water interaction. The object of this project is to:

  • Identify interactions between the stream and near-surface groundwater
  • Evaluate data to determine annual patterns and changes over time
Date published: April 28, 2018
Status: Active

Yellowstone River Basin Water-Quality Assessment

The Yellowstone River Basin (YELL) study-unit in Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota, is part of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program. The long-term goals of this program are to describe the status and trends in the quality of a large, representative part of the Nation's surface- and ground-water resources, and to provide a sound, scientific...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Archived

BIBLIOGRAPHY OF REPORTS BY U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY AUTHORS ABOUT THE WATER RESOURCES OF WYOMING

Since the late 19th Century, long before the first U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) office was opened in Wyoming, USGS scientists have been investigating the geology and water resources of the State and publishing their findings. The main product of all USGS work in Wyoming comprises the published reports of those investigations—mostly maps and book reports of the USGS, but also articles in...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Archived

Tongue River Surface-Water-Quality Monitoring Network

Coal-bed methane development is in the initial stages of exploration and production in the Tongue River watershed. Long-term monitoring is needed to provide information to evaluate any changes or trends in surface-water quality and support informed decisions about resource use and management. The goals of this monitoring program are to collect water-quality data and disseminate...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Archived

Assessment of Aquatic Communities in Northeastern Wyoming and Southeastern Montana

The Powder River Structural Basin (PRB) in northeastern Wyoming and southeastern Montana is an important source of energy resources for the United States. Resources developed from the basin include coal, oil, uranium, conventional natural gas, and within the last decade coal-bed natural gas (CBNG) which often is referred to as coal-bed methane. As of 2008, about 20,000 CBNG wells had been...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Archived

Development of Regional Curves Relating Bankfull-Channel Geometry and Discharge to Drainage Area for Hydrophysiographic Regions in Wyoming

The Watershed Program in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Wyoming Water Science Center developed regional curves that relate bankfull channel dimensions and discharge to drainage area for hydrophysiographic regions in Wyoming where data are currently lacking. Regional curves are useful aids for estimating bankfull discharge and related channel dimensions at ungaged sites,...

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Archived

Muddy Creek Synoptic Study

A synoptic study was conducted June 27-July 1, 2010 in the Muddy Creek drainage basin. The Muddy Creek drainage basin is in an area of energy develoment in south-central Wyoming. The synoptic study was integrated in nature and included the collection of water-quality, basin-sediment, and macroinvertebrate samples. Sampling sites were located on Muddy Creek from the headwaters area to near...

Date published: April 13, 2018
Status: Active

WLCI: Determining Streamflow Drivers in Wyoming Range Small Streams

Flow in small mountain and plains streams is dependent on many factors such as precipitation, groundwater inflow, topography, and geology.

Date published: March 28, 2018
Status: Active

Drought Conditions in Wyoming and Montana

The USGS monitors drought conditions at more than 300 streamgages across Wyoming and Montana. Low-flow conditions are expressed as percentiles comparing current (within the past few hours) instantaneous flow to historical daily mean flow for all days of the year.

Contacts: Brian L Loving
Date published: March 28, 2018
Status: Archived

Carbon County Water Resources Study

In cooperation with the Wyoming State Engineer, the USGS conducted a study of the water resources of Carbon County, Wyoming. This study followed the general plan of previous "County Studies". Surface water and ground water resources were evaluated through a combined approach that analyzed and summarized existing data and, as a consequence of the data analysis, identified key data gaps and...

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin collect a wide variety of natural resource data types including spatial, geologic, hydrologic, and biologic data. Data included in USGS-series publications that are not publically available in USGS databases are published in Data Releases. Tools are USGS products that can be used to analyze those types of data.

Filter Total Items: 279
Date published: April 20, 2018

Fish Creek macroinvertebrate and algal data, 2007-11

Sampling began in 2007 to determine biological and chemical characteristics of Fish Creek, Teton County. Macroinvertebrate and algal data collected from 2007 through 2011 are available from this link.

Date published: April 19, 2018

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Wyoming-Montana Stream Water-Quality Network

Date published: April 17, 2018

Argon and geochemical data for: 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and petrogenesis of the Table Mountain Shoshonites, Golden, CO

This dataset accompanies publication '40Ar/39Ar geochronology and petrogenesis of the Table Mountain Shoshonites, Golden, CO', to be published in Rocky Mountain Geology, which analyzed lava flows on North and South Table Mountain in Golden, CO, for argon geochronology and geochemistry.

Date published: April 10, 2018

Real-time groundwater data sites in the WLCI area

Four wells in the WLCI area are continuously monitored to help describe the interaction between the groundwater and surface water.

Date published: April 6, 2018

What is a Shift-Adjusted Rating?

Stage-discharge relationships (ratings) are primarily developed from a graphical analysis of multiple streamflow measurements. Measurements are generally made on 8-week intervals. The frequency/interval of streamflow measurements may change based on a variety of circumstances including (but not limited to) flow conditions and rating definition.

Date published: April 6, 2018

Drip Calculator: How Much Water Does a Leaking Faucet Waste?

Check your faucets at home -- do any of them drip? Well, maybe it's just a small drip -- how much water can a little drip waste? True, a single drip won't waste much water, but think about each faucet in your home dripping a little bit all day long. What if every faucet in every home on your block ... in your town ... in your state also dripped?

Date published: April 3, 2018

Minnesota Mine Shaft Tracer Data, Lion Creek Watershed near Empire, Colorado, July-November, 2017

On July 26, 2017, a solution containing approximately 200 kilograms of dissolved sodium bromide was added to the the flooded underground shaft of the Minnesota Mine, near Empire, Colorado. This addition was conducted as part of an effort to determine the degree to which the mine shaft is hydrologically connected to a series of downgradient seeps and springs.

Date published: March 28, 2018

DroughtWatch - View drought conditions

  • The USGS DroughtWatch website is a map-based resource from USGS WaterWatch that gives users hourly visual updates for drought conditions at over 3000 locations across the United States (

  • ...
Date published: March 13, 2018

WaterQualityWatch -- Continuous Real-Time Water Quality of Surface Water in the United States

WaterQualityWatch (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov/wqwatch/) is a USGS web site that provides access to real time water-quality data collected in surface waters throughout the United States as part of the USGS mission to describe water resources. Measurements include streamflow (through WaterWatch) water temperature, specific conductance, pH,...

Date published: March 13, 2018

WaterWatch

WaterWatch (http://waterwatch.usgs.gov) is a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) World Wide Web site that displays maps, graphs, and tables describing real-time, recent, and past streamflow conditions for the United States. The real-time information generally is updated on an hourly basis.

Date published: March 13, 2018

Annual Water Data Reports

Beginning with Water Year 2006 and ending with Water Year 2013, annual water data reports were made available as individual electronic Site Data Sheets for the entire Nation for retrieval, download, and localized printing on demand. As of 2014, NWISWeb now provides an on-demand, print-ready Water-Year Summary as an annual water-data product.

Date published: March 13, 2018

USGS Gage at Embudo Creek - Dixon, NM

A site on the Rio Grande near the town of Embudo, New Mexico, was established as the first USGS training camp for hydrographers.

See Publications:

Embudo, New Mexico, birthplace of systematic stream gaging | The USGS at Embudo, New Mexico: 125 years of systematic...

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin produce hundreds of USGS-series publications, journal papers, and books each year that are subject to rigorous review by USGS specialists. The publications shown below on this page are related to study areas and staff members of USGS Science Centers in Region 7 compiled from the USGS Publications Warehouse.

Filter Total Items: 5,295
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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Mowry Shale, Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 288 million barrels of oil and 2.6 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Mowry Shale in the Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming.

Finn, Thomas M.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; Marra, Kristen R.; Le, Phuong A.; Leathers-Miller, Heidi M.; Ellis, Geoffrey S.
Finn, T.M., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Tennyson, M.E., Woodall, C.A., Marra, K.R., Le, P.A., Leathers-Miller, H.M., and Ellis, G.S., 2021, Assessment of continuous oil and gas resources in the Mowry Shale, Wind River Basin Province, Wyoming, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3006, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213006.

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Year Published: 2021

Temporal seismic velocity variations: Recovery following from the 2019 Mw 7.1 Ridgecrest, California earthquake

We investigated seismic velocity changes (dv/v) associated with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake sequence with high‐frequency autocorrelations of ambient seismic noise data. Daily autocorrelation functions were computed for the entirety of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 for broadband stations within the region, including the temporary broadband...

Boschelli, Joshua Dakota; Moschetti, Morgan P.; Sens-Schonfelder, C

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Year Published: 2021

Extreme-event magnetic storm probabilities derived from rank statistics of historical Dst intensities for solar cycles 14-24

A compilation is made of the largest and second-largest magnetic-storm-maximum intensities, −Dst1 and −Dst2, for solar cycles 14–24 (1902–2016) by sampling Oulu Dcx for cycles 19–24, using published −Dstm values for 4 intense storms in cycles 14, 15, and 18 (1903, 1909, 1921, 1946), and calculating 15 new storm-maximum −Dstm...

Love, Jeffrey J.

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Year Published: 2021

Numerical analysis of the effect of subgrid variability in a physically based hydrological model on runoff, soil moisture, and slope stability

In coarse resolution hydrological modeling we face the problem of subgrid variability, the effects of which are difficult to express and are often hidden in the parameterization and calibration. We present a numerical experiment with the physically based hydrological model ParFlow‐CLM with which we quantify the effect of subgrid heterogeneities in...

Leonarduzzi, E.; Maxwell, R. M.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Molnar, P.

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Year Published: 2021

Slip distribution and rupture history of the August 11, 2012, double earthquakes in Ahar – Varzaghan, Iran, using joint inversion of teleseismic broadband and local strong motion data

We use combined teleseismic and strong motion data sets to investigate finite-fault slip models for a double of earthquakes that occurred on August 11, 2012, in northwestern Iran near the cities of Ahar and Varzaghan. The data include teleseismic P-waveforms retrieved from broadband seismic stations located between 30°–94° from the earthquakes and...

Saltanatpouri, Atefeh; Hartzell, Stephen H.; Rahimi, Habib; Rouhollahi, Rahmatollah; Amiri Fard, Rouholla

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Year Published: 2021

Incorporating the effects of complex soil layering and thickness local variability into distributed landslide susceptibility assessments

Incorporating the influence of soil layering and local variability into the parameterizations of physics-based numerical models for distributed landslide susceptibility assessments remains a challenge. Typical applications employ substantial simplifications including homogeneous soil units and soil-hydraulic properties assigned based only on...

Fusco, F.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Baum, Rex L.; Calcaterra, D.; De Vita, P.

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Year Published: 2021

Continental-scale analysis of shallow and deep groundwater contributions to streams

Groundwater discharge generates streamflow and influences stream thermal regimes. However, the water quality and thermal buffering capacity of groundwater depends on the aquifer source-depth. Here, we pair multi-year air and stream temperature signals to categorize 1729 sites across the continental United States as having major dam influence,...

Hare, D.; Helton, A. M.; Johnson, Zachary C.; Lane, Jr., John W.; Briggs, Martin A.

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Year Published: 2021

Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah

Groundwater is a primary source of drinking water in northern Utah County. The groundwater system is recharged mainly from precipitation in the adjacent Wasatch Mountains and infiltration of streamflow. In 2004, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be roughly 44,500 acre-feet per year. In 2016, groundwater withdrawals were estimated to be...

Stolp, Bernard J.; Brooks, Lynette E.
Stolp, B.J., and Brooks, L.E., 2021, Groundwater management process simulations using an updated version of the three-dimensional numerical model of groundwater flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2021–5010, 28 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20215010.

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Year Published: 2021

Beach placer mineral deposits along localized paleoshorelines of the western Interior Seaway, upper cretaceous Fox Hills sandstone, eastern Denver Basin, Colorado

Beach placers deposited within the Fox Hills Sandstone along the eastern flank of the Denver Basin contain minerals deemed critical in 2018 by the U.S. Department of the Interior. These marine beach placers, or paleoplacers, were deposited in the Late Cretaceous along the western edge of the retreating Western Interior Seaway (WIS)....

O'Keeffe, Michael K; Dechesne, Marieke; Morgan Henderson, Matthew J.; Keller, Stephen M; Pfaff, Katherina; Mahatma, Asha; Peretyatko, Alexander I

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Year Published: 2021

Geomagnetic monitoring in the mid-Atlantic United States

Near historic battlegrounds of the American Civil War, southeast of Fredericksburg, Virginia, on a secluded grassy glade surrounded by forest, a specially designed observatory records the Earth’s changing magnetic field. This facility, the Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory, is 1 of 14 observatories the U.S. Geological Survey Geomagnetism Program...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lewis, Kristen A.
Love, J.J., and Lewis, K.A., 2021, Geomagnetic monitoring in the mid-Atlantic United States: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3001, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213001.

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Year Published: 2021

Paragenesis of an orogenic gold deposit: New insights on mineralizing processes at the Grass Valley District, California

The Grass Valley orogenic gold district in the Sierra Nevada foothills province, central California, is the largest historical gold producer of the North American Cordillera. Gold mineralization is associated with shallowly dipping north-south veins hosted by the 160 Ma Grass Valley granodiorite to the southwest of the Grass Valley fault and...

Taylor, Ryan; Monecke, Thomas; Reynolds, T. James; Monecke, Jochen

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Year Published: 2021

Comparing tree-ring based reconstructions of snowpack variability at different scales for the Navajo Nation

Snowpack in the western U.S. is on the decline, largely attributed to increasing temperatures in the region. This is a critical issue for many Native American communities who disproportionately rely on local snow-fed water supplies. In light of a combined ongoing drought and limited climate information for the Navajo Nation, Navajo water...

Brice, Rebecca Lynn; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; McClellan, Carlee; Sheppard, Paul

Photos and videos described and linked on this webpage come from a wide variety of USGS science activities and presentations performed by USGS Science Center staff members in the Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin.

Filter Total Items: 524
Using a GPS station to get highly precise streamflow measurement
June 11, 2017

Using a GPS station to get highly precise streamflow measurement

Using a GPS station to get highly precise streamflow measurement 

Measuring streamflow using bridge crane, Powder River at Sussex
May 25, 2017

Measuring streamflow using bridge crane, Powder River at Sussex

Measuring streamflow using bridge crane and AA meter, Powder River at Sussex

Cooperators gather to learn about Otowi Streamgage in New Mexico
May 23, 2017

Cooperators learn about Otowi Streamgage in New Mexico

Many eyes watch the amount of water running past the important Otowi streamflow gage. On May 23rd, Tyson Hatch from the New Mexico Water Science Center (NMWSC) presented an overview of the streamgaging activities of the Otowi Gage to participants of the Rio Chama Basin and San Juan-Chama Project Tour.

The Otowi gage measures streamflow in the Rio Grande River. The

...
Rio Chama near La Puente, NM
May 23, 2017

Indian Paintbrush in front of the Rio Chama in New Mexico

This photo was taken during a routine site visit to measure streamflow on the Rio Chama in New Mexico. 

Measuring stream stage on Muddy Creek near Dad
May 15, 2017

Measuring stream stage on Muddy Creek near Dad

Measuring stream stage on Muddy Creek near Dad

Hydro techs use q boat to make streamflow measurement
April 30, 2017

Remote Control Streamflow Measurement

Scientists from the USGS Albuquerque Field Office use an ADCP mounted on a remotely-controlled Q boat to measure the streamflow of the Rio Grande near Bosque Farms. Use of the Q boat allows our hydro techs to safely and quickly respond to flood events that may threaten the public. The Q boat also saves time and manpower as compared to traditional measurement methods.

Springtime streamflow measurement, East Fork Smiths Fork
April 4, 2017

Springtime streamflow measurement, East Fork Smiths Fork

Springtime streamflow measurement, East Fork Smiths Fork

Hydro techs inspecting water quality sensors at Cochiti Dam
March 31, 2017

Hydro techs inspect water quality sensors

Hydrologic technicians Joe Beman and Hal Nelson remove a deployed sensor for cleaning and recalibration, as needed.  This sensor is left in place to continuously log water quality parameters.

Hydro techs record initial sensor reading prior to sensor cleaning and recalibration.
March 31, 2017

Hydro techs inspecting water quality sensor

Several New Mexico Water Science Center staff attended Continuous Water Quality Training, taught by Mike Nyman of the Texas Water Science Center and Lauren Sherson of the New Mexico Water Science Center.  The course covered rationale for collecting continuous water quality data; field techniques for in-situ and continuous water quality data collection; and standard USGS 

...
Hydro techs clean a water quality sensor prior to deployment
March 31, 2017

Hydro techs clean a water quality sensor prior to deployment

 Hydrologic technicians Joe Beman, Hal Nelson, and Kate Allison, and course instructor Mike Nyman clean a water quality sensor prior to redeployment at a Water Quality Field Course put on by the New Mexico Water Science Center.

Hydro techs check water quality sensor calibration prior to redeployment
March 31, 2017

Hydro techs check water quality sensor calibration prior to redeployme

Hydro tech Kate Allison demonstrates how to check a water quality sensor for calibration before being deployed at the Cochiti Dam in New Mexico. 

Stacy M Kinsey collecting eDNA sample from Snake Riv nr Astoria HS
March 22, 2017

Stacy M Kinsey collecting eDNA sample from Snake Riv nr Astoria HS

Stacy M Kinsey collecting eDNA sample from Snake Riv nr Astoria HS, WY

News items shown on this page are highlights of selected studies conducted and publications produced by USGS Science Center staff members in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin.

Filter Total Items: 362
Image:  Big Sagebrush Re-establishing 15 Years Post-wildfire Along the Boise Front Mountains
December 7, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. — Ecosystem restoration is complex and requires an understanding of how the land, plants, and animals all interact with each other over large areas and over time. Today, the U.S. Geological Survey published part two of a three-part handbook addressing restoration of sagebrush ecosystems from the landscape to the site level.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2015

According to the first-ever study of pesticide residues on field-caught bees, native bees are exposed to neonicotinoid insecticides and other pesticides. This report was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 3, 2015

On average, streams in the Niobrara-Mowry Play of eastern Wyoming, Fayetteville Play of Arkansas, and Barnett Play of Texas ranked most vulnerable to unconventional oil and gas development, but for different reasons, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey coauthored research.

A female grizzly with a cub.  Adult females are considered the most important segment of the grizzly population and consequently
October 30, 2015

BOZEMAN, Mont. – Genetic data show the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has grown since the 1980s with no loss in genetic diversity, according to a report by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team.

Image: USGS Deploys Crews to Site of Flash Flood
September 16, 2015

U.S. Geological Survey real-time monitoring captured flash flooding in southwest Utah that occurred as a result of intense thunderstorms with rainfall rates estimated as high as three inches per hour. Particularly hard hit was the town of Hildale, Utah and Zion National Park. The flash flood has resulted in 16 deaths.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 10, 2015

Slowing fire-related population declines in greater sage-grouse in the Great Basin over the next 30 years may depend on the intensity of fire suppression efforts in core breeding areas and long-term patterns of precipitation, according to a just-published USGS-led study.

Map of the Glen Canyon Dam study area
August 19, 2015

Although the Grand Canyon segment of the Colorado River features one of the most remote ecosystems in the United States, it is not immune to exposure from toxic chemicals such as mercury according to newly published research in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Updated 2015 version of the Green River Lakes quadrangle with orthoimage
August 19, 2015

Newly released US Topo maps for Wyoming now feature more trails using data provided by the U.S. Forest Service such as the recreational trails in the Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Image: Pallid Sturgeon
July 30, 2015

Three tiny fish larvae that were captured by U.S. Geological Survey scientists in May 2014 have just been confirmed to be pallid sturgeon. These new genetic identifications add to mounting evidence that critically endangered pallid sturgeon spawned successfully in the Lower Missouri River downstream of Gavins Point Dam, South Dakota.

USGS
June 15, 2015

Fifty years ago on June 16, a devastating flood swept through the South Platte River Basin of the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado, killing 21 people and causing more than $540 million in damage.

Image: USGS Idaho Water Science Director Dr. Kyle Blasch
June 15, 2015

Dr. Kyle W. Blasch begins work today as the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Idaho Water Science Center, headquartered in Boise.

This page includes links to Social Media accounts (top of page), Science Centers (middle of page), and Regional Office staff members (bottom of page) of the USGS Region 7--Upper Colorado Basin.

USGS Science Centers in Region 7-Upper Colorado Basin conduct a large number of cooperative, co-funded science and monitoring projects with many other Federal, Tribal, State, and local agencies. Please scroll below to see the agencies with which those Science Centers currently have cooperative agreements.

Filter Total Items: 324