Unified Interior Regions

Region 9: Columbia-Pacific Northwest

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 281
Date published: January 3, 2004
Status: Completed

Lake Whatcom

Lake Whatcom, a large, natural lake in Whatcom County, is a source of drinking water for about 86,000 in the Bellingham area and a place for recreation. Elevated levels of mercury have been found in fish and sediment sampled from the lake. Possible sources of the mercury include atmospheric deposition, tributary discharges, landfills, dumpsites, and local mining operations.

To serve the...

Date published: January 1, 2004
Status: Completed

Columbia Basin Irrigation

The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), in its 2000 Biological Opinion for the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project (CBIP) in eastern Washington, asked for a determination of whether pesticides are present in irrigation return flows at levels that may harm or adversely affect salmon and steelhead species listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act. As the major resource manager...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 6, 2003
Status: Completed

Puget Hazards

Nationally, the USGS monitors and assesses geologic and hydrologic natural hazards. In the Puget Sound Basin, common hazards that also can cause damage include earthquakes and floods. Other hazards in the region that cause less damage or happen less frequently include landslides, debris flows, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions.

Although much is known about these natural hazards,...

Contacts: Joseph Jones
Date published: January 5, 2003
Status: Completed

Methow River Basin

The Methow River Basin, located in North Central Washington in Okanogan County, is well known for its natural beauty, wildlife, outdoor recreation, and rural lifestyle. The Methow River and its tributaries are home to upper Columbia summer steelhead and spring Chinook salmon, which are both listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), and bull trout, which is listed as...

Date published: January 3, 2003
Status: Completed

Groundwater Pesticide

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is developing a rule requiring States to have a formal plan for the pesticides atrazine, simazine, alachlor, metolachlor, and other pesticides of concern in order to continue using them.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), the lead agency for a pesticide plan for Washington, will need an assessment of ground-water...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Date published: January 2, 2003
Status: Completed

Island County

Island County consists of two major islands, Whidbey and Camano, and lies in northern Puget Sound, north of Seattle. Whidbey Island has an area of about 165 square miles and Camano Island an area of about 45 square miles, for a total area of about 210 square miles. Ground water is the primary source of water on the islands, and the ground-water system is fairly well understood, due in part to...

Date published: January 1, 2003
Status: Completed


SUBASE Bangor is a 6,785 acre Navy installation located on Hood Canal in Kitsap County, Washington. Currently it serves as the home port to eight Ohio-class TRIDENT missile submarines, but historically the site served as a Naval Ammunition Depot. As a result of the historical activities at Bangor, numerous contaminated sites have been identified. Contaminants include ordnance chemicals, trace...

Date published: January 15, 2002
Status: Completed

Sammamish River Basin

Understanding the extent of contaminants in urban rivers is key to assessment of human health risks and the restoration of endangered salmon in the Pacific Northwest. This equally true for the Sammamish River Basin in northeast King County, Washington, where a new wastewater treatment plant is being considered by King County. Information is needed about the water quality of the Sammamish River...

Contacts: Lonna M Frans
Date published: January 14, 2002
Status: Completed


Located in northwestern Washington State, the Dungeness River and its tributaries drain about 200 square miles, mostly in the Olympic Mountains to the south. After emerging from the mountains, the river flows for about 11 miles northward across an area with a shallow water-table aquifer before emptying into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Water in the Dungeness River and the shallow aquifer are...

Date published: January 12, 2002
Status: Completed

Puyallup River Basin

The Puyallup River Basin in western Washington is drained by the Puyallup River and its main tributaries, the White and Carbon Rivers. The basin supports several salmon runs and hosts a variety of recreational activities. Communities in the basin include Tacoma, Puyallup, Fife, Sumner, Orting, Auburn, and the Puyallup and Muckleshoot Tribes. The types of land use in the basin vary from forests...

Date published: January 11, 2002
Status: Completed

Hydrologic Urban Indicators

Storm water, the rainfall that runs off urban surfaces such as rooftops, pavement, and lawns, can affect streams in a number of ways. As urban development increases, storm water can run quickly into streams, increasing the volume and peak flows and reducing summer flows. Sediment and other contaminants can also be carried into the streams.

The Washington Department of Ecology (WDOE),...

Date published: January 10, 2002
Status: Completed

White River Videography

The quantity and quality of instream habitat is one of many factors affecting aquatic organisms such as anadromous and non-anadromous salmonids. The measurement and assessment of instream habitat has been the focus of many habitat monitoring and restoration projects throughout the State of Washington. On-the-ground habitat monitoring is extremely important for specific variables and specific...

Contacts: Robert W Black
Filter Total Items: 1,024
February 23, 2016

Getting the bear's weight

One of the first measurements taken is the bear’s weight using a quadpod and electronic scale. 

February 23, 2016

Getting set up

Biologists are very careful to keep the grizzly bear under shade and protected from the elements while they collect biological data.  Vital signs are monitored throughout the handling period. 

February 23, 2016

Close up

The kerchief over the grizzly bear’s eyes protects it from dust and debris and reduces visual stimulation. The small tubing in its nose, known as a nasal cannula, delivers oxygen to the animal while it is tranquilized.  

February 23, 2016

Assessing body fat percentage of grizzly bear

Field personnel use bioelectrical impedance to assess body fat percentage of captured bears.  The procedure is similar to how body fat is measured in humans and is based on the resistance of body tissues to the flow of a small, harmless electrical signal.  The electrical current is impeded more by fat tissues compared with tissues that are composed mostly of water, thus

February 23, 2016

Fitting a radio collar

Biologists with IGBST and the National Park Service fit a grizzly bear with a radio collar.  Once a bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry.

February 23, 2016

Telemetry by air

Once a grizzly bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry via airplane.  The IGBST also used the latest telemetry technologies, which allows downloading of GPS data from the radio collar via satellites.

February 23, 2016

Telemetry by foot

Once a grizzly bear is radio collared, biologists can track its movements with telemetry on foot.   

USGS hydrologic technician collecting streamflow data
January 4, 2016

USGS hydrologic technician collecting streamflow data

USGS hydrologic technician Deena Green collects streamflow data at streamgage station 12413875, St. Joe River at Red Ives Ranger Station, Idaho

Group of women and girls looking at Mount St. Helens in the distance
December 31, 2015

USGS scientist and GeoGirls viewing Mount St. Helens

USGS scientists Kate Allstadt and Cynthia Gardner tell the story of the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and how the catastrophic landslide, lateral blast, and lahar changed the landscape.

Filter Total Items: 442
USGS science for a changing world logo
November 20, 2009

Toxins in coal-tar-based sealcoats in parking lots may be the culprit in contaminated house dust, according to a USGS study. PAHs – or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – are large molecules found in oil, coal and tar deposits, and can have toxic effects.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 4, 2009

Greater sage-grouse populations have declined substantially in many areas in the West, though populations in some locations remain relatively stable, according to a comprehensive publication written by federal, state, and non-governmental organizations. The population assessment is one of numerous sage-grouse topics covered in the 24 chapters released today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 20, 2009

When Pierce County holds its "Shake 'n Quake" earthquake exercise Wednesday and Thursday, the foundation participants will use is a scenario developed by U.S. Geological Survey scientists here.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 17, 2009

Martian caves; Post-wildfire debris flows; Volcano, Earthquake, Landslide, and Tsunami Hazards, Climate Change, Water Quality and More. In this U.S. Geological Survey media tip sheet, we've selected and compressed some of the newest, most exciting science topics that the USGS will present at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting.

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September 30, 2009

Residents of Idaho's Treasure Valley will once again become citizen scientists to monitor water quality in the Boise River watershed. On Saturday morning, October 3, between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., local citizens will gather at sites along the Boise River to collect water and insect samples, conduct basic water-quality tests, and record their data.

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September 28, 2009

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Idaho Geological Survey are teaming up to distribute Earth Science Week toolkits to Idaho teachers on October 1.
Representatives from the two agencies will distribute the toolkits at the annual conference of the Idaho Science Teachers Association in Boise.

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September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

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September 21, 2009

Idaho Developed Mapping Method Garners Prestigious Award. Data from earth observing Landsat satellites plays a central role in a new, award-winning type of mapping that tracks water use. Water-use maps help save taxpayer money by increasing the accuracy and effectiveness of public decisions involving water – for instance, in monitoring compliance with legal water rights. The maps are especially

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September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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September 14, 2009

Intersex in smallmouth and largemouth basses is widespread in numerous river basins throughout the United States is the major finding of the most comprehensive and large-scale evaluation of the condition, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research published online in Aquatic Toxicology.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 25, 2009

Two U.S. Geological Survey Cascade Volcano Observatory scientists will be available inside the crater of Mount St. Helens. This will provide a unique opportunity to capture the sights and sounds inside the crater and to learn about their latest findings and research.