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USGS - science for a changing world


Bruce K Wylie

Geographic Science Team, EROS

Office Phone: 605-594-6078
ORCID: 0000-0002-7374-1083

EROS - Mundt Federal Building
47914 252nd Street
Sioux Falls , SD 57198-9801

Supervisor: Charles M Trautwein
High-latitude regions are experiencing rapid and extensive changes in ecosystem composition and function as the result of increases in average air temperature. Increasing air temperatures have led to widespread thawing and degradation of permafrost, which in turn has affected ecosystems, socioeconomics, and the carbon cycle of high latitudes. Research shows that the distribution of permafrost is heterogeneous in nature and that permafrost responds to a wide range of ecological factors. Here we overcome complex interactions between surface and subsurface conditions to map near-surface permafrost using decision-tree models, field observations, remotely sensed and derived data, and climatic indices. The resultant dataset...
Fire can be a significant driver of permafrost change in boreal landscapes, altering the availability of soil carbon and nutrients that have important implications for future climate and ecological succession. However, not all landscapes are equally susceptible to fire-induced change. As fire frequency is expected to increase in the high latitudes, methods to understand the vulnerability and resilience of different landscapes to permafrost degradation are needed. Geophysical and other field observations reveal details of both near-surface (<1 m) and deeper (>1 m) impacts of fire on permafrost along 11 transects that span burned-unburned boundaries in different landscape settings within interior Alaska. Data collected...
This product provides regional estimates of specific wetland types (bog and fen) in Alaska. Available wetland types mapped by the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) program were re-classed into bog, fen, and other. NWI mapping of wetlands was only done for a portion of the area so a decision tree mapping algorithm was then developed to estimate bog, fen, and other across the state of Alaska using remote sensing and GIS spatial data sets as inputs. This data was used and presented in two chapters on the USGS Alaska LandCarbon Report.
In this study, we developed a method that identifies an optimal sample data usage strategy and rule numbers that minimize over- and underfitting effects in regression tree mapping models. A LANDFIRE tile (r04c03, located mainly in northeastern Nevada), which is a composite of multiple Landsat 8 scenes for a target date, was selected for the study. To minimize any cloud and bad detection effects in the original Landsat 8 data, the compositing approach used cosine-similarity-combined pixels from multiple observations based on data quality and temporal proximity to a target date. Julian date 212, which yielded relatively low "no data and/or cloudy” pixels, was used as the target date with Landsat 8 observations from...
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) has been evaluated as one potential source for cellulosic biofuel feedstocks. Planting switchgrass in marginal croplands and waterway buffers can reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and improve regional ecosystem services (i.e., it serves as a potential carbon sink). In this study, we integrated marginal croplands, highly erodible cropland buffers, and future crop expansion information to develop a switchgrass biofuel potential ensemble map for current and future croplands in eastern Nebraska.
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