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The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), as part of the work of the Interagency Land Management Adaptation Group (ILMAG), initiated a project in 2013 to develop plans for a searchable, public registry on climate change vulnerability assessments. Member agencies from the USGCRP Adaptation Science Work Group, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and several NGO’s also contributed. Vulnerability assessments are important for identifying resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change and providing insights on why certain resources are vulnerable. Consequently, they provide valuable information for informing climate change adaptation planning. CRAVe allows...
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Social scientists funded through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) have an obligation to provide access to their climate science related research data. We suspect, as with other data types, that tools for creating and editing social science metadata specific to the climate science domain and linking the metadata to the actual data either do not exist or are non-intuitive for scientists. Through our research we sought to verify whether any definitive metadata tool for social scientists working in the climate science domain exists. We also sought to determine whether a commonly agreed upon social science metadata standard exists. We suspect that...
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This project is intended to increase the utility of the International Shorebird Survey (ISS) for making shorebird management and conservation decisions within the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. A secondary goal is to create a single, effective data management system that can service all partners along the Atlantic coast (e.g., National Wildlife Refuges, South Atlantic Migratory Bird Initiative, and State Wildlife Areas). Ultimately, the ISS data management system would be equivalent to the Northeast Avian Data Center and the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory Avian Data Center.
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There is a need to understand how alteration of physical processes on the Rio Grande River have impacted aquatic biota and their habitats, and a need to predict potential future effects of climate change on biotic resources in order to prescribe research and management activities that will enhance conservation of aquatic species. We propose a project with the goal of developing monitoring recommendations and identifying research needs for aquatic ecological resources in the Big Bend region of the Rio Grande. This goal will be targeted by synthesizing and analyzing available data and literature for aquatic species in the project region. In particular, we will work to develop time series of abundance and population...
This project consisted of two principal components: (1) A climatological analysis of burn conditions (2) A forum to discuss fire risk and management practices The climatological study included seasonality and inter-annual variability and potential changes due to increasing temperatures. The regional forum engaged stakeholders in a discussion of the use of prescribed fire in a safe and effective manner.
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Rainwater Harvesting and Stormwater Research is a priority research area identified by the Arizona Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Water Sustainability, which recommended that universities take the lead to identify regulatory barriers, cost and benefits, water quality issues and avenues for increasing utilization of stormwater and rainwater at the regional, community and individual property level. In an effort to address the priority research area, the University of Arizona will develop a decision support tool to be used by public utilities and agencies to evaluate suitability and cost-effectiveness of rainwater and stormwater capture at various scales for multiple benefits. Data from the City of Tucson, Arizona...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
The deserts of the Southwest are under increasing pressure from growing human populations for land development - for cities, agriculture, livestock grazing, transportation and utility corridors, power plants, military activities, mining, and recreation. While some anthropogenic activities were initiated in the mid-1800s and have continued to present day, others are relatively new. The cumulative effects of historic and recent anthropogenic activities on natural resources have been both local and regional in scope. In addition, natural processes, such as local weather and global climate change, exert important influences on the landscape.
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently completed an unprecedented assessment of almost 14,000 dams in the Northeastern United States. The Northeast Aquatic Connectivity (NAC) project allows fisheries managers and other interested parties to assess dams at multiple scales based on their potential to benefit anadromous and resident fish species if removed or bypassed. This work has continued, with support from NOAA and USFWS, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, where data refinements and further analysis have produced a web map and tool that allow users to interactively prioritize dams for mitigation at multiple scales and with varying criteria.The Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership (SARP) has recently completed...
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Problem The Village of Dryden, rural homeowners, farms, and businesses in the Virgil Creek Valley tap several confined sand and gravel aquifers in the Virgil Creek valley in the town of Dryden . The valley contains a large moraine with complex stratigraphy consisting of continuous and discontinuous layers of till, lake deposits, and glaciofluvial sand and gravel. Sand and gravel units form the aquifers in the valley-fill deposits. There are at least three extensive confined aquifer units at various depths. However, little is known about (1) the location of recharge and discharge areas, (2) direction of groundwater flow, (3) extent of hydraulic connection between aquifer units, and (4) extent of surface- and ground-water...
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National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) along the East Coast of the United States protect habitat for a host of wildlife species, while also offering storm surge protection, improving water quality, supporting nurseries for commercially important fish and shellfish, and providing recreation opportunities for coastal communities. Yet in the last century, coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development activities as well as sea-level rise and more frequent extreme events related to climate change. These influences threaten the ability of NWRs to protect our nation’s natural resources and to sustain their many beneficial services. Through this project, researchers are collaborating with...
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Scientists, planners, policy makers and other decision-makers in the South Central U.S. want to understand the potential impacts of changes in climate, precipitation, and land-use patterns on natural and cultural resources. Though the potential impacts of climate change can be modeled to help decision-makers plan for future conditions, these models rarely incorporate changes in land-use that may occur. Climate change and land-use change are often linked, as shifts in precipitation and temperature can alter patterns in human land-use activities, such as agriculture. This project seeks to address this gap by developing new software tools that enable stakeholders to quickly develop custom, climate-sensitive land-use...
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The beaches of the Hawaiian Islands attract nearly 9 million visitors each year, who inject around $15.6 billion into the state’s economy and support almost 200,000 jobs. Beyond their economic importance, Hawaiian beaches are also culturally and ecologically valuable. However, climate change driven sea-level rise is causing many beaches to disappear, endangering property, infrastructure, and critical habitats. The goal of this project was to develop a method for forecasting erosion-vulnerable beach areas that could be used in coastal management planning. Researchers focused on the island of Kauaʻi, modeling beach response to rising sea level over the next century and producing maps that provide information about...
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The rugged landscapes of northern Idaho and western Montana support biodiverse ecosystems, and provide a variety of natural resources and services for human communities. However, the benefits provided by these ecosystems may be at risk as changing climate magnifies existing stressors and allows new stressors to emerge. Preparation for and response to these potential changes can be most effectively addressed through multi-stakeholder partnerships, evaluating vulnerability of important resources to climate change, and developing response and preparation strategies for managing key natural resources in a changing world. This project will support climate-smart conservation and management across forests of northern Idaho...
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Problem - The purpose of this project is to create a watershed GIS (Geographic Information System) to support the comprehensive cleanup and restoration of Onondaga Lake that is underway. A GIS is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location. Given the broad scope of the Onondaga Lake Partnership's (OLP) mission, a GIS is a powerful tool that can organize, store, and share information pertinent to the management of the natural resources of the Onondaga Lake watershed. The OLP GIS will be used for land use planning, resource management, scientific monitoring, and data presentation. The project has...
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Problem The Tully Valley, located in southern Onondaga County has been the source of sediment and brackish water discharge to Onondaga Creek, a tributary to the Seneca and Oswego Rivers and eventually Lake Ontario. Information on the origin of the Tully Valley mudboils, their persistence, and the possible extent of their migration within the Tully Valley is needed to mitigate or remediate (1)the discharge of turbid water and fine-grained sediment from the mudboils, (2) land-surface subsidence caused by the removal of sediment from below the land surface, and (3) degradation of Onondaga Creek by turbidity, fine-sediment deposition, and chloride loading. Objectives To define the glacial stratigraphy and hydraulic-head...
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Significant changes in nitrogen loads to Jamaica Bay have likely occurred with progressive improvements to Water Pollution Control Plants (WCWPs) that discharge into the Bay. Data available from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection and others will be used to determine loads from WPCPs, combined sewer overflows, and the atmosphere. Selected wells within the USGS water quality database, including those near the landfills that are immediately adjacent to Jamaica Bay, will be used to determine concentrations of nutrients in shallow ground water that enter the bay from ground water seepage. To facilitate evaluation of ground water loads, an existing USGS Finite element model that simulates sub...
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Introduction Recent trends analysis examining the effectiveness of tidal wetland regulations and the regulatory program of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) revealed that the regulations and regulatory program were highly effective in stemming the historic "fill and build" activities. However, the trends also revealed that tidal wetlands—specifically, low marshes—were disappearing. To help determine the cause(s) of this loss, the NYSDEC, in collaboration with Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), established a monitoring program in 2008 that has been conducted on and in the tidal wetlands of East Creek,...
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Background Streams and rivers are an important environmental resource and provide water for many human needs. Streamflow is a measure of the volume of water carried by rivers and streams. Changes in streamflow can directly influence the supply of water available for human consumption, irrigation, generating electricity, and other needs. In addition, many plants and animals depend on streamflow for habitat and survival. Streamflow naturally varies over the course of a year. For example, rivers and streams in many parts of the country have their highest (peak) flow when snow melts in the spring. The amount of streamflow is important because high flows can cause erosion and damaging floods, while very low...


map background search result map search result map Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Utility Guide to Rainwater/Stormwater Harvesting as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Ecological changes in aquatic communities in the Big Bend reach of the Rio Grande: Synthesis and future monitoring needs Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Onondaga Lake Watershed Geographic Information System Hydrogeology of the Tully Valley Mudboil Area, Southern Onondaga County, New York Assessment of Nutrient Loading to Jamaica Bay, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York Monitoring Tidal Water Elevation and Water Quality to Assess Tidal Wetland Loss in Four Embayments of Long Island Sound, New York Hydrogeology of the Virgil Creek Valley in the Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York Hydrologic Climate Change Indicators Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Enhancing the utility of International Shorebird Survey data management Hydrogeology of the Tully Valley Mudboil Area, Southern Onondaga County, New York Hydrogeology of the Virgil Creek Valley in the Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York Assessment of Nutrient Loading to Jamaica Bay, Gateway National Recreation Area, New York Monitoring Tidal Water Elevation and Water Quality to Assess Tidal Wetland Loss in Four Embayments of Long Island Sound, New York Onondaga Lake Watershed Geographic Information System Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal National Wildlife Refuges Ecological changes in aquatic communities in the Big Bend reach of the Rio Grande: Synthesis and future monitoring needs Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Moving from Awareness to Action: Informing Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation Planning for Idaho and Montana National Forests Enhancing the utility of International Shorebird Survey data management Utility Guide to Rainwater/Stormwater Harvesting as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Hydrologic Climate Change Indicators Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts