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Assessing the impact of flow alteration on aquatic ecosystems has been identified as a critical area of research nationally and in the Southeast U.S. This project aimed to address the Ecohydrology Priority Science Need of the SE CSC FY2012 Annual Science Work Plan by developing an inventory and evaluation of current efforts and knowledge gaps in hydrological modeling for flow-­‐ecology science in global change impact studies across the Southeast. To accomplish this goal, we completed a thorough synthesis and evaluation of hydrologic modeling efforts in the Southeast region (including all states of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,...
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The Muddy Creek watershed, part of the Upper Colorado River watershed, is a semi-arid catchment in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem. A synoptic watershed assessment was conducted in 2010 to identify areas within the watershed that are more susceptible to mobilization of trace elements that occur in soils forming on marine shale. Samples of soil, stream sediment, and water were collected and assayed for major elements and a suite of trace elements. Formation waters discharged from two wells within the watershed were sampled in 2011 to evaluate their potential contribution of organic carbon, nitrogen (N) species, and trace elements to surface waters. In FY2012, analyses of the soil, rock, and water samples collected...
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Limits on the time and financial resources available for monitoring efforts, coupled with the complexities of natural resources and stakeholders, are challenges in resource monitoring. To help address these and related challenges, the USGS Monitoring Team (MT) has linked conceptual monitoring specialists with habitat and wildlife biologists to inform and develop creative, scientifically defensible approaches for monitoring the status and trends of populations and habitats across the WLCI region. This collaboration has led to spatially balanced monitoring designs that will make it possible to interpret conditions across the WLCI region and a mechanism for integrating species’ distributions and population responses...
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The USGS and University of Minnesota collaborators used acoustical and ultrasonic recorders to monitor flight notes of birds and calls emitted by bats flying at low elevations. Recorders were deployed in conjunction with ongoing fatality searches at wind facilities and at sites with a variety of landscape features. Objectives are to determine whether the recorders can be used to compare low-elevation flight activity among sites, and to relate recorder results to numbers of dead birds and bats found at wind facilities. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joined the partnership to deploy the recorders at numerous locations along the shores of several Great Lakes to estimate low-elevation flight activity of birds and...
Categories: Project
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Description of Work Benthos (benthic invertebrate) and plankton (phytoplankton/zooplankton) communities in Wisconsin's four Lake Michigan Areas of Concern (AOCs; Menominee River, Lower Green Bay and Fox River, Sheboygan River, and Milwaukee Estuary) and six non-AOCs will be quantified. The inclusion of non-AOC sites will allow comparison of AOC sites to relatively-unimpacted or less-impacted control sites with natural physical and chemical characteristics that are as close as possible to that of the AOCs. The community data within and between the AOCs and non-AOCs will be analyzed. This project is a cooperative agreement between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and the US Geological Survey (USGS)....
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Description of Work USGS will conduct seasonal sampling of benthic invertebrates, zooplankton, prey fish, and their diets to complement the seasonal lower trophic level sampling by EPA. A point of emphasis is describing the vertical distribution of planktivores and their zooplankton prey, to fill a knowledge gap on these predator/prey interactions. These data will provide a more holistic understanding of how invasive-driven, food-web changes could be altering energy available to sport fishes in the Great Lakes and used to build bioenergetics models that can evaluate whether zooplankton dynamics are being driven by limited resources or excessive predation. Understanding the key drivers of zooplankton will provide...
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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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Description of Work Initial tests of a variety of chemical stimuli identified a strong response to the algal food attractant. Field testing of chemical stimulants based on algae will seek to identify potent mixtures based on persistence and duration of attraction. These studies will include consideration of component chemicals such as amino acids produced by algae that enhance the attractiveness of the stimulus, based on carp smell and taste senses. Means of providing a sustained release of the stimulant will be explored through tests of various media. Tests will be conducted to confirm the possibility that carp can be conditioned to feeding stations that can be used to facilitate their capture. Relevance & Impact...
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There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but managers are challenged by the need to address these threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. This project sought to provide an example of cooperative landscape decision-making by addressing the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change at the watershed scale. Predictive models were built for critical resources to examine the effects of the potential alternative actions on the objectives, taking account of climate effects and examining whether there are key uncertainties that impede decision making....
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The goal of this project is to inform implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee (GYCC) Whitebark Pine (WBP) subcommittee’s “WBP Strategy” based on climate science and ecological forecasting. Project objectives are to: 1. Forecast ecosystem processes and WBP habitat suitability across the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) under alternative IPCC future scenarios; 2. Improve understanding of possible response to future climate by analyzing WBP/climate relationships in past millennia; 3. Develop WBP management alternatives; 4. Evaluate the alternatives under IPCC future scenarios in terms of WBP goals, ecosystem services, and costs of implementation; and 5. Draw recommendations for implementation...
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USFWS, Region 8, Reno, Nevada desired to acquire LIDAR along the East and West forks of the Walker River, Nevada. Their goal is develop an accurate digital elevation model (DEM) within the river channel and into the uplands approximately 500 meters on each side. The goal is to use the DEM to assist in targeting restoration efforts for Lahonton Cutthroat as well as characterize the riparian vegetation and associated nearby uplands. [see Narratives for more information.]
Categories: Project
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The Army Corps of Engineers recently initiated a program to create and improve emergent sandbar habitat (hereafter ESH) throughout the upper Missouri River system. This program has resulted in creation of three sandbar complexes and implementation of vegetation control on existing sandbars in the Gavins Point reach during 2004 and 2005. In order to meet habitat acreage goals in the Biological Opinion, the Corps has developed extensive plans for numerous additional habitat creation and improvement projects throughout the upper Missouri River system. Given the momentum of current habitat creation and improvement projects and their associated costs, it is imperative that the capacity be available to quantify changes...
Categories: Project
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Since 2003, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) has conducted research on the impact of wind-energy development on breeding grassland birds in North Dakota and South Dakota, specifically addressing whether birds are displaced by wind infrastructure. Wind-energy development in the northern Great Plains primarily occurs along the Missouri Coteau and Missouri River Plateau. These geological landforms rank high in wind-energy potential, but they also contain some of the last contiguous blocks of mixed-grass prairie, which is prime habitat for grassland birds. However, the impact of wind-energy development on grassland birds in the northern Great Plains is largely unknown. NPWRC has monitored change...
Categories: Project
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Inventories of landslides and liquefaction triggered by major earthquakes are key research tools that can be used to develop and test hazard models. To eliminate redundant effort, we created a centralized and interactive repository of ground failure inventories that currently hosts 32 inventories generated by USGS and non-USGS authors and designed a pipeline for adding more as they become available. The repository consists of (1) a ScienceBase community page where the data are available for download and (2) an accompanying web application that allows users to browse and visualize the available datasets. We anticipate that easier access to these key datasets will accelerate progress in earthquake-triggered ground...
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Contributing to a core component of the Nature’s Network, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy conducted an analysis on species-habitat associations data to develop a measure of overall species importance, summarized across all species, for each habitat class in the Northeast. This project extended the Habitat Associations project, in which the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative partnered with NatureServe to produce a tabular dataset linking set of terrestrial and aquatic habitat layers with NatureServe element occurrence data for over 600 species of greatest conservation concern identified by states in FWS Region 5. Results data from the analysis were delivered in tabular format and joined to the...
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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 flows...
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Changing climate conditions such as increasing droughts, floods, and wildfires, hotter temperatures, declining snowpacks, and changes in the timing of seasonal events are already having an impact on wildlife and their habitats. In order to make forward-looking management decisions that consider ongoing and future projected changes in climate, managers require access to climate information that can be easily integrated into the planning process. Co-production, a process whereby scientists work closely with managers to identify and fill knowledge gaps, is an effective means of ensuring that science results will be directly useful to managers. Through a multi-phase project, researchers are implementing co-production...
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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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As the impacts of climate change amplify, understanding the consequences for wetlands will be critical for their sustainable management and conservation, particularly in arid regions such as the Columbia Plateau. The depressional wetlands in this region (wetlands located in topographic depressions where water can accumulate) are an important source of surface water during the summer months. However, their health depends directly on precipitation and evaporation, making them susceptible to changes in temperature and precipitation. Yet few tools for monitoring water movement patterns (hydrology) in and out of these landscapes currently exist, hindering efforts to model how they are changing. This project provided...


map background search result map search result map Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Hydrologic Climate Change Indicators Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Can We Conserve Wetlands Under a Changing Climate? Mapping Wetland Hydrology in the Columbia Plateau Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy 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