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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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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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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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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 Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey have made it a priority to train the next generation of scientists and resource managers. The DOI Climate Science Centers (CSCs) are working to contribute to this initiative by building and supporting a network of students across the country who are interested in understanding climate impacts and adaptation. This project will support the development of a national communications and networking resource for early career scientists, managers, and conservation practitioners. The goal of this project is to facilitate and increase information sharing across the eight regional CSCs and consortium institutions. This will be achieved by working with and expanding...
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Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change. However, many of the available indicators for North American birds do not account for imperfect observation. We propose to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators will be used to test hypotheses regarding changes in range and distribution of breeding birds. The results will support the Northeast Climate Science Center’s Science Agenda, including the science priority: researching ecological vulnerability and species response...
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Description of Work This spring (2014) we will measure Asian carp eDNA over time at a Missouri River site downstream of multiple spawning areas before and during spawning. We will measure the amount of Asian carp eDNA in water samples. The amount of eDNA will be related to the numbers of eggs and larvae counted in matched samples (water samples taken at the same time and place). The time since the eDNA was released by the carp will be estimated and these results will be related to the average age of AC eggs and larvae in matched samples. We will also test for substances which interfere with the eDNA measurement techniques and can lead to false negatives. We will also be validating markers developed by USGS and...
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The South Central U.S. encompasses a wide range of ecosystem types and precipitation patterns. Average annual precipitation is less than 10 inches in northwest New Mexico but can exceed 60 inches further east in Louisiana. Much of the region relies on warm-season convective precipitation – that is, highly localized brief but intense periods of rainfall that are common in the summer. This type of precipitation is a significant driver of climate and ecosystem function in the region, but it is also notoriously difficult to predict since it occurs at such small spatial and temporal scales. While global climate models are helpful for understanding and predicting large-scale precipitation trends, they often do not capture...
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Recent open data policies of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which were fully enforceable on October 1, 2016, require that federally funded information products (publications, etc.) be made freely available to the public, and that the underlying data on which the conclusions are based must be released. A key and relevant aspect of these policies is that data collected by USGS programs must be shared with the public, and that these data are subject to the review requirements of Fundamental Science Practices (FSP). These new policies add a substantial burden to USGS scientists and science centers; however, the upside of working towards compliance with...
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Sport fisheries of lakes are embedded in complex system of ecological and social interactions. The multiple drivers that affect lake sport fisheries, along with the complex interactions within lakes, make it difficult to forecast changes in sport fisheries and plan adaptive responses to build resilience of these important resources. Resilience involves managing with an eye toward critical thresholds for behavior of ecosystems. Project researchers are working to develop quantitative tools for assessment of thresholds in sport fisheries that can be used by management agencies to evaluate potential impacts of climate change mediated through species and habitat interactions. Several outputs of the project will be adaptable...
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Inland fish populations are a crucial resource to humans and communities around the world. Recreational fishing throughout the United States, for example, provides important revenue to local and state economies; globally, inland fisheries are a vital food source for billions of people. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, however, are already causing significant changes to fish communities worldwide. Since the mid-1980s, scientists have projected the effects of climate change on inland fish, and in more recent years, documentation of impacts has increased. However, the number of documented impacts of climate change on inland fish remains low. A comprehensive understanding of how climate change...
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The threat of droughts and their associated impacts on the landscape and human communities has long been recognized in the United States, especially in high risk areas such as the South Central region. There is ample literature on the effects of long-term climate change and short-term climate variability on the occurrence of droughts. However, it is unclear whether this information meets the needs of relevant stakeholders and actually contributes to reducing the vulnerability or increasing the resilience of communities to droughts. For example, are the methods used to characterize the severity of drought – known as drought indices – effective tools for predicting the actual damage felt by communities? As droughts...


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 Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes 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 Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish Forecasting Beach Loss from Sea-Level Rise on the Island of Kauaʻi Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Improving Representation of Extreme Precipitation Events in Regional Climate Models Community Resilience to Drought Hazard: An Analysis of Drought Exposure, Impacts, and Adaptation in the South Central U.S. Science and Forecasting to Inform Implementation of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee’s Whitebark Pine Management Strategy Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey 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 Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish