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We will develop a set of linked models to help predict the effects of climate change on rivers and endangered species. These will include watershed- and reach-scale models to predict streamflow, water temperatures, and other fish habitat metrics under various climatic scenarios for the reaches used by species listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), plus a combined bioenergetics and life-cycle model (to be done by the U.S. Geological Survey [USGS]) to assess the impact of these factors on fish growth, reproduction, and survival. We propose to test the model framework at a site on the Methow River, Washington, to explore additional opportunities for collaboration and model development.
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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-­â€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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Regional-scale studies, such as those being conducted for the WLCI, are well suited for the use of remote-sensing techniques. Derivative products from remote-sensing instruments, such as Landsat, have been used successfully for decades in studies of geology, vegetation, environmental change, and many other types of scientific research. The continuous coverage of Landsat data since 1972 makes it possible to establish baseline conditions in areas affected by renewable and nonrenewable energy development. In this study, various Landsat datasets are being used to map current and pre-development conditions in the WLCI study area for a selected set of scientific interests. Landsat scenes have been mosaicked to produce...
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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...
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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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In the WLCI region, the quality and condition of sagebrush steppe is a concern given the extent of rangewide land-use change, habitat conversion, and rapid energy development in sagebrush systems. Three migratory songbird species are considered near-obligates of sagebrush shrublands: Brewer’s and sagebrush sparrows and sage thrasher, all of which are designated Species of Great Conservation Need in Wyoming (Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 2010) and nest in Green River Basin. In collaboration with the WGFD, we initiated this multiphase project to address the WLCI management need to identify the condition and distribution of sagebrush songbird habitats and key drivers of change in those habitats. In Phase I (2008...
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Muddy Creek, a tributary to the Little Snake River, is a semi-arid catchment that drains about 1,200 mi2 in south-central Wyoming. The drainage basin is characterized as a sagebrush steppe ecosystem. The area is undergoing energy exploration and development, including conventional natural gas wells and coalbed natural gas wells. Geologic formations that underlie the drainage basin include soluble marine shales, which are a natural source of dissolved solids (for example, sodium, chloride, and sulfate) and Se. As a result, the water quality of Muddy Creek is naturally high in dissolved constituents, including Se. The WDEQ has listed chloride and Se as impairments to aquatic life for Muddy Creek. Dissolved solids...
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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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1) Refine the pollinator model to allow for the estimation of the number of hives that can be supported in any given landscape setting 2) Extend the pollinator model to address interactions between weather, land cover, and bees that affect levels of honey production 3) Integrate the findings from the USDA-ARS field study into the pollinator model to refine forecasts of how land-use features in the PPR affect national agricultural pollination services [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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The elk herd that currently inhabits the South Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park (THRO) originated in 1985, when the National Park Service (NPS) translocated 47 animals from Wind Cave National Park. The reintroduction was undertaken to restore a culturally and ecologically important species to its native range, but was initially opposed by the State of North Dakota because area landowners feared that elk might escape the park and cause damage to crops and fences. To alleviate this concern, the NPS agreed to regulate elk numbers at levels that “do not unduly interfere” with livestock grazing or agriculture, and to generally resolve conflicts in favor of existing land uses (Memorandum of Understanding 1540-5-0001)....
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


map background search result map search result map Evaluating Climate-Induced Runoff and Temperature Change on Stream Habitat Metrics for Endangered or Threatened Fish - BOR Project FY2011 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 Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Evaluating Climate-Induced Runoff and Temperature Change on Stream Habitat Metrics for Endangered or Threatened Fish - BOR Project FY2011 Cooperative Science and Monitoring Initiative (CSMI) - LAKE HURON Benthos & Plankton in Wisconsin's Lake Michigan AOCs 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 Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts