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Grasslands in the northern Great Plains are important ecosystems that support local economies, tribal communities, livestock grazing, diverse plant and animal communities, and large-scale migrations of big game ungulates, grassland birds, and waterfowl. Climate change and variability impact how people and animals live on and interact with grasslands, and can bring more frequent droughts, fires, or new plant species that make managing these landscapes challenging. Understanding how climate change and variability will impact grassland ecosystems and their management in the 21st century first requires a synthesis of what is known across all of these scales and a gap analysis to identify key areas of focus for future...
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Drought and wildfire pose enormous threats to the integrity of natural resources that land managers are charged with protecting. Recent observations and modeling forecasts indicate that these stressors will likely produce catastrophic ecosystem transformations, or abrupt changes in the condition of plants, wildlife, and their habitats, in regions across the country in coming decades. In this project, researchers will bring together land managers who have experienced various degrees of ecosystem transformation (from not yet experiencing any changes to seeing large changes across the lands they manage) to share their perspectives on how to mitigate large-scale changes in land condition. The team will conduct surveys...
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In Alaska, recent research has identified particular areas of the state where both a lack of soil moisture and warming temperatures increase the likelihood of wildfire. While this is an important finding, this previous research did not take into account the important role that melting snow, ice, and frozen ground (permafrost) play in replenshing soil moisture in the spring and summer months. This project will address this gap in the characterization of fire risk using the newly developed monthly water balance model (MWBM). The MWBM takes into account rain, snow, snowmelt, glacier ice melt, and the permafrost layer to better calculate soil moisture replenishment and the amount of moisture that is lost to the atmosphere...
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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...
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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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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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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Forests are of tremendous ecological and economic importance. They provide natural places for recreation, clean drinking water, and important habitats for fish and wildlife. However, the warmer temperatures and harsher droughts in the west that are related to climate change are causing die-offs of many trees. Outbreaks of insects, like the mountain pine beetle, that kill trees are also more likely in warmer, drier conditions. To maintain healthy and functioning forest ecosystems, one action forest managers can take is to make management decisions that will help forests adapt to future climate change. However, adaptation is a process based on genetic change and few tools are currently available for managers to use...
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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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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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In southwestern Colorado, land managers anticipate the impacts of climate change to include higher temperatures, more frequent and prolonged drought, accelerated snowmelt, larger and more intense fires, more extreme storms, and the spread of invasive species. These changes put livelihoods, ecosystems, and species at risk. Focusing on communities in southwestern Colorado’s San Juan and Gunnison river basins, this project will expand opportunities for scientists, land managers, and affected residents to identify actions that can support resilience and adaptation in the face of changing climate conditions. This project builds on the project “Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in southwestern...
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Summary The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) will conduct simulations using existing aquifer data, including geologic logs from vertical profile borings (VPBs) and well installations, water levels, and pump test data available from the water districts for these production wells. Subsequently USGS will incorporate data from a groundwater pump test and additional data from new VPBs and monitoring wells. Using particle tracking maps, USGS will illustrate the spatial configuration of the capture zone and percentage of capture of the shallow and deep plumes in each production well. The model area will be limited to achieve these objectives and make maximum use of available sampling locations in the region. USGS will...
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Introduction Detailed mapping of the valley-fill aquifer within the Susquehanna River valley and adjacent tributary valleys in south-central Broome County (Towns of Conklin and Kirkwood) is the latest study in the cooperative Detailed Aquifer Mapping Program between the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). The aim of the program is to map sand and gravel aquifers in New York State at a scale of 1:24,000. This information is used by NYSDEC Division of Water and others to delineate groundwater contributing areas, assess potential threats to aquifers from both point and non-point sources, respond to contamination from spills or leaks from underground...
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Covering 120 million acres across 14 western states and 3 Canadian provinces, sagebrush provides critical habitat for species such as pronghorn, mule deer, and sage-grouse – a species of conservation concern. The future of these and other species is closely tied to the future of sagebrush. Yet this important ecosystem has already been affected by fire, invasive species, land use conversion, and now, climate change. In the western U.S., temperatures are rising and precipitation patterns are changing. However, there is currently a limited ability to anticipate the impacts of climate change on sagebrush. Current methods suffer from a range of weakness that limits the reliability of results. In fact, the current uncertainty...
The objective of this project is to integrate observations from multiple image acquisition platforms into a coherent time series of glacier volume changes for a variety of sites in the Pacific Northwest, including South Cascade Glacier and the others in Washington State (e.g., Mt. Olympus, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Baker). Specific objectives include: Enhancing glacier mass balance methodology by incorporating newly derived and reanalyzed geodetic records in the form of Digital Elevation Models and associated Area Altitude Distributions. Estimating regional patterns of glacier mass balance by expanding the spatial density of mass balance measurements and the geographic diversity of monitored glaciers. Understanding hydrologic...
Climate change is expected to result in changes in plant-pollinator interactions, but the severity of these changes is not yet clearly understood. This project will address both spatial and temporal effects of climate change on plant-pollinator interactions by studying butterfly and plant phenology in alpine and subalpine environments of Mount Rainier National Park (MORA). Western Washington University and the National Park Service will collaborate on several project objectives, including conducting field work at multiple meadows at MORA to collect plant and butterfly data, constructing plant phenophase profiles for common forbs, constructing butterfly emergence curves for commonly detected species, developing a...
Elevated anthropogenic nitrogen (N) emissions are causing higher rates of atmospheric N deposition (Ndep) that may saturate Cascade ecosystems with reactive N. Simultaneously, increasing global temperatures and altered circulation patterns generated by climate change are expected to strongly impact snow regimes in the Cascade Range, causing reduced snowpack, earlier snowmelt dates, and higher proportions of rain precipitation. Concern over the impacts of Ndep to sensitive, high-elevation ecosystems has prompted calls for research into its interaction with climate change and the effects of Ndep on ecosystem services. This is a collaborative project between the National Park Service and Washington State University...
The Coastal Engineering Inventory project aims to inventory, catalog and map coastal engineering projects in and adjacent to coastal units of the National Park Service (NPS). The goal is to develop a greater understanding of the extent of coastal engineering modification along our coast and provide information to allow resource managers to make better decisions about how to preserve NPS resources and allow for visitor use and recreation. This project will build upon an existing pilot study and GIS database that was completed for ten coastal parks. This collaborative project will expand the coastal engineering inventory to include an evaluation of coastal engineering impacts on NPS resources by developing a prioritized...


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 Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Onondaga Lake Watershed Geographic Information System Hydrogeology of the Tully Valley Mudboil Area, Southern Onondaga County, New York Monitoring Tidal Water Elevation and Water Quality to Assess Tidal Wetland Loss in Four Embayments of Long Island Sound, New York Simulation of Zones of Groundwater Contribution to Three Well Fields Southwest Portion of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Bethpage, New York Detailed Aquifer Mapping in the Susquehanna River Valley  in South-Central Broome County –Towns of Conklin and Kirkwood Hydrogeology of the Virgil Creek Valley in the Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire Hydrogeology of the Tully Valley Mudboil Area, Southern Onondaga County, New York Simulation of Zones of Groundwater Contribution to Three Well Fields Southwest Portion of the Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Bethpage, New York Hydrogeology of the Virgil Creek Valley in the Town of Dryden, Tompkins County, New York Detailed Aquifer Mapping in the Susquehanna River Valley  in South-Central Broome County –Towns of Conklin and Kirkwood Onondaga Lake Watershed Geographic Information System Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Learning From the Past and Planning for the Future: Experience-Driven Insight Into Managing for Ecosystem Transformations Induced by Drought and Wildfire Forecasting Future Changes in Sagebrush Distribution and Abundance Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Analysis of Habitat Importance for Imperiled Species in Nature's Network Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability