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Members of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes have been working with an interdisciplinary team of social, ecological, and climate scientists from the North Central CSC, the High Plains Regional Climate Center, and the National Drought Mitigation Center along with other university and agency partners to prepare regular climate and drought summaries to aid in managing water resources on the Wind River Reservation and in surrounding areas.
The Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming are preparing for drought and other climate fluctuations with help from a broad coalition of scientists. Read More: https://www.drought.gov/drought/sites/drought.gov.drought/files/media/whatisnidis/Newsletter/October%202015%20v4.pdf
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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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The Southeastern U.S. spans broad ranges of physiographic settings and contains a wide variety of aquatic systems that provide habitat for hundreds of endemic aquatic species that pose interesting challenges and opportunities for managers of aquatic resources, particularly in the face of climate change. For example, the Southeast contains the southernmost populations of the eastern brook trout and other cold-water dependent species. Climate change is predicted to increase temperatures in the South and is likely to have a substantial effect on extant populations of cold-water biota. Thus, aquatic managers are tasked with developing strategies for preserving cold-water dependent biota, such as eastern brook trout,...
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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...
Abstract: A significant number of historically existing wetlands that naturally stored rainwater and attenuated flood peaks have now been drained and employed as new farming areas. Beyond the water quality and flow problem, this has resulted in loss of natural habitats of diverse ecological species. Restoring wetlands have hence been proposed as a potential conservation strategy to help attenuate many of these problems. In this study a spatial, multi-objective optimization study of new potential wetlands was carried out to achieve biodiversity improvements in addition to flood reduction benefits and water quality improvements. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate flow and water quality,...
Impacts of climate change on natural resources need to be evaluated in a range of geography and agricultural systems for better conservation planning. The objectives of this paper were to evaluate spatial sensitivity of predicted soil loss and runoff to climate change at large scales, and to simulate the “regional” impacts of climate change on soil erosion on the southern Great Plains. Relative climate changes at three spatial scales between 1950 to 99, and 2070 to 99, projected using HadCM3 under the A2a, B2a, and GGa1 emission scenarios, were used to generate changed climates for Chickasha, Oklahoma. The Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) model was run for each climate scenario at three spatial scales with...
Runoff losses of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from field applied manure can contribute to surface water pollution. Grass hedges may reduce runoff losses of nutrients and sediment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of narrow switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) hedges (−0.75 m wide) on the transport of P and N from a field receiving beef cattle feedlot manure under tilled and no-till conditions. This study was conducted on a steep (12 % average slope) Monona silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Hapludolls) soil near Treynor, Iowa. The experiment was a split-plot with no-till and disked systems as main plots and subplots of manure, fertilizer, and check with or without a grass...
Since the mid 1990's, Lake Erie has experienced seasonal eutrophication. This investigation was designed to look at potential causes for eutrophication in Lake Erie. It was also designed to see if any correlations exist between agriculturally applied fertilizers (including sewage sludge) and cyanobacterial blooms in the Western Basin of Lake Erie that occurred during the months of July, August, and September for the years 1999-2003. An algorithm was used on available LANDSAT Thematic Mapper (TM) frames to monitor phycocyanin growth caused by cyanobacteria. These images were analyzed in conjunction with Maumee River water quality data, planted winter wheat, local weather data, and records of agriculturally applied...
Seasonal hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico has been linked to increased nitrogen fluxes from the Mississippi and Atchafalaya River Basins, though recent evidence shows that phosphorus also influences productivity in the Gulf. We developed a spatially explicit and structurally detailed SPARROW water-quality model that reveals important differences in the sources and transport processes that control nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) delivery to the Gulf. Our model simulations indicate that agricultural sources in the watersheds contribute more than 70% of the delivered N and P. However, corn and soybean cultivation is the largest contributor of N (52%), followed by atmospheric deposition sources (16%); whereas...
This capacity-building activity supported three tribal college and university (TCU) mini-­grants to initiate student phenological and meteorological observation projects in support of climate change research, to document impacts of climate change and development of indigenous geography curriculum. Students made observations of culturally and/or traditionally significant plants to generate data sets for use in climate change impact assessment of these plants and plant communities. The activity contributed to the larger national efforts of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian’s “Indigenous Geography” curricula, by engaging with students at tribal colleges to explore the linkage between the “seasonality”...
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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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Data points intensively sampling 46 North American biomes were used to predict the geographic distribution of biomes from climate variables using the Random Forests classification tree. Techniques were incorporated to accommodate a large number of classes and to predict the future occurrence of climates beyond the contemporary climatic range of the biomes. Errors of prediction from the statistical model averaged 3.7%, but for individual biomes, ranged from 0% to 21.5%. In validating the ability of the model to identify climates without analogs, 78% of 1528 locations outside North America and 81% of land area of the Caribbean Islands were predicted to have no analogs among the 46 biomes. Biome climates were projected...
Renewable fuel production, particularly grain-based ethanol, is expanding rapidly in the USA. Although subsidized grain-based ethanol may provide a competitively priced transportation fuel, concerns exist about potential environmental impacts. This contribution focuses on potential water quality implications of expanded grain-based ethanol production and potential impacts of perennial-grass–based cellulosic ethanol. Expanded grain-based ethanol will increase and intensify corn production. Even with recommended fertilizer and land conservation measures, corn acreage can be a major source of N loss to water (20–40 kg ha-1 yr-1). A greater acreage of corn is estimated to increase N and P loss to water by 37% (117 million...
Whitefish Lake, which is officially named Bardon Lake, is an oligotrophic, soft-water seepage lake in northwestern Wisconsin, and classified by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as an Outstanding Resource Water. Ongoing monitoring of the lake demonstrated that its water quality began to degrade (increased phosphorus and chlorophyll a concentrations) around 2002 following a period of high water level. To provide a better understanding of what caused the degradation in water quality, and provide information to better understand the lake and protect it from future degradation, the U.S. Geological Survey did a detailed study from 2004 to 2008. The goals of the study were to describe the past and present...


map background search result map search result map USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes North American vegetation model data for land-use planning in a changing climate: Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes Using Genetic Information to Understand Drought Tolerance and Bark Beetle Resistance in Whitebark Pine Forests Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes North American vegetation model data for land-use planning in a changing climate: Building a Decision-Support Tool for Assessing the Impacts of Climate and Land Use  Change on Ecological Processes USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections