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Climate change influences apex predators in complex ways, due to their important trophic position, capacity for resource plasticity, and sensitivity to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Bald eagles, an ecologically and culturally significant apex predator, congregate seasonally in high densities on salmon spawning rivers across the Pacific Northwest. One of the largest eagle concentrations is in the Skagit River watershed, which connects the montane wilderness of North Cascades National Park to the Puget Sound. Using multiple long-term datasets, we evaluated the relationship between local bald eagle abundance, chum and coho salmon availability and phenology, and the number and timing of flood events in the Skagit...
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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...
The Rio Grande/Río Bravo is the lifeline of the region, including the Chihuahuan Desert, supplying drinking water for more than 6 million people, including numerous Native American tribes, and irrigating about 2 million acres of land. The river also forms about 1250 miles of the international border between the United States and Mexico from El Paso/Ciudad Juarez to the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande/Río Bravo and its tributaries are increasingly stressed by growing water demands, invasive species, and alterations that impact its flow and water quality.These stressors are likely to be exacerbated by extreme droughts and floods.The South Central Climate Science Center (SC CSC) has funded projects to synthesize the...
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There are approximately 2,000 species of migratory birds worldwide, and over 300 of those can be found in North America. Changing climate conditions pose challenges for many migratory birds and their responses to these challenges can depend on their biology. To illustrate these impacts, a board game, called Migration Mismatch, was developed to help elementary school students understand these challenges. Migration Mismatch can help students build their understanding of biological processes and how species, birds in this case, interact with their environment. The game provides an interactive element to learning about adaptations of different bird species to environmental changes and provides a link to birds they may...
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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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Researchers with the North Central Climate Science Center have made substantial progress in assessing the impacts of climate and land use change on wildlife and ecosystems across the region. Building on this progress, researchers will work with stakeholders to identify adaptation strategies and inform resource management in the areas that will be most affected by changing conditions. There are several components of this project. First, researchers will use the Department of Interior “resource briefs” as a mechanism to communicate information to resource managers on climate and land use change and their impacts to resources. These briefs will support coordinated management of ecosystems that contain public, private,...
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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...
1 year of maintenance (Oct 1, 2014 – Sept 30, 2015) of Maintenance For 4 CPAs in the SE (SE Region CPA, South Atlantic LCC CPA, Pennisular Florida CPA, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks CPA).3 years of maintenance (Oct 1, 2015 – Sept 30, 2018) of Maintenance For 2 CPAs in the SE (SE Region CPA and the South Atlantic LCC CPA) Maintain the functionality of the South Atlantic LCC Conservation Planning Atlas and Southeast Region Conservation Planning Atlas developed using the Data Basin platform. These linked Conservation Planning Atlases (CPAs) allow administrators and users of these southeastern CPA gateways to consolidate spatial information for public outreach and internal use, and include private and public group...
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Comprehensive geospatial data covering the area of the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative is needed to better inform and improve countless conservation efforts and help partners convey a shared vision and priorities for this area in geospatial terms.
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2013, 2016, 2017, Academics & scientific researchers, Applications and Tools, All tags...
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Wildfires are a natural occurrence in interior Alaska’s boreal forest. There is extreme variability in the severity of the wildfire season in this region. A single year in which more than one million acres of forest burns can be followed by several years of low to moderate fire activity. In addition, fires in high latitude zones appear to be responding to changes in climate. Warmer temperatures rapidly cure understory fuels, such as fast-drying beds of mosses, lichens, and shrubs, which lie beneath highly flammable conifer trees. Managing such variability is challenging in light of both changing climate conditions and the fact that planning activities require sufficient advance warning. The goal of this project...
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Alaska has complex topography, with its extensive coastlines, dozens of islands, and mountain ranges that contain the tallest peaks in North America. Topography can have a strong influence on temperature and precipitation, therefore accurate representations of the terrain can improve the quality of simulations of past and future climate conditions. The spatial resolution of globally-available climate data is typically too coarse (~80 to 100 km) to adequately detect local landscape features, meaning these models aren’t useful for predicting future conditions in Alaska. In order for the state to adequately prepare for and adapt to changing conditions, high-resolution climate data is needed. One solution for acquiring...
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The decline in the monarch butterfly has led to it being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Declines in managed and native bees have also been documented, leading to increased concerns about bee populations and communities, as well as the availability of pollination services for crops and native plants. Similar factors have been identified in the decline of monarchs, native bees, and other pollinators, including habitat fragmentation, loss, and degradation (including milkweed loss for monarchs), and disease/predation, as well as climate change, weather extremes, invasive species, and pesticides. Texas is part of the Southwest breeding region for monarchs, which supports approximately 11% of...
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Wildfires scorched 10 million acres across the United States in 2015, and for the first time on record, wildfire suppression costs topped $2 billion. Wildfire danger modeling is an important tool for understanding when and where wildfires will occur, and recent work by our team in the South Central United States has shown wildfire danger models may be improved by incorporating soil moisture information. Advancements in wildfire danger modeling may increase wildfire preparedness, and therefore decrease loss of life, property, and habitat due to wildfire. Still, soil moisture—an important determinant of wildfire risk—is not currently used for wildfire danger assessments because data are generally unavailable at the...
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Vernal pools are small, seasonal wetlands that provide critically important seasonal habitat for many amphibian species of conservation concern. Natural resource managers and scientists in the Northeast, as well as the Northeast Refugia Research Coalition, coordinated by the Northeast CSC, recently identified vernal pools as a priority ecosystem to study, and recent revisions to State Wildlife Action Plans highlighted climate change and disease as primary threats to key vernal pool ecosystems. Mapping out the hydrology of vernal pools across the Northeast is an important step in informing land management and conservation decision-making. Project researchers modeled the hydrology of roughly 450 vernal pools from...
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Pollinator decline and conservation is a complex and challenging issue with the potential to tax the capacity of individual state agencies; a collaborative approach among states and federal agencies has a higher likelihood success in meeting this emerging conservation challenge. Bumble bees have been identified as a particularly imperiled group of important pollinators. To aid the collaborative pollinator conservation effort, this report compiles the most up-to-date information related to bumble bees: threats, best practices for land management, and monitoring protocols into one location.The goal is to provide the basis for discussions on how to move bumble bee conservation forward more collaboratively in the Midwest.
Categories: Data; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2017, Conservation Plan/Design/Framework, Conservation Planning, EARTH SCIENCE > LAND SURFACE > LANDSCAPE, IA-01, All tags...
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ScienceCache was originally developed as a mobile device data collection application for a citizen science project. ScienceCache communicates with a centralized database that facilitates near real-time use of collected data that enhances efficiency of data collection in the field. We improved ScienceCache by creating a flexible, reliable platform that reduces effort required to set up a survey and manage incoming data. Now, ScienceCache can be easily adapted for citizen science projects as well as restricted to specific users for private internal research. We improved scEdit, a web application interface, to allow for creation of more-complex data collection forms and survey routes to support scientific studies....
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Of the vital rates that determine recruitment, breeding propensity (i.e., the proportion of females that lay at least one egg) and nest success appear to have the greatest influence, but breeding propensity remains poorly studied. The few studies that have been conducted reveal it to be highly variable among years (15–77%), likely in response to environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation and wetland availability), and lower than estimates from other dabbling ducks. Thus, quantifying breeding propensity across the mottled duck range in the WGC and identifying factors responsible for its variation remain high priorities for future investigation. Breeding propensity is also among the most difficult vital rates to...
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The decline in the monarch butterfly has led to it being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Declines in managed and native bees have also been documented, leading to increased concerns about bee populations and communities, as well as the availability of pollination services for crops and native plants. Similar factors have been identified in the decline of monarchs, native bees, and other pollinators, including habitat fragmentation, loss, and degradation (including milkweed loss for monarchs), and disease/predation, as well as climate change, weather extremes, invasive species, and pesticides (e.g., Potts et al. 2010). The southern Great Plains has been identified as critical for conservation...
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In the Northwest U.S., warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns will likely result in significantly altered snowpack, stream flows, and water availability. Along with these changes comes an increased risk of “ecological drought”, or periods of water stress that impact ecosystems and the services they provide –which can ultimately impact human communities. More frequent and severe ecological droughts have the potential to push ecosystems beyond their ability to recover, resulting in complete changes in ecosystem composition and function. Ecological drought will only worsen existing management challenges, such as competition for water resources, habitat degradation, invasive species, and more frequent...


map background search result map search result map Conservation Planning Atlas for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative Wildfire Probability Mapping Based on Regional Soil Moisture Models Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Extremes to Ex-Streams: Informing Ecological Drought Adaptation in the Northwest Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Foundational Science Area: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife and Habitats in the North Central U.S. Pollinators in Texas Monarch-pollinator monitoring, tracking and evaluation of grassland habitat and management practices in the southern Great Plains Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S. Using light-level geolocators to measure breeding propensity of mottled ducks in the Western Gulf Coast Maintenance for Conservation Planning Atlas Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching Bumble Bee Report 2018 Projecting Future Wildfire Activity in Alaska’s Boreal Forest Developing High Resolution Climate Data for Alaska Building Social and Ecological Resilience to Climate Change in Southwestern Colorado: Phase 2 Monarch-pollinator monitoring, tracking and evaluation of grassland habitat and management practices in the southern Great Plains Using light-level geolocators to measure breeding propensity of mottled ducks in the Western Gulf Coast Extremes to Ex-Streams: Informing Ecological Drought Adaptation in the Northwest Maintenance for Conservation Planning Atlas Projecting Future Wildfire Activity in Alaska’s Boreal Forest Pollinators in Texas Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S. Conservation Planning Atlas for the Gulf Coast Prairie Landscape Conservation Cooperative Wildfire Probability Mapping Based on Regional Soil Moisture Models Bumble Bee Report 2018 Foundational Science Area: Climate Adaptation Strategies for Wildlife and Habitats in the North Central U.S. Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Developing High Resolution Climate Data for Alaska Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching