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Landscape-scale conservation of threatened and endangered species is often challenged by multiple, sometimes conflicting, land uses. In Hawaiʻi, efforts to conserve native forests have come into conflict with objectives to sustain non-native game mammals, such as feral pigs, goats, and deer, for subsistence and sport hunting. Maintaining stable or increasing game populations represents one of the greatest obstacles to the recovery of Hawaii’s 425 threatened and endangered plant species. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. Meanwhile, other environmental changes, including the spread of invasive grasses and changing precipitation patterns...
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Loko iʻa (Hawaiian fishponds) are an advanced, extensive form of aquaculture found nowhere else in the world. Loko iʻa practices are the result of over a thousand years of intergenerational knowledge, experimentation, and adaptation, and once produced over 2 million pounds of fish per year throughout the Hawaiian Islands. These fishponds provided a consistent and diverse supply of fish when ocean fishing was not possible or did not yield enough supply. In many ways, loko iʻa are foundational to traditional aquaculture in Hawai‘i and have the potential to provide food security that contributes to greater coastal community resilience and economic autonomy. Today, changes in coastal and hydrological processes, including...
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The 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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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Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and serivces (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. Systematic literature reviews play an important role in this process. For example, Runting et al. (2017) quantitatively synthesized how journal-published literature considered climate impacts in EGS assessments. Characterizing studies in a similar manner, our work examines assessments published since the November 2014 publication period included in Runting et al. (2017). These comparisons may reveal...
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Road crossings at rivers and streams can create barriers to the movement of migratory fish when they are improperly designed or constructed. Washington State is home to several threatened species of salmon and trout, including bull trout, and recovery plans for these fish include repairing or replacing culverts that currently block their passage. The state is currently looking to replace approximately 1,000 culverts at an estimated cost of $2.45 billion. As engineers re-design these culverts, which typically have a service life of 50-100 years, it will be important to consider how changing climate conditions will impact streams in the region. Climate change is projected to increase peak streamflows, and therefore...
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Deep learning is a computer analysis technique inspired by the human brain’s ability to learn. It involves several layers of artificial neural networks to learn and subsequently recognize patterns in data, forming the basis of many state-of-the-art applications from self-driving cars to drug discovery and cancer detection. Deep neural networks are capable of learning many levels of abstraction, and thus outperform many other types of automated classification algorithms. This project developed software tools, resources, and two training workshops that will allow USGS scientists to apply deep learning to remotely sensed imagery and to better understand natural hazards and habitats across the Nation. The tools and...
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One of the biggest challenges facing resource managers today is not knowing exactly when, where, or how climate change effects will unfold. To help federal land managers address this need, the North Central CASC has been working with the National Park Service to pioneer an approach for incorporating climate science and scenario planning into NPS planning processes, in particular Resource Stewardship Strategies (RSS). These strategies serve as a long-range planning tool for a national park unit to achieve its desired natural and cultural resource conditions, and are used to guide a park’s full spectrum of resource-specific management plans and day-to-day management activities. To support adaptation planning within...
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Changing climate conditions such as increasing droughts, floods, and wildfires, hotter temperatures, declining snowpacks, and changes in the timing of seasonal events are already having an impact on wildlife and their habitats. In order to make forward-looking management decisions that consider ongoing and future projected changes in climate, managers require access to climate information that can be easily integrated into the planning process. Co-production, a process whereby scientists work closely with managers to identify and fill knowledge gaps, is an effective means of ensuring that science results will be directly useful to managers. Through a multi-phase project, researchers are implementing co-production...
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In the northern Gulf of Mexico, mangrove forests have been expanding their northern range limits in parts of Texas, Louisiana, and north Florida since 1989. In response to warming winter temperatures, mangroves, which are dominant in warmer climates, are expected to continue migrating northward at the expense of salt marshes, which fare better in cooler climates. The ecological implications and timing of mangrove expansion is not well understood, and coastal wetland managers need information and tools that will enable them to identify and forecast the ecological impacts of this shift from salt marsh to mangrove-dominated coastal ecosystems. To address this need, researchers will host workshops and leverage existing...
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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Suicide Basin is a glacier-fed lake that branches off Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. Since 2011, Suicide Basin has been collecting melt- and rainwater each summer, creating a temporary glacier-dammed lake. Water that accumulates typically gets released through channels that run beneath the glacier. These channels are normally blocked by ice, but if the water pressure gets too high the channel breaks open, rapidly draining the basin in what is known as an “outburst flood”. In past years, these events have led to flooding along Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River in the most heavily populated neighborhood of Juneau. Because of the threats posed to infrastructure in the Mendenhall Valley, it is critical that...
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Haleakalā National Park (HNP) and the surrounding landscape spans many different land cover types, some of which are undergoing vegetation changes that can reduce the amount of water that infiltrates into soil. Decreased soil infiltration can lead to the erosion of terrestrial habitats, increases in the amount of sediment entering aquatic habitats, and flooding of downstream areas as runoff increases after storms. Currently, HNP managers are attempting to control runoff and erosion to avoid loss and damage within park boundaries and parks located downstream. Managers in HNP have expressed a need for information on current and future runoff and erosion risk to help prioritize management within the park and other...
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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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Insect pests cost billions of dollars per year globally, negatively impacting food crops and infrastructure and contributing to the spread of disease. Timely information regarding developmental stages of pests can facilitate early detection and control, increasing efficiency and effectiveness. To address this need, the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN) created a suite of “Pheno Forecast” map products relevant to science and management. Pheno Forecasts indicate, for a specified day, the status of the insect’s target life cycle stage in real time across the contiguous United States. These risk maps enhance decision-making and short-term planning by both natural resource managers and members of the public. ...
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The Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout is New Mexico’s state fish; but habitat loss and non-native trout invasions threaten the persistence of this fish throughout the remaining 12% of its historic range. Stakeholders, including state agencies, federal agencies, Tribal nations, Pueblos, and private groups are particularly concerned about the impact that non-native Brown Trout have on native cutthroat trout. This project will be the first to demonstrate how non-native Brown Trout negatively affect Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout populations. The project has two primary objectives: 1) compare the health and characteristics of native Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout in areas both with and without invasive Brown Trout in cold and warm...
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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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Droughts are becoming more frequent and severe and this trend is expected to continue in the coming century. Drought effects on natural resources include reduced water availability for plants and humans, as well as increased insect, disease, and vegetation mortality. Land managers need more information regarding how water availability may change and how drought will affect their sites in the future. We developed an online, interactive application that allows natural resource managers to access site-specific, observed historical and predicted future water availability. Users are able to set information that affects water balance, including soil texture and vegetation composition. With these inputs, as well as site-specific...
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The sagebrush rangelands of the Great Basin provide crucial habitat for a diversity of wildlife, including the pronghorn and the greater sage-grouse. These water-limited, highly-managed ecosystems have already been degraded by wildfires, the expansion of invasive grasses, and livestock grazing, and are expected to experience additional stress as climate and land use conditions change. Effective management of sagebrush ecosystems in the future will require the ability to understand and predict these future changes. To address this need, researchers will identify historical rates and causes of vegetation change in shrubland ecosystems, then use this information to develop potential future climate and land use scenarios...


map background search result map search result map Pollinators in Texas Monarch-pollinator monitoring, tracking and evaluation of grassland habitat and management practices in the southern Great Plains Maintenance for Conservation Planning Atlas Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Identifying Historical Drivers of Vegetation Change to Inform Future Management of Federal Lands in the Northern Great Basin Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Identifying the Risk of Runoff and Erosion in Hawaiʻi’s National Parks Susceptibility of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout to Displacement by Non-Native Brown Trout and Implications for Future Management Managing Non-native Game Mammals to Reduce Future Conflicts with Native Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i Refining Guidance for Incorporating Climate Science and Scenario Planning into National Park Service Resource Stewardship Strategies Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand Refining Guidance for Incorporating Climate Science and Scenario Planning into National Park Service Resource Stewardship Strategies Improving Forecasts of Glacier Outburst Flood Events Identifying Historical Drivers of Vegetation Change to Inform Future Management of Federal Lands in the Northern Great Basin Supporting Climate-Resilient Design for In-Stream Restoration and Fish Passage Projects Monarch-pollinator monitoring, tracking and evaluation of grassland habitat and management practices in the southern Great Plains Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Maintenance for Conservation Planning Atlas Pollinators in Texas Susceptibility of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout to Displacement by Non-Native Brown Trout and Implications for Future Management Identifying the Risk of Runoff and Erosion in Hawaiʻi’s National Parks Science Needs Assessment to Support Management of Loko Iʻa (Hawaiian Fishpond) Resources and Practices Critical to the Native Hawaiian Community Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand