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Prior to this project, data acquired from the USGS Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have been provided to requesting scientists but have not been made available to the broader USGS community, the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) bureaus, or the public at large. This project performed a pilot study and developed a strategy that is scalable to evolve into a permanent UAS data management capability. The goal is to make UAS datasets available over the Internet to the USGS, DOI, and public science communities by establishing robust data management strategies and integrating these data with other geospatial datasets in the existing infrastructure located at the USGS EROS Data Center. Principal Investigator : Jennifer...
The scientific legacy of the USGS is the data and the scientific knowledge derived from it gathered over 130 years of research. However, it is widely assumed, and in some cases known, that high quality data, particularly legacy data critical for large time-scale analyses such as climate change and habitat change, is hidden away in case files, file cabinets, and hard drives housed in USGS science centers and field stations (both hereafter “science centers”). Many USGS science centers, such as the Fort Collins Science Center, have long, established research histories, are known repositories of data sets, and conduct periodic “file room cleanout” days that establish and enforce some minimal data lifecycle management...
The USMIN Project is multi-year project of the USGS Mineral Resource Program (MRP) whose objective is to develop a comprehensive geospatial database of the mines, mineral deposits and mineral districts of the United States. This database builds upon MRP projects which date back to the late 1960’s and will provide data that will be of value to other parts of the USGS, other federal and state agencies and the general public. Mine Features, which are defined as “a single human-made object or disturbance associated with mining, such as a shaft or adit (vertical or horizontal opening), tailings, machinery and facilities, etc. A mine can be comprised of one or more features.” are a major component of the database....
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USGS research for the Risk and Vulnerability to Natural Hazards project at the Western Geographic Science Center has produced several geospatial datasets estimating the time required to evacuate on foot from two tsunami evacuation zones (standard and extreme) traveling at three travel speeds (impaired, slow, and fast walking speeds) for the Island of O’ahu, HI. Tabulation of O’ahu resident and employee counts by region, community, and the estimated travel speed necessary to reach safety within 15 minutes serves as the final dataset for conclusions. These data are useful for emergency managers and community planners to plan for tsunami evacuations, but are often difficult to serve using traditional static maps and...
Fire has increased dramatically across the western U.S. and these increases are expected to continue. With this reality, it is critical that we improve our ability to forecast the timing, extent, and intensity of fire to provide resource managers and policy makers the information needed for effective decisions. For example, an advanced, spatially-explicit prediction of the upcoming fire season would support the planning and prioritization of fire-fighting crews, the placement and abundance of fire breaks, and the amount and type of seed needed for post-fire restoration. While the Southwest has seen exceptional increases in fire, these drier ecosystems are also notably difficult for fire predictions because of unique...
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Many coastal areas are experiencing departures from normal conditions due to changing land use and climate patterns, including increased frequency, severity, or duration of floods and droughts, in some cases combinations of the two. To address these issues, the U.S. Geological Survey developed the Coastal Salinity Index (CSI) to identify and communicate fluctuating salinity conditions due to such disturbance events through quantitative analyses of long-term salinity records. This project aims to make the CSI broadly useful as a monitoring, forecasting, and decision-making tool, extending the platform to enable real-time reporting of disturbance events as they unfold and covering a larger user base than what existing...
Drought is a major problem in the American Southwest that is expected to worsen under the effects of climate change. Currently, the Southwest Biological Science Center is monitoring the effects of drought with soil moisture probes in a range of ecosystems across an elevational gradient on the Colorado Plateau. These data are used in multiple studies to analyze the effects of drought on vegetation composition and demography. Accessing and analyzing that data still relies on traditional site visits, which can result in delayed recognition of erroneous data, a common pitfall in many field-science operations. We propose to improve upon this traditional data workflow by leveraging the use of Internet of Things (IoT)...
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Rangeland ecosystems are one of the largest single providers of agro-ecological services in the U.S. The plant growth of these rangelands helps determine the amount of forage available for our livestock and for wildlife, as well as information about fire likelihood and restoration opportunities. However, every spring, ranchers and other rangeland managers face the same difficult challenge —trying to approximate how much and where grass will be available during the upcoming growing season. This project represents an innovative grassland productivity forecasting tool, named “Grass-Cast”, which we are developing for the US Southwest to help managers and producers in the region reduce this economically important source...
The CDI Upload, Registry and Access Project was added as a core capability to ScienceBase, a data integration system sponsored by Core Science Systems. The following description is the abstract from the 2012-3874 USGS Fact Sheet: "As a leading science and information agency and in fulfillment of its mission to provide reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ensures that all scientific data are effectively hosted, adequately described, and appropriately accessible to scientists, collaborators, and the general public. To succeed in this task, the USGS established the Community for Data Integration (CDI) to address data and information management issues...
As research and management of natural resources shift from local to regional and national scales, the need for information about aquatic systems to be summarized to multiple scales is becoming more apparent. Recently, four federally funded national stream assessment efforts (USGS Aquatic GAP, USGS National Water-Quality Assessment Program, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] StreamCat, and National Fish Habitat Partnership) identified and summarized landscape information into two hydrologically and ecologically significant scales of local and network catchments for the National Hydrography Dataset Plus (NHDPlus). These efforts have revealed a significant percentage of assessment funds being directed to the...
To make informed decisions, land managers require knowledge about the state of the ecosystems present. Vegetation structure is a key indicator of the state of forested systems; it influences habitat suitability, water quality and runoff, microclimate, and informs wildfire-related characteristics such as fuel loads, burn severity, and post-fire regeneration. Field data used to derive vegetation structure are limited in spatial and temporal extent. Alternatively, forest growth simulation models estimate vegetation structure, but do not capture all factors influencing vegetation growth. Assessment of vegetation structure can be improved by using observations to derive maps which can be used to calibrate modeled forest...