2015 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
Each year, nearly 600 graduate students participate in natural resources education and training through the CRU program. Research directed by CRU scientists assists the next generation of professionals to emerge from our programs uniquely prepared to be effective members of the natural resource workforce. This report highlights research projects that may help inform conservation decisions.
2016 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
In this Year in Review report, you will find details on staffing, vacancies, research funding, and other pertinent information. You will also see snapshots of Unit projects with information on how results have been or are being applied by cooperators. That is the essence of what we do: science that matters.
2017 A Model Partnership Program
Our program is a unique model of cooperative partnership among the USGS, other U.S. Department of the Interior and Federal agencies, universities, State fish and wildlife agencies, and the Wildlife Management Institute. These partnerships are maintained as one of the USGS’s strongest links to Federal and State land and natural resource management agencies.
2017 Cooperative Research Units Year in Review
Yet, we remain highly productive. For example, this year we released a report ( containing abstracts of nearly 600 of our research projects, covering thematic areas ranging from advanced technologies to wildlife diseases. We provided highly competent, trained scientists and natural resource managers for our cooperators’ workforce. We delivered technical training and guidance to professional practitioners. We provided critical information to cooperators for decisions on species status assessments and management of species of greatest conservation need.
2018 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
We lead research that provides science-based solutions for the management needs of cooperators; science that informs decision making. Featured on this map are a few examples that display the diversity of management-oriented research conducted for State and Federal cooperators, aligned within USGS and the Department of the Interior science and policy priorities.
2019 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
You will find brief descriptions of just a few highlighted activities of unit scientists, students, and cooperators in support of our joint mission. Because of the shorter format, we are not able to include activities from every unit or State, but rest assured that we continue to value the great work that all of you do across the country and around the world.
Learn more about the CASCs’ great science, partnerships, capacity building, and more from Fiscal Year 2020 in the sections below.
2020 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
"Our intellectual curiosity, outstanding critical thinking, dedication to learning and growth, and, most importantly, our commitment to collaborative problem-solving with our friends and partners – truly makes our program a success." Jonathan Mawdsley
2021 Landsat Rewind
This year was huge for the Landsat Program. Here are three major Landsat events from 2021. Use the map to explore the stories we've shared with you this year!
2021 Annual CASC Summary
Learn more about the USGS Climate Adaptation Science Centers’ great science, partnerships, and more from Fiscal Year 2021 in this StoryMap Collection.
2021 Cooperative Research Units Year in Review
You will find brief descriptions of just a few highlighted activities of unit scientists, students, and cooperators in support of our joint mission. Although space precludes us from highlighting every single activity from every unit and State, that in no way diminishes our appreciation of the excellent work that is conducted by each of our collaborators and partners and the value that this program places on each cooperative.
Cooperative Research Units Year in Review Collection (2022-2015)
Collection of Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review USGS Circulars (2022-2015)
2022 Landsat Rewind
This year was huge for the Landsat Program. Here are four major Landsat events from 2022. Use the map to explore the stories we've shared with you this year!
National Climate Adaptation Science Center Annual Summary for the Year 2022.
2022 Cooperative Research Units Program Year in Review
Highlighted activities of unit scientists, graduate students, and cooperators. Although space precludes us from highlighting every single activity from every unit and State, that in no way diminishes our appreciation of the excellent work that is conducted by each of our collaborators and partners and the value that this program places on each cooperative.
Abstracts at a Glance Cooperative Research Units Program
This report provides abstracts of most of the ongoing and recently completed (in the past few years) research investigations of the our program.
2023 Annual CASC Summary
In Fiscal Year 2023 (October 2022-September 2023), the National and Regional CASCs worked closely with partners to accomplish a multitude of science-based achievements. Click through the sections to learn more!
2022 CRU Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Every person is unique and has unique contributions. We prioritize diversity at all levels of the organization. We aspire to create and maintain a collaborative, flexible, fair culture. Diversity is everyone's responsibility.
The 3D Elevation Program: Understanding Natural Hazards in Three Dimensions
This story map provides an overview of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) and highlights how lidar data support hazards applications for volcanoes, earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, flooding, drought and wildfires. An assessment of 3DEP data coverage as of June 2020 for high-risk areas of landslides, fires and hurricanes is presented.
Discover Riparian Climate Refugia in the Central and Western USA Riparian refugia are existing riparian areas that are forecasted to maintain riparian vegetation and associated ecological function under plausible future climates. The riparian climate refugia index was derived from two landscape variables that represent where existing riparian areas may be more resilient to climatic changes (riparian connectedness and landscape diversity) and two climate variables that reflect projected exposure to climate change (runoff and warm days). Identifying riparian areas forecasted to be more resilient against climate change is important for assisting wildlife management agencies in climate adaptation planning.
Wetland and Aquatic Research Center UAS Operations
This StoryMap highlights several Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) studies showcasing some of the UAS capabilities undertaken at the Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC).
Landsat Collection 2 Level-3 Science Products
Information and updates on Landsat-based Dynamic Surface Water Extent, Burned Area, and Fractional Snow Covered Area science products
USGS Science in the American Territories
The United States is more than just the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Five permanently inhabited territories in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea are overseen by the U.S. and are home to more than 4 million people, many of whom are American citizens. The island territories of American Sāmoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are rich with cultural and ecological resources, all of which fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Interior (DOI). As DOI’s science research bureau, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducts science to help environmental managers and policy makers address climate change impacts affecting America’s territories. With volcanic islands and tropical rainforests to breathtaking ocean views and coral reefs, these territories are postcard-worthy locales. However, due to their small area, immense amount of coastline, and often remote locations, these island territories are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts, coastal hazards, invasive species, and other natural resource concerns.
Arctic Alaska Mapper
An interactive tool to view relevant geospatial features of the Arctic Alaska Boundary Area as defined by the U.S. Arctic Research and Policy Act.
Arctic Rivers Project
Storymap, detailing the goals and approach of a new National Science Foundation - Navigating the New Arctic funded project, The Sensitivity of Alaskan and Yukon Rivers, Fish, and Communities to Climate (The Arctic Rivers Project for short). The project is a collaboration of multiple USGS offices and researchers at multiple U.S. and Canadian Universities.
Assessing Risk Communication in the Pet and Aquarium Trade
An Analysis of Outreach and Engagement Efforts
Avian influenza research by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners
3D Elevation Program Broad Agency Announcement and Data Collaboration Announcement Projects
This web mapping application depicts 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) and Data Collaboration Announcement (DCA) lidar acquisition projects from fiscal year (FY) 2015 to present. The USGS collaborates with many stakeholders including Federal agencies and State, Tribal, and local governments to share costs of topographic data acquisition in support of collective mission and business requirements. The BAA and DCA provide a mechanism for partnering with the USGS and other Federal agencies to acquire high-quality 3D elevation data to provide the Nation with high-resolution topographic products to support a broad array of applications.
Measuring the July 2016 flood in northern Wisconsin and the Bad River Reservation
On July 11-12, 2016, severe thunderstorms hit northern Wisconsin, resulting in widespread flooding. Immediately following the flood, the USGS and the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians began collecting evidence of peak flood levels. USGS scientists used these high-water marks, along with streamflow and lake level, to reconstruct the extent and depth of flood inundation.
Barnegat Bay, NJ Estuarine Shorelines and Rates of Change
Collection containing estuarine shorelines and rates of change for Barnegat and Great Bay, New Jersey.
What to Expect in a Big Urban Earthquake
Big urban earthquakes are often regional disasters that affect millions of people and livelihoods. The more we know what to expect, the better we can prepare to reduce the impacts of the next one.
USGS Biosurveillance data in the United States
This web application allows a user to view a visualization of Biosurveillance data in the U.S. at State levels.
Bluff Erosion on Lake Michigan Shores: Mapping Miami Park Bluffs, Michigan
This story map describes bluff erosion at Miami Park, Michigan during high water lake levels of 2019 - 2021, and presents the usefulness of new remote sensing techniques for monitoring coastal bluff erosion. High water levels in Lake Michigan caused by cyclic climatic patterns, including increased precipitation, snowmelt runoff, and river flow are causing increased coastal erosion and shallow landslides.
Breton Island, LA Estuarine Shorelines and Rates of Change
Collection containing estuarine shorelines and rates of change for Breton Island, Louisiana.
Los Cambios Costeros en Puerto Rico
Esta geonarrativa en formato de cascada presenta la base de datos de líneas costeras de USGS para Puerto Rico desde 1901 hasta 2018. También discute temas como la erosión de las playas, los impactos de los huracanes y los beneficios de la protección costera.
C-Aquifer Monitoring Program
Cascadia subduction zone database: compilation of published datasets relevant to Cascadia subduction zone earthquake hazards and tectonics
As part of the USGS Powell Center working group on Cascadia earthquake hazards, we compile and host several available geologic, paleoseismic, geophysical, and instrumental datasets along the Cascadia subduction zone. The ArcGIS online map and downloadable map packages include both raster images and shapefiles. In this Story Map, we outline the features and datasets compiled.
USGS Chesapeake Bay Study Locations
This mapping application was developed to display study sites associated with USGS Chesapeake Bay Theme 1 & 2 activities. Sites were provided by various USGS scientists and collaborators in early 2020 to fulfill a data request of map locations of USGS Chesapeake Bay Science Theme 1 activities, and will be periodically updated. Data and areas provided here are intended to highlight activity locations and areas of interest throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and may not be appropriate for detailed analysis.
Coastal Change in Alaska
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research on flood protection provided by coral reefs
Barrier Islands
USGS Coastal Change Hazards program researchers monitor barrier islands
Coastal Storms
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research predicts flooding now and into the future
Our Coasts
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research provides scientific tools to protect lives, property, and the economic well-being of the Nation
Coastal Protection of U.S. Coral Reefs
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research on flood protection provided by coral reefs
Real-time Forecasts of Coastal Change
USGS Coastal Change Hazards researchers develop tools to forecast coastal change hazards
National Shoreline Change
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research explores U.S. shoreline positions and their changes from the 1800s to the present. The National Shoreline Change geonarrative explains how USGS scientists measure long-term shoreline change for the Nation. The National Shoreline Change effort (part of the USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program), has developed standardized methods to expand mapping and analysis of shoreline movement in order to calculate shoreline change on a National scale.
State of our Nation's Coast: Coastal Wetlands Geonarrative
USGS Coastal Change Hazards (CCH) research provides scientific tools to protect lives, property, and the economic well-being of the Nation. This geonarrative outlines some of the important research being conducted within coastal wetlands by USGS-CCH scientists. It highlights why this research is important, how the scientists collect the data, and the integration of data and tools to help inform management decisions and aid coastal communities to mitigate hazards.
Coastal modeling at the USGS
In science, we often simulate real-life events with computer models to find solutions to real-life problems. At the USGS, coastal models are developed for many uses such as: to understand how our nation’s coasts will be affected by catastrophic events like storms and hurricanes; how our nation’s coasts will be affected by global-scale changes such as sea-level rise; and to understand how our nation’s coasts will be affected by overall impact from everyday winds, waves and currents combined with sea-level rise and storms.
USGS Coastal Change Likelihood
CCL is a first order planning tool that estimates the likelihood that an area of coast will experience change based on its inherit resistance to change, metrics associated with specific land cover types, and the hazards that impact a coast. The CCL Maximum Change Likelihood is the combination of supervised learning outcomes from the Fabric, Perpetual, and Event hazards.
Central Valley Water and Land Use Futures
Land use in California's Central Valley has reduced wetlands by over 90%. The few remaining wetlands and cropland that are flooded after harvest provide critical habitat for wetland-dependent species. However future climate conditions and a growing human population will challenge how they are managed. To support coordinated conservation, wetland restoration, and climate adaptation planning, we have developed five future scenarios of the Central Valley's seasonally flooded cropland and wetland habitat based on the State’s most recent climate and land use projections.
The US Geological Survey (USGS) and Chesapeake Bay Program partners are conducting multiple habitat assessment efforts to support restoration and protection efforts in Chesapeake Bay Watershed. The goal of this work is focused on understanding and modeling aquatic communities, physical conditions, water quality, and toxic contaminants in the streams and rivers throughout the Watershed. This geonarrative provides information, data, and results for Assessments focused on stream health, fish habitat, fish health, and water quality.
Mercury in Freshwater Fish of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Summarizes the findings of mercury in freshwater fish of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Assessing stream sediment conditions in Chester County, PA
Since 2007, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Chester County has monitored the amount of sediment transported by local streams.
A fatal illness with no vaccine: Chronic Wasting Disease
The disease affects white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, and moose. Chronic wasting disease is contagious and has been detected in 26 states.
USGS Climate R&D - 2020 Year in Review
Geonarrative that includes summaries of research highlights from the USGS Climate Research & Development Program during 2020.
USGS Climate R&D - 2021 Year in Review
A USGS Land Change Science Climate Research & Development Program geonarrative that includes summaries of program research highlights from 2021.
Building a Cloud Forest From the Ground Up
Geonarrative about cloud forest restoration research on Santa Rosa Island, CA.
USGS Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program Decadal Science Strategy
The decadal science strategy for the U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program, completed in January 2020.
COAWST Daily Forecast
The USGS has been developing the COAWST modeling system to provide a coherent framework to investigate and better identify the significant processes affecting our coastlines and how those processes create coastal change.
Colorado Legacy Mine Lands WaDeS Application
This U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Web Application is a summarized compilation of central Colorado water chemistry datasets from previously published sources including the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STORET web services retrieved via Water Quality Portal (WQP), and USGS data from the Central Colorado Assessment Project (CCAP) (Church and others, 2009; Church and others, 2012). The data and scripts supporting this application are available at (Goldman and others, 2023). With consideration of the CCAP study design and more analytically comprehensive, consistent, and spatially reliable samples than the collection of historical sampling retrieved from WQP, the CCAP spatial geometry serves as the bounding coordinates for this exercise. Spatially relevant WQP data were screened to include the necessary values to calculate hardness dependent chronic and acute toxicity thresholds for aquatic life protections under Colorado Regulation No. 31 (CDPHE, 5 CCR 1002-31) for cadmium, copper, lead, and or zinc (metals). All water chemistry data that meets inclusion criteria have been summarized by monitoring location and results organized in tabular format (WQP_scores, CCAP_scores). Watershed polygons were created using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to summarize and calculate within an area for the key conditions of metals concentrations, number and type of mine features (Horton and San Juan, 2022), and percent area of background geology with intense hydrothermal alteration (Rockwell and Bonham, 2017), on a smaller spatial scale than the available watershed polygons published in the National Hydrography Dataset. Polygons were screened for total area not to exceed thirty-five square kilometers, and then qualified based on the presence of both water chemistry data and at least one mine, adit, or mine shaft feature.
CreelCat: Angler Survey Database
An innovative database designed to inform managers, recreational fishers, and the public about fish species in their area.
Geonarrative: Chronic Wasting Disease Research by the U.S. Geological Survey & Partners
The Dragonfly Mercury Project
A citizen science framework for monitoring mercury pollution in US national parks using dragonfly larvae as biosentinels
The Dragonfly Mercury Project Data Dashboard
Explore Total Mercury Concentrations in Dragonfly Larvae from U.S. National Parks and Protected Places
The Dragonfly Mercury Project Annual Data Fliers
Annual Interactive Data Summaries on the Distribution and Patterns of Mercury Concentrations in Dragonfly Larvae
Drop by Drop
Drinking-water (from public and private water supply sources) can be a route of human exposure to multiple chemicals and chemical mixtures which can occur naturally in the source water, result from environmental contamination, or be introduced through water treatment and transport. This geonarrative highlights work (extensive monitoring and analysis) and results (measured contaminants in drinking water sources) from the USGS Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Team's studies into tapwater exposures.
The Dynamic Sands of North Core Banks
A USGS and NPS collaboration detailing how North Core Banks, North Carolina has been affected by hurricanes and how scientists measure the changing landscape to better understand impacts on coastal areas. This geonarrative highlights USGS activities and information produced for Hurricane Dorian (2019).
Earthshots Tournament
32 satellite images are vying for the coveted title of Earthshot. Vote for your favorites on Twitter between March 14 through March 31 at @USGS_EROS.
Ecological Drought Across the Country
Historically, drought has been viewed in terms of its agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic impacts. How drought affects ecosystems - and the services they provide humans - is often not discussed. In response, the National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) initiated a national-scale effort that’s addressing this gap in drought research. A new concept – ecological drought – was developed to capture this emphasis on how drought impacts ecosystems.
USGS Ecosystems Mission Area
The Ecosystems Mission Area researches healthy ecosystems that support living things and natural processes in the U.S.
EDCs in the Chesapeake
Studies in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed have documented the exposure of fish to toxic contaminants including endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs). This geonarrative highlights multiple research efforts completed under the USGS Chesapeake Bay Studies investigations into EDC sources, exposure pathways, and effects throughout the Watershed.
Edisto Santee River Basin
Geonarrative for Edisto Santee River Basin
USGS Environmental Health Program
The USGS Environmental Health Program performs and delivers source-to-sink One Health science to address the full range of questions related to contaminant and pathogen sources, environmental transport, exposure and transmission pathways, uptake, biological effects, and human health implications. Through these efforts, EH scientists are informing priorities, needs, and response strategies to address contaminant and pathogen exposures in wildlife and humans.
The Elwha River: Landscapes of Recovery
A USGS Geonarrative Exploring the Elwha River Restoration, Ten Years On
EROS History Timeline
Trace the history of EROS from a singular idea—examining every inch of Earth year after year via satellite—to the building of the “Little Data Center on the Prairie” that would become a world-renowned archive housing millions of images.
Celebrating a Half-Century at USGS EROS
Serving the Nation and the World Since 1973. We invite you to explore the surprising history and cutting-edge science and research performed at EROS every day. For decades, EROS staff have used satellite imagery and other types of pictures taken from afar to help make the Earth a better place to live, work and play.
Since 2017, a multidisciplinary team of ocean scientists and natural resource managers together have campaigned over 40 research expeditions to gather crucial new data that will inform policymakers and stakeholders on natural resource management, marine spatial planning, sensitive habitats, and threats from earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. This federal and non-federal research partnership is EXPRESS.
EXPRESS Data Viewer
A web application for viewing data collected by EXPRESS, an inter-agency federal and non-federal oceanographic research campaign on the U.S. west coast.
The USGS Fluvial Erosion Hazards (FEH) Primer highlights methods used in regional and reach-scale assessments of fluvial erosion hazards (FEH). Fluvial erosion includes bed erosion, meaning lowering of the bed of a stream, as well as bank erosion, which refers to the retreat of stream banks that occurs as a stream widens or migrates laterally. The purpose of this primer is to serve as a starting point for planning an assessment of risks related to fluvial erosion, specifically risks to infrastructure in and near streams. The primer provides citations and links (where possible) to a variety of more-detailed references. In addition to FEH applications, the methods described here can also be applied to issues related to the impacts of fluvial erosion on stream ecology and habitat, water quality, and sedimentation in downstream reservoirs. The primer begins with a basic introduction to FEH and fluvial geomorphology, describes the significance of FEH corridors, gives examples of methods used for delineating FEH corridors at regional or statewide scale, and provides an overview of methods used in reach-scale FEH assessments.
Coastal Change at Fire Island
The U.S. Geological Survey has been conducting research in offshore, nearshore, estuarine, and barrier island environments at Fire Island for more than two decades to better understand drivers of coastal change and evolution. This geonarrative features research that is being used to predict how beaches change in response to storms and how they may subsequently recover in the year following a storm event.
FiCli is a comprehensive, publicly-available database of peer-reviewed literature on climate change impacts to inland fish. This storymap details the importance and uses for the FiCli database.
USGS Wildland Fire Science - Supporting the Nation's Wildland Fire Management Challenges
USGS Fire Science is fundamental to understanding the causes, consequences, and benefits of wildfire and helps prevent and manage larger, catastrophic events. USGS scientists provide information and develop tools that are widely used by stakeholders to make decisions before, during, and after wildfires across the United States.
Sagebrush Steppe Stabilization and Rehabilitation
Learn how the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) uses data and tools to facilitate the restoration and management of post-fire landscapes.
Hurricane Florence Modeling
USGS Coastal Change Hazards research provides scientific tools to protect lives, property, and the economic well-being of the Nation
USGS Response to Hurricane Florence
The USGS studies the effects of hurricanes and tropical storms to better understand potential impacts on coastal and inland areas. The knowledge gained by studying real-world storms can also contribute to safer, more cost-effective designs for buildings, bridges, roads and other structures, and inform public safety measures. This geonarrative highlights USGS activities and information produced for Hurricane Florence.
Freeport McMoRan-Safford Mine Groundwater Monitoring
The long-term role of the USGS at the Safford Mine is to help ensure that the effects of mine-related pumpage on the regional aquifer are known and quantified.
USGS Gas Hydrates Project: A Geonarrative Based on USGS Fact Sheet 3079
For more than two decades, the USGS Gas Hydrates Project has been a leader in studying energy resource, climate, and geohazard issues related to natural methane hydrates.
USGS Geoenvironmental Assessment Method
A geoenvironmental assessment method applied to undiscovered uranium in the Texas Coastal Plain.
Glacier - Climate Connection
The Glacier - Climate Connection geonarrative tells the story of the U.S. Geological Survey Benchmark Glacier Project, one of the longest running studies of glaciers on Earth. Interactive maps and descriptive images highlight how decades of glacier field research and modern technologies are applied to better understand the physics that control glacier dynamics, the connection between climate and glaciers, and downstream impacts of glacier loss. At a time when glaciers are changing rapidly, the project provides key scientific insight that can inform sea level and water resource management strategies.
GLRI Edge-of-Field Monitoring
The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Edge-of-Field Monitoring project focuses on identifying and reducing agricultural sources of excess nutrients which can threaten the health of the Great Lakes. This geonarrative details the basics of edge-of-field monitoring (EOF), explores EOF applications, shows USGS is working collaboratively with our partners, and discusses how EOF can improve conservation efforts.
GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring: Assessing stormwater reduction using green infrastructure
The GLRI Urban Stormwater Monitoring effort brings together the expertise of the USGS with local and national partners to assess the ability of green infrastructure to reduce stormwater runoff in Great Lakes urban areas. This story map discusses the problem with stormwater, the potential benefits and challenges of green infrastructure, and how this effort is evaluating its effectiveness.
A Century of Change in Grand Bay, Mississippi and Alabama
This geonarrative explores research conducted by USGS scientists at Grand Bay, Mississippi and Alabama.
Grand Bay, MS/AL Estuarine Shorelines and Rates of Change
Collection containing estuarine shorelines and rates of change for Grand Bay, Mississippi/Alabama (1848-2017).
Great Lakes Mercury Sources Revealed
USGS uses innovative tool to identify sources of mercury pollution in the Great Lakes: A new "fingerprinting" tool, developed by USGS and collaborators at University of Wisconsin-Madison, can now indicate sources of mercury in the environment.
Hayward Fault Field Guide
Interactive story map showing 62 field trip stops for exploring the Hayward Fault in the East San Francisco Bay Region of California.
Hayward Fault Field Guide Map
Interactive story map showing 62 field trip stops for exploring the Hayward Fault in the East San Francisco Bay Region of California.
The HayWired Scenario: An Urban Earthquake in a Connected World
What might it be like the next time the Hayward Fault has a large earthquake? A geonarrative and related imagery examines a hypothetical earthquake, the magnitude 7.0 HayWired earthquake scenario.
How Do You Landsat
Landsat satellites play an essential role in mapping the Earth. Through the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Earth Resources Observation and Science Center (EROS), nearly fifty years of Landsat data is available for governments, municipalities, communities, and individuals around the world at no cost. The calibrated medium spatial data provides valuable information that supports a range of research and practical applications in scientific and policy areas. This page contains examples of regional and global projects that utilize Landsat data to assist policymakers and land managers in making informed decisions about our environment and Earth’s natural resources.
Hurricane Ida: U.S. Geological Survey Response in Pennsylvania to September 1-2, 2021, Flooding Related to Remnants of Hurricane Ida
Streamflow data associated with record rainfall from the remnants of Hurricane Ida was collected and interpreted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with local, state, and Federal agencies. This data is critical for the development of advanced flood warnings, forecasting the potential effects of flooding, and allocation of emergency management resources. The streamflow data is integral in the design of roads, bridges, reservoirs, pipelines, culverts, and other infrastructure to mitigate the effects of future flooding events.
Gas Hydrate in Nature: A Geonarrative Based on USGS Fact Sheet 3080
Gas hydrate naturally traps enormous amounts of gas, and this primer explains the characteristics and significance of these widespread deposits.
Flood Documentation Mapping in Southeastern Pennsylvania, September 1-2, 2021
Flood Documentation Mapping in Southeastern Pennsylvania, September 1-2, 2021
Indiana Wetlands
Potential wetland extent along selected stream reaches in Indiana
Inland Fisheries Across the World
Inland fisheries and their freshwater habitats face intensifying effects from multiple natural and anthropogenic pressures. Fish harvest and biodiversity data remain largely disparate and severely deficient in many areas, which makes assessing and managing inland fisheries difficult. Expert knowledge is increasingly used to improve and inform biological or vulnerability assessments, especially in data-poor areas. Integrating expert knowledge on the distribution, intensity, and relative influence of human activities can guide natural resource management strategies and institutional resource allocation and prioritization. This story map visually communicates results from a study summarizing the expert-perceived state of inland fisheries at the basin (fishery) level. An electronic survey distributed to professional networks (June-September 2020) captured expert perceptions (n = 536) of threats, successes, and adaptive capacity to fisheries across 93 hydrological basins, 79 countries, and all major freshwater habitat types. The dataset from this study can be used to address research questions with conservation relevance, including: demographic influences on perceptions of threat, adaptive capacities for climate change, external factors driving multi-stressor interactions, and geospatial threat assessments. Link to the publication:
USGS Science and Technology Help Managers Battle Invasive Carps
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) delivers high-quality data, technologies, and decision-support tools to help managers reduce existing populations and control the spread of invasive carp in the Nation's waterways.
Invasive Mussels in the American West
A geonarrative by USGS and examining the spread of invasive mussels in the American West.
Join the Team at the USGS
Explore careers at the USGS, experience a day in the life of employees, navigate USAJobs, and see frequent questions on Federal hiring
Kīlauea 2018 Storymap
In 2018, Kīlauea Volcano, Hawaii, experienced its largest lower East Rift Zone eruption and summit collapse in at least 200 years. This geonarrative provides a brief overview of recent Kīlauea eruptions, highlighting the circumstances leading up to and summarizing the 2018 events.
Lamprey in the Lakes
A geonarrative by USGS and examining the distribution of sea lamprey from the perspective of Hammond Bay.
Landsat 1 StoryMap
A long string of Earth-observing orbiters began with NASA's Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS). Launched in July 1972, it was the first satellite explicitly designed to study our planet. Three years later, the satellite was renamed Landsat 1. Outlasting its one-year design, Landsat 1 retired in January 1978.
Landsat 2 Storymap
After launch in 1975, Landsat 2 began to collect remote sensing data. Outliving its one-year design, Landsat 2 achieved seven years of operation. With two Landsats in orbit, scientists gleaned additional views of the planet.
Landsat 3
Landsat 3’s Return Beam Vidicon sensor had an improved spatial resolution of 40 meters, compared to 80 meters for Landsat 1 and 2. In addition, the Landsat 3 Multispectral Scanner System sensor was modified to include a thermal infrared band, although it failed shortly after launch.
Landsat 4
Landsat 4 was launched on July 16, 1982, with joint control of the program by NOAA, NASA, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Each federal agency took on a different role.
Landsat 5
Landsat 5 remains the only Earth-observing satellite with a Guinness World Record , holding the title for "Longest Operating Earth Observation Satellite" after servicing our planet for nearly 29 years. Launched in 1984 and retired in 2013, Landsat 5 recorded many important events, including scientific discoveries, world events, and major disasters.
Landsat: 50 Years Observing A Changing Earth
For a half-century, the Landsat satellites have revealed patterns of change across our crowded planet. Since 1972, the joint USGS/NASA Landsat series of Earth-observing satellites has continuously acquired images of the Earth’s land surface, providing uninterrupted data to help land managers and policy specialists make informed decisions about natural resources and the environment.
Landsat 7
Landsat 7 launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on April 15, 1999, on a Delta II rocket. The satellite carries the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) sensor. The ETM+ provided useful scientific information about the world’s landmasses for 23 years. Landsat 7 completed its science mission on April 6, 2022.
Landsat 8 Storymap
Landsat 8 was launched on an Atlas V rocket from Vandenberg Space Force Base, California on February 11, 2013. The satellite carries the Operational Land Imager (OLI) and the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) instruments.
Landsat 9: Road to Launch
Launched on September 27th, 2021. Landsat 9 is a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey. Learn about the process of building Landsat 9 and how it will extend Landsat's unbroken record of our planet to over half a century.
Landsat 9
Landsat 9 launched September 27, 2021, to acquire images of Earth, extending Landsat's record of our planet to over half a century.
Landsat Booth
Learn more about Landsat with this virtual Storymap.
Landsat Storymap Collection
Learn more about all eight Landsat satellites.
Landsat Products and Services
The Landsat Products and Services Webinar StoryMap provides an overview of the Landsat Program and active missions, Landsat data products and data access, and available tools and services. Since 1972, the joint U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)/National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Landsat series of Earth Observation satellites have continuously acquired images of the Earth’s land surface. Eight satellites have added more than 11 million Level-1 scenes to the USGS EROS Archive.
Landsat Science Products Geonarrative
Landsat satellite data have been processed, archived, and distributed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1972. Users rely upon these data for conducting studies of land surface change but previously shouldered the burden of post-production processing to create applications-ready datasets.
Landsat Science
Over the past 50 years, Landsat has documented the evolving conditions of our planet. Using different electromagnetic wavelengths, earth-observing satellites can image the Earth from above. By comparing present-day imagery to past imagery, scientists can glean important information about what is happening on the Earth's surface.
Phosphate Mining in Florida
In Florida, phosphate mining began in the 1880s. The region of Florida known as Bone Valley is still considered one of the most economically accessible phosphate deposits in the world. The name Bone Valley comes from fossilized bones of prehistoric creatures found in its soils.
Lessons from the past, roadmap for the future
An interactive geonarrative highlighting USGS paleoclimate research.
Liquefaction and Sea-Level Rise
A USGS storymap presenting the impacts of sea-level rise on liquefaction severity around the San Francisco Bay Area, California for the M7.0 ‘HayWired’ earthquake scenario along the Hayward Fault.
Nitrogen Loading from Selected Long Island Sound Tributaries from 1995 to 2016
This U.S. Geological Survey application displays data on nitrogen concentrations and loads (fluxes) for multiple nitrogen species and river discharge data collected from October 1994 to September 2016 (water years 1995 to 2016).
Eliminating the Hazards of Low-Head Dams
Eliminating the Hazards of Low-Head Dams
Missouri Coteau Wetland Ecosystem Observatory
A Wetland Ecosystem Observatory Geo-Narrative by USGS. The Missouri Wetland Ecosystem Observatory is dedicated to increasing knowledge of prairie wetland ecosystems and how they function in the face of climate and land-use change. This USGS Geo-narrative provides an introduction to the Observatory and allows for easy access to its rich data resources.
USGS Science and Technology for Nutrient Reduction in the Mississippi River Watershed
Healthy rivers provide important ecosystem services such as water for drinking or irrigation, water quality improvement, flood control, transportation, recreation, and habitat for fish and wildlife. Nitrogen and phosphorus are essential nutrients for life and are naturally found in rivers, streams, lakes, and groundwater. Human sources of nutrients can contribute even more, and too much of a good thing is not always a good thing! Explore this geonarrative to learn more about nutrient pollution in the Mississippi River and how USGS scientists are working to identify sources of excess nutrients and collectively address the problem.
Upper Missouri Basin Federal Lands
Map of Federally-owned and managed lands in the upper Missouri River basin. This map was made as part of a multi-agency cooperative project to address looting and destruction of cultural resources in the area.
Mineral Deposits of the Midcontinent Rift System
The 1,100 million-year-old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS), one of the world's great continental rifts, contains a unique assemblage of magmatic and hydrothermal mineral deposits. Although extending from Kansas through Michigan, rocks of the MRS are exposed at the surface only in the Lake Superior region, where they create much of the lake's spectacular shoreline. This geonarrative shows the distribution of, and describes the mineral wealth of the 1.1 billion-year-old Midcontinent Rift System (MRS). Rocks of the MRS that host the myriad of deposits are exposed only at the surface in the Lake Superior region.
World’s Longest Mule Deer Migration: Red Desert to Hoback
In 2016, researchers in Wyoming discovered the world's longest migration of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus). A doe fitted with a GPS tracking collar migrated 242 miles one way (1). She is known as Deer 255. Each summer, she lives in the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, but travels far into Wyoming's sagebrush sea and high desert ecosystem for winter. The journey of Deer 255 illustrates the importance of seasonal migration on western landscapes and opportunities to conserve them amid a mix of public and private lands.
Names Task Force
Application showing candidate names for the Derogatory Geographic Names Task Force.
National Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) Framework
January and March 2018 Nor'easters
Geonarrative created to document two ‘January and March 2018 Nor’easters’ in Coastal Massachusetts illustrate how historic flood events provide context that helps frame the data collection and documentation for future flood events.
Nor’easter storm events in coastal New England
Dashboard web application to view and compare U.S. Geological Survey data collected in coastal towns of New England from the January 4 and March 2-4, 2018 winter storm events known as nor'easters.
National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program - 2016 State Geological Survey Projects
In 2016, the National Geological and Geophysical Data Preservation Program (NGGDPP) awarded grants to state geological surveys to preserve and make publicly available geoscientific collections and data. The preserved materials and data are publicly available for research, including geological characterization, environmental investigations and resource development. Project descriptions, including access to preserved collections via state geological survey websites and the NGGDPP National Digital Catalog, are provided.
The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, measured and evaluated groundwater levels in 10 confined aquifers of the New Jersey Coastal Plain during fall 2013, at 983 wells located in New Jersey, and adjacent parts of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Potentiometric-surface maps of the confined Cohansey aquifer of Cape May County, the Rio Grande water-bearing zone, Atlantic City 800-foot sand, Piney Point aquifer, Vincentown aquifer, Wenonah-Mount Laurel aquifer, Englishtown aquifer system, and Upper, Middle, and Lower aquifers of the Potomac-Raritan-Magothy aquifer system indicate where persistent, regionally extensive cones of depression occur. Clickable map layers provide the ability to display groundwater-level hydrographs at wells, and population and water use summaries by county.
Flood Data Collection in Pennsylvania – Site Selection Data for the Development of a Rapid Deployment Network
This is a geonarrative that describes project background and data used in selection of Pennsylvania bridge over water locations being considered for flood data collection. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pennsylvania Water Science Center (PAWSC) is in partnership with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region 3 and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to a develop a rapid deployment network (RDN) of mobile storm sensors to collect flood data at unmonitored locations. The purpose of this effort is to identify potential locations in PA where additional or updated water level data may be needed during or after major storm events based on compiled criteria. Pre-identification of these locations in anticipation of a flood event ensures that areas most in need of supplemental monitoring, in relation to the criteria listed above, are being targeted to allow expedited decision-making for site selection, resulting in safer and more timely installation of equipment.
PFAS in US Tapwater Interactive Dashboard
Drinking-water quality and potential exposures to per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at the point-of-use (tapwater) is a rising concern in the United States (US). Results from a national reconnaissance to understand PFAS exposures in unregulated private-well and regulated public-supply tapwater are compiled and displayed in this interactive dashboard.
Phragmites Management and Variable Great Lakes Water Levels
Water levels in the Great Lakes fluctuate over the long term due to climatic events changing the patterns of precipitation and ice cover. These long term fluctuations can drastically influence coastal vegetation, as well as the areas vulnerable to invasion by Phragmites australis. Experts predict more intense fluctuations in Great Lakes Water levels due to global Climate Change, which could lead to an invasion landscape that rapidly changes from year to year. This StoryMap explores the ways that Great Lakes water levels have impacted the coastal populations of Phragmites in the past and how future changes in water levels could promote Phragmites expansion or create the opportunity to use the “cut-to-drown” management strategy for control. It also introduces ongoing research by the US Geological Survey and US Fish and Wildlife Service to test the impacts of high water on Phragmites survival and the efficacy of the cut-to-drown management strategy in the field.
Potomac Tributary Report
A geonarrative to support the summary report of trends in Potomac River water quality, along with relevant watershed characteristics, estuarine characteristics, and highlights from the literature.
Shoreline Changes in Puerto Rico
This cascade geonarrative presents the USGS shoreline database for Puerto Rico from 1901 to 2018, and dives into topics such as beach erosion, hurricane impacts and coastal protection benefits.
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau Coastal Threats to the Hawaiian Sites and Landscapes
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, located on the west coast of the island of Hawai'i, contains many important and sacred Native Hawaiian cultural sites. Ancient Hawai'i was governed by a system of laws called kapu. If kapu was broken by someone, they could seek forgiveness and refuge behind the walls of the Puʻuhonua. While there were multiple Puʻuhonua, Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau is the best preserved. The park was established in 1961.
Ridge to Reef: West Maui
During storms, sediment-laden plumes turn West Maui’s blue coastal waters to a muddy brown. This sediment pollution degrades the ecological, cultural, and recreational value of these iconic nearshore waters. Using mapping, monitoring, and modeling, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) identified and measured sources of fine sediment that pollute the nearshore each year. Although sediment pollution is one of many factors threatening the survival of coral reefs and coastal ecosystems, it is one factor that Maui’s communities can influence profoundly. The USGS findings are being used by local partners to focus their strategies on reducing nearshore pollution.
A Desert on the Move
Salton Sea geonarrative about the intersection of natural hazards, natural resources, and environmental issues
Earthquake Tour of Santa Rosa, California
Our geo-narrative takes you on a virtual tour of 1906 and 1969 earthquake damage in Santa Rosa, shows examples of buildings that have been retrofitted to protect against future earthquake shaking, and highlights locations where faulting from large earthquakes and slow fault slip (creep) is expressed at the ground surface.
Climate Adaptation Science Centers: Science Snapshots
The Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) partner with natural and cultural resource managers to provide the scientific information needed to help fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and the communities they support adapt to the impacts of a changing climate. Our network is comprised of eight Regional CASCs, managed by the National CASC located at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA. This story map highlights a snapshot of the projects that we have funded, since our network was initiated in 2008. This geonarrative provides brief snapshots of projects being completed by the CASCs.
Shoreline Forecasting
A geonarrative that explains two ways shoreline position can be forecasted
Silverton: Arrastra Gulch 3D Visualization
USGS 3D visualization of geophysical and ancillary data in the Arrastra Gulch area near Silverton, Colorado
USGS Coastal and Marine Science in St. Petersburg, Florida
As a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science center, the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) conducts coastal and marine research to ensure that our Nation has the information it needs to understand, protect, and restore coastal and ocean resources and the communities that depend on them. This geonarrative will serve as an electronic guide for internal and external partners, as well as science-interested public, to learn more about our science and the research and tools we provide to the Nation.
The USGS SPCMSC Geologic Core and Sample Database
Preserving and enhancing the discoverability of scientific information about geologic cores and samples.
The New Age of LANDFIRE Story Map
LANDFIRE (LF) 2016 Remap and the LF 2020 Update.
Transboundary Watersheds
Geonarrative highlighting research activities along the US-Canada Border.
Changes in Gravity used to Quantify Groundwater-Storage Change in the Tucson AMA
This project is one of several active gravity-monitoring projects managed by the USGS Southwest Gravity Program (SGP). The SGP is a joint effort of the Arizona, California, and New Mexico USGS Water Science Centers to collect high-quality, hydrologically-useful repeat microgravity data throughout the western United States.
Colorado Three Lakes System
The Three Lakes System is a water network located within the upper basin of the Colorado River, near the west entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park, and includes Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Granby Reservoir. In October of 2020, the East Troublesome Fire burned through an area that largely encompassed the Three Lakes System, substantially impacting the water quality of the Willow Creek Reservoir. Significant investment from local, state, and federal partners allows for water quality monitoring in the area. This geonarrative reviews background on the Three Lakes System, Willow Creek Reservoir and impacts of the Troublesome Fire, and real-time water quality conditions.
Naturally Occurring Uranium in Groundwater in Northeastern Washington State
Naturally Occurring Uranium in Groundwater in Northeastern Washington State
U.S. Coastal Wetland Geospatial Collection
The U.S. Geological Survey has developed multiple geospatial products to help inform coastal wetland research and management for federal, state, and local agencies. This collection of geospatial data represents efforts across multiple USGS Mission Areas, Programs, and Science Centers.
U.S. Coastal Wetlands Synthesis
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is assessing the physical condition of coastal wetlands and how they may change in response to storms, sea-level rise, and human activity.
Chronic Wasting Disease: Research by the U.S. Geological Survey & Partners
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects free-ranging and captive cervids (members of the deer family) such as elk, moose, white-tailed deer, and mule deer. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the science bureau of the Department of the Interior, conducts wildlife disease surveillance and research to support management of affected species and their habitats. Click below for more information on CWD.
U.S. Geological Survey COVID-19 Wastewater Surveillance
This geonarrative product demonstrates US Geological Survey collaborative efforts as part of the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS). Surge capacity sampling to support NWSS was carried out by USGS in September 2021 in six states across the US. Results of this work include the development of an effective high-frequency sampling approach to support wastewater-based epidemiology within the USGS, and provided important and timely COVID-19 data.
Invasive Species Research | USGS
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Invasive Species Program provides essential research and tools to help resource managers reduce or eliminate the threat of invasive species.
Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) was formed in 2015 with the merger of two long-standing USGS ecosystems science centers - the National Wetland Research Center and the Southeast Ecological Science Center. WARC provides the scientific information needed to understand, manage, conserve, and restore wetlands adn aquatic ecosystems and their associated plant and animal communities throughout the Southeast, the Nation, and the world. With primary locations in Lafayette, Louisiana, and Gainesville, Florida, as well as staff in Baton Rouge (LA), New Orleans (LA), Davie (FL), and St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, WARC is the largest center in the USGS Ecosystems Mission Area. This Story Map uses information publicly available on the WARC website to present an overview of the Center's research priorities as well as examples of the critical science being conducted in support of the Department of the Interior (DOI) and its other bureaus, including U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, as well as other Federal, State, Tribal, local, and non-governmental organizations.
Waterfowl Ecology in Suisun Marsh and the Pacific Flyway
Geonarrative about waterfowl ecology research from the Western Ecological Research Center.
Water-Use Data-Gap Analysis
Water-Use Data-Gap Analysis Geonarrative
White-Nose Syndrome in North American bats
Science conducted by the USGS and the White-nose Syndrome Response Team
WHCMSC 2020 Annual Report
The 2020 annual report of the U.S. Geological Survey Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center highlights accomplishments of 2020, includes a list of 2020 publications, summarizes the work of the center, as well as the work of each of its science groups, and provides information on the center's diversity and equity efforts and summer students for 2020. This product allows readers to gain a general understanding of the focus areas of the center’s scientific research and learn more about specific projects and progress made throughout 2020, all while enjoying interesting photographs taken in various environments and laboratories, and applicable maps and figures.
Monitoring Bluff Riverbank Erosion, York River State Park: A Look at Erosion in the Chesapeake Bay Estuary, Virginia
An ArcGIS story map narrative that describes the monitoring work done by the USGS CoNED project in collaboration with the Virginia Institute of Marine Science to monitor riverbank bluff erosion and to test new remote sensing technology.