USGS Submissions

Ecosystems – Birds

Modeling Landscape-scale Habitat Relations for Landbirds during Migration

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

Millions of migratory landbirds “stop over” in habitats near the Gulf of Mexico as they migrate across and around the gulf. Migration is a critical period in a migratory bird’s annual cycle, and migrants depend on stopover habitats to provide the food and cover needed to complete their journey. For some species, as much as 85% of annual mortality occurs during migration. Knowing the location and landscape composition where peak numbers of migrating birds consistently stop over is critical for conservation planning.

Remote Tracking of Endangered Whooping Cranes

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

The only wild and self-sustaining population of whooping cranes migrates through the Central Flyway of North America, traveling between wintering grounds along the Gulf Coast of Texas and breeding grounds in Canada.  Over the past few decades, growth of this population has been positive and steady, but with only approximately 300 individuals, recovery remains tenuous.  In an effort to recognize and quantify potential barriers to recovery, USGS and other project partners have captured 57 cranes and marked them with Platform Transmitting Terminals with GPS capabilities.

Response of Gunnison Sage-grouse to Vehicle Traffic

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

To investigate the effect of motorized use on Gunnison sage-grouse movements, the data from four birds fitted with GPS transmitters were analyzed in conjunction with vehicle counts based on pneumatic vehicle counters.  GeoEye-1 satellite imagery was used as a backdrop in Eonfusion 4D visualization software, which displays Gunnison sage-grouse movement in relation to vehicle traffic through time.

Sandhill Cranes in Colorado’s San Luis Valley: Exploring Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Technology for Improved Population Assessments

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

The USGS and the USFWS view small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) as an emerging technology to advance safe and cost-effective methods to conduct Sandhill crane and other wildlife surveys.  This project builds on the success of the first Federal Aviation Administration-approved daytime sUAS flights in 2011 at Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge (MVNWR), Monte Vista, Colorado. In 2012, the first-ever sUAS nighttime flights were conducted to determine the number of roosting Sandhill cranes on five roost areas in MVNWR.

Using Weather Radar to Track Waterfowl Disturbances

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

In 2011-2013, the USGS UMESC used NEXRAD weather radar to observe the effects of waterfowl disturbances caused by boaters in the navigation pools of the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS).  Observers stationed on a bluff overlooking Lake Onalaska, Wisconsin, recorded disturbances in Voluntary Wildlife Avoidance Areas.  NEXRAD data were then collected from dates and times corresponding to the larger disturbance events.  Using the radar data, it was found that the disturbed waterfowl moved at least as far south as Lake Winneshiek (approximately 40 miles) and northwest to the Trempealeau Na

Waterbird Use of the Great Lakes

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

The USGS UMESC used a combination of high-resolution digital aerial photography, MODIS satellite-derived chlorophyll concentration data, MODIS sea surface temperature data, satellite transmitters, and geolocator tags to monitor waterbird use of the Great Lakes.  These data are being used by USGS to identify key waterbird habitats on the Great Lakes, conduct impact assessments of near-shore and off-shore wind turbine placements, and elucidate factors that influence the outbreak of type-E avian botulism.

Ecosystems – Coastal

Assessing Impacts and Monitoring Response of Coastal Wetlands to Oil Impacts

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

This NASA-funded study extends USGS-NASA collaboration to detect oil in coastal marshes and characterize surface oil on inland waters. The ongoing study is based on successful detection of Macondo-252 oil spill impacts to Louisiana coastal marshes with NASA’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) fully polarimetric sensor system providing targeted, day and night, and nearly all weather operability. The successful detection of shoreline and inland occurrences of oil was documented in a 2011 journal publication.

Automated Processing of MODIS Data in the Mekong Region, Southeast Asia

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

Characterizing changes in the Mekong basin vegetation and surface water cover is important to understanding environmental patterns and processes, and informing ecosystem management decisions. Satellite remote sensing has become one of the most valuable and readily available tools for regional and ecosystem-scale research and management applications. Spaceborne sensors such as MODIS provide daily observations and data for studying spatially and temporally variable phenomena such as flooding regimes, vegetation communities, and crop growth.

Coastal Flood Inundation Monitoring with Satellite C-band and L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar Data

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

Satellite Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) was evaluated as a method to operationally monitor the occurrence and distribution of storm and tidal-related flooding of extensive coastal marshes around the north-central Gulf of Mexico. Maps representing the occurrence of marsh subcanopy surface flooding were created from Advanced Land Observing Satellite (ALOS) Phased Array L-band SAR (PALSAR) data and ENVISAT Advanced SAR (ASAR) data during 2006–2009.

Enhancing Floodplain Management in the Lower Mekong River Basin Using NASA Vegetation and Water Cycle Satellite Observations

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 07/30/2018 - 14:12

The USGS National Wetlands Research Center is working with NASA and other earth science satellite and model-related products to improve decision support to the Mekong River Commission for the Lower Mekong Basin project entitled “Enhancing Floodplain Management in the Lower Mekong River Basin Using NASA Vegetation and Water Cycle Satellite Observations.”  Funding has recently been received for this work, so project results will be described in the future.