The USGS is conducting crop water productivity (CWP; “crop per drop”) studies of the world’s major crops (wheat, rice, corn, soybeans, barley, potatoes, pulses, sugarcane) using multiple satellite, multiple resolution remote sensing through machine learning algorithms run on cloud-computing platforms such as Google Earth Engine (GEE).
The monitoring of global cropland extent is critical for policymaking and provides important baseline data that are used in many agricultural cropland studies related to water sustainability and food security. The USGS, in partnership with several U.S.
The USGS, in partnership with a network of national and global institutes, is developing a comprehensive Global Hyperspectral Imaging Spectral-library of Agricultural-Crops (GHISA).
Winter cover crops are an effective management practice for taking up residual nitrogen in the soil after summer crops are harvested, thereby reducing nitrogen losses to groundwater and soil loss to erosion.
The USGS National Unmanned Systems Project Office (NUPO), in collaboration with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, constructed a photogrammetric three-dimentional digital surface model (DSM) and orthometric image map via an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) using Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques.
Barrier islands are dynamic environments. Under calm conditions, they are gradually shaped by currents, waves, and tides; during hurricanes and other extreme storms, they can evolve within hours to days. Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can collect monitoring data, especially elevation information, via Structure from Motion (SfM) techniques, with a temporal resolution that is well-suited for these dynamic environments.
Barrier islands, headlands, and coastal shorelines provide numerous valuable ecosystem goods and services, including storm protection and erosion control for the mainland, habitat for fish and wildlife, salinity regulation in estuaries, carbon sequestration in marshes, and areas for recreation and tourism. These coastal features are dynamic environments because of their position at the land-sea interface.
Although extensive work has been devoted to understanding the role of fire in maintaining ecosystem functions in upland systems, little research has focused on understanding the impact of fire on coastal wetlands or the response of birds to fire in high marsh wetlands.
The USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center (UMESC) participated in a small subsection of a larger scope of work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) led by staff at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the USGS Upper Midwest Water Science Center.
Microbial biofilm communities (comprised of bacteria, diatoms, protozoa, and fungi) inhabit the surface of intertidal mudflats and comprise a large proportion of shorebirds’ diets. Given their major role in intertidal food webs, understanding biofilm distribution, quantity, and nutritional value for shorebirds is of vital importance.