Using UAS to Detect Elusive Wildlife and Measure Habitats

Submitted by tadamson on

Many wildlife species reside in sensitive habitats that make detection and monitoring difficult. For waterfowl, measuring brood production can serve as an early indicator of habitat quality and provide important insight into understanding overall ecosystem drivers. Early and comprehensive detection of duckling production and brood counts can inform recreational hunting, ecosystem function, and community composition.

Developing High-resolution Fractional Vegetation Cover Maps for Greater Sage-grouse Habitat

Submitted by tadamson on

Accurate maps of seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) across broad extents are of paramount importance to conservation efforts in sagebrush ecosystems across the Great Basin, particularly for habitat assessments and mitigation efforts. However, the ability to model sage-grouse habitat at fine spatial scales necessary for microhabitat assessment is constrained by the spatial and spectral resolution of most remotely sensed measurements of vegetation composition.

Spectral Remote Sensing of Biocrusts Using Uncrewed Aircraft Systems

Submitted by tadamson on

Biological soil crusts (biocrusts) are diverse communities of organisms including lichen, moss, and cyanobacteria that live on soil surfaces in dryland environments around the world. Although biocrusts are estimated to make up 12% of the planet’s terrestrial surface and play critical roles in water and carbon cycling, there is great uncertainty related to their distribution, function, and response to change.

Updated Coastal Elevation Data to Predict Hazards

Submitted by tadamson on

The Nation’s coastlines are highly dynamic ecosystems that can change drastically in response to storms, high water levels, and sea-level rise. These changes can put habitats, lives, and infrastructure at risk. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has the expertise and capabilities to measure these coastlines and predict where and when coastal change may occur, but updated coastal elevation data are needed to keep these forecasts as accurate as possible.

Monitoring the Retreat of Estuarine Shorelines

Submitted by tadamson on

Coastal wetlands and estuaries are critical ecosystems that serve as the bridge between land and sea, provide habitat for numerous species of fish and wildlife, and offer protection from storms and waves for inland communities. When these environments evolve naturally, they can adapt to rising sea levels by retreating landward, and fish and wildlife follow suit.

Walruses Are Visible in Satellite Imagery When They Rest on Shore in Large Numbers

Submitted by atripp on

During late summer and autumn, Pacific walruses are resting on shore north of the Bering Strait more often and in larger numbers in both the United States and Russia.  Historically, walruses rested primarily on floating sea ice over their offshore foraging grounds in this region, but climate warming has reduced availability of sea ice.  With greater numbers of walruses gathering on shore, USGS scientists an