In 2018, members of the USGS Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) Dixon Field Station attached Global Positioning System-Global System for Mobile Communication (GPS-GSM) accelerometer transmitters to 257 geese and 300 ducks to monitor migration patterns and behavior, with the end goal of providing timely and actionable data for their project cooperators.
The USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center uses Very High Frequency (VHF) and Global Positioning System (GPS) radio collars to study white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and gray wolf (Canis lupus) movements, ecology, and populations in the Superior National Forest (SNF) of northeastern Minnesota.
Wolves are born into packs. Similar to the dynamics of human families, young members of both sexes leave their natal families as they reach maturity and strike out on their own. These “lone wolves” travel far and wide seeking a mate and new territory. In northeastern Minnesota’s saturated wolf population, few areas are unclaimed by existing wolf packs, so lone dispersing wolves often “float” within the populations for long periods.
Multiple agencies in the San Diego area have the responsibility to effectively manage the water supply in this arid, urban, densely populated, coastal basin in southern California. Recently, five additional groundwater production wells were constructed to increase the water supply; the new wells are scheduled to begin pumping in 2017. California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) provides a framework to comprehensively measure and manage groundwater.
The locations of existing and proposed water pipelines in multi-county tribal water systems in North and South Dakota are being mapped and documented in pipeline mapbooks. The 2014 National Agricultural Image Program (NAIP) Orthoimagery was used as the basis for pipeline mapbooks, which can include over 2,000 pages. The pipeline data have been collected using field Global Positioning Systems (from Bartlett & West Engineering for this mapbook). Pipelines are depicted as existing Main and Secondary sections and planned Design pipelines.
The Water Resources Division of the Region 6 FWS generated elevation data for the creation of a storage-capacity curve for MacFarlane Reservoir, which supplies water to the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) located in north central Colorado. The reservoir was originally built in 1915, repaired and reconstructed in 1962, and purchased by the FWS in 1993; the reservoir provides nesting and migration habitat for several bird species and is a water source for habitat creation and management at the refuge.
The 20- x 10-mile Long Valley caldera in eastern California formed from a “super eruption” about 760,000 years ago, and is considered a Very High Threat volcano by the USGS Volcano Hazards Program. Since 1978, several periods of seismic and deformation unrest have been detected at this well-monitored volcano but have not resulted in eruptions. A period of slow inflation concentrated within the Long Valley caldera began in late 2011, coinciding with renewed swarm seismicity.
Anthropogenic and natural disturbance have caused habitat loss and fragmentation, leading to population declines of greater sage-grouse. USGS ecologist Steve Knick is leading a new study using GPS and cell phone technology to determine how sage-grouse move through a landscape. Data collected from conventional radio-tracking systems are not precise enough to understand how landscape features influence actual movements.
Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) systems use earthquake science and monitoring technology to alert people when shaking waves generated by an earthquake are expected to arrive at their location. The seconds to minutes of advance warning can allow people to take actions to protect life and property. Research shows, however, the alerts generated by EEW can be improved by incorporating data from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).
The hazard posed by earthquakes is strongly related to the geologic slip rate of active faults. To determine slip rates, geologists use high-resolution digital elevation maps (DEMs) to reconstruct landforms offset by meters to hundreds of meters by active faults. Scientists at the Earthquake Science Center in Pasadena, California, are working to improve methods for obtaining low-cost but high-resolution DEMs using structure from motion (SfM) photogrammetry. SfM software utilizes a set of overlapping photographs to determine the relative camera position and orientation of each photo viewp