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

Submitted by atripp on Tue, 12/27/2022 - 09:42

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 and collabor

Tree Mortality Maps to Assess Fire Risk

Submitted by tadamson on Wed, 12/21/2022 - 12:07

Tens of millions of trees reportedly died in California during the 2012–2016 drought, resulting in marked increases in heavy fuel loads on the landscape. In conjunction with warming temperatures, drier conditions, and over a century of fire suppression, the accumulation of fuel can result in catastrophic fires that are beyond the predictive capacity of traditional fire behavior models.

Multiscale Spectroscopy of Intertidal Biofilm Quantity, Quality, and Composition

Submitted by tadamson on Tue, 12/20/2022 - 14:05

Microbial biofilm communities, which are comprised of bacteria, diatoms, protozoa, and fungi, inhabit the surface of intertidal mudflats. They play a major role in intertidal food webs and comprise a large proportion of shorebirds’ diets, so understanding biofilm distribution, quantity, and nutritional value is important for shorebird conservation and management.

Evaluating Crop Residue Bands for the Landsat Next Mission

Submitted by tadamson on Mon, 12/19/2022 - 06:50

Non-photosynthetic vegetation (NPV) includes the residual material left on a field after crop harvest, such as stalks, stubble, and seeds. Satellite-based detection and mapping of NPV supports better understanding of soil health, adoption of conservation tillage practices, and vegetation dynamics in cropland, pasture, and rangeland settings.