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Western Geographic Science Center


News Archive - 2011 (Archive: 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012,  2010)


USGS Value of Information Research:

Ron Raunikar USGS economist Ron Raunikar participated in the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Dec. 5-9, in San Francisco, CA by presenting "Revealed social preference for potable groundwater: An Eastern Iowa case study", describing the technique used to incorporate the value of groundwater protection afforded by Landsat imagery. This research is part of a larger case study of the use of remotely sensed Landsat information to inform regional land use management in 35 counties of Eastern Iowa. The USGS value of information method is based on the use value of the information for an improved integrated assessment. For more information, contact Ron Raunikar at 650-329-4261.


Dec. 2-9


Advanced Hyperspectral Sensing of the Terrestrial Environment Workshop:

Prasad Thenkabail USGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail is co-organizing a workshop on Advanced Hyperspectral Sensing of the Terrestrial Environment for the William T. Pecora Memorial Remote Sensing Symposium, Nov. 14-17, in Herndon, VA. Hyperspectral sensing provides scientists with information to better understand continually changing environmental conditions and economic themes throughout the global terrestrial environment. Scientists studying vegetation, croplands, geologic structure and mineral exploration, and coastal/wetland monitoring will benefit from the information provided by advanced remote sensing technology. For more information visit or contact Prasad Thenkabail at 928-556-7221 or pthenkabail@usgs.gov.*


Nov 4-10


New Imaging System Aids Understanding of Carbon Dynamics in Terrestrial Ecosystems:

Dennis Dye USGS research geographer Dennis Dye will participate in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting, Dec. 3- 7, in San Francisco, CA by presenting results from his recent field campaign to evaluate the performance of the High Dynamic Range All-Sky Imaging System, a new USGS instrument designed to support improved understanding and prediction of carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems; Dye's research is sponsored by the USGS Geographic Analysis and Monitoring program. The AGU Fall Meeting is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting nearly 20,000 Earth and space scientists, educators, students, and policy makers. For more information, visit or contact Dennis Dye at 928-556-7029.


Phenology Research and Observations in Southwest Ecosystems:

On Oct. 28, university students and professors, government researchers, and citizen scientists from Arizona, New Mexico, California and Colorado gathered in Tucson, AZ for the annual Phenology Research and Observations in Southwest Ecosystems (PROSE) symposium. In addition to presentations on topics ranging from bird migration to remote sensing phenology of invasive vegetation, a competition was held for student poster presentations. Jake Weltzin, Executive Director of the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), reported that over 600,000 observations have now been uploaded to the USA-NPN website, including live phenology data. Sponsors and supporters of the symposium include the SW Region American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (SW-ASPRS), USA-NPN, USGS, University of Arizona (UA) Office of Arid Land Studies, UA Institute of the Environment, and the UA Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis Graduate Interdisciplinary Program. For more information, visit or contact Cynthia Wallace at 520-670-5589.


Oct. 28-Nov4, 2011


Modeling Pedestrian Evacuations from Near-Field Tsunamis:

Nathan Wood On Oct. 16, an article written by geographers at the USGS and Sacramento State University summarizing new approaches to modeling pedestrian evacuations from near-field tsunamis was published online by the journal Natural Hazards. The case study, testing the sensitivity of various modeling approaches and data inputs, focuses on pedestrian evacuation issues on the Long Beach Peninsula (WA) related to tsunamis associated with a potential Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Results indicate thousands of people are located in areas where evacuations to higher ground will be difficult before arrival of the first tsunami wave. For more information, visit or contact Nathan Wood at 360-993-8951.


Phenology Research and Observations in Southwest Ecosystems Symposium:

Cynthia SA Wallace On Oct. 28, the annual Phenology Research and Observations in Southwest Ecosystems symposium will be held in Tucson, AZ, bringing together scientists doing phenology research in the southwestern United States. Phenology is the science of recurring biological stages, such as flowering of plants and migration of animals, and their timing and relationships with weather and climate. Oral presentations by university and government researchers will address topics including interactions of bird migrations with weather and climate, and remote sensing of vegetation and water dynamics in desert ecosystems. The symposium is being co-sponsored by the USA National Phenology Network and American Society for Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing, and is additionally supported by the USGS and the University of Arizona. For more information, contact Cynthia Wallace at 520-670-5589 or Joel Sankey at 520-670-6671, x 232.


Oct. 8 – Oct. 14, 2011


Monitoring and Analysis of Sand Movement and Growth on the Navajo Nation:

Rian Bogle

A new USGS fact sheet "Monitoring and Analysis of Sand Dune Movement and Growth on the Navajo Nation" reports on the methodology and preliminary results of a recent study to record and understand the causes and impacts of highly mobile and rapidly growing sand dune fields of the Navajo Nation has been published as USGS Fact Sheet 2011-3085. For more information, see or contact Margaret Redsteer at 928-556-7366 or Rian Bogle at 928-556-7212.


Global Humanitarian Technology Conference:

Prasad Thenkabail USGS geographer Prasad Thenkabail is participating in the Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, in Seattle, WA by presenting "Improving Water Productivity for Agriculture - Predicting and Preventing Crisis in Irrigated Water Use in a Changing Climate" during a session on Proving Sustainability: The International Development Monitoring Initiative. Thenkabail is participating in his role as a co-lead for the institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) "Water for the World" project that includes coordinating efforts to achieve Water for the World goals, guiding Pilot Project activities, and working with Pilot Project Teams to secure funding. Thenkabail will meet with participants from other countries and visit the Gates Foundation to explore funding possibilities for the IEEE "Water for the World" project. The conference is sponsored by the IEEE foundation, NASA, and others. For more information, contact Prasad Thenkabail at pthenkabail@usgs.gov or 928-556-7221.


Sept. 30 – Oct. 7, 2011


New GIS Tool for Mapping Population Distributions:

Rachel Sleeter The USGS has updated the very popular "Dasymetric Mapping Tool" to operate on the most current version of ESRI's ArcGIS 10. This geo-spatial tool re-allocates census population to new zones relative to residential land-use and density. Spatial analysis of populated centers is necessary in order to conceptualize urban growth patterns essential for land-use planning, land-use modeling and natural hazard mitigation. However, U.S. Census data boundaries do not always reflect the actual distribution of human populations; generalizing large areas that could be uninhabited. A dasymetric mapping technique is one potential solution for mapping population density relative to the actual residential land-cover. For more information, visit the Dasymetric Mapping:Data and Maps web page or contact Rachel Sleeter at 650-329-4373.


October 6, 2011


Global Croplands Working Group to Study Water Use for Food Security:

Prasad Thenkabail USGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail is organizing the initial meeting of a Working Group on Global Croplands (WGGC), Sept. 26-30, at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center in Fort Collins, CO. The USGS Powell Center serves as a catalyst for innovative thinking in earth system science research, initiated as one means of implementing the USGS Science Strategy, to support scientist-driven interdisciplinary analysis and synthesis of complex natural science problems. The WGGC, sponsored by the Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis, consists of renowned global experts and/or emerging scientists with expertise in this area. The overarching goal of the WGGC will be to create a "knowledge warehouse" to facilitate global food security in the twenty-first century by identifying and making available an advanced geospatial information system on croplands and their water use; the WGGC is expected to produce peer-reviewed papers, models, maps, and other products.

For more information, visit http://powellcenter.usgs.gov or contact Prasad Thenkabail at 928-556-7221.


September 6, 2011


New USGS Instrument Looks Upward to Improve Understanding of Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics:

Dennis Dye USGS researcher Dennis Dye is evaluating the performance of a new instrument for image-based monitoring of sky conditions and solar irradiance. Dye designed and constructed the High Dynamic Range All-Sky Imaging System to support his research on the effects of cloud-and aerosol-induced changes in diffuse solar radiation on photosynthesis and CO2 exchange in terrestrial ecosystems. Data from the instrument will enable new insights about how clouds and air pollution affect photosynthesis in natural vegetation and crops. The research, sponsored by the USGS Geographic Analysis and Monitoring program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program, supports goals to improve understanding and prediction of the global carbon cycle.

For more information contact Dennis Dye.


August 5, 2011


Anne Wein will meet with New Zealand Member of Parliament.

Nicky Wagner, Member of Parliament (MP) New Zealand will be visiting the Bay Area to July 21 to July 30 to learn about recovery from the Loma Prieta earthquake and earthquake preparedness and mitigation in the Bay Area. Ms. Wagner hopes to learn ideas for rebuilding the devastated Christchurch Central Business District, to be stronger, greener, more vibrant, and more pedestrian friendlier than before. Anne Wein, Western Region Geographic Science Center will meet with the MP and help to coordinate her visit with Daniel Homsey, San Francisco Mayor's office.

For more information contact Anne Wein.


July 21, 2011


California LCC Award for Integrated Climate Change/Land Use Change Scenarios:

Kristin Byrd picture USGS physical scientist Kristin Byrd was awarded a grant from the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative for a project titled, "Integrating Science into Decisions: Climate Change/Land Use Change Scenarios and Outreach for Habitat Threat Assessments on California Rangelands.  This project will aid conservation of wildlife habitat on California rangelands by identifying future integrated threats of climate change and land use change, and quantifying two main co-benefits of rangeland conservation - water supply and carbon sequestration.  Through a multi-stakeholder partnership, the team will develop integrated climate change/land use change scenarios for the Central Valley and Chaparral and Oak Woodland eco-regions, and disseminate information about future potential threats to wildlife conservation within the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition focus area.  For more information, contact Kristin Byrd at 650-329-4279.


June 6, 2011


Value of Information, Moderate Resolution Land Imagery Research highlighted by Microsoft Executive:
Tony Hey, the corporate vice president of Microsoft Research Connections, blogged enthusiastically about WGSC research. Read more about it here: http://tonyhey.net/2011/05/09/voi-anyone/.

To learn more about the project, please contact William Forney, wforney@usgs.gov, 650-329-4237.



June 6, 2011


Economics at the USGS - A Workshop on Future Directions:

Will Forney picture USGS Western Geographic Science Center (WGSC) staff are participating in the workshop "Economics at the USGS: A Workshop on Future Directions", June 1-3, in Reston, VA to assess the need for economics with respect to current USGS activities by discussing ecosystem services, resilience, energy and minerals, adaptive decision-making, water resources management, the value of information, and other topics. To provide a better understanding of current USGS activities, WGSC staff are presenting information on a decision support system for the Lake Tahoe Basin, a benefit estimation of moderate resolution land imagery, and the applied use component approach to Value of Information. The steering committee will develop a white paper outlining options and recommendations providing a roadmap for future directions. For more information, contact Will Forney at 650-329-4237, Ronald Raunikar at 650-329-4261, or Steering Committee Chair Carl Shapiro at 703-648-4446.



June 6, 2011


USGS Receives NASA Grant to Study Climate Effects on Tropical Vegetation:

Dennis Dyes pictureUSGS geographer Dennis Dye is beginning a 3-year project, in collaboration with University of Arizona and Brazilian scientists, to improve understanding of how tropical vegetation responds to seasonal climate variations and extreme events such as drought.  Dye is leading the USGS component, focusing on the environmental drivers of seasonal growth patterns detected by earth-observing satellites.  The research will analyze ground-based observations of environmental and vegetation conditions collected over multiple years at selected study sites in the Amazon region.  Fieldwork will include deployment of a new, innovative instrument developed by Dye to gain new insights on the role of solar radiation and sky conditions in controlling the seasonal growth dynamics of tropical vegetation.  For more information, contact Dennis Dye at 928-556-7029.


May 9, 2011


USGS at Meeting of Committee on Earth Observation Satellites:

Satellites pictureUSGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail will participate in the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS) Strategic Implementation Team meeting, May 24-25, in Frascati, Italy and will be presenting information about CEOS space data coordination for Joint Experiments on Crop Assessment and Monitoring of the Global Agricultural Monitoring Systems.  CEOS brings together space agencies from around the world to facilitate data and knowledge sharing from multiple satellites and sensors, thereby increasing the utility and effectiveness of satellite sensor data for a wide array of societal benefits including forest carbon tracking, agriculture, water resources, disaster response, and global change studies.  For more information, contact Prasad Thenkabail at 928-556-7221.


May 9, 2011


USGS at NASA Science Symposium on Ecosystem Data Products:

Prasad S. Thenkabail  pictureUSGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail will participate in NASA’s 2011 HyspIRI Science Symposium on Ecosystem Data Products, May 17-18, at the Goddard Space Flight Center, MD by presenting "Hyperspectral Remote Sensing of Vegetation: knowledge gain and knowledge gap based on last 40 years of Research" with information about high spectral resolution measurements for vegetation mapping, monitoring and analysis.  Thenkabail will also lead a discussion group, presenting a synthesis of the advances made and existing knowledge gaps in use of hyperspectral imaging data and analysis methods.  The importance and value of this research is the immense, since 70% of the Earth’s landmass is vegetated and future generation of satellites are likely to carry hyperspectral imagers.  For more information, contact Prasad Thenkabail at 928-556-7221.


May 9, 2011


USGS at Brazilian Remote Sensing Symposium:

Prasad S. Thenkabail USGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail is participating in the XV Brazilian Remote Sensing Symposium, April 30-May , in Curitiba, Brazil by presenting a keynote address in the hyperspectral remote sensing workshop providing insights on advances in understanding, modeling, and mapping agricultural crop and natural vegetation properties.  Thenkabail will be highlighting specific portions of the spectrum most valuable studying various plant variables.  Future generation of satellites are likely to carry hyperspectral imagers, so a comprehensive in-depth understanding of hyperspectral sensing of plants and vegetation will be invaluable.  This symposium is the most important remote sensing event in Latin America, attended by hundreds of scientists from around the world.  For more information, visit www.dsr.inpe.br/sbsr2011 or contact Prasad Thenkabail at 928-556-7221.


May 9, 2011


USGS at Association of American Geographers Conference:

Rachel Sleeter picture USGS geographers and scientists are participating in the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting, April 12-16, in Seattle, WA by leading and chairing several sessions, and presenting information including land cover trends in the United States, terrestrial and low-altitude airborne LiDAR applications, and specific dasymetric mapping techniques used for Clackamas County, OR. USGS staff will also be exhibiting information about USGS products and services at an exhibit booth featuring publications likely to interest attendees. This annual meeting provides an opportunity for geographers, GIS specialists, and environmental scientists to network while learning about current research and applications in geography, sustainability, and GIScience. For more information, visit http://www.aag.org or contact Rachel Sleeter at 650-329-4373.


April 8, 2011


Dasymetric Mapping for Clackamas County, Oregon:

Clackamas Couonty pictureUSGS geographer Rachel Sleeter is participating in the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, April 12-16, in Seattle, WA by presenting a talk describing a customized population modeling methodology using specific dasymetric mapping techniques to create time-series maps and statistics of residential development for Clackamas County, OR from 1900-2007. By pre-processing multiple ancillary data layers including parcel data, street address point data, roads and high-resolution ortho-imagery, geographers are able to remove uninhabited regions and uncover a detailed surface showing levels of population density for inhabited regions. Geographers can then overlay census data and interpolate a new population density surface. Final data processing utilizes an online dasymetric modeling tool developed by the Western Geographic Science Center, available at http://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/dasymetric/data.htm. For more information, contact Rachel Sleeter at 650-329-4373.


April 8, 2011


USGS geographer Nathan Wood

Nathan Wood pictureUSGS geographer Nathan Woodwas interviewed for an April 8 Seattle Times article about residents of Ocean Shores, WA meeting to discuss preparedness plans for a tsunami that might be generated by a large earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone in the Pacific Northwest. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2014715420_oceanshores08m.html


April 8, 2011


New Study to Model Biological Impacts of California Solar Energy Development:

Jason Kreitler pictureAs more utility scale renewable energy projects are approved in the California desert and elsewhere, concern about the negative tradeoffs associated with impacts to biological resources is also increasing. To assist the California Energy Commission in examining these issues, USGS scientist Jason Kreitler, together with University of California, Santa Barbara and Conservation International collaborators, will develop a cumulative biological impacts framework for solar energy projects in the California desert. The project team will use a variety of data and modeling techniques to analyze potential impacts, allowing the comparison of development-specific marginal impacts versus the cumulative impacts expected from the combined threats affecting the region’s biological resources. For more information, contact Jason Kreitler at 208-426-5217.


April 1, 2011


USGS at University of California Christchurch Earthquake Debriefing:

Anne Wein picture On April 6, USGS scientist Anne Wein is participating in a public Christchurch Earthquake Debriefing at the University of California in Berkeley, CA by presenting findings of the social science contingent of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute "Learning from Earthquakes" team. Topics of discussion include school disruption/displacement, the use of social media, community recovery, and economic impacts and resilience. For more information contact Anne Wein at 650-329-4263.


April 1, 2011


California Landscape Conservation Cooperative:

Jason Kreitler pictureUSGS scientist Jason Kreitler has recently begun a project to incorporate the geography of climate change into conservation planning for the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative. The project will use downscaled historical and future climate data, relevant derivative data sets, and the proposed state-wide California Essential Habitat Connectivity corridors, to determine which of the proposed corridors would maximize the climatic diversity of California protected areas. This project will take an alternative approach of analyzing the geography of climate change to "preserve the stage", rather than forecast the change of individual species’ distributions. For more information, contact Jason Kreitler at 208-426-5217.


March 25 2011


USGS Economist Presents Value of Information Research:

Ron Raunikar picture A USGS economist is participating in the Southern Forest Economics Workshop, March 20-22, in Little Rock, AR with the presentation "Value of Scientific Information for Managing Landscape Level Effects of a Cumulative Land Use History", describing the USGS applied use-value approach along with past results, current research, and future plans of the Value of Information research program. The workshop is an opportunity to share research results and methods with economists from the forest industry, the U.S. Forest Service, and academic research institutions from around the world. For more information, contact Ron Raunikar at 650-329-4261.


March 25 2011


USGS Hosts San Francisco Bay Delta and Wetlands Educational Program:

wetlands picture On March 21, the USGS Western Geographic Science Center will host an educational program on San Francisco Bay and Delta wetlands for middle school students in San Francisco. Through hands-on activities, experiments and presentations with NASA imagery, the event will expand awareness and curiosity about those types environments around the world. Program components on wetland soils, hydrology, wildlife and mapping will enable students to explore and discover their local wetland environments through nature study and the use of geospatial technologies. This program, funded through the NASA ROSES New Investigator Program and the USGS, is aimed at reaching student groups that are underserved in in science, technology, engineering and math. For more information, contact Kristin Byrd at 650-329-4279.


March 25 2011


Bay Area Climate Change Working Group:

Biodiversity pictureOn March 25, USGS Western Geographic Science Center scientists will participate in the Bay Area Climate Change Working Group meeting in San Francisco. The group’s research supports biodiversity conservation planning and water resource evaluation in the face of climate change by using downscaled global circulation model output at ecologically relevant scales for regional decision-making. The meeting agenda includes creating a consensus-based list of scientific priorities, short term research actions, and long-term scientific objectives, with respect to Bay Area ecosystems. Collaborators from academia, NGO organizations, and the USGS California Water Science Center will also participate. For more information, contact Jason Kreitler at 208-426-5217, or Alicia Torregrosa at 650-329-4091


March 25 2011


California's tsunami threat: Japan's disaster serves as a reminder to the West Coast to be prepared.

Tsunami drawing
The images of destruction coming from Japan have caused those who dwell on America's West Coast to wonder: Could a devastating tsunami hit here? The answer is a resounding yes. Our coast is under threat from two types of tsunamis.

To Read the rest of Nathan Wood's article published in the Los Angeles Times click here


March 17 2011



New USGS-University of Washington Collaboration in Puget Sound:

Bill Labiosa picture
On March 11, USGS researchers with the USGS LandCarbon Scenarios Project will meet in Seattle, WA with collaborators from the University of Washington's Puget Sound Institute Climate Impacts Group, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, to plan integrated climate/land-use & cover scenarios through 2100 for the Puget Sound basin. For more information, contact Bill Labiosa at 206-220-4563


Feb 21-25, 2011



USGS Land Cover Trends Updates:

Christopher Soulard picture As the USGS Land Cover Trends Project wraps up National land-use/land-cover classifications for 1973-2000, multiple update methods are being explored before moving forward with a national updating schedule.  In a pilot effort, the Central Valley Ecoregion is being updated by the Western Geographic Science Center to include 6 new dates (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010) and 6 intervals (2000-2005, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010).  Updated change statistics will provide insight into how land-use changes in the last decade compare to changes in the late 20th century.  Central Valley updates are scheduled for completion in the upcoming month.   (Christopher Soulard, Menlo Park, CA, 650-329-4317)



Jan28-Feb4



Costs and Benefits of Preserving Versus Eradicating Tamarisk:

USGS scientist Laura Norman will be participating in the 2011 Tamarisk Coalition Science Meeting, Feb. 16-17, in Tucson, AZ by presenting research on an approach to weigh the costs and benefits of preserving versus eradicating Tamarisk. Norman will discuss an online decision support tool which helps visualize competing ecosystem services in a binational watershed along the U.S.-Mexico border that could be applied to rivers flush with salt cedar. (Laura Norman, Tucson, AZ, 520-670-5510)



Jan28-Feb4


USGS Geographer Delivers Remote-Sensing Symposium Keynote Address:

USGS research geographer Prasad Thenkabail will be participating in the AGRI-SENSING 2011 Symposium, Feb. 21-24, in Haifa, Israel by presenting a keynote address on the advances in hyperspectral remote sensing of vegetation and agricultural crops. Thenkabail will be discussing the knowledge gain and knowledge gap in hyperspectral remote sensing of vegetation over the last 40 years and the optimal hyperspectral wavebands for agriculture; Thenkabail will also chair a session on precision farming. The symposium is being held to review research and development in the fields of remote and direct sensing systems and their future operational support in assuring sustainable agricultural production. See: http://agri-sensing.technion.ac.il/ (Prasad Thenkabail, Flagstaff, AZ, 928-556-7221)



Jan28-Feb4


USGS Wins NASA HyspIRI Award:

The USGS was awarded a NASA grant for the proposal "Water Use and Water Productivity of Key World Crops Using Hyperion-ASTER, and a Large Collection of In-Situ Field Biological and Spectral Data in Central Asia". Together with a University of Arizona investigator, USGS geographers will be conducting a study to demonstrate scientific advances in understanding, modeling, and mapping crop water productivity of the major world crops of wheat, cotton, maize, rice and alfalfa. The researchers will also study the societal benefits made by clear demonstration of water savings by pin-pointing areas of low and high water productivity and thus contributing to food security. The research will establish various scenarios for the "new water" that becomes available through increased water productivity. (Prasad Thenkabail, Flagstaff, AZ, 928-556-7221)

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Jan28-Feb4


USGS Mendenhall Fellow to Study California’s Irrigated Water Productivity:

The USGS Flagstaff Science Center has received a 2011 Mendenhall Fellowship awarded to Michael Marshall to work on the project "Water productivity mapping for irrigated crops in California using farmlevel assessments and remote sensing". Irrigated crops constitute the largest recipient in the global water budget. This project will synthesize hyper-spectral and broadband remote sensing imagery to develop a water productivity map for irrigated areas in California. The map of water productivity will be used to perform a cost-benefit analysis of various crop-shifting strategies to improve water use efficiency and crop productivity. The findings of this research have the potential to significantly reduce water consumption and cost to farmers. (Prasad Thenkabail, Flagstaff, AZ, 928-556-7221)



Jan28-Feb4


USGS Mendenhall Fellow to Study Great Basin Post-Wildfire Recovery Phenology:

The USGS Southwest Geographic Science Team will be working with Mendenhall fellow Joel Sankey on phenology research related to post-wildfire recovery in the Great Basin, particularly with respect to the interaction of geomorphology, ecology, and climate. Sankey's research has examined biological and hydroclimatological controls on geomorphic processes and patterns using LiDAR, multispectral, and hyperspectral remote sensing in conjunction with micrometeorological instrumentation in the field. Sankey's PhD dissertation examined aeolian dust emissions following large wildfires in the sagebrush steppe biome of the northern Great Basin, which has become an increasingly relevant environmental issue related to climate change. (Cynthia Wallace, Tucson, AZ, 520-670-5589; Joel Sankey, Tucson, AZ, 520-670-5589)



Jan28-Feb4


Water Quality and Human Health in Colonias of Nogales, Mexico:

On Feb. 3, University of Arizona student Felipe Caldeira, affiliated with the USGS U.S.-Mexico Border Environmental Health Initiative, is presenting his Master of Public Health research findings about water quality, human health, and quality of life in colonias of Nogales, Mexico to the Ambos Nogales Binational Health Council, COBINAS. COBINAS and its participating members from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border including physicians, promoturas, and government-agency representatives, have played a major role in shaping the research protocol and making him connections between stakeholders. (Laura Norman, Tucson, AZ, 520-670-5510)



Jan28-Feb4


Land Use/Land Cover Scenario Workshop:

Ben Sleeter pictureOn Jan. 24, USGS geographers will be meeting with Land-use/Land-cover (LULC) change experts at the EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, SD to discuss national and regional land-use and land-cover scenarios.  The workshop, being held in support of the LandCarbon and Land Cover Trends projects, intends to refine national LULC narratives and downscale national scenario elements to U.S. regions, specifically the Great Plains and the Western Forests.   (Ben Sleeter, Menlo Park, CA, 650-329-4350; Christopher Soulard, Menlo Park, CA, 650-329-4317)



1-24-2011



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