Western Ecological Research Center (WERC)


The Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) is a USGS Ecosystems Mission Area operation serving primarily California and Nevada. WERC scientists work closely with Federal, State, academic, and other collaborators to address a diverse array of high-profile topics. Topics include research on effects of wildfire, sea level rise, drought, energy development and more on federal Trust species.

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Date published: February 12, 2021

You've Heard a Bird Sing, But Have You Heard a Jerusalem Cricket's Drum?

You’ve probably heard a bird singing to find a mate, or even a frog. But have you ever heard a Jerusalem cricket’s drum?

Date published: February 10, 2021

Research Spotlight: Precise Eggshell Thickness Measurements To Inform Bird Ecology And Mercury Monitoring

In a study published in the journal Ecology and Evolution, USGS biologists provide precise eggshell thickness measurements for 12 species of birds that breed in the San Francisco Bay Estuary.

Date published: February 3, 2021

Research Spotlight: Wetland Habitats and Aquatic Prey May Drive High Hair Mercury Concentrations in Suisun Marsh Raccoons

A new study by scientists from USGS in collaboration with the California Department of Water Resources has found that mercury concentrations detected in hair of raccoons living in Suisun Marsh, California are some of the highest levels observed in raccoons and for wild mammals overall.


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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan defines critical, core fire science capabilities for understanding fire-related and fire-responsive earth system processes and patterns, and informing management decision making. Developed by USGS fire scientists and executive leadership, and informed by conversations with...

Steblein, Paul F.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Miller, Mark P.; Holomuzki, Joseph R.; Soileau, Suzanna C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Drane-Maury, Mia; Hamilton, Hannah M.; Kean, Jason W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Mason, Robert R.; McKerrow, Alexa J.; Meldrum, James R.; Molder, Edmund B.; Murphy, Sheila F.; Peterson, Birgit; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; York, Alison
Steblein, P.F., Loehman, R.A., Miller, M.P., Holomuzki, J.R., Soileau, S.C., Brooks, M.L., Drane-Maury, M., Hamilton, H.M., Kean, J.W., Keeley, J.E., Mason, R.R., Jr., McKerrow, A., Meldrum, J.R., Molder, E.B., Murphy, S.F., Peterson, B., Plumlee, G.S., Shinneman, D.J., van Mantgem, P.J., and York, A., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1471, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1471.

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Year Published: 2021

Mangrove species’ response to sea-level rise across Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia

Mangrove forests are likely vulnerable to accelerating sea-level rise; however, we lack the tools necessary to understand their future resilience. On the Pacific island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, mangroves are habitat to endangered species and provide critical ecosystem services that support local communities. We developed a...

Buffington, Kevin J.; MacKenzie, Richard A.; Carr, Joel A.; Apwong, Maybeleen; Krauss, Ken W.; Thorne, Karen M.
Buffington, K.J., MacKenzie, R.A., Carr, J.A., Apwong, M., Krauss, K.W., and Thorne, K.M., 2021, Mangrove species’ response to sea-level rise across Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1002, 44 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211002.

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Year Published: 2021

Multi-taxa database data dictionary

The conservation of biological resources relies on the successful management of ecological and physiological research data. The Western Ecological Research Center of the U.S. Geological Survey is working with researchers, land managers, and decision makers from non-government organizations and city, county, state, and federal resource agencies to...

Watson, Elise; Rochester, Carlton J.; Brown, Chris W.; Holmes, Donn A.; Hathaway, Stacie A.; Fisher, Robert N.
Watson, E., Rochester, C.J., Brown, C.W., Holmes, D.A., Hathaway, S.A., and Fisher, R.N., 2021, Multi-taxa database data dictionary: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods 16–B1, 149 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/tm16B1.