Mission Areas


The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources and inform land and water stewardship.

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Newsletter - EcoNews

Newsletter - EcoNews

This quarterly newsletter highlights ecosystems science and activities coming out of our Science Centers and Cooperative Research Units across the Nation. 

EcoNews Issues

Webinar - Friday's Findings

Webinar - Friday

A public webinar series meant to offer our audience an opportunity to discover the Ecosystems science capacity within the USGS.

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Where's our Science?


Find out where Ecosystems Science Centers, Field Stations, Climate Adaptation Science Centers, and Cooperative Research Units are located.

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January 27, 2021

USGS EcoNews - Vol. 2 | Issue 1

Welcome to a New Year and a new Ecosystems Mission Area! Our team has grown and this means more science for us to share. You can read more about this in "Our New Team" below. We're excited to feature research on COVID-19, water quality, invasive Asian carp, tools to measure effects of human activity on wildlife, and chronic wasting disease. We hope you enjoy this edition!

Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: January 25, 2021

Friday's Findings - February 5 2021

Using Information from Global Climate Models to Inform Policymaking 

Date: February 5, 2021 from 2-2:30 p.m. eastern time

Speaker: Adam Terando, Research Ecologist, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center


Attribution: Ecosystems
Date published: January 13, 2021

Fort Collins Science Center Scientists have strong presence at AGU Fall Meeting 2020

Fort Collins Science Center scientists had multiple presentations and poster submissions, as well as one award, at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting 2020. The Meeting was the largest worldwide virtual conference in the Earth and space sciences, with over 20,000 attendees. 


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Year Published: 2021

Habitat features predict carrying capacity of a recovering marine carnivore

The recovery of large carnivore species from over‐exploitation can have socioecological effects; thus, reliable estimates of potential abundance and distribution represent a valuable tool for developing management objectives and recovery criteria. For sea otters (Enhydra lutris), as with many apex predators, equilibrium abundance is not constant...

Tinker, M. Tim; Yee, Julie L.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Hatfield, Brian; Harris, Michael D.; Tomoleoni, Joseph; Bell, Tom W.; Saarman, Emily; Carswell, Lilian P; Miles, A. Keith

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Year Published: 2021

Seed production patterns of surviving Sierra Nevada conifers show minimal change following drought

Reproduction is a key component of ecological resilience in forest ecosystems, so understanding how seed production is influenced by extreme drought is key to understanding forest recovery trajectories. If trees respond to mortality-inducing drought by preferentially allocating resources for reproduction, the recovery of the stand to pre-drought...

Wright, Micah Charles; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; Stephenson, Nathan L.; Das, Adrian; Keeley, Jon

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Year Published: 2021

Re-examination of population structure in Arctic ringed seals using DArTseq genotyping

Although Arctic ringed seals Phoca hispida hispida are currently abundant and broadly distributed, their numbers are projected to decline substantially by the year 2100 due to climate warming. While understanding population structure could provide insight into the impact of environmental changes on this subspecies, detecting...

Lang, Aimee R.; Boveng, Peter L.; Quakenbush, L.; Robertson, K.; Lauf, M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Ziel, H.; Taylor, B .L.