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Terrestrial Ecological Risk Analysis Via Dietary Exposure At Uranium Mine Sites In The Grand Canyon Watershed (Arizona, Usa), Jo Ellen Hinck, Danielle Cleveland, Bradley E. Sample 2021 U.S. Geological Survey

Terrestrial Ecological Risk Analysis Via Dietary Exposure At Uranium Mine Sites In The Grand Canyon Watershed (Arizona, Usa), Jo Ellen Hinck, Danielle Cleveland, Bradley E. Sample

USGS Staff -- Published Research

The U.S. Department of the Interior recently included uranium (U) on a list of mineral commodities that are considered critical to economic and national security. The uses of U for commercial and residential energy production, defense applications, medical device technologies, and energy generation for space vehicles and satellites are known, but the environmental impacts of uranium extraction are not always well quantified. We conducted a screening-level ecological risk analysis based on exposure to miningrelated elements via diets and incidental soil ingestion for terrestrial biota to provide context to chemical characterization and exposures at breccia pipe U mines in northern Arizona. …


Metabarcoding Assays For The Detection Of Freshwater Mussels (Unionida) With Environmental Dna, Katy E. Klymus, Catherine A. Richter, Nathan Thompson, Jo Ellen Hinck, Jess W. Jones 2021 U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia Environmental Research Center

Metabarcoding Assays For The Detection Of Freshwater Mussels (Unionida) With Environmental Dna, Katy E. Klymus, Catherine A. Richter, Nathan Thompson, Jo Ellen Hinck, Jess W. Jones

USGS Staff -- Published Research

Freshwater mussels of the order Unionida are a widely distributed taxon that are important in maintaining freshwater ecosystems and are also highly imperiled throughout the world. Monitoring of mussel populations with environmental DNA (eDNA) is an attractive alternative to traditional methods because it is noninvasive and requires less labor and taxonomic knowledge from field personnel. We developed eDNA metabarcoding assays specific to freshwater mussels and tested them at six sites in the Clinch River, located in the southeastern United States. Our objective was to determine the utility of eDNA metabarcoding for future monitoring of mussel populations and restoration efforts in …


Managing For Radical Ecosystem Change: Applying The Resist-Accept- Direct (Rad) Framework, Abigail J. Lynch, Laura M. Thompson, Erik A. Beever, David N. Cole, Augustin C. Engman, Cat Hawkins Hoffman, Stephen T. Jackson, Trevor J. Krabbenhoft, David J. Lawrence, Douglas Limpinsel, Robert T. Magill, Tracy A. Melvin, John M. Morton, Robert A. Newman, Jay O. Peterson, Mark T. Porath, Frank J. Rahel, Gregor W. Schuurman, Suresh A. Sethi, Jennifer L. Wilkening 2021 US Geological Survey

Managing For Radical Ecosystem Change: Applying The Resist-Accept- Direct (Rad) Framework, Abigail J. Lynch, Laura M. Thompson, Erik A. Beever, David N. Cole, Augustin C. Engman, Cat Hawkins Hoffman, Stephen T. Jackson, Trevor J. Krabbenhoft, David J. Lawrence, Douglas Limpinsel, Robert T. Magill, Tracy A. Melvin, John M. Morton, Robert A. Newman, Jay O. Peterson, Mark T. Porath, Frank J. Rahel, Gregor W. Schuurman, Suresh A. Sethi, Jennifer L. Wilkening

USGS Staff -- Published Research

Ecosystem transformation involves the emergence of persistent ecological or social–ecological systems that diverge, dramatically and irreversibly, from prior ecosystem structure and function. Such transformations are occurring at increasing rates across the planet in response to changes in climate, land use, and other factors. Consequently, a dynamic view of ecosystem processes that accommodates rapid, irreversible change will be critical for effectively conserving fish, wildlife, and other natural resources, and maintaining ecosystem services. However, managing ecosystems toward states with novel structure and function is an inherently unpredictable and difficult task. Managers navigating ecosystem transformation can benefit from considering broader objectives, beyond a …


Long Term Nutrient And Chlorophyll A Dynamics Across Long Island Sound And Impacts On Dissolved Oxygen Conditions Within The Western Sound (1991-2019), Sherry Perreira 2021 CUNY City College

Long Term Nutrient And Chlorophyll A Dynamics Across Long Island Sound And Impacts On Dissolved Oxygen Conditions Within The Western Sound (1991-2019), Sherry Perreira

Dissertations and Theses

Nitrogen overload, eutrophication, and hypoxia have been challenging and persistent water quality problems in Long Island Sound (LIS) over the past decades with major impacts on commercial industries, ecology, and recreational activities in the region. Recognizing these problems, the EPA enforced three phases of the Clean Water Act (CWA) to reduce nitrogen loads in an effort to improve this important estuary. This study examines how nitrogen (NH3, NOx & TDN), chlorophyll a (CHLA), and dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations changed in LIS over the past 30 years, in response to water quality regulations as well as changes in …


Elemental And Radionuclide Exposures And Uptakes By Small Rodents, Invertebrates, And Vegetation At Active And Post-Production Uranium Mines In The Grand Canyon Watershed, Danielle Cleveland, Jo Ellen Hinck, Julia S. Lankton 2021 U.S. Geological Survey, Columbia, MO

Elemental And Radionuclide Exposures And Uptakes By Small Rodents, Invertebrates, And Vegetation At Active And Post-Production Uranium Mines In The Grand Canyon Watershed, Danielle Cleveland, Jo Ellen Hinck, Julia S. Lankton

USGS Staff -- Published Research

The effects of breccia pipe uranium mining in the Grand Canyon watershed (Arizona) on ecological and cultural resources are largely unknown. We characterized the exposure of biota to uranium and cooccurring ore body elements during active ore production and at a site where ore production had recently concluded. Our results indicate that biota have taken up uranium and other elements (e.g., arsenic, cadmium, copper, molybdenum, uranium) from exposure to ore and surficial contamination, like blowing dust. Results indicate the potential for prolonged exposure to elements and radionuclides upon conclusion of active ore production. Mean radium-226 in deer mice was up …


Whose Ground Truth Is It? Harvesting Lessons From Missouri’S 2018 Bumper Crop Of Drought Observations, Kelly Helm Smith, Mark E. Burbach, Michael Hayes, Patrick Guinan, Andrew Tyre, Brian Fuchs, Tonya Haigh, Mark Svoboda 2021 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Whose Ground Truth Is It? Harvesting Lessons From Missouri’S 2018 Bumper Crop Of Drought Observations, Kelly Helm Smith, Mark E. Burbach, Michael Hayes, Patrick Guinan, Andrew Tyre, Brian Fuchs, Tonya Haigh, Mark Svoboda

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

Drought-related decision-making and policy should go beyond numeric hydrometeorological data to incorporate information on how drought affects people, livelihoods, and ecosystems. The effects of drought are nested within environmental and human systems, and relevant data may not exist in readily accessible form. For example, drought may reduce forage growth, compounded by both late-season freezes and management decisions. An effort to gather crowdsourced drought observations in Missouri in 2018 yielded a much higher number of observations than did previous related efforts. Here we examine 1) the interests, circumstances, history, and recruitment messaging that coincided to produce a high number of reports …


Tweetdrought: A Deep-Learning Drought Impacts Recognizer Based On Twitter Data, Beichen Zhang, Frank Schilder, Kelly Helm Smith, Michael Hayes, Sherri Harms, Tsegaye Tadesse 2021 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tweetdrought: A Deep-Learning Drought Impacts Recognizer Based On Twitter Data, Beichen Zhang, Frank Schilder, Kelly Helm Smith, Michael Hayes, Sherri Harms, Tsegaye Tadesse

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

Acquiring a better understanding of drought impacts becomes increasingly vital under a warming climate. Traditional drought indices describe mainly biophysical variables and not impacts on social, economic, and environmental systems. We utilized natural language processing and bidirectional encoder representation from Transformers (BERT) based transfer learning to fine-tune the model on the data from the news-based Drought Impact Report (DIR) and then apply it to recognize seven types of drought impacts based on the filtered Twitter data from the United States. Our model achieved a satisfying macro-F1 score of 0.89 on the DIR test set. The model was then applied to …


Developing A Strategy For The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, Michael H. Cosh, Todd G. Caldwell, C. Bruce Baker, John D. Bolten, Nathan Edwards, Peter Goble, Heather Hofman, Tyson E. Ochsner, Steven Quiring, Charles Schalk, Marina Skumanich, Mark D. Svoboda, Mary E. Woloszyn 2021 USDA-ARS Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Developing A Strategy For The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network, Michael H. Cosh, Todd G. Caldwell, C. Bruce Baker, John D. Bolten, Nathan Edwards, Peter Goble, Heather Hofman, Tyson E. Ochsner, Steven Quiring, Charles Schalk, Marina Skumanich, Mark D. Svoboda, Mary E. Woloszyn

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

Soil moisture is a critical land surface variable, affecting a wide variety of climatological, agricultural, and hydrological processes. Determining the current soil moisture status is possible via a variety of methods, including in situ monitoring, remote sensing, and numerical modeling. Although all of these approaches are rapidly evolving, there is no cohesive strategy or framework to integrate these diverse information sources to develop and disseminate coordinated national soil moisture products that will improve our ability to understand climate variability. The National Coordinated Soil Moisture Monitoring Network initiative has developed a national strategy for network coordination with NOAA’s National Integrated Drought …


Experiential Learning In Soil Science: Evaluating Soil Quality In South Wollo, Ethiopia, Melissa Allen, Martha Mamo, Shimelis Beyene, Teshome Regassa, Gandura O. Abagandura, Solomon Abreha, Anthony James Mucia, Tsegaye Tadesse 2021 U.S. Forest Service, Ketchikan, AK

Experiential Learning In Soil Science: Evaluating Soil Quality In South Wollo, Ethiopia, Melissa Allen, Martha Mamo, Shimelis Beyene, Teshome Regassa, Gandura O. Abagandura, Solomon Abreha, Anthony James Mucia, Tsegaye Tadesse

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

This study abroad program provided an opportunity to enhance the international experience and research skills of University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) students within a multidisciplinary team’s research-education goal on improving food security in Ethiopia. The experiential study component of the project included preparatory sessions during the Fall 2015 Semester at the UNL followed by a four- to five-week fieldwork experience in Ethiopia. Teams from the UNL and an Ethiopian university participated in survey data collection and field soil evaluations from farms in the Gerado area of South Wollo, Ethiopia. Having students interact with farmers increased student self-confidence and enhanced their leadership …


Evaluation Of Remotely Sensed Precipitation Estimates From The Nasa Power Project For Drought Detection Over Jordan, Muhammad Rasool Al‑Kilani, Michel Rahbeh, Jawad Al‑Bakri, Tsegaye Tadesse, Cody Knutson 2021 The University of Jordan

Evaluation Of Remotely Sensed Precipitation Estimates From The Nasa Power Project For Drought Detection Over Jordan, Muhammad Rasool Al‑Kilani, Michel Rahbeh, Jawad Al‑Bakri, Tsegaye Tadesse, Cody Knutson

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

Droughts can cause devastating impacts on water and land resources and therefore monitoring these events forms an integral part of planning. The most common approach for detecting drought events and assessing their intensity is use of the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), which requires abundant precipitation records at good spatial distribution. This may restrict SPI usage in many regions around the world, particularly in areas with limited numbers of ground meteorological stations. Therefore, the use of remotely sensed derived data of precipitation can contribute to drought monitoring. In this study, remotely sensed precipitation estimates from the POWER/Agroclimatology archive of NASA and …


Does Invasion Science Encompass The Invaded Range? A Comparison Of The Geographies Of Invasion Science Versus Management In The U.S., Lara Munro 2020 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Does Invasion Science Encompass The Invaded Range? A Comparison Of The Geographies Of Invasion Science Versus Management In The U.S., Lara Munro

Masters Theses

Biases in invasion science lead to a taxonomic focus on plants, particularly a subset of well-studied plants, and a geographic focus on invasions in Europe and North America. Geographic biases could also cause some branches of invasion science to focus on a subset of environmental conditions in the invaded range, potentially leading to an incomplete understanding of the ecology and management of plant invasions. While broader, country-level geographic biases are well known, it is unclear whether these biases extend to a finer scale and thus affect research within the invaded range. This study assessed whether research sites for ten well-studied …


Species Distribution Modeling For Arid Adapted Habitat Specialists In Zion National Park, Sam Driver, Daniel R. Unger, David L. Kulhavy, Chris M. Schalk 2020 Stephen F Austin State University

Species Distribution Modeling For Arid Adapted Habitat Specialists In Zion National Park, Sam Driver, Daniel R. Unger, David L. Kulhavy, Chris M. Schalk

Student Publications

The Arizona toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) and Jones’ waxy dogbane (Cycladenia humilis var. jonesii) are habitat specialists with historical ranges in the desert southwest and specifically, Zion National Park (ZION). The machine learning method, MaxEnt, constructed species distribution models (SDMs) in ZION for the two study species at 30 m and 900 m spatial resolutions using climate, topographic, and remotely sensed data. Additionally, 900 m forecasting models were constructed to observe the shifts in suitable habitat for the years 2050 and 2070, based off two representative concentration pathway scenarios. Results indicate promising predictive power for both high …


Species Distribution Modeling For Arid Adapted Habitat Specialists In Zion National Park, Sam Driver, Chris M. Schalk, Daniel Unger, David Kulhavy 2020 Stephen F Austin State University

Species Distribution Modeling For Arid Adapted Habitat Specialists In Zion National Park, Sam Driver, Chris M. Schalk, Daniel Unger, David Kulhavy

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Arizona toad (Anaxyrus microscaphus) and Jones’ waxy dogbane (Cycladenia humilis var. jonesii) are habitat specialists with historical ranges in the desert southwest and specifically, Zion National Park (ZION). The machine learning method, MaxEnt, constructed species distribution models (SDMs) in ZION for the two study species at 30 m and 900 m spatial resolutions using climate, topographic, and remotely sensed data. Additionally, 900 m forecasting models were constructed to observe the shifts in suitable habitat for the years 2050 and 2070, based off two representative concentration pathway scenarios. Results indicate promising predictive power for both high …


Building An Improved Drought Climatology Using Updated Drought Tools: A New Mexico Food-Energy-Water (Few) Systems Focus, Lindsay E. Johnson, Hatim M.E. Geli, Michael J. Hayes, Kelly Helm Smith 2020 University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Building An Improved Drought Climatology Using Updated Drought Tools: A New Mexico Food-Energy-Water (Few) Systems Focus, Lindsay E. Johnson, Hatim M.E. Geli, Michael J. Hayes, Kelly Helm Smith

Drought Mitigation Center Faculty Publications

Drought is a familiar climatic phenomenon in the United States Southwest, with complex human-environment interactions that extend beyond just the physical drought events. Due to continued climate variability and change, droughts are expected to become more frequent and/or severe in the future. Decision-makers are charged with mitigating and adapting to these more extreme conditions and to do that they need to understand the specific impacts drought has on regional and local scales, and how these impacts compare to historical conditions. Tremendous progress in drought monitoring strategies has occurred over the past several decades, with more tools providing greater spatial and …


An Assessment Of The Hydrological Trends Using Synergistic Approaches Of Remote Sensing And Model Evaluations Over Global Arid And Semi-Arid Regions, Wenzhao Li, Hesham el-Askary, Rejoice Thomas, Surya Prakash Tiwari, Karuppasamy ManiKandan, Thomas Piechota, Daniele Struppa 2020 Chapman University

An Assessment Of The Hydrological Trends Using Synergistic Approaches Of Remote Sensing And Model Evaluations Over Global Arid And Semi-Arid Regions, Wenzhao Li, Hesham El-Askary, Rejoice Thomas, Surya Prakash Tiwari, Karuppasamy Manikandan, Thomas Piechota, Daniele Struppa

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

Drylands cover about 40% of the world’s land area and support two billion people, most of them living in developing countries that are at risk due to land degradation. Over the last few decades, there has been warming, with an escalation of drought and rapid population growth. This will further intensify the risk of desertification, which will seriously affect the local ecological environment, food security and people’s lives. The goal of this research is to analyze the hydrological and land cover characteristics and variability over global arid and semi-arid regions over the last decade (2010–2019) using an integrative approach of …


Interpretation Of Hydrogeologic Data To Support Groundwater Management, Bazile Groundwater Management Area, Northeast Nebraska, 2019—A Case Demonstration Of The Nebraska Geocloud, Christopher M. Hobza, Gregory V. Steele 2020 U.S. Geological Survey

Interpretation Of Hydrogeologic Data To Support Groundwater Management, Bazile Groundwater Management Area, Northeast Nebraska, 2019—A Case Demonstration Of The Nebraska Geocloud, Christopher M. Hobza, Gregory V. Steele

Publications of the US Geological Survey

Nitrate, age tracer, and continuous groundwater-level data were interpreted in conjunction with airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey data to understand the movement of nitrate within the Bazile Groundwater Management Area (BGMA) in northeastern Nebraska. Previously published age tracer data and nitrate data indicated vertical stratification of groundwater quality. Younger groundwater sampled within shallow parts of the aquifer had higher concentrations of nitrate, with 70 percent exceeding the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maximum contaminant level of 10 milligrams per liter. In contrast, groundwater sampled from deeper parts of the aquifer indicated that nitrate concentrations were less than 2 milligrams per liter and …


Sediment Provenance Of Tsunami Deposits: Implications For Assessing The Relative Intensity Of Paleotsunamis From The Sendai Coastline Of Japan, Tiffany Otai 2020 The University of Southern Mississippi

Sediment Provenance Of Tsunami Deposits: Implications For Assessing The Relative Intensity Of Paleotsunamis From The Sendai Coastline Of Japan, Tiffany Otai

Master's Theses

The 2011 Tohoku tsunami impacted the northeastern coast of Japan and caused unexpected damages due to the underestimation of this type of hazard. Of particular importance is the fact that geologic evidence for a predecessor event, the Jogan tsunami (CE 869), could have forecasted the severity of the 2011 Tohoku event. While the timing of tsunamis is important for effective hazard mitigation, outside of the 2011 Tohoku event, the intensity of past tsunamis remains unclear. To understand paleotsunami intensity, it is important to document characteristics of modern analogues like the 2011 event. This study utilizes surface distributions of foraminifera from …


Impacts Of Environmental Conditions On Fleas In Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Burrows, Julia E. Poje, Tonie Rocke, Michael D. Samuel 2020 University of Wisconsin-Madison

Impacts Of Environmental Conditions On Fleas In Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Burrows, Julia E. Poje, Tonie Rocke, Michael D. Samuel

USGS Staff -- Published Research

Sylvatic plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and transmitted by fleas, occurs in prairie dogs of the western United States. Outbreaks can devastate prairie dog communities, often causing nearly 100% mortality. Three competent flea vectors, prairie dog specialists Oropsylla hirsuta and O. tuberculata, and generalist Pulex simulans, are found on prairie dogs and in their burrows. Fleas are affected by climate, which varies across the range of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but these effects may be ameliorated somewhat due to the burrowing habits of prairie dogs. Our goal was to assess how temperature and precipitation …


Developing A Tourism Opportunity Index Regarding The Prospective Of Overtourism In Nepal, Susan Phuyal 2020 Missouri State University

Developing A Tourism Opportunity Index Regarding The Prospective Of Overtourism In Nepal, Susan Phuyal

MSU Graduate Theses

This research explores Nepal's overtourism scenario based on the capacity of a locality to manage sustainable tourism practices. Environmental degradation, local infrastructure degradation, negative tourist experience and local resident responses regarding visitors are the four main variables used in this study to analyze overtourism. In order to analyze the case study of overtourism, we select the three top touristic cities of Nepal, Kathmandu, Pokhara, and Chitwan based on the number of annual visitors. Nepal's case analysis of overtourism conditions reviews the overall threat of over-tourism and establishes a metric by which tourism can be viewed as potentially detrimental to sustainability. …


Characterizing El Niño-Southern Oscillation Effects On The Blue Nile Yield And The Nile River Basin Precipitation Using Empirical Mode Decomposition, Justin A. Le, Hesham el-Askary, Mohamed Allali, Eman Sayed, Hani Sweliem, Thomas C. Piechota, Daniele C. Struppa 2020 Chapman University

Characterizing El Niño-Southern Oscillation Effects On The Blue Nile Yield And The Nile River Basin Precipitation Using Empirical Mode Decomposition, Justin A. Le, Hesham El-Askary, Mohamed Allali, Eman Sayed, Hani Sweliem, Thomas C. Piechota, Daniele C. Struppa

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

Using new mathematical and data-driven techniques, we propose new indices to measure and predict the strength of different El Niño events and how they affect regions like the Nile River Basin (NRB). Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD), when applied to Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), yields three Intrinsic Mode Functions (IMF) tracking recognizable and physically significant non-stationary processes. The aim is to characterize underlying signals driving ENSO as reflected in SOI, and show that those signals also meaningfully affect other physical processes with scientific and predictive utility. In the end, signals are identified which have a strong statistical relationship with various physical …


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