U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

USGS LogoThe USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life.

Science Centers  within the USGS provide hubs for human dimensions in the USGS by hosting projects that integrate social, behavioral, economic, and biological analyses in the context of human and natural resource interactions. Resource planners, managers, and policymakers in the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and Agriculture (USDA), state and local agencies, and international agencies use information from the studies to make informed natural-resource management and policy decisions.


 Additional HD Resources in the USGS can be found here:

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Gateway communities to National Parks generate a considerable amount of economic activity due to visitor spending. The appeal of recreational use on these public lands draws in visitors from around the world. FORT scientists used economic effects analysis to measure how spending by National Park Service visitor’s cycles through local gateway economies, generating business sales and supporting jobs and income. The report concludes by presenting estimates of NPS visitor spending in 2013 and resulting economic effects at the local, state, regional, and national levels.
The USGS has released v2.3 of the National Produced Waters Geochemical Database and Map Viewer. During hydrocarbon production, water is typically co-produced from the geologic formations producing oil and gas.
This report shares the spending effects of visitors to National Parks in 2018. Additional Interactive tools are created to explore spending effects by state economies and individual park economies.
Models suggest that average temperatures in the central Rocky Mountains will increase by >3°C over the next century, while precipitation may remain within late Holocene boundaries. This study investigates the potential hydrologic effects of such warming when combined with the full range of precipitation variability experienced over the past millennium. Using the upper Yellowstone drainage as a test case, a water balance model is constructed to estimate river discharge from precipitation and temperature inputs (r = 0.85 versus observed).
We developed a guide to assist natural scientists in understanding the philosophical basis of social science to support the meaningful interpretation of social research outcomes. The 3 fundamental elements of research are ontology, what exists in the human world that researchers can acquire knowledge about; epistemology, how knowledge is created; and philosophical perspective, the philosophical orientation of the researcher that guides her or his action. Many elements of the guide also apply to the natural sciences.
Worldwide, there are approximately 16,000 remote webcams in nature providing users with an opportunity to view wildlife without charge. In order to understand the monetary value of viewing these wildlife cameras, we examine variations in the vewers' oportunity cost of time to estimate consumer surplus.
A national survey of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contractees was completed to obtain information about environmental and social effects of the program on participants, farms, and communities. Of interest were observations concerning wildlife, attitudes about long-term management of program lands, and effectiveness of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assistance in relation to these issues. Surveys were delivered to 2,189 CRP participants with a resultant response rate of 64.5%. Retire
Conservation planning is increasing its use of social science research and techniques to better understand the feasibility and scope of different conservation actions and landholder motivations to engage in conservation actions. Most conservation planners are trained biologists and ecologists, and this article explores a few recommendations that may assist with integrating social science research techniques into the theory and practice of conservation planning.
Online surveying is an efficient and inexpensive data-collection method. This article provides guidelines for alleviating or avoiding the criticisms and shortfalls of online surveying.