Western Geographic Science Center

Our Science Links

Fact Sheets:

Future Scenarios of Impacts to Ecosystem Services on California Rangelands 2013-3003

What is the Economic Value of Satellite Imagery? 2014-3019

Decision-Support Systems for Natural-Hazards and Land-Management Issues 2012-3001

Climatic Changes and the Effect on Wild Sheep Habitat 2012-3060

Mapping Perennial Vegetation Cover in the Mojave Desert 2011-3077

WGSC Overview - Understanding Risk and Resilience to Natural Hazards 2011-3008

USGS Geographic Science for Public and Tribal Lands 2011-3059

Regional Planning for Nearshore Ecosystem Services 2011-3067

Using Terrestrial Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) Technology for Land-Surface Analysis in the Southwest 2011-3017

Future of Land Change Research at the U.S. Geological Survey 2011-3080

The Border Environmental Health Initiative: Investigation of the Transboundary Santa Cruz Watershed" 2010-3097


The Western Geographic Science Center conducts research to help communities make decisions about the interaction between people and their environment. We conduct geographic research on the environmental and societal consequences of a changing landscape.

Our projects analyze human / environmental interactions spatially and temporally. Our work is collaborative, involving many partners and linking many different natural science and social science disciplines. Our work is concentrated in the 9 states of the USGS Western Region and is conducted on local and regional scales.

Find out more about our science by following the links on the left.

The Global Food Security-Support Analysis Data at 30 m (GFSAD30) Mendenhall Fellowhip Announcment

Nathan Wood Presenting

Monitoring global croplands (GCs) is imperative for ensuring sustainable water and food security to the people of the world in the 21st Century. In order to better understand, model, map, and monitor agricultural crop productivity and its inter-relationships with water productivity , increasingly more sophisticated remote sensing data will be required. For the first time ever, ~64,000 hyperspectral Hyperion images are available for free over the 2000-present period, covering an excellent sampling of global croplands. Each of the images covers an area 185 km length by 7.5 km width and 242 bands (each 10 nm wide) from 400 to 2500 nanometers. About 40% (~25,000) of these images capture the World’s ~1.5 billion hectares of cropland areas. In addition, other sources of hyperspectral images include AVIRIS, HyMAP, and a growing potential for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) based sensors. Our overarching goal is to use this one-of-a-kind goldmine of data to produce the most comprehensive and consistent global hyperspectral imaging spectral-library of agricultural crops for the World’s leading 8 crops which occupy about 70% of the ~1.5 billion hectares of global croplands.

Full USGS Mendenhall Fellowship Announcement

USA Jobs Mendehall Position

In the News
WGSC Researchers Complete Amazon Fieldwork

Dennis Dye and John Vogel

In June 2015, Dennis Dye and John Vogel traveled to Brazil where they performed field work in the Amazon forest region in support of the international GOAmazon project.  Their research is a collaboration of WGSC, the University of Arizona, the University of Michigan and several Brazilian institutions. During the fieldwork, Dye and Vogel deployed two USGS-developed imaging systems on observation towers above the forest canopy at study sites the central and eastern Amazon near Manaus and Santarem.   The USGS instruments, in combination with other field- and satellite-based observations, are providing new data and information about the seasonal growth dynamics of the Amazon tropical forest to help guide improvements in global Earth system models.  The research is sponsored by the USGS Land Change Science Program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Terrestrial Ecosystem Science program.  For more information, contact Dennis Dye (928-556-7029, ddye@usgs.gov).


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