USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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Scientists at the USGS Western Ecological Research Center study the many ecosystems of the Pacific Southwest. Follow our expeditions and projects through this outreach page, and learn more about your local landscape with our library of Outreach Factsheets and photos. Thanks for joining us!

Ben Young Landis
Outreach and Communications Coordinator

WERC Headquarters
3020 State University Drive East
Sacramento, CA 95819
Phone: (916) 278-9495
Fax: (916) 278-9475
Email: blandis@usgs.gov
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A sea otter at surface. --Photographer: Tania Larson, USGS
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NewsRoundup: garbage gulls, Oprah in Yosemite
THURSDAY NOV 18 2010

Here are some WERC and other USGS sights and sounds seen around the net this week:

  • Landfills and garbage are changing the breeding and feeding behavior of sea gulls in Alaska and San Francisco Bay, according to USGS research by Abby Powell and WERC lead scientist Josh Ackerman. [Mongabay.com]
  • Desert tortoises are an issue for the BrightSource solar project in San Bernadino County, and this article quotes WERC lead scientist Kristin Berry on the difficulties of studying energy project impacts on tortoises. [Riverside Press-Enterprise]
  • The American Veterinary Medical Association has a nice profile about California sea otters dying from blooms of the toxic freshwater microbe, Microcystis, a recent discovery co-authored by WERC lead scientist Tim Tinker. [JAVMA]
  • Our colleagues at the USGS Oregon Water Science Center have also recently found Microcystis in Upper Klamath Lake, Copco Reservoir and Iron Gate Reservoir. [Siskiyou Daily News]
  • Beak deformities appear to be mysteriously increasing in birds in the Pacific Northwest, according to our colleagues at the USGS Alaska Science Center [AP, New York Times]
  • And finally, our Department of Interior siblings at Yosemite National Park recently received a surprised visit from television star Oprah Winfrey, who featured her wilderness experience on her website. Say hello to our Yosemite Field Station next time, Oprah! [Oprah.com]
-- Ben Young Landis

Top: The California sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) experienced another drop in its population estimate this year. Image credit: Tania Larson/USGS.

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