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Scan of WERC Biweekly Update newsletter --Photographer: USGS
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WERC Biweekly Update: Mar. 1-15, 2012

WERC research roundups are now in a biweekly format, complete with PDF version. Check back every two weeks for a run down of new research and events from the USGS Western Ecological Research Center. To add your name to the email distribution list for the PDF newsletter, please contact

Download the current issue (1.04)


Pacific Nearshore Project in New York Times
The New York Times science section profiled the USGS Pacific Nearshore Project, a multinational multiagency effort studying sea otter populations from California through Alaska to compare and understand the health of coastal ecosystems. WERC scientists Tim Tinker, Brian HatfieldLizabeth Bowen and Joe Tomoleoni are featured in the article, which describes the many analytical methods being used in the study, including stable isotope analysis, gene expression, necropsies, and tag and recapture.


Strona, G, KD Lafferty. 2012. How to catch a parasite: parasite niche modeler (PaNic) meets FishBase. Ecogeography. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2012.07439.x

Ricca, MA, FW Weckerly, A Duarte, JC Williams. 2012. Range expansion of nonindigenous caribou in the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska. Biological Invasions. doi: 10.1007/s10530-012-0195-z

Klimstra, JD, JL Yee, GH Heinz, DJ Hoffman, KR Stebbins 2012. Interactions between methymercury and selenomethionine injected into mallard eggs. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 31(3): 579-584. doi: 10.1002/etc.1708

Fisher, RN, I Ineich. 2012. Cryptic extinction of a common Pacific lizard Emoia impar (Squamata, Scincidae) from the Hawaiian Islands. Oryx. doi: 10.1017/S0030605310001778

Fellers, GM, R Cole, D Reinitz, P Kleeman. 2011. Amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) in coastal and montane California, USA, anurans. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 6(3): 383-394.

Brand, LA, LM Smith, JY Takekawa, ND Athearn, K Tayler, GG Shellenbarger, DH Schoellhamer, R Spenst. 2011. Trajectory of early tidal marsh restoration: elevation, sedimentation and colonization of breached salt ponds in the northern San Francisco Bay. Ecological Engineering 42(2012): 19-29. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2012.01.012


van Riper, C, R Powell, JW van Wagtendonk, G Machlis, R Galipeau, CJ van Riper, E von Ruxchkowski. 2012. Integrated Science and  nterdiscipliary Research for Parks and Protected Areas in Weber, S, ed. 2012. Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World: Proceedings of the 2011 George Wright Society Biennial Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Hancock, Michigan: The George Wright Society.


March 6, 2012 (Palm Springs, CA)
WERC scientist Kristin Berry gave the lecture “Then and Now: a photographic account of changes in Mojave Desert Vegetation” for the Desert Institute of the Joshua Tree National Park Association.

March 16, 2012 (Sacramento, CA) Tom Suchanek will give a preview of his upcoming USGS Public Lecture (see March 22) on the campus of California State University, Sacramento.

March 22, 2012 (Menlo Park, CA) Tom Suchanek will give this month’s USGS Menlo Park Public Lecture and Webcast, discussing the impacts of climate change on California and San Francisco Bay.

May 19-20, 2012 (Menlo Park, CA) Save the date! The U.S. Geological Survey will once again be hosting a USGS Open House at its Menlo Park campus. This family-friendly carnival will showcase USGS science and resources with activity booths, films and lectures.


So Many Weeds, So Little Time (USGS Science Features), part of a USGS blogpost series on invasive species research, cites Lesley DeFalco’s studies on reducing invasive red brome (Bromus matritensis ssp. rubens) and on restoring blackbrush (Coleogyne ramosissima) and other native plants in the Mojave Desert. 

America’s Most Unwanted Invasive Species (USGS Science Features), part of a USGS blogpost series on invasive species research, cites the work of Robert FisherJon Richmond and colleagues. The team researched whether parasites were viable biocontrol options to mitigate the invasive brown tree snakes (Boiga irregularis) infesting Guam.

Natural Oil Seepage Off Santa Barbara Takes a Toll on Seabirds (Los Angeles Times) interviewed Josh Adams about the common murre (Uria aalge californica) breeding colony in the Channel Islands. A recent bout of natural oil seepage is impacting common murres in the area.,0,3147878.story

How Will Climate Change Impact Waterfowl Populations in the Central Valley? (California LCC homepage) highlights research by Joe Fleskes on modeling and evaluating the potential impacts of projected climate change and urbanization-related water management on habitats and ecology of waterfowl in the Central Valley.

No Rats in Sight on Atoll, But FWS Not Ready to Declare Victory (Greenwire) updates on the eradication effort of invasive rats at the Palmyra Atoll National Wildlife Refuge by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WERC scientists Stacie Hathaway and Robert Fisher authored the Biosecurity Plan for Palmyra Atoll (USGS Open File Report 2010-1097)


A joint USGS-NPS team of scientists judged 6th to 8th grade science fair projects for Three Rivers Union School in California. Anne Hopkins Pfaff of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon Field Station recruited seven other judges (Nick Ampersee, John Austin, Matt Bahm, Kristin Davis, Danny Gammons, Kristin Glover and Walter Sydoriak) and they spent the day on Feb. 28th judging 26 projects.


Tracking Pronghorn Antelope in California’s Central Valley
WERC scientists Kathy Longshore and Diego Johnson have been researching the life history of pronghorn reintroduced to Carrizo Plain National Monument, California. This 200,000 acre landscape west of Bakersfield is managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, which must balance habitat preservation with permitted livestock grazing. Longshore and Johnson’s research is identifying factors to reduce avoidable mortality factors for fawns and studying natural predation.

Diego Johnson preparing to examine a pronghorn fawn at Carrizo Plain National Monument. --Photographer: Sara A. Schuster/USGS

This Biweekly Update is produced as a service to USGS/WERC staff, colleagues, partners and the interested public. To add your email address to the mailing list or to report errors/suggestions, please contact Download the current issue (1.04)

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