The scientists from the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center capitalize on their diverse
expertise to answer critically important scientific questions shaped by the equally diverse environments
of the western United States. FRESC scientists collaborate with each other and with partners to provide
rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and
conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide.
In the Spotlight
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Sage-grouse Habitat and Post-fire Rehabilitation in the Great Basin
Wildfires burn about one million acres each year in the Great Basin. To minimize erosion, restore plant cover, and meet rehabilitation objectives, the BLM seeds burned...
Mercury Contamination in Fishes from Western U.S. National Parks Widespread and Variable
Elevated mercury concentrations have been found in aquatic habitats from some of the most pristine and remote parts of the world, including U.S. national parks. In order...
New Study: Using a Non-Invasive Method to Identify Chiricahua Leopard Frogs
Critically endangered frog species require information about population status and trends, yet traditional marking techniques are generally prohibited because of health...
Meteorological Conditions Influence Condor Resource Selection
Endangered California condors use extensive soaring flight in their daily movements. To assess condor habitat preference, USGS scientists and colleagues examined how...
Herbivores Rescue Plant Diversity by Increasing Available Light
Humans have increased the amount of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, that enter ecosystems. In a paper published in Nature...
Mercury Exposure Affects Thyroid Hormones in Western Pond Turtles
Mercury threatens wildlife health and can impair many physiological processes. Recent studies suggest that reptiles and amphibians are particularly vulnerable to levels...
specializes in conservation genetics, avian behavioral ecology, population connectivity, and endangered species policy. Sue’s research focuses on migratory connectivity of birds, which is crucial for species survival as it can help predict avian response to stressors such as disease, climate change, and types of human activity. Sue’s genetic and demographic analyses of species-at-risk, such as spotted owls and California condors, have earned international attention. She also serves as the President of the American Ornithologists’ Union.
Studies in Avian Movements, Monitoring, and Conservation
at FRESC focus on two research areas. The Migratory Connectivity Project is an effort to provide information about North American birds’ movement and full lifecycle biology to parties interested in their conservation. The goal is to better understand how these patterns change with respect to climate change, energy development, land use, aircraft flight patterns. The goal of Shorebird Monitoring is to better understand connectivity issues for waterbirds and wetlands throughout the year.