Social and Economic Analysis


The Fort Collins Science Center’s Social and Economic Analysis (SEA) Branch provides unique capabilities in the U.S. Geological Survey by leading projects that integrate social, behavioral, economic, and natural science in the context of human–natural resource interactions. Our research provides scientific understanding and support for the management and conservation of our natural resources in support of multiple agency missions. We focus on meeting the scientific needs of the Department of the Interior natural resource management bureaus in addition to fostering partnerships with other Federal and State managers to protect, restore, and enhance our environment. SEA has an interdisciplinary group of scientists whose primary functions are to conduct both theoretical and applied social science research, provide technical assistance, and offer training to support the development of skills in natural resource management activities. Management and research issues associated with human-resource interactions typically occur in a unique context and require knowledge of both natural and social sciences, along with the skill to integrate multiple science disciplines. In response to these challenging contexts, SEA researchers apply a wide variety of social science concepts and methods which complement our rangeland/agricultural, wildlife, ecology, and biology capabilities. The goal of SEA’s research is to enhance natural-resource management, agency functions, policies, and decisionmaking. Read the Social and Economic Analysis Branch Fact Sheet to learn more.

Branch Chief

Rudy Schuster 970-226-9165


The Waterfowl and Migratory Bird Conservation Workshops

Waterfowl management in North America dates back to the early 20th century. Waterfowl banding efforts in North America at that time revealed that waterfowl follow consistent migratory corridors or flyways when traveling between breeding areas in the north and wintering areas in the south. In 1948, this understanding of bird behavior led to the formation of four Flyways based on these migration corridors: the Atlantic, Mississippi, Central and Pacific Flyways.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, international interest in conservation of waterfowl and their habitats experienced a resurgence across North America. This interest was driven by declining waterfowl populations, which reached record lows in 1985. Wetlands, which are critical to populations of waterfowl and many other...