In 1954 researchers at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center conducted 11 research cruises on Lake Michigan during which 779 bathythermographs were cast to collect temperature profile data (temperature at depth). Bathythermographs of that era recorded water pressure and temperature data by mechanically etching them as a curve on a glass slide. Data was collected from the glass slide by projecting the image of the curve, superimposing a grid, and taking a photo of it, thereby creating a bathythermogram. Data collection personnel could then read the data from the curve. This USGS data release is a digitized set of those original bathythermogram print photos and the temperature and depth data the project team collected from them using the open-source software, Web Plot Digitizer, as well as metadata describing each. In addition, because of their historical value and potential future use, this data release includes the cruise logs, which include nautical and research notes beyond the logical scope of this data release.
First estimates of the probability of survival in a small-bodied, high-elevation frog (Boreal Chorus Frog, Pseudacris maculata), or how historical data can be useful
Muths, E.L., R.D. Scherer, S.M. Amburgey, T. Matthews, A.W. Spencer, and P.S. Corn
In an era of shrinking budgets yet increasing demands for conservation, the value of existing (i.e., historical) data are elevated. Lengthy time series on common, or previously common, species are particularly valuable and may be available only through the use of historical information. We provide first estimates of the probability of survival and longevity (0.67–0.79 and 5–7 years, respectively) for a subalpine population of a small-bodied, ostensibly common amphibian, the Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata (Agassiz, 1850)), using historical data and contemporary, hypothesis-driven information–theoretic analyses. We also test a priori hypotheses about the effects of color morph (as suggested by early reports) and of drought (as suggested by recent climate predictions) on survival. Using robust mark–recapture models, we find some support for early hypotheses regarding the effect of color on survival, but we find no effect of drought. The congruence between early findings and our analyses highlights the usefulness of historical information in providing raw data for contemporary analyses and context for conservation and management decisions.
Reproductive allochrony presents a potential barrier to gene flow and is common in seasonally sympatric migratory and sedentary birds. Mechanisms mediating reproductive allochrony can influence population divergence and the capacity of populations to respond to environmental change. We asked whether reproductive allochrony in seasonally sympatric birds results from a difference in response to supplementary or photoperiodic cues and whether the response varies in relation to the distance separating breeding and wintering locations as measured by stable isotopes. We held seasonally sympatric migratory and sedentary male dark-eyed juncos (Junco hyemalis) in a common garden in early spring under simulated natural changes in photoperiod and made measurements of reproductive and migratory physiology. On the same dates and photoperiods, sedentary juncos had higher testosterone (initial and gonadotropin-releasing hormone induced), more developed cloacal protuberances, and larger testes than migrants. In contrast, migratory juncos had larger fat reserves (fuel for migration). We found a negative relationship between testis mass and feather hydrogen isotope ratios, indicating that testis growth was more delayed in migrants making longer migrations. We conclude that reproductive allochrony in seasonally sympatric migratory and sedentary birds can result from a differential response to photoperiodic cues in a common garden, and as a result, gene flow between migrants and residents may be reduced by photoperiodic control of reproductive development. Further, earlier breeding in response to future climate change may currently be constrained by differential response to photoperiodic cues.
An Integrative and Comparative Approach to Detecting and Understanding Bat Fatalities at Wind Turbines, Fowler Ridge Wind Farm, Indiana, 14 July to 3 October: Final Report
Cryan, P.C., C. Hein, M. Gorresen, R. Diehl, M. Huso, K. Heist, D. Johnson, F. Bonaccorso, and M. Schirmacher
ASPN is a Web-based decision tool that assists natural resource managers and planners in identifying and prioritizing social and economic planning issues, and provides guidance on appropriate social and economic methods to address their identified issues.
ASPN covers the breadth of issues facing natural resource management agencies so it is widely applicable for various resources, plans, and projects.
ASPN also realistically accounts for budget and planning time constraints by providing estimated costs and time lengths needed for each of the possible social and economic methods.
ASPN is a valuable starting point for natural resource managers and planners to start working with their agencies’ social and economic specialists. Natural resource management actions have social and economic effects that often require appropriate analyses. Additionally, in the United States, Federal agencies are legally mandated to follow guidance under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which requires addressing social and economic effects for actions that may cause biophysical impacts. Most natural resource managers and planners lack training in understanding the full range of potential social and economic effects of a management decision as well as an understanding of the variety of methods and analyses available to address these effects. Thus, ASPN provides a common framework which provides consistency within and across natural resource management agencies to assist in identification of pertinent social and economic issues while also allowing the social and economic analyses to be tailored to best meet the needs of the specific plan or project.
ASPN can be used throughout a planning process or be used as a tool to identify potential issues that may be applicable to future management actions. ASPN is useful during the pre-scoping phase as a tool to start thinking about potential social and economic issues as well as to identify potential stakeholders who may be affected. Thinking about this early in the planning process can help with outreach efforts and with understanding the cost and time needed to address the potential social and economic effects. One can use ASPN during the scoping and post-scoping phases as a way to obtain guidance on how to address issues that stakeholders identified. ASPN can also be used as a monitoring tool to identify whether new social and economic issues arise after a management action occurs.
ASPN is developed through a collaborative research effort between the USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s (FORT) Social and Economic Analysis (SEA) Branch and the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. ASPN’s technical development is led by the USGS FORT’s Information Science Branch. An updated release, which will extend ASPN’s functionality and incorporate feature improvements identified in ongoing usability testing, is currently in the planning stages.
White-nose syndrome (WNS) is an emerging and devastating disease of hibernating bats in North America. WNS is caused by a cold-growing fungus (Geomyces destructans) that infects the skin of hibernating bats during winter and causes life-threatening alterations in physiology and behavior. WNS has spread rapidly across the eastern United States and Canada since it was first documented in New York in the winter of 2006. This new disease is causing mass mortality and detrimentally affecting most of the 6 species of bats that hibernate in the northeastern United States. Particularly hard-hit are the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus), northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), eastern small-footed bat (Myotis leibii), and federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). Several more species are also now known to be exposed to the fungus in the Midwest and Southeast. The sudden and widespread mortality associated with white-nose syndrome is unprecedented in any of the world’s bats and is a cause for international concern as the fungus and the disease spread farther north, south, and west. Loss of these long-lived insect-eating bats could have substantial adverse effects on agriculture and forestry through loss of natural pest-control services.
Tracking a Deadly Disease
Because WNS is spreading so rapidly, field surveillance data and diagnostic samples must be managed efficiently so that critical information can be communicated quickly among State and Federal land managers, as well as the public. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which plays a primary role in coordinating the Federal response to WNS, worked with the USGS Fort Collins Science Center’s Web Applications Team to develop the White-nose Syndrome Disease Tracking System. Version 1.0 of this system, released for Beta testing in May 2011, addresses two critical objectives:
enable state-level resource managers to effectively manage WNS field and laboratory data, and
provide customizable map and data reports of surveillance findings. The WNS Disease Tracking System subsequently was demonstrated to resource managers involved in the WNS response, and system users are assisting with in-depth testing. Once resource-management users are all trained (autumn 2011), they will begin populating the system with surveillance data, much of which will be immediately available to the public.
WNS version 1.0 was released into production in November, 2011 and state points-of-contact are currently being trainined. New users are providing ciritical feedback for WNS version 2.0, which is currently being planned with Fish and Wildlife Region 5 and the National White-nose Syndrome Data Management Team.
Key System Components
Disease Tracking: Customizable disease tracking maps and data exports for all U.S. states and counties
Disease Reporting: Tissue sample database management for authorized resource managers as well as a publicly accessible database of disease reporting contacts for all U.S. States and Federal resource management agencies
Diagnostic Labs: Directory of laboratories involved in white-nose syndrome diagnostic analyses
Past atmospheric deposition of metals in northern Indiana measured in a peat core from Cowles Bog
Cole, K.L., D.R. Engstrom, R.P. Futyma, and R. Stottlemyer