Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center
May 27, 2015
Forecasting and evaluating patterns of energy development in southwestern Wyoming
By Steve Garman. Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) Fact Sheet 7.
Understanding the effects that future oil and natural gas development will have on wildlife populations in southwestern Wyoming, an area containing a significant portion of the Nation's remaining intact sagebrush steppe ecosystem, led to the development of an Energy Footprint simulation model. The goal of this modeling effort is to use measures of energy production, surface disturbance, and potential effects on wildlife to identify build-out designs that minimize the physical and ecological footprint of development for different levels of energy production and development costs. This Fact Sheet summarizes model results that evaluated the implications of using fewer well pads while maintaining the same level of energy production in the Atlantic Rim Project Area.
May 22, 2015
A multi-proxy record of hydroclimate, vegetation, fire, and post-settlement impacts for a subalpine plateau, central Rocky Mountains, U.S.A.
By Lesleigh Anderson (GECSC), Andrea Brunelle, and Bob Thompson (GECSC). Published in The Holocene.
This study compares post-settlement disturbance in the central Rocky Mountains in northwest Colorado to long-term patterns of the last few millennia. The research indicates that vegetation and fire regimes changed significantly in response to hydrologic change of the last two thousand years, and post-settlement disturbance was superimposed upon the resulting landscape.
May 15, 2015
Preliminary methodology to assess the national and regional impact of U.S. wind energy development on birds and bats
By Jay Diffendorfer (GECSC), Julie Beston (GECSC), Matt Merrill, Jessica Stanton, Margo Corum, Scott Loss, Wayne Thogmartin, Doug Johnson, Richard Erickson, and Kevin Heist. USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2015-5066.
This report presents a methodology, developed by the USGS, that assesses the impacts of wind energy development on wildlife. It is currently applicable to birds and bats, focuses primarily on the effects of collisions, and can be applied to any species that breeds in, migrates through, or otherwise uses any part of the United States. The methodology is intended to assess species at the national scale and is fundamentally different from existing methods focusing on impacts at individual facilities.
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