New Research

The danger of urban ‘heat islands’
The danger of urban ‘heat islands’
How built-up cities and higher temperatures threaten human health.
Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply
Climate change is shrinking the West’s water supply
Three new studies show dry times ahead.
Inside the firestorm
Inside the firestorm
New technology allows scientists to see the forces behind the flames.
The biocrust conundrum
The biocrust conundrum
By destroying biocrust communities, climate change may be making arid lands more reflective — which could slow down warming.
Missing science, disagreement surrounds fracking report
Missing science, disagreement surrounds fracking report
Pavillion, Wyoming is at the center of a fight over fracking’s risks.
In California caves, a millipede mystery
In California caves, a millipede mystery
A new species in Sequoia National Park reminds scientists of what is yet to be discovered.
For the first time, U.S. and Mexico take stock of the underground water they share
For the first time, U.S. and Mexico take stock of the underground water they share
The two countries have tried for years to thoroughly assess aquifers along the border.
Time to make peace with invasive species?
Time to make peace with invasive species?
A conversation with climate science director Stephen Jackson about why and where we should tolerate non-native invaders.
American pika disappearing from Western regions
American pika disappearing from Western regions
The pika is fading from historical habitat and a new study points to climate change.
How British Columbia’s coastal people fertilized the forest
How British Columbia’s coastal people fertilized the forest
Indigenous people’s castoff clamshells made the forest grow bigger.
Western monarch butterflies get a closer look
Western monarch butterflies get a closer look
A recent study documents the butterfly’s decline, while a new project looks at how to improve its population.
The NASA scientist keeping an eye on California’s drought
The NASA scientist keeping an eye on California’s drought
Senior scientist Jay Famiglietti’s research looks at the West and the world’s dwindling water resources.
How the Park Service is planning for climate change
How the Park Service is planning for climate change
The agency is forging ahead despite meager help from Congress.
Inside a seed museum meant to track plant response to climate change
Inside a seed museum meant to track plant response to climate change
Researchers have collected seeds from across the country in a quiet Colorado storage facility.
How purple bacteria could help save amphibians in the Rockies
How purple bacteria could help save amphibians in the Rockies
A Colorado researcher is using boreal toads’ microbiomes to help them ward off a deadly fungus.
Drones: the good, the bad and the ugly
Drones: the good, the bad and the ugly
As the aerial technology increases in popularity, so do its impacts.
Report: Coal jobs will decline with or without federal regulations
Report: Coal jobs will decline with or without federal regulations
A new study from the Energy Information Administration finds the Clean Power Plan speeds coal’s decline.
New tech could restore some quiet to noisy Western oceans
New tech could restore some quiet to noisy Western oceans
Underwater noise from construction can confuse and even injure marine animals.
Study finds surprising source of Colorado River water supply
Study finds surprising source of Colorado River water supply
More than half of the rivers in the Upper Colorado Basin originate as groundwater, USGS says.
When water turns to dust
When water turns to dust
In Oregon, a cluster of lakes is drying up — with dire impacts for the millions of migrating birds that survive off them.
Wildfire archaeology exposes treasures of the dead
Wildfire archaeology exposes treasures of the dead
Wyoming fires revealed long hidden historical artifacts.
Rewilding the shortgrass prairie 
Rewilding the shortgrass prairie 
A scientist with ranching roots is trying to restore balance to degraded grasslands.
Latest: Elk, not bison, are spreading disease near Yellowstone
Latest: Elk, not bison, are spreading disease near Yellowstone
Agencies have historically culled bison to prevent the spread of brucellosis to cattle.