New Research

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.
How the livestock industry can help cut greenhouse gas emissions
How the livestock industry can help cut greenhouse gas emissions
New study shows better grazing and ranch management can reduce methane, nitrous oxide.
Mapping the large-scale loss of natural areas in the West
Mapping the large-scale loss of natural areas in the West
Urban sprawl, energy development, agriculture and forestry have an ever-larger footprint on the West.
What the West’s trees tell us
What the West’s trees tell us
How can biomass and carbon data help us mitigate the effects of human activity?
Latest: Peer-reviewed study undermines fracking’s claims of safety
Latest: Peer-reviewed study undermines fracking’s claims of safety
Researchers in Pavillion, Wyoming, traced the chemical footprint of the drilling.
Inside the moss mystery: How the organisms helped reveal Portland’s pollution
Inside the moss mystery: How the organisms helped reveal Portland’s pollution
Surveys of tree moss uncovered contamination that may have led to higher cancer rates.
New report: West Coast waters face double threat
New report: West Coast waters face double threat
Ocean acidification, driven by global fossil fuel emissions, is being exacerbated by local pollution.
Fracking linked to groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming
Fracking linked to groundwater contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming
Contaminants that likely came from fracking were found in an aquifer that supplies drinking water.
Does conserving species actually curb development?
Does conserving species actually curb development?
A new study suggests ESA doesn’t stop economic growth, but the devil’s in the details.
The disappearing wetlands in California’s Central Valley
The disappearing wetlands in California’s Central Valley
Where water is scarce, waterbirds pay the price.
Scientists dig up the past in packrat middens
Scientists dig up the past in packrat middens
The animals’ sturdy nests can preserve clues about the climate for 50,000 years or more.