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USGS Online Lectures

This is a collection of selected videotaped lectures that were given at USGS facilities. All of these lectures should be suitable for viewing by the general public and upper level students (grades 8 through university). Most videos are in MP4 format and are typically 60-90 minutes long (60 minute lecture plus question/answer).

For the most up-to-date listings, to find older lectures, or to browse lectures with a more technical content, see the following websites:

 
Atmosphere and Weather
ARkSTORM: A Scenario of a Massive West Coast Storm
Dale Cox, USGS - February 25, 2010
Trends in Snowfall Versus Rainfall in the Western United States
Noah Knowles, USGS - April 5, 2007
Frozen in Time: How Ice Cores Are Revealing the Composition and Temperature of Earth's Atmosphere During the Past Million Years
Todd Hinkley, USGS - December 8, 2005
 
Biology & Ecosystems
Into the Abyss: Living Without Light
Nancy Prouty, USGS - June 26, 2014
Endangered Desert Fish to Human Hepatitis E: The Diversity of USGS Fisheries Research Has Wide Ranging Applications
Jill Rolland, USGS - May 29, 2014
Colorful South Pacific Species: New Discoveries and Looming Threats
Robert Fisher, USGS - December 13, 2012
Apex Predators and the Tapestry of Nature
Jim Estes, U.C. Santa Cruz - October 22, 2012
Pacific Nearshore Ecosystem Mysteries: From Kelp Forests to Fisheries, Sea Otters Aid in Studying Ocean Vitality
James Bodkin, USGS - September 27, 2012
Large Predator Responses to Human Activity from Grizzly Bears in Alaska to Mountain Lions in the San Francisco Bay Area
Christopher Wilmers, University of California Santa Cruz - August 13, 2012
Under Siege: Battling Flying Carp and Giant Pythons and How Science Can Help
Sharon Gross, Robert Reed, and Cynthia Kolar; USGS - July 4, 2012
Restoring the Wild Heart of South San Francisco Bay: The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project
Laura Valoppi, USGS - May 26, 2012
How is San Francisco Bay Doing?: Discoveries From 4 Decades of Studies
Jim Cloern, USGS - July 28, 2011
Unraveling the Mystery of Avian Navigation
Jon Hagstrum, USGS - March 31, 2011
White Nose Syndrome in Bats - A Conservation Challenge
Peter Younbaer, National Speleological Society - September 28, 2010
Invasives and Wildfires in the West: New Crossroads in Science, Policy, and Management
Julio Betancourt, USGS - August 26, 2010
The Heat is On: Desert Tortoises & Survival
Go here for a higher-resolution version of the video shown during this lecture.
Todd Esque and Ken Nussear, USGS - May 27, 2010
The Altered States of San Francisco Bay: Ecological Surprises from Three Decades of Observations
Jim Cloern, USGS - January 21, 2010
Restoring California's "Inland Sea": Status of Efforts to Restore the Salton Sea
Lee Case, USGS - July 30, 2009
Tracking Mercury from Ore to Organism: Mercury Cycling and Bioaccumulation In a Mine-Dominated Ecosystem
Tom Suchanek, USGS - June 25, 2009
Drive-by Extinctions: The Role of Vehicle Exhaust in Urban Runoff and Ecosystem Degradation
Carol Kendall, USGS - June 15, 2009
A Moroccan Adventure: Searching for a Blue-eyed Turtle in the Sahara Desert
Jeffrey Lovich, USGS and Mohammed Znari, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech - July 24, 2008
Wetland Revival: Restoring San Francisco Bay Salt Ponds to Wetlands Habitat
Go here for a high-resolution version of the video shown during this lecture
Steven E. Schwarzbach, USGS - March 27, 2008
Fire As An Ecosystem Process: Past, Present, And Future
Jon E. Keeley, USGS - October 25, 2007
A Tale of Two Kelp Forests: Sea Otters and Ecosystem Dynamics in the Aleutians and the Commander Islands
Tim Tinker, USGS - September 27, 2007
 
Climate Change
Preparing for Califonia Climate Change
Dan Cayan, USGS - March 27, 2014
Quantifying the Influence of Climate on Human Conflict
Solomon M. Hsiang, University of California, Berkeley -- February 10, 2014
Understanding Climate-Wildlife Relationships: Are American Pikas Harbingers of Changing Conditions?
Erik Beever, USGS - November 15, 2012
Influence of Changing Climate on Inland Native Trout
Jeffrey Kershner and Steven Hostetler, USGS -- November 13, 2012
Potential Inundation in the San Francisco Bay Region Due to Rising Sea Levels
Noah Knowles, USGS - May 19, 2012
Nature's Altered Seasons: The USA National Phenology Network
Jake Weltzin, USGS - May 4, 2012
Projected Climate Change in California: The Consequences of Increasing Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases
Tom Suchanek, USGS - March 22, 2012
The Art of Communicating Climate Science
Anna Fahey, Sightline Institute - January 31, 2012
Understanding Migratory Connectivity in a Changing Climate
Susan Haig, USGS - October 27, 2011
Mammalian Response to Climatic Change
Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University - October 3, 2011
Through the Lens of Time: Repeat Photography in an Era of Global Change
Robert Webb, USGS - August 25, 2011
Capture and Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide to Mitigate Global Warming: Is Sequestration Necessary? Can We Do It at an Acceptable Total Cost?
Yousif Kharaka, USGS - January 27, 2011
The Design of National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) and the Future of Ecological Forecasting
David Schimel, National Ecological Observatory Network - February 8, 2010
Climate Change 101
Tom Armstrong, USGS - August 25, 2009
Soils, Carbon, and Global ExChange
Jennifer Harden, USGS - April 30, 2009
Can our Western Forests Take the Heat?: Climatic Change and the Future of Forests in the Western United States
Philip van Mantgem, USGS - March 26, 2009
Climate Change, Natural Resources, and Coastal Management
USGS and scientists from multiple organizations - January 29-30, 2009
Prehistoric Packrat Piles: Archives of Climate Change
Kenneth Cole, USGS - October 30, 2008
Global Warming: Western Style
Michael Dettinger, USGS - May 22, 2008
Alaska's Rivers of Ice
Bruce Molnia, USGS - February 28, 2008
 
Coastal and Marine Science
Scanning the Seafloor with Sound: Modern Sonar Reveals Hidden Hazards and Resources
David Finlayson, USGS - June 28, 2012
How is San Francisco Bay Doing?: Discoveries from 4 Decades of Studies
Jim Cloern, USGS - July 28, 2011
Exploring California's Amazing Seafloor: The Visionary California Seafloor Mapping Program
Sam Johnson, USGS - June 30, 2011
Is Our Coast in Jeopardy?: Predicting the Impact of Extreme Storms on the California Coast
Patrick Barnard, USGS - February 24, 2011
100 Million Years of Sea-Level Change: Should I Sell My Beach House?
Ken Miller, Rutgers - August 9, 2010
Monterey Canyon - Superhighway to the Deep-Sea: USGS-MBARI Cooperative Oceanographic Research
Charles K. Paull, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute - June 24, 2010
Potential Inundation Due to Rising Sea Levels in the San Francisco Bay Region
Noah Knowles, USGS - March 4, 2010
Coral Reefs, the 6th Extinction, and You: Challenges Faced by Corals in Hawai'i, and Life Everywhere
Michael Field, USGS - January 29, 2010
Paddling for a Purpose in a Troubled Sea: Sampling the Salish Sea During Tribal Canoe Journeys
Eric Grossman, USGS - October 29, 2009
Alchemy in the Abyss: Probing the Mysteries of Deep-Ocean Minerals
James R. Hein, USGS - May 31, 2007
The Hidden World of the Golden Gate: How Tides, Currents, and Humans Have Created an Array of Sea-floor Features
Patrick Barnard, USGS - January 25, 2007
 
Earthquakes
CATASTROPHIC Earthquakes in a Crowded World
Thomas L. Holzer, USGS - April 24, 2014
The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami 50th Anniversary
George Plafker, USGS Geologist Emeritus - February 27, 2014
Injection-Induced Earthquakes
Bill Ellsworth, USGS - December 2, 2013
Fluid Injection and Induced Seismicity
Mark Zoback, Stanford University - March 13, 2013
Defeating Earthquakes (Excellent lecture about global earthquake risk - great for classrooms!)
Ross Stein, USGS - January 25, 2013
ShakeAlert!: Building an Earthquake Early Warning System for California
Doug Given, USGS - April 26, 2012
Springs and Sliders, Triggers and Shadows: Or, What's New in Earthquake Research
This is a simple presentation with demonstrations -- great for all ages
Ross Stein, USGS - May 20, 2012
Disaster! Lessons from Recent Earthquakes and Tsunamis
Walter Mooney, USGS - May 20, 2012
How Many People Will Die in Catastrophic Earthquakes in the 21st Century?
Thomas Holzer, USGS - November 2, 2011
"Predictable Earthquakes": Updating Earthquake Prediction -- Fact vs. Fiction
Susan Hough, USGS - April 11, 2011
Large, Destructive Earthquakes in Haiti and Chile: Lessons Learned for the San Francisco Bay Area
Walter Mooney and Eric Geist, USGS - April 29, 2010
Earthquakes and Water (And Why the LUSI Mud Volcano Eruption was not Triggered by an Earthquake)
Michael Manga, UC Berkeley - March 8, 2010
Field Report from the M8.8 Earthquake in Chile
Walter Mooney, USGS - February 27, 2010
Field Observations From the January 12, 2010 Haiti Earthquake
Walter Mooney, USGS - February 11, 2010
Geohazards in the Aleutian Islands: Great Earthquakes, Great Waves, and Great Volcanic Explosions!
Steve Kirby, USGS, and Dave Scholl, Scientist Emeritus - November 19, 2009
Meeting the Challenge of the Loma Prieta Earthquake
Jack Boatwright, USGS - September 24, 2009
Was That a Foreshock? A Tale of Earthquake Fundamentals and Public Warnings
Andy Michael, USGS - July 22, 2009
The Night the Earth Shook! 1959 M7.3 Hebgen Lake Earthquake and Madison Canyon Landslide West of Yellowstone National Park
Jack Epstein, USGS Scientist Emeritus - March 11, 2009
Ready for the Next Big Bay Area Earthquake?: The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Was Not the Bay Area's "Big One", But a Repeat of the Destructive 1868 Hayward Earthquake May Qualify!
Tom Brocher, USGS - September 25, 2008
Hayward Fault Earthquakes: Past, Present, and Future?
Jim Lienkaemper, USGS - April 30, 2008
The Hayward Fault in Google Earth: Visualizing Past, Present, and Future Earthquakes
David Schwartz, Heather Lackey, Luke Blair, and Scott Haefner, USGS - April 24, 2008
Geodynamics and Seismic/Geodetic Imaging of the Yellowstone Hotspot
Bob Smith, University of Utah - November 5, 2007
The Parkfield 2004 Earthquake: Lessons From the Best-Recorded Quake in History
Andy Michael, USGS - October 26, 2006
Hidden Faults Under Silicon Valley: Do New Discoveries Change Our View of Santa Clara Valley Earthquake Hazards?
R. D. Catchings, USGS - August 24, 2006
California's Greatest Fault: How Historical Data From 1906 have Shed Light on the San Andreas Fault
Carol S. Prentice, USGS - April 27, 2006
Shock Waves: How the 1906 Earthquake Shook Up California and Science
Go here for a high-resolution version of the video shown during this lecture.
David Schwartz, USGS - April 26, 2007
The Great 1906 Earthquake: Lessons Learned, Lessons Forgotten, and Future Directions in Earthquake Science
Mary Lou Zoback, USGS - March 30, 2006
Earthquake Storms: The Very Long Reach of Very Large Earthquakes
Susan Hough, USGS - October 27, 2005
 
Energy
Too Hot to Touch: The Problem of High-Level Nuclear Waste
Bill and Rosemary Alley, Authors - July 8, 2013
Wind Energy and Wildlife: The Challenges of Wind-Energy Development and Wildlife Conservation
Manuela Huso, USGS - July 26, 2012
Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources: Geology, Development, and Environmental Consequences
Don Gautier, USGS - May 19, 2012
Science or Soundbite? Shale Gas, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Induced Earthquakes
Doug Duncan, Dennis Risser, and Bill Leith; USGS - April 4, 2012
A Cubic Mile of Oil
Ripudaman Malhotra, SRI International - April 4, 2011
Oil Panic and the Global Crisis: Predictions and Myths
Steve Gorelick, Stanford University - December 7, 2009
The Future of Geothermal Energy: A Discussion of Present Opportunities and Future Challenges
Colin F. Williams, USGS - August 9, 2009
Petroleum in the Arctic: Geology, Climate, and National Interests
Donald L. Gautier, USGS - February 26, 2009
Drills, Spills, and Chills: The Inside Story on USGS Estimates of Alaskan Oil and Gas Resources
Ken Bird and Rick Stanley, USGS - November 16, 2006
 
Geology
A Grand Life: The Story Eddie McKee, Grand Canyon Chief Naturalist 1929-1940 and Legendary Geologist
Sarah Andrews, Author -- April 7, 2014
The Science of Good Taste -- Geology, Wine, and Food
Larry Meinert, USGS -- November 7, 2012
Crater Lake Revealed
David Ramsey, USGS - October 2, 2012
The Co-Evolution of the Geo- and Biosphere
Robert Hazen, Carnegie Institute of Washington - August 8, 2011
The Future of Rare Earth Elements: Will These High-tech Industry Elements Continue in Short Supply?
Keith Long, USGS - May 11, 2011
Gemstone Deposits of the United States: Commercial Production - Localities Visited by Mineral Collectors
Pete Modreski, USGS - December 18, 2008
Meter-sized Granite Basins in the Southern Sierra
Jim Moore, USGS - April 15, 2008
Dark Holes in Muir's "Range of Light": Insights from Southern Sierra Nevada Caves and Karst
John C. Tinsley, USGS - August 30, 2007
Adventures in Southwest Geology: Exploring the Colorful Southern Colorado Plateau in 3-D
Philip Stoffer, USGS - June 28, 2007
Impact! Piecing Together the Story of a Giant Meteorite Crater Beneath the Atlantic Coast
David S. Powars and R.D. Catchings, USGS - March 22, 2007
The Winemaker's Dance: Connecting Geology and Wine in Napa Valley
David G. Howell, USGS Geologist Emeritus - September 30, 2004
 
Human Health
Environmental Contaminants in our Drinking Water, Breast Milk, and Our Babies: How Worried Should We Be?
Paul Winchester, Indiana University School of Medicine - January 14, 2008
Disasters, Dust, and Danger: Using Geoscience to Help Understand Whether Health Risks Lurk in Particles Produced by Disasters
Geoff Plumlee, USGS - November 15, 2007
 
Landslides
Riding the Storm: Landslide Danger in the Bay Area Hills
Go here for a high-resolution version of the video shown during this lecture
Peter Lyttle, USGS - February 22, 2007
When Rocks Fall and the Land Slides: Understanding and Coping with Slope Failures
Gerald F. Wieczorek and Raymond C. Wilson, USGS - February 24, 2005
 
Mapping and Remote Sensing
Silicon, Software, and Science: Monitoring the Earth's Landscape with Low-Cost High-Tech
Rian Bogle, USGS - November 18, 2010
Looking Down On Our Planet: New Satellite Imagery Reveals a Changing Global Surface
Ron Beck, USGS - July 29, 2010
A New Generation of Maps
Mark DeMulder, USGS - December 10, 2009
Knee-high to Bird's Eye: Multi-scale Remote Sensing of Vegetation Dynamics
John Jones, USGS - April 1, 2009
A Brief Primer on Remote Sensing of the Ocean (and San Francisco Bay)
Rochelle Labiosa, USGS - April 17, 2008
From Plane Tables to Pixels: The Revolution in Mapping at the U.S. Geological Survey
Susan P. Benjamin, USGS - November 18, 2004
Mapping the American West: Clarence King and the 40th Parallel Survey
James G. Moore, USGS - March 4, 2004
 
Planetary Science
Exploring Mars with Curiosity
Ken Herkenhoff, USGS - October 25, 2012
Exploring Mars: Geology, Climate Change and Prospects for Past Life
Michael H. Carr, USGS - January 29, 2009
 
Plate Tectonics
Plate Tectonics in Action: Exploring the Earth with the New Edition of This Dynamic Planet Map and Website
Robert Tilling and Stephen Kirby, USGS - July 26, 2007
The Structure of Mantle Plumes—Insights from Geochemical and Isotopic Studies in Hawaii
Dominique Weis, University of British Columbia - April 23, 2007
Secrets in Stone: The Role of Paleomagnetism in the Evolution of Plate Tectonic Theory
Jack Hillhouse, USGS - July 29, 2004
 
Polar Science
Exploring Antarctica's Frozen Frontier: The USGS Antarctic Program from the 1957 International Geophysical Year to the 2007 International Polar Year
Jerry Mullins, USGS and John Behrendt, USGS Scientist Emeritus - December 13, 2007
Frozen in Time: How Ice Cores Are Revealing the Composition and Temperature of Earth's Atmosphere During the Past Million Years
Todd Hinkley, USGS - December 8, 2005
 
Tsunamis
Is "THE IMPOSSIBLE" Possible in the Pacific Northwest?: Coastal Community Tsunami Hazards and Risk
Nathan Wood, USGS - February 23, 2013
Tsunamis: Lessons and Questions from the Indian Ocean Disaster
Eric L. Geist, Bruce E. Jaffe, and Brian F. Atwater, USGS - June 30, 2005
December 2004 Tsunami Disaster: Reports from Field Teams in Sumatra and Sri Lanka
Guy Gelfenbaum and Bruce Jaffe, USGS - February 17, 2005
 
Volcanoes
The Yellowstone Volcano: Past, Present and Future: Monitoring the Sleeping Giant Beneath Yellowstone National Park
Jake Lowenstern, USGS - January 23, 2014
Exploring the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes: A Centennial Perspective of the Novarupta-Katmai Eruption, the Largest of the 20th Century
Judy Fierstein, USGS - June 6, 2012
The 20th Century's Greatest Volcanic Eruption: Mt Katmai 100 Years Later
Bill Burton, USGS - July 2, 2012
Volcanic and Other Geologic Hazards of the Yellowstone Supervolcano
Jake Lowenstern, USGS - May 19, 2012
Lassen Volcanic National Park: A Wonderland of Volcanoes and Thermal Features
Patrick Muffler, USGS Geologist Emeritus - January 26, 2012
Tracking Ongoing Kilauea Eruptions: Fissures, Fountains, and Flows
Matthew Patrick, USGS - December 8, 2011
Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions in Alaska: The Contrasting Stories of Two Recent Spectacular Eruptions
Stephanie Prejean, USGS - December 9, 2010
The Indonesian Mud Crisis: Long-lived Mud "Eruption" Inundates Housing and Infrastructure
Thomas J. Casadevall, USGS - January 30, 2008
 
Water
Global Food Security in the 21st Century: The Increasing Need for Food Production, Cropland Areas, and Agricultural Water
Prasad Thenkabail, USGS - August 30, 2012
The Anatomy of Floods: The Causes and Development of 2011's Epic Flood Events
Bob Holmes, USGS - August 1, 2012
Mapping a Flood....Before it Happens
Marijke van Heeswijk, USGS - February 23, 2012
Water in the 21st Century: The National Water Census
Eric Evenson, USGS - December 1, 2011
Colorado River High-Flow Experiments: A Story of Grand Canyon Geology, Water, and Biology
Jack Schmidt and David Rubin, USGS - November 17, 2011
Tracking the Nation's Groundwater Reserves: Issues Facing Current and Future Water Supplies
William Alley, USGS - September 22, 2011
Dam Removal in the Pacific Northwest: A New Tool for River Restoration
Jonathan Warrick, USGS - October 28, 2010
The Great Missoula Floods & Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail: A Journey Through the Landscape of Earth's Greatest Floods
Richard Waitt, USGS - September 30, 2010
Healing Springs, Groundwater Geochemistry, and the History of Bottled Water
Frank Chapelle, USGS - October 4, 2010
Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought
James Workman, DamBroker - July 13, 2009
Cleanup on Aisle 9: The Long Lasting Legacy of Nuclear Waste
Dave Stonestrom, USGS - June 26, 2008
In Search of Dam Sites: The USGS Expedition of 1923 in the Grand Canyon
Diane Boyer, USGS - November 13, 2006
 
Miscellaneous
Dirt - The Erosion of Civilizations
David Montgomery, University of Washington - September 9, 2009
Passing Strange: A Gilded Age Tale of Love and Deception Across the Color Line (The secret life of Clarence King, the first USGS director)
Martha A. Sandweiss, Princeton University - February 19, 2009
Unscientific Publishing: Top Ten Reasons to Worry about the Future of Scientific Publications
Brooks Hansen, Science Magazine - February 15, 2007
 

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