» Species diversity

Islands on the Edge: Housing Development and Other Threats to America's Pacific and Caribbean Island Forests (2014)

This report provides an overview of expected housing density changes and related impacts to private forests on America’s islands in the Pacific and Carribbean, specifically Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The vulnerability of island forests to conversion for housing development, introduction and spread of invasive species, and risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, among other concerns are discussed. The maps and projections suggest that in localized areas from 3 to 25 percent of private forest land is likely to experience a substantial increase in housing density from 2000 to 2030. Resource managers, developers, community leaders, and landowners should consider the impacts of housing development and invasive species on ecosystem services in coming decades. Read More

Threats to At-Risk Species in America's Private Forests: A Forests on the Edge Report

America’s private forests harbor thousands of species – from butterflies, bears, birds and bats; to salmon, snails and salamanders that inhabit streams and wetlands; to flowers, trees and shrubs that feed and protect wildlife and enrich human lives. Many native animals and plants found in private forests nationwide are at risk of decline or extinction, in part because of impacts of increasing housing development. The effects of development on at-risk species on private forests are intensified by additional impacts from fire, insects and disease. Read More

Evolution: Student Guide

Resources for high school biology students on evolution. Library includes videos, case studies, lessons, and activities for projects and independent study. Read More

Endangered Species Act of 1973

Library Holdings. The Endangered Species Act (ESA) provides a program for the conservation of threatened and endangered plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) of the Department of the Interior maintains a worldwide list which, as of Feb. 20, 2008, included 1574 endangered species (599 are plants) and 351 threatened species (148 are plants). Species include birds, insects, fish, reptiles, mammals, crustaceans, flowers, grasses, and trees. Anyone can petition FWS to include a species on this list. The law requires federal agencies, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service, to ensure that actions they authorize, fund, or carry out are not likely to jeopardize the continued existence of any listed species or result in the destruction or adverse modification of designated critical habitat of such species. The law also prohibits any action that causes a “taking” of any listed species of endangered fish or wildlife. Likewise, import, export, interstate, and foreign commerce of listed species are all generally prohibited. Read More

Remote Sensing Tutorial

This set of pages is a guide to the theory of remote sensing technologies, especially as it is applied to natural area management. It starts with a definition of remote sensing and a review of its historical development. Then it describes the pros and cons of digital data vs. good old fashioned film emulsion. An in-depth description of data types is provided (i.e. panchromatic data, multispectral data, hyperspectral, etc.). Definitions of spatial/spectral “resolutions” and “coverage” are provided. Finally, commonly used remote sensing platforms are profiled. Read More

An Indicator of Tree Migration in Forests of the Eastern United States

Changes in tree species distributions are a potential impact of climate change on forest ecosystems. The examination of tree species shifts in forests of the eastern United States largely has been limited to simulation activities due to a lack of consistent, long-term forest inventory datasets. The goal of this study was to compare current geographic distributions of tree seedlings (trees with a diameter at breast height ≤2.5 cm) with biomass (trees with a diameter at breast height >2.5 cm) for sets of northern, southern, and general tree species in the eastern United States using a spatially balanced, region-wide forest inventory. Compared to mean latitude of tree biomass, mean latitude of seedlings was significantly farther north (>20 km) for the northern study species, while southern species had no shift, and general species demonstrated southern expansion. Density of seedlings relative to tree biomass of northern tree species was nearly 10 times higher in northern latitudes compared to southern latitudes. Read More

USGS - Providing Scientific Understanding of the Sagebrush Biome

The USGS is working with many partners to improve understanding of the sagebrush habitat and to provide information needed to manage and restore the ecosystem and the species that depend on them. Research examples higlight the diversity of USGS science capabilities. Read More

Biology and Invasive Species in the Western U.S.

The western U.S. is biologically rich, but invasive species find footholds on land and in water. USGS scientists are testing methods to inventory, control, and remove non-native species, developing tools to reduce species introductions, and working with managers to restore natural systems. Read More

Protecting Biodiversity: A Guide to Criteria Used by Global Conservation Organizations

The worldwide decline of forest habitat, and related loss of biodiversity, is one of the most urgent environmental issues of our time. Human activities – such as clearing forests for agriculture and settlement, unsound forest management, and unsustainable hunting – are becoming even more threatening as human populations increase and place more and more demands on forest ecosystems. Habitat decline contributes more than any other factor to the current extinction rate, which exceeds the “background” natural rate by 100-1,000 times (Baillie et al. 2004). Beyond perpetuating high extinction rates, the loss and fragmentation of forested ecosystems impairs critical ecosystem services, such as purifying the air and water, stabilizing the soil, providing renewable timber and non-timber forest products, and providing homes for human communities. Read More

Bulletin 105 Species and Ecosystem Conservation: An Interdisciplinary Approach

This Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy bulletin has .pdf links to a variety of ecosystem issues, including specific case studies on species and ecosystem conservation. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu