The USGS was developing a Bureau-wide investigation focusing on the U.S.-Mexico border. Three specific areas
were under consideration: 1) El Paso-Juarez urban area; 2) Brownsville-Matamoros urban area; and 3) a
portion of the Chihuahuan Desert including Big Bend National Park. This task focused on the following objectives:
Generation of a geochemical database for soils and stream sediments and its representation in map form for all or
selected portions of the study area. This included data on bioavailability of elements in the soil samples as determined
by partial extraction methods.
Collaboration with other members of the USGS integrated science team and with colleagues in government agencies
and academia in Mexico to interpret these data and maps, along with geospatial data sets compiled by the other
disciplines, in terms of addressing issues related to environmental health and resource management.
Integration of the geochemical database into a web-based, geospatial natural-resource database for display and further
analysis within a geographic information system (GIS) framework.
Determination of characteristics and spatial distribution of the microbial communities in soil for parts of the study area.