The Great Basin is an expanse of desert and high moun-tains situated between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada of the western United States. The most explicit description of the Great Basin is that area in the West where surface waters drain inland. In other words, the Great Basin is comprised of many separate drainage areas - each with no outlet. What at first glance may appear as only a barren landscape, the Great Basin upon closer inspection reveals island mountains, sagebrush seas, and intermittent aquatic habitats, all teeming with an incredible number and variety of plants and animals. Biologists at the USGS are studying many different species and ecosystems in the Great Basin in order to provide information about this landscape for policy and land-management decision-making. The following stories represent a few of the many projects the USGS is conducting in the Great Basin.