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Publications from the Alaska Science Center.

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Exploring effects of vessels on walrus behaviors using telemetry, automatic identification system data and matching

Arctic marine mammals have had little exposure to vessel traffic and potential associated disturbance, but sea ice loss has increased accessibility of Arctic waters to vessels. Vessel disturbance could influence marine mammal population dynamics by altering behavioral activity budgets that affect energy balance, which in turn can affect birth and death rates. As an initial step in studying these l

Insights into the metamorphic history and origin of flake graphite mineralization at the Graphite Creek graphite deposit, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA

Graphite Creek is an unusual flake graphite deposit located on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, USA. We present field observations, uranium-lead (U–Pb) monazite and titanite geochronology, carbon (C) and sulfur (S) stable isotope geochemistry, and graphite Raman spectroscopy data from this deposit that support a new model of flake graphite ore genesis in high-grade metamorphic environments. The Graph

National map of focus areas for potential critical mineral resources in the United States

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) launched the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) to modernize the surface and subsurface geologic mapping of the United States, with a focus on identifying areas that may have the potential to contain critical mineral resources. EarthMRI can inform strategies to ensure secure and reliable domestic critical mineral supplies for the United St

Waterfowl recently infected with low pathogenic avian influenza exhibit reduced local movement and delayed migration

Understanding relationships between infection and wildlife movement patterns is important for predicting pathogen spread, especially for multispecies pathogens and those that can spread to humans and domestic animals, such as avian influenza viruses (AIVs). Although infection with low pathogenic AIVs is generally considered asymptomatic in wild birds, prior work has shown that influenza-infected b

Elodea mediates juvenile salmon growth by altering physical structure in freshwater habitats

Invasive species introductions in high latitudes are accelerating and elevating the need to address questions of their effects on Subarctic and Arctic ecosystems. As a driver of ecosystem function, submerged aquatic vegetation is one of the most deleterious biological invasions to aquatic food webs. The aquatic plant Elodea spp. has potential to be a widespread invader to Arctic and Subarctic ecos

Survey for selected parasites in Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos)

To assess infection with or exposure to endo- and ectoparasites in Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos), blood and fecal samples were collected during 2013–17 from five locations: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve; Katmai National Park; Lake Clark National Park and Preserve; Yakutat Forelands; and Kodiak Island. Standard fecal centrifugal flotation was used to screen for gastrointestinal

High winds and melting sea ice trigger landward movement in a polar bear population of concern

Some animal species are responding to climate change by altering the timing of events like mating and migration. Such behavioral plasticity can be adaptive, but it is not always. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation have mostly remained on ice year-round, but as the climate warms and summer sea ice declines, a growing proportion of the subpopulation is summeri

Peak Cenozoic warmth enabled deep-sea sand deposition

The early Eocene (~ 56–48 million years ago) was marked by peak Cenozoic warmth and sea levels, high CO2, and largely ice-free conditions. This time has been described as a period of increased continental erosion and silicate weathering. However, these conclusions are based largely on geochemical investigation of marine mudstones and carbonates or study of intermontane Laramide basin settings. Her

Increasing Alaskan river discharge during the cold season is driven by recent warming

Arctic hydrology is experiencing rapid changes including earlier snow melt, permafrost degradation, increasing active layer depth, and reduced river ice, all of which are expected to lead to changes in stream flow regimes. Recently, long-term (>60 years) climate reanalysis and river discharge observation data have become available. We utilized these data to assess long-term changes in discharge an

Joint spatiotemporal models to predict seabird densities at sea

Introduction: Seabirds are abundant, conspicuous members of marine ecosystems worldwide. Synthesis of distribution data compiled over time is required to address regional management issues and understand ecosystem change. Major challenges when estimating seabird densities at sea arise from variability in dispersion of the birds, sampling effort over time and space, and differences in bird detectio

Adult spawners: A critical period for subarctic Chinook salmon in a changing climate

Concurrent, distribution-wide abundance declines of some Pacific salmon species, including Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), highlights the need to understand how vulnerability at different life stages to climate stressors affects population dynamics and fisheries sustainability. Yukon River Chinook salmon stocks are among the largest subarctic populations, near the northernmost extent of

Breaking up is hard to do: Magmatism during oceanic arc breakup, subduction reversal, and cessation

The formerly continuous Vitiaz Arc broke into its Vanuatu and Fijian portions during a reversal of subduction polarity in the Miocene. Basaltic volcanism in Fiji that accompanied the breakup ranged from shoshonitic to low-K and boninitic with increasing distance from the broken edge of the arc that, presumably, marks the broken edge of the slab. The Sr-Pb-Nd isotope ratios of the slab-derived comp