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Science

Welcome to the science conducted by the Alaska Science Center.

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Hazards

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Geology

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Landscape Science

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Water

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Ecosystems

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Science Portal

FAQs

What causes beak deformities in birds?

Since the late 1990s, Alaskans have reported large numbers of beak deformities in Black-capped Chickadees and other species of resident birds. This disease, called avian keratin disorder (AKD), is characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth and other abnormalities of keratinized tissues. Affected birds have difficulty feeding and preening, and can suffer high rates of mortality. The USGS has...

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What causes beak deformities in birds?

Since the late 1990s, Alaskans have reported large numbers of beak deformities in Black-capped Chickadees and other species of resident birds. This disease, called avian keratin disorder (AKD), is characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth and other abnormalities of keratinized tissues. Affected birds have difficulty feeding and preening, and can suffer high rates of mortality. The USGS has...

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How many glaciers currently exist in Alaska?

Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. The number of glaciers is less important since large ones can split up into several as they retreat. The amount of area glaciers occupy in Alaska is trending downward...

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How many glaciers currently exist in Alaska?

Based on the most recent comprehensive survey in 2011, there were about 27,000 glaciers in Alaska. However, the number of glaciers is a misleading statistic. Scientists are more interested in total glacial land coverage as a measure. The number of glaciers is less important since large ones can split up into several as they retreat. The amount of area glaciers occupy in Alaska is trending downward...

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Are US Topo products available for Alaska?

Yes, US Topo products are available for all of Alaska. Publication of 1:25,000-scale US Topo maps in Alaska began in 2013. The production schedule is determined by availability of IFSAR elevation data and SPOT imagery provided by the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative . To see an index map of publication dates for US Topos in Alaska, go to the National Map Downloader . Put a checkmark...

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Are US Topo products available for Alaska?

Yes, US Topo products are available for all of Alaska. Publication of 1:25,000-scale US Topo maps in Alaska began in 2013. The production schedule is determined by availability of IFSAR elevation data and SPOT imagery provided by the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative . To see an index map of publication dates for US Topos in Alaska, go to the National Map Downloader . Put a checkmark...

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Education

Goose Nesting Camera Activity with the USGS Alaska Science Center: Middle School Lesson

Participate in this fun, interactive lesson that allows students to think like a USGS Wildlife Biologist! This lesson explores how disturbances in the natural environment could impact the nesting habits of geese in the wild. In this activity, students analyze camera shots of different nests and evaluate how the length of incubation breaks taken by geese can vary due to local disturbances.

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Goose Nesting Camera Activity with the USGS Alaska Science Center: Middle School Lesson

Participate in this fun, interactive lesson that allows students to think like a USGS Wildlife Biologist! This lesson explores how disturbances in the natural environment could impact the nesting habits of geese in the wild. In this activity, students analyze camera shots of different nests and evaluate how the length of incubation breaks taken by geese can vary due to local disturbances.

Learn More

Polar Bear Maternal Den Activity with the USGS Alaska Science Center: Middle School Lesson

Participate in this fun, interactive lesson that allows students to think like a wildlife biologist! This middle and high school lesson focuses on how changes in sea ice extent are leading to shifts in location and distribution of polar bear maternal dens in northern Alaska. Additionally, students can learn how to measure distances between dens and industrial sites.

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Polar Bear Maternal Den Activity with the USGS Alaska Science Center: Middle School Lesson

Participate in this fun, interactive lesson that allows students to think like a wildlife biologist! This middle and high school lesson focuses on how changes in sea ice extent are leading to shifts in location and distribution of polar bear maternal dens in northern Alaska. Additionally, students can learn how to measure distances between dens and industrial sites.

Learn More