Alaska Science Center


Our Alaska Science Center priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. If you need additional assistance, please contact Chris Zimmerman.

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In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

Alaska has significant known or suspected critical mineral potential and is a priority focus region of the USGS Mineral Resources Program and the national Earth MRI. 

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Current Water Conditions

Current Water Conditions

Explore real-time Alaska streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality conditions and access data with our new interactive map application.

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Date published: September 28, 2020

Earth MRI Funds Critical Minerals Projects in Alaska

A total of $634,000 will fund new research and preserve important data across the Last Frontier.

August 17, 2020

Alaska Science Center Newsletter - Fall 2020

We hope you enjoy and subscribe. Below are links to recent publications, data releases, and highlights of on-going research programs. In this issue we feature news on the Pacific marine heatwave, Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative, and our Ecosystems Analytics group. See new additions to the Wildlife Tracking page, Data and tools and Publications.

Date published: August 5, 2020

Story Map on Pacific Marine Heatwave and Seabird Die-off

A story map, developed by the National Park Service, is based on a published article by John Piatt, Sarah Schoen and Mayumi Arimitsu at the U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center in collaboration with 20 coauthors from the USFWS, NPS, NOAA, UW, and other research organizations. It describes the massive seabird die-off in the north Pacific and the research findings on this event.


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Year Published: 2020

Four decades of land-cover change on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: Detecting disturbance-influenced vegetation shifts using landsat legacy data

Across Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, disturbance events have removed large areas of forest over the last half century. Simultaneously, succession and landscape evolution have facilitated forest regrowth and expansion. Detecting forest loss within known pulse disturbance events is often straightforward given that reduction in tree cover is a readily...

Baughman, Carson; Loehman, Rachel A.; Magness, Dawn R.; Saperstein, Lisa; Sherriff, Rosemary L.

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Year Published: 2020

Can oceanic prey effects on growth and time to fledging mediate terrestrial predator limitation of an at‐risk seabird?

Most seabird species nest colonially on cliffs or islands with limited terrestrial predation, so that oceanic effects on the quality or quantity of prey fed to chicks more often determine nest success. However, when predator access increases, impacts can be dramatic, especially when exposure to predators is extended due to slow growth from...

Knudson, Timothy; Lovvorn, James R.; Lawonn, M. James; Corcoran, Robin; Roby, Dan; Piatt, John F.; Pyle, William

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Year Published: 2020

Analyses on subpopulation abundance and annual number of maternal dens for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

The long-term persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is threatened by sea-ice loss due to climate change, which is concurrently providing an opportunity in the Arctic for increased anthropogenic activities including natural resource extraction. Mitigating the risk of those activities, which can adversely affect the population dynamics of the...

Atwood, Todd C.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Patil, Vijay P.; Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Simac, Kristin S.
Atwood, T.C., Bromaghin, J.F., Patil, V.P., Durner, G.M., Douglas, D.C., and Simac, K.S., 2020, Analyses on subpopulation abundance and annual number of maternal dens for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020-1087, 16 p.,