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.

Learn more about our science

In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

A new USGS fact sheet describes assessments on focal species and important topic areas in the Arctic. The USGS and collaborators provide information about Arctic ecosystems that are used by Arctic residents, management agencies, and industry.

View Publication

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.

Current Conditions


Date published: April 7, 2021

National Park Service Feature Story on Pacific Marine Heatwave

Marine heatwaves are global phenomena that can have major impacts on the structure and function of coastal ecosystems. The 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska was the longest lasting heatwave globally over the past decade.   

Date published: March 25, 2021

Publication on Ecosystem Response to an Unprecedented Marine Heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska

The 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska was the longest lasting heatwave globally over the past decade. A new study led by NOAA Fisheries scientists and partners, including four USGS Alaska Science Center scientists, provides an ecosystem-wide look at immediate and lingering effects of the eastern Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska.

Date published: February 23, 2021

Video on USGS Pacific Seabird Research

This video features an overview of USGS and Ecosystems research with a focus on Pacific seabirds. Our scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center, Western Ecological Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center work on Pacific seabird research topics in collaboration with partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and rehabilitation centers.


Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) use of nearshore marine habitats—Results from a 2019 pilot study in northern Alaska

Red-throated loons (Gavia stellata) are a species of conservation concern in Alaska due to recent evidence of a population decline on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) in northern Alaska. In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a pilot study to evaluate diet and use of nearshore foraging areas as possible...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Latty, Christopher J.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, B.D., Latty, C.J., and Schmutz, J.A., 2021, Red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) use of nearshore marine habitats—Results from a 2019 pilot study in Northern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1029, 4 p.,

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Abundance of a recently discovered Alaskan rhodolith bed in a shallow, seagrass-dominated lagoon

Rhodoliths are important foundation species of the benthic photic zone but are poorly known and rarely studied in Alaska. A bed of Lithothamnion soriferum rhodoliths was discovered in 2008 in Kinzarof Lagoon, Alaska, a shallow-water embayment dominated by eelgrass (Zostera marina). Rhodolith presence and biomass were estimated to assess trends...

Ward, David H.; Amundson, Courtney; Fitzmorris, Patrick; Menning, Damian M.; Markis, Joel; Sowl, Kristine M.; Lindstrom, Sandra C.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2021

Metabarcoding of environmental samples suggest wide distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) pathogens in the north Pacific

Seagrass meadows provide important ecological services to the marine environment but are declining worldwide. Although eelgrass meadows in the north Pacific are thought to be relatively healthy, few studies have assessed the presence of known disease pathogens in these meadows. In a pilot study to test the efficacy of the methods and to provide...

Menning, Damian M.; Gravley, Hunter A; Cady, Melissa N.; Pepin, Daniel J; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Ward, David H.; Talbot, Sandra L.