Unified Interior Regions

Alaska

The Alaska Region represents a resource-rich, dynamic landscape shaped by volcanos, earthquakes, major rivers, and glaciers. Here, we conduct research to inform management of Alaska’s extensive natural resources, inform national Arctic energy policy, and provide scientific information to help others understand, respond to, and mitigate impacts from natural hazards.

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Filter Total Items: 203
Date published: August 21, 2018
Status: Active

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria in Migratory Birds

Migratory birds, and particularly those using habitats close to human settlements, may be infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria.  The USGS is working with public health professionals to understand the role of birds in the maintenance and dispersal of antibiotic resistant bacteria.  Additionally, the USGS is investigating how antibiotic resistant bacteria in birds may relate to public and...

Date published: August 20, 2018
Status: Active

Wetlands in the Quaternary Project

Wetlands accumulate organic-rich sediment or peat stratigraphically, making them great archives of past environmental change. Wetlands also act as hydrologic buffers on the landscape and are important to global biogeochemical cycling. This project uses wetland archives from a range of environments to better understand how vegetation, hydrology, and hydroclimate has changed on decadal to multi-...

Date published: August 20, 2018
Status: Active

Species Affected by Beak Deformities

At least 30 Alaskan bird species are affected and the geographic extent of the problem appears to be growing.  In addition to Alaskan observations, we have received increasing numbers of reports from other parts of North America and Europe.

Date published: August 19, 2018
Status: Active

Physical Description of Beak Deformities

The most commonly observed physical abnormalities among Alaskan birds are overgrown or crossed beaks.  The severity of the deformities varies, ranging from a nearly indiscernible “overbite” to beaks that are more than double their normal length.  The upper and lower parts of the beak are also frequently crossed or gapped.

Date published: August 18, 2018
Status: Active

Prevalence, Distribution and Timing of Beak Deformities in Birds

The rates of beak deformities documented in Black-capped Chickadees and Northwestern Crows in Alaska are the highest ever recorded within a wild bird population anywhere.

Date published: August 17, 2018
Status: Active

Beak Deformity's Effects on Birds

Birds with beak deformities often have difficulty foraging and preening, and may not be able to keep themselves warm and well-fed during cold winter months.  Although some birds with beak deformities breed successfully, they typically encounter more challenges than normal birds.

Date published: August 16, 2018
Status: Active

Possible Causes for Beak Deformities

Beak deformities can be caused by a variety of factors, including contaminants, nutritional deficiencies, disease, parasites, blunt trauma, or genetic abnormalities. We recently identified a novel picornavirus (Poecivirus) in Black-capped Chickadees with avian keratin disorder (AKD). Our results suggest that Poecivirus is the most likely factor responsible for beak deformities in Alaskan birds...

Date published: August 15, 2018
Status: Active

Literature Cited for Beak Deformities

Literature Cited in the Beak Deformity web pages

Date published: August 14, 2018
Status: Active

Links Related to Beak Deformity Research

Links, videos and news articles related to beak deformity research

Date published: August 13, 2018
Status: Active

Changing Arctic Ecosystems

The USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystems Initiative will enhance the long-term science foundation needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and other partners.

Date published: August 10, 2018
Status: Active

Loon Research

Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have conducted research on Alaska’s three loon species since the late 1970s. Loons rely on freshwater lakes for nesting habitat and fish and invertebrates inhabiting lakes and marine ecosystems for food. All three loon species in Alaska occur within the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) on Alaska’s northern coast. Research by the USGS is...

Date published: August 8, 2018
Status: Active

Streambed Scour at Bridges in Alaska

Streambed scour is the leading cause of bridge failure in the United States resulting in over 60 percent of all failures. The Alaska Science Center, in cooperation with the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities and the Alaska Railroad, is researching streambed scour through scour monitoring, hydraulic modeling, and data collection during high flows.  

Filter Total Items: 186
Date published: September 18, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) - Raw Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "rawData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 129 satellite transmitters attached to Northern Pintail ducks on their winter range in Japan, 2007-2009. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (with identical content

Date published: September 18, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Northern Pintails (Anas acuta) - Processed Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 129 satellite transmitters attached to Northern Pintail ducks on their winter range in Japan, 2007-2009. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decode raw sensor

Date published: September 18, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) - Raw Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "rawData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 42 satellite transmitters attached to Blue-winged Teal ducks on their breeding range in Saskatchewan and Alberta (August 2013) and spring staging areas in Texas and Louisiana (March 2015). Five data files are included

Date published: September 18, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) - Processed Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains all data collected by the Argos System from 42 satellite transmitters attached to Blue-winged Teal ducks on their breeding range in Saskatchewan and Alberta (August 2013) and spring staging areas in Texas and Louisiana (March 2015). The raw data were proce

Date published: September 10, 2019

USGS National and Global Oil and Gas Assessment Project-Northern Alaska Province, Gas Hydrate Assessment Unit Boundaries and Assessment Input Data Forms

This data release contains the boundaries of assessment units and input data for the assessment of undiscovered gas hydrate resources on the north slope of Alaska. The Assessment Unit is the fundamental unit used in the National Assessment Project for the assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources. The Assessment Unit is defined within the context of the higher-level Total Petroleum...

Date published: September 5, 2019

Measurements Used to Determine the Sex of Bristle-thighed Curlews (Numenius tahitiensis)

This data set contains bill and tarsal measurements from 114 Bristle-thighed Curlews, captured on breeding grounds in Alaska, and non-breeding areas in Hawaii and Reitoru atoll, French Polynesia.

Date published: September 5, 2019

U-Pb detrital zircon geochronology of cores and cuttings from selected wells in Arctic Alaska

Select samples were collected from boreholes in Arctic Alaska to determine the U-Pb ages of zircon to determine a maximum depositional age of the geologic units and/or provenance of the zircon in the samples. Samples were collected from the Department of Natural Resources-Alaska Geologic Materials Center in Anchorage Alaska and sent to U.S. Geological Survey-Geology, Geophysics and Geochemist...

Date published: September 5, 2019

Geodetic Data for USGS Benchmark Glaciers: Orthophotos, Digital Elevation Models, and Glacier Boundaries

Since the late 1950s, the USGS has maintained a long-term glacier mass-balance program at three North American glaciers. Measurements began on South Cascade Glacier, WA in 1958, expanding to Gulkana and Wolverine glaciers, AK in 1966, and later Sperry Glacier, MT in 2005. Additional measurements have been made on Lemon Creek Glacier, AK to compliment data collected by the Juneau Ice

Date published: September 4, 2019

Aerial Imagery Captured at Nesting Pacific Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) Colonies on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, 1993-2016

This data set contains one table of the habitat classifications from imagery captured during aerial photographic surveys at the five primary Pacific black brant colonies on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska from 1993-2016.

Date published: September 1, 2019

Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3) including best value data compilations for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media

The Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3) contains new geochemical data compilations in which each geologic material sample has one best value determination for each analyzed species, greatly improving speed and efficiency of use. Like the Alaska Geochemical Database Version 2.0 before it, the AGDB3 was created and designed to compile and integrate geochemical data from Alaska t

Date published: August 29, 2019

Geodetic Data for Juneau Icefield Glaciers: Orthophotos, Digital Elevation Models, and Glacier Boundaries

Since the 1940s, the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) has been measuring surface mass balance on the Juneau Icefield. This is the longest ongoing program of its kind in North America. The program nominally occurs between late June and late August, traversing between Juneau, Alaska and Atlin, British Columbia. JIRP has examined the surface mass balance of the Juneau Icefield sin

Date published: August 15, 2019

Carbon Isotope Concentrations in Stream Food Webs of the Arctic Network National Parks, Alaska, 2014-2016

This dataset includes information on the carbon samples that were collected from organic and mineral soils, streams, algae, invertebrates, and fish in the Arctic Network Parks.

Filter Total Items: 135
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Year Published: 2011

Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB)-Geochemical data for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media

The Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB) was created and designed to compile and integrate geochemical data from Alaska in order to facilitate geologic mapping, petrologic studies, mineral resource assessments, definition of geochemical baseline values and statistics, environmental impact assessments, and studies in medical geology. This Microsoft...

Granitto, Matthew; Bailey, Elizabeth A.; Schmidt, Jeanine M.; Shew, Nora B.; Gamble, Bruce M.; Labay, Keith A.
Alaska Geochemical Database (AGDB)-Geochemical data for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media; 2011; DS; 637; Granitto, Matthew; Bailey, Elizabeth A.; Schmidt, Jeanine M.; Shew, Nora B.; Gamble, Bruce M.; Labay, Keith A.

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Year Published: 2011

Going coastal: Shared evolutionary history between coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska wolves (canis lupus)

Background: Many coastal species occupying the temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest in North America comprise endemic populations genetically and ecologically distinct from interior continental conspecifics. Morphological variation previously identified among wolf populations resulted in recognition of multiple subspecies of wolves in...

Weckworth, Byron V.; Dawson, Natalie G.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Flamme, Melanie J.; Cook, Joseph A.
Going coastal: Shared evolutionary history between coastal British Columbia and Southeast Alaska wolves (canis lupus); 2011; Article; Journal; PLoS ONE; Weckworth, B. V.; Dawson, N. G.; Talbot, S. L.; Flamme, M. J.; Cook, J. A.

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Year Published: 2011

Status and distribution of the Kittlitz's murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris in Kenai Fjords, Alaska

The Kittlitz's Murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris is a candidate species for listing under the US Endangered Species Act because of its apparent declines within core population areas of coastal Alaska. During the summers of 2006-2008, we conducted surveys in marine waters adjacent to Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, to estimate the current...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Romano, Marc D.; van Pelt, Thomas I.
Status and distribution of the Kittlitz's murrelet Brachyramphus brevirostris in Kenai Fjords, Alaska; 2011; Article; Journal; Marine Ornithology; Arimitsu, M.; Piatt, J. F.; Romano, M. D.; van, Pelt, T. I.

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Year Published: 2011

Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2010 Aleutian arc and vicinity

This map shows details of the Aleutian arc not visible in an earlier publication. The Aleutian arc extends about 3,000 km from the Gulf of Alaska to the Kamchatka Peninsula. It marks the region where the Pacific plate subducts into the mantle beneath the North America plate. This subduction is responsible for the generation of the Aleutian Islands...

Benz, Harley M.; Herman, Matthew; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villaseñor, Antonio; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan
Seismicity of the Earth 1900-2010 Aleutian arc and vicinity; 2011; OFR; 2010-1083-B; Compiled by: Benz, Harley M.; Herman, Matthew; Tarr, Arthur C.; Hayes, Gavin P.; Furlong, Kevin P.; Villase?or, Antonio; Dart, Richard L.; Rhea, Susan

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Year Published: 2010

Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910–2010

This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 392 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens found in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions between 1910 and 2010 that are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods, biases...

Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.
Durner, G.M., Fischbach, A.S., Amstrup, S.C., and Douglas, D.C., 2010, Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 568, 14 p.

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Year Published: 2010

Framework for ecological monitoring on lands of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and their partners

National Wildlife Refuges in Alaska and throughout the U.S. have begun developing a spatially comprehensive monitoring program to inform management decisions, and to provide data to broader research projects. In an era of unprecedented rates of climate change, monitoring is essential to detecting, understanding, communicating and mitigating...

Woodward, Andrea; Beever, Erik A.
Framework for ecological monitoring on lands of Alaska National Wildlife Refuges and their partners, Anchorage, Alaska; 2010; OFR; 2010-1300; Add Authors from IPDS Emails

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Year Published: 2010

King eider use an income strategy for egg production: a case study for incorporating individual dietary variation into nutrient allocation research

The use of stored nutrients for reproduction represents an important component of life-history variation. Recent studies from several species have used stable isotopes to estimate the reliance on stored body reserves in reproduction. Such approaches rely on population-level dietary endpoints to characterize stored reserves (“capital”)...

Oppel, Steffen; Powell, Abby N.; O'Brien, Diane M.

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Year Published: 2010

Alaska’s changing fire regime - Implications for the vulnerability of its boreal forests

A synthesis was carried out to examine Alaska’s boreal forest fire regime. During the 2000s, an average of 767 000 ha·year–1 burned, 50% higher than in any previous decade since the 1940s. Over the past 60 years, there was a decrease in the number of lightning-ignited fires, an increase in extreme lightning-ignited fire...

Kasischke, Eric S.; Verbyla, David L.; Rupp, T. Scott; McGuire, A. David; Murphy, Karen A.; Jandt, Randi; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Hoy, E.; Duffy, Paul A.; Calef, Monika; Turetsky, Merritt R.

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Year Published: 2010

Resilience of Alaska’s boreal forest to climatic change

This paper assesses the resilience of Alaska’s boreal forest system to rapid climatic change. Recent warming is associated with reduced growth of dominant tree species, plant disease and insect outbreaks, warming and thawing of permafrost, drying of lakes, increased wildfire extent, increased postfire recruitment of deciduous trees, and...

Chapin, F.S.; McGuire, A. David; Ruess, Roger W.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Mack, M.C.; Johnstone, J.F.; Kasischke, E.S.; Euskirchen, E.S.; Jones, J.B.; Jorgenson, M.T.; Kielland, K.; Kofinas, G.; Turetsky, M.R.; Yarie, J.; Lloyd, A.H.; Taylor, D.L.

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Year Published: 2010

The changing effects of Alaska’s boreal forests on the climate system

In the boreal forests of Alaska, recent changes in climate have influenced the exchange of trace gases, water, and energy between these forests and the atmosphere. These changes in the structure and function of boreal forests can then feed back to impact regional and global climates. In this manuscript, we examine the type and magnitude of the...

Euskirchen, E.S.; McGuire, A. David; Chapin, F.S.; Rupp, T.S.

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Year Published: 2010

Abdominally implanted transmitters with percutaneous antennas affect the dive performance of Common Eiders

Implanted transmitters have become an important tool for studying the ecology of sea ducks, but their effects remain largely undocumented. To address this, we assessed how abdominally implanted transmitters with percutaneous antennas affect the vertical dive speeds, stroke frequencies, bottom time, and dive duration of captive Common Eiders (...

Powell, Abby N.; Latty, Christopher J.; Hollmén, Tuula E.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Andrews, Russel D.

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Year Published: 2010

Logs and Geologic Data from a Paleoseismic Investigation of the Susitna Glacier fault, Central Alaska Range, Alaska

This report contains field and laboratory data from a paleoseismic study of the Susitna Glacier fault, Alaska. The initial M 7.2 subevent of the November 3, 2002, M 7.9 Denali fault earthquake sequence produced a 48-km-long set of complex fault scarps, folds, and aligned landslides on the previously unknown, north-dipping Susitna Glacier thrust...

Personius, Stephen F.; Crone, Anthony J.; Burns, Patricia A.C.; Beget, James E.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Bemis, Sean P.
Logs and Geologic Data from a Paleoseismic Investigation of the Susitna Glacier fault, Central Alaska Range, Alaska; 2010; SIM; 3114; Personius, Stephen F.; Crone, Anthony J.; Burns, Patricia A.; Beget, James E.; Seitz, Gordon G.; Bemis, Sean P.

Filter Total Items: 1,083
Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument.
August 14, 2019

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam

 

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument. 

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska
August 13, 2019

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along the Beaufort Sea

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska. This species is a close relative of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax)

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) char captured in brackish water along the Beaufort Sea coastline.
August 13, 2019

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) char captured in brackish water

Dolly Varden (Salvelinus malma) char captured in brackish water along the Beaufort Sea coastline. Dolly Varden are an important subsistence fish across their range.

Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska
August 13, 2019

Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) captured along the Beaufort Sea

Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska.

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska
August 13, 2019

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along Beaufort Sea

Arctic smelt (Osmerus dentex) captured along the Beaufort Sea coastline in Alaska. This species is a close relative of rainbow smelt (Osmerus mordax).

Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcass in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass washed up in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

Filter Total Items: 279
Scientist laying cable in a field
June 1, 2016

Fate of Alaska's large carbon reserves could affect greenhouse gas concentration.

satellite image of brown resuspended volcanic ash cloud over Kodiak Island, Alaska
April 25, 2016

Two public events are scheduled next week in the City of Kodiak, Alaska about monitoring old volcanic ash resuspended by high winds. Scientists invite the local community to learn more about the potential impacts of resuspended volcanic ash and how to assist in volcano hazards research by collecting samples of the redistributed volcanic ash and dust.

USGS
April 20, 2016

You really are what you eat. That’s the taking-off point for a new polar bear study, conducted by U.S. Geological Survey researchers with an assist from the Oregon Zoo — and published this week in the journal Physiological and Biochemical Zoology. 

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
April 5, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The U.S. Geological Survey released additional evidence that western Alaska remains a hot spot for avian influenza to enter North America. 

Image: Michelle Coombs
April 4, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Michelle Coombs as the next Scientist-in-Charge of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, a cooperative program of the U.S. Geological Survey, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.

Suzette Kimball, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey presenting award to Nicholas Mastrodicasa
March 15, 2016

To commemorate the nation's first chief geographer, the USGS established the Henry Gannett Award. This year's recipient is Nicholas Mastrodicasa, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, for his leadership in the Alaska Statewide Digital Mapping Initiative and the development of an elevation requirements study for Alaska.

Aerial view of the Chenega village site at the head of Chenega Cove.
February 1, 2016

Minutes after the 1964 magnitude-9.2 Great Alaska Earthquake began shaking, a series of tsunami waves swept through the village of Chenega in Prince William Sound, destroying all but two of the buildings and killing 23 of the 75 inhabitants. 

Image: USGS Scientists Engaged in Field Work on the Aleutian Islands
January 12, 2016

New evidence for frequent large tsunamis at a remote island near Dutch Harbor, Alaska provides geological data to aid tsunami hazard preparedness efforts around the Pacific Rim. 

Alaska Geologic Map
January 5, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.

Caribou walking in a line in the winter in Northern Alaska
December 18, 2015

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer, of course, is another common name for caribou (Rangifer tarandus) a large, cold-adapted, herding herbivore related to deer, elk and moose.