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: 205
Date published: September 17, 2018
Status: Active

Meeting and Project Summaries for Boreal Partners in Flight

Information on topics discussed by Boreal Partners in Flight (BPIF) working groups organized by year.

Date published: August 21, 2018
Status: Active

Background of Beak Deformity Research

Large numbers of Black-capped Chickadees with abnormal beaks were reported in south-central Alaska in the late 1990s.  More recently, similar beak deformities have appeared in other species throughout the state. 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...

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.

Filter Total Items: 213
Date published: February 24, 2020

Polar Bear Microsatellite Data Southern Beaufort Sea 2010-2013

This data set provides Polar Bear microsatellite genotypes derived from twenty loci (G1A, G10B, G10C, CXX110, G1D, G10H, G10J, G10L, G10M, MSUT2, MU59, G10P, 145P07, CPH9, CXX20, MU50, MU51, G10X, CXX173, G10U). Samples for microsatellite genetic analysis were collected from polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea during the spring and fall, 2010-201

Date published: February 20, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Pacific Loons (Gavia pacifica) - Processed Data

This metadata document describes the data contained in the "processedData" folder of this data package. This data package contains data collected by the Argos System from 12 satellite transmitters attached to Pacific Loons on their breeding range in arctic, 2015-2016. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decode raw sensor data. Two C

Date published: February 18, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) - 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 92 satellite transmitters attached to Red-throated Loons on their breeding range in coastal areas throughout Alaska, 2000-2010. Five data files are included in the"rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (

Date published: February 18, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) - 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 92 satellite transmitters attached to Red-throated Loons on their breeding range in coastal areas throughout Alaska, 2000-2010. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates

Date published: February 14, 2020

Inshore Catch Data for Capelin (Mallotus villosus) in the Gulf of Alaska, 1996-2017

These data consist of larval (< 60 mm) and age-1+ (> 60 mm) Capelin CPUE (Catch per unit effort) from various catch efforts throughout the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) from 1996 – 2017. The dataset contains the following information: fishing gear type, date, time, catch location (latitude and longitude), tow distance, number of capelin caught, and CPUE for

Date published: February 11, 2020

North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD)

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) was created in 2005 to consolidate data on the oceanic distribution of marine bird species in the North Pacific. Most of these data were collected using at-sea strip-transect surveys within defined areas and at known locations. The NPPSD also contains observations of other bird species and marine mammals. The original NPPSD combined data from...

Date published: January 27, 2020

Catalogue of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Maternal Den Locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and Nearby Areas, 1910–2018

This data reports on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 530 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens observed in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and neighboring areas between 1910 and 2018, and archived partly by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, and partly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, in Anchorage, Alaska. D

Date published: January 23, 2020

Accelerometer Data from Collared Female Polar Bears in the Beaufort Sea, 2009-2016

This dataset includes accelerometer data collected on collars deployed on female polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2009-2016. The accelerometer was built in to collars by Telonics, Inc. and provides a single activity value of the number of seconds active per time interval of data collection. Data were collected every 15-30 minutes. GPS and ARGOs locations collected via collars...

Date published: January 22, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) - 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 50 satellite transmitters attached to Tundra Swans on their breeding range in arctic and western Alaska, 2008. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates and decode raw s

Date published: January 22, 2020

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Tundra Swans (Cygnus columbianus) - 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 50 satellite transmitters attached to Tundra Swans on their breeding range in arctic and western Alaska, 2008. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files (with identical c

Date published: January 14, 2020

Influenza A Virus Persistence Data from an Urban Wetland in Anchorage, Alaska, 2018-2019

This dataset is three tables with details of samples and aliquots of waterfowl feces deposited in filtered surface water collected from an urban waterbody in Anchorage, Alaska in 2018-2019. Sample vials were submerged underwater in the same waterbody from which the samples were collected and the samples were tested for the presence and viability of influenza A virus. Temperature data and water...

Date published: January 10, 2020

Data from Common Murre Die-off Surveys and Necropsies Following the North Pacific Marine Heatwave, 2015-2016

These data are in two tables relating to a die-off of Common Murres in the north Pacific, 2015-2016. The tables provide: 1) beach survey locations, date, time, distance surveyed (kilometers), and number of Common Murre carcasses observed during surveys conducted along the coastline of Alaska to document the 2015-2016 die-off of Common Murres coincident with the North Pacific mar

Filter Total Items: 138
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Year Published: 2013

Geochemistry, petrography, and zircon U-Pb geochronology of Paleozoic metaigneous rocks in the Mount Veta area of east-central Alaska: implications for the evolution of the westernmost part of the Yukon-Tanana terrane

We report the results of new mapping, whole-rock major, minor, and trace-element geochemistry, and petrography for metaigneous rocks from the Mount Veta area in the westernmost part of the allochthonous Yukon–Tanana terrane (YTT) in east-central Alaska. These rocks include tonalitic mylonite gneiss and mafic metaigneous rocks from the Chicken...

Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Day, Warren; Aleinikoff, John N.
Geochemistry, petrography, and zircon U-Pb geochronology of Paleozoic metaigneous rocks in the Mount Veta area of east-central Alaska: implications for the evolution of the westernmost part of the Yukon-Tanana terrane; 2013; Article; Journal; Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences; Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Day, Warren C.; Aleinikoff, John N.

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Year Published: 2011

Quantifying the influence of sea ice on ocean microseism using observations from the Bering Sea, Alaska

Microseism is potentially affected by all processes that alter ocean wave heights. Because strong sea ice prevents large ocean waves from forming, sea ice can therefore significantly affect microseism amplitudes. Here we show that this link between sea ice and microseism is not only a robust one but can be quantified. In particular, we show that...

Tsai, Victor C.; McNamara, Daniel E.
Quantifying the influence of sea ice on ocean microseism using observations from the Bering Sea, Alaska; 2011; Article; Journal; Geophysical Research Letters; Tsai, Victor C.; McNamara, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 2011

Geomagnetic referencing in the arctic environment

Geomagnetic referencing is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to north-seeking gyroscopic surveys to achieve the precise wellbore positioning essential for success in today's complex drilling programs. However, the greater magnitude of variations in the geomagnetic environment at higher latitudes makes the application of geomagnetic...

Podjono, Benny; Beck, Nathan; Buchanan, Andrew; Brink, Jason; Longo, Joseph; Finn, Carol A.; Worthington, E. William
Geomagnetic referencing in the arctic environment; 2011; Conference publication; Podjono, Benny ; Beck, Nathan ; Buchanan, Andrew ; Brink, Jason ; Longo, Joseph ; Finn, Carol A.; Worthington, E. William

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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.

Filter Total Items: 1,101
Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 26, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris 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

A young male Pacific walrus resting along shoreline of the Chukchi Sea
August 21, 2019

Young male Pacific walrus resting on beach, Chukchi Sea, Alaska

A young male Pacific walrus resting on the beach of the eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea (Photo taken during USGS research efforts permitted under US Fish and Wildlife Service Permit No. MA801652-7.)

adult female Pacific walrus resting on the beach, Chukchi Sea, Alaska
August 21, 2019

Adult female Pacific walrus resting on beach, Chukchi Sea, Alaska

An adult female Pacific walrus resting on the beach of the eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea (Photo taken during USGS research efforts permitted under US Fish and Wildlife Service Permit No. MA801652-7.)

Young male Pacific walrus on beach along the Chukchi Sea
August 21, 2019

Young male Pacific walrus on beach of eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea

A young male Pacific walrus moving up the beach of the eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea (Photo taken during USGS research efforts permitted under US Fish and Wildlife Service Permit No. MA801652-7.)

August 18, 2019

Time-lapse video of bluff erosion on Barter Island, Alaska

Recorded June 1, 2019 - August 18, 2019: Video shows a series of photos taken every hour during daylight hours in the summer of 2019. The camera looks westward along the coastal bluffs of Barter Island, located on Alaska’s North Slope. A pole on the bluff, visible in the first half of the video, once supported another video camera that was aimed at the

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
August 17, 2019

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve.

 

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek
August 17, 2019

Arctic grayling and Dolly varden from impounded water of beaver dam

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve. 

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve
August 16, 2019

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, 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

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. 

Filter Total Items: 283
USGS study of fires and waterfowl surveys in the western boreal forest of North America. 
June 21, 2016

“These results suggest that waterfowl populations in the western boreal forest are resilient to forest fires and that current policies of limited fire suppression have not been detrimental to waterfowl populations." – Tyler Lewis, U.S. Geological Survey.

Permafrost area, Beaver Creek, Alaska.
June 20, 2016

The thawing of the planet’s permafrost is replumbing arctic environments, creating several hydrologic consequences and possibly some opportunities according to a new study published in Vadose Zone.

Tyndall Glacier, Alaska
June 14, 2016

On October 17, 2015, a rain-soaked mountainside slid into Taan Fiord on Icy Bay, sending a giant wave more than 500 feet up the opposite slope.

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.