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: 200
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

Date published: January 1, 2020

U-Pb Isotopic Data and Ages of Detrital Zircon Grains, Whole Rock Major and Trace-element Geochemistry, and Whole Rock Isotopic Data from Selected Rocks from the Western Alaska Range, Medfra area, and Livengood area, Alaska.

This data release contains 3 data sets, U-Pb isotopic data and associated
ages of detrital zircon grains for 27 sedimentary rocks, whole rock major
and trace-element geochemistry for 15 igneous or phosphatic
rock samples, and whole rock Sr, Nd, and Pb isotopic data for 6 igneous
rock samples. The samples were collected from multiple localities across
Alaska as...

Date published: December 27, 2019

National assessment of shoreline change: A GIS compilation of vector shorelines and associated shoreline change data for the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

USGS is conducting an analysis of historical shoreline changes along the open-ocean sandy shores of the conterminous United States and parts of Hawaii, Alaska, and the Great Lakes.

Date published: December 20, 2019

Tabular Input/Output Data and Model Files for 19 Two-Dimensional Hydraulic Models for Streambed Scour Evaluations at Selected Bridge Sites in Alaska, 2016-2017

This data release includes tabular surveyed and interpolated elevation data, the processed computational mesh, and model output data used in scour evaluations. The methods of deriving these datasets and using them to calculate scour are described in the associated Scientific Investigations Report "Scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016-2017”. Thi

Date published: December 20, 2019

DNA Microsatellite Markers for Northern Fulmar (Fulmaris glacialis) and Cross-species Amplification in Select Seabird Species

This data set is comprised of one table with sampling information and allele sizes for 69 individual Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) from Chagulak Island, Alaska and Hafnarey Island, Iceland. Fulmar allele sizes are provided for 10 previously published and 26 novel microsatellite loci. Additionally, allele sizes for the 26 microsatellite loci developed in this study are included f

Date published: December 2, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Yellow-billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) - 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 adult Yellow-billed Loons on their breeding range in Arctic Alaska and Canada, 2002-2017. Five data files are included in the "rawData" folder of this data package. Two data files %2

Date published: December 2, 2019

Argos Satellite Tracking Data for Yellow-billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) - 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 adult Yellow-billed Loons on their breeding range in Arctic Alaska and Canada, 2002-2017. The raw data were processed to accomplish two goals: flag implausible location estimates

Date published: November 12, 2019

Glacier-Wide Mass Balance and Compiled Data Inputs: Juneau Icefield Glaciers

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: November 12, 2019

Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) Microsatellite and Mitochondrial DNA Data, 2014-2018, Alaska and Russia.

This data set describes nuclear microsatellite genotypes derived from ten autosomal loci (Aph8, Aph16, Cmo7, Cmo9, Hhi5, Sfi10, Smo4, Smo6, Smo8, Smo12) and nucleotide sequence data derived from one mitochondrial DNA locus (control region). A total of 262 Spectacled Eiders were examined for this study. Samples were collected at Indigirka and Chaun River Deltas, Russia%

Date published: November 8, 2019

Physical, Chemical, and Invertebrate Data from Chipp North Pond Manipulations, North Slope, Alaska, 2013

These data are in three tables relating to a series of ponds, visited weekly over the summer of 2013, in the Chipp River Basin on the Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska. The tables provide: 1) location and description of each of the ponds, 2) physical information on pond characteristics (area, volume, and temperature), water chemistry (electrical conductivity, disso

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: 1,086
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. 

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

Filter Total Items: 280
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.