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: June 19, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial and Temporal Maps of Population Change of Waterbirds on Alaska's North Slope

A main objective of the USGS Changing Arctic Research Initiative is to quantify and provide projections of the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic.  The following project provides information for Department of Interior agencies, industry, and other stakeholders related to this objective.

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Climate Change on U.S. Arctic Ocean Margins

Arctic Alaska is warming faster than the rest of the United States. A major consequence of this warming is permafrost thaw, which threatens infrastructure, alters habitat, increases fire risk, changes nutrient and sediment delivery to the coastal ocean, and enhances greenhouse gas release. The warming climate has already dramatically reduced the thickness and annual duration of sea ice,...

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Landslide-Induced Tsunamis of Southern Alaska

Working with partners to study and inform the Nation about geohazard risks

Date published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Winter Habitat of Juvenile Dolly Varden in the Canning River

In the Arctic, rivers often freeze all the way to the bottom each winter leaving fish with limited habitat where they can survive. 

Date published: April 24, 2019
Status: Completed

Climate impacts to Arctic coasts, recent activities

New instruments installed to measure Arctic coastal erosion; community outreach event held

Contacts: Li Erikson
Date published: April 20, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these...

Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Barter Island, Alaska

For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

Date published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Macrofossil and Sediment Processing Laboratory

In the Macrofossil and sediment processing lab we analyze the physical, biological, and geochemical characteristics of peat and sediment samples collected from lake, wetland, and peat cores as proxies for past changes to these depositional environments on timescales of decades to millennia. We primarily study terrestrial wetland ecosystems from subtropical to arctic regions in order to...

Date published: February 1, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...

Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.

Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

Webinar: Aquatic Ecosystem Vulnerability to Fire and Climate Change in Alaskan Boreal Forests

View this webinar for more information about conservation efforts surrounding aquatic habitats in boreal Alaska.

Filter Total Items: 213
Date published: June 25, 2020

Buff-breasted Sandpiper (Calidris subruficollis) Measurement Data from Brazil, Texas, and Alaska

This data consists of a single table morphologic measurement data and sex as determined by behavior and genetic techniques from 362 Buff-breasted Sandpipers (Calidris subruficollis) from Brazil, Texas and Alaska (1994 - 2017).

Date published: June 23, 2020

Global Geochemical Database for Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples

The Critical Minerals in Archived Mine Samples Database (CMDB) contains chemistry and geologic information for historic ore and ore-related rock samples from mineral deposits in the United States. In addition, the database contains samples from archetypal deposits from 27 other countries in North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Samples were obtained from archived ore

Date published: June 15, 2020

U-Pb Isotopic Data and Ages of Titanite and Detrital Zircon from Selected Rocks from the Western Alaska Range, Alaska

This data set contains U-Pb isotopic data and associated ages of
titanite from one sample and detrital zircon grains from 33
sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks collected from the western
Alaska Range in south-central Alaska. The samples were collected as
part of geological mapping and research conducted between 2010 and
2014 and funded by the Mineral Resources...

Date published: June 12, 2020

Multistate Capture and Search Data from the Southern Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Subpopulation in Alaska, 2001-2016

This data release contains two tables of information on polar bear distributions in the southern Beaufort Sea during spring, from 2001 to 2016. One table provides location (classified into 5 broad regions) of individual bears during the spring. The other table presents the aerial search effort by year and area.

Date published: June 3, 2020

Water Surfaces Elevations During an Outburst Flood from Pressure Transducers at Snow River, Alaska, 2019

This dataset includes locations, pressure readings, and baro-corrected water surface elevations from three submersible pressure transducers deployed in the channel and floodplain of Snow River during the 2019 glacial lake outburst flood.

Date published: May 20, 2020

Nesting Habitat and Nest Survival Data for American (Pluvialis dominica) and Pacific (P. fulva) Golden-Plovers on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, 2012−2013

This data set contains information (in two tables) on nesting habitat and nest survival for American (Pluvialis dominica) and Pacific (P. fulva) Golden-Plovers monitored at seven study sites across an elevational gradient (28−416 m) on the Seward Peninsula in northwestern Alaska during the summers of 2012 and 2013. We used principal components analysis to reduce habitat me

Date published: May 13, 2020

Sea Otter Aerial Survey Data from Southeast Alaska, 2002-2003

The data package "Sea Otter Aerial Survey Data from Southeast Alaska, 2002-2003" provides raw data for examining abundance and distribution of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) in Southeast Alaska, based on data collected during a series of population-wide aerial surveys. The USGS aerial sea otter surveys have been completed multiple times using consistent methodology invol

Date published: May 4, 2020

Habitat Selection Scenarios for Molting Waterfowl in the Goose Molting Area of the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, for NPR-A Integrated Activity Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (2020)

The dataset consists of a polygon shapefile. Each polygon represents a set of molt units (interconnected lakes used as habitat by molting waterfowl) within the Goose Molting Area of the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area in northern Alaska, in addition to a half-mile or 1-mile wide buffer, that were selected for restrictions on new surface occupancy or infrastructure development by the oil and g

Date published: April 27, 2020

Detection of Seagrass Pathogens Using Environmental DNA (eDNA), North Pacific, 2016-present

This data set is comprised of one table with sampling information and NCBI BioProject accession numbers for sequence information of this amplicon-based study targeting Labyrinthula, Phytophthora, and Halophytophthora of known pathogenic and non-pathogenic [to eelgrass (Zostera marina)] strains from eDNA samples. eDNA samples included water, sediment, and eelgrass from Izembek Lag

Date published: April 27, 2020

Genetic Data From Nesting Steller’s Eiders (Polysticta stelleri), Near Utqiaġvik, Alaska, 1995-2016

This data set is comprised of one table with Steller's Eider sample information and allele sizes for 6 microsatellite loci.

Date published: April 22, 2020

Chirp, multichannel minisparker, and boomer seismic-reflection data from USGS field activity G-01-13-GA collected in Port Valdez, Alaska, in September 2013

Multichannel minisparker and boomer seismic-reflection and chirp sub bottom data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in September of 2013 in Port Valdez, Alaska. Data were collected aboard the USGS R/V Alaskan Gyre during field activity G-01-13-GA. Sub-bottom acoustic penetration spans several hundreds of meters and is variable by location. High-resolution multichannel...

Date published: April 22, 2020

Chirp seismic-reflection data from USGS field activity G-01-13-GA collected in Port Valdez, Alaska, in September 2013

Chirp data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in September of 2013 in Port Valdez, Alaska. Data were collected aboard the USGS R/V Alaskan Gyre during field activity G-01-13-GA, using an EdgeTech SB-512i sub-bottom profiler. Sub-bottom acoustic penetration spans several tens of meters and is variable by location.

Filter Total Items: 138
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Year Published: 2015

Geologic map of Alaska

Summary This map and associated digital databases are the result of compilation and interpretation of published and unpublished 1:250,000-scale and limited 1:500,000- to 1:63,360-scale maps. Covering the entire state of Alaska, it reflects more than a century of work by a host of geologists and almost two decades of compilation work. There are two...

Wilson, Frederic H.; Hults, Chad P.; Mull, Charles G.; Karl, Susan M.
Wilson, F.H., Hults, C.P., Mull, C.G, and Karl, S.M, comps., 2015, Geologic map of Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3340, pamphlet 196 p., 2 sheets, scale 1:1,584,000, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sim3340.

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Year Published: 2015

Field guide to the Mesozoic arc and accretionary complex of South-Central Alaska, Indian to Hatcher Pass

This field trip traverses exposures of a multi-generation Mesozoic magmatic arc and subduction-accretion complex that had a complicated history of magmatic activity and experienced variations in composition and deformational style in response to changes in the tectonic environment. This Mesozoic arc formed at an unknown latitude to the south, was...

Karl, Susan M.; Oswald, P.J.; Hults, Chad P.
Karl, S. M., P. J. Oswald, and C. P. Hults. 2015. Field guide to the Mesozoic arc and accretionary complex of South-Central Alaska, Indian to Hatcher Pass. Alaska Geological Society:1-65.

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Year Published: 2015

Landslides and megathrust splay faults captured by the late Holocene sediment record of eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska

We present new marine seismic‐reflection profiles and bathymetric maps to characterize Holocene depositional patterns, submarine landslides, and active faults beneath eastern and central Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, which is the eastern rupture patch of the 1964 Mw 9.2 earthquake. We show evidence that submarine landslides, many of which...

Finn, S.P.; Liberty, Lee M.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Pratt, Thomas L.

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Year Published: 2015

Geologic Map of Baranof Island, southeastern Alaska

This map updates the geology of Baranof Island based on fieldwork, petrographic analyses, paleontologic ages, and isotopic ages. These new data provide constraints on depositional and metamorphic ages of lithostratigraphic rock units and the timing of structures that separate them. Kinematic analyses and thermobarometric calculations provide...

Karl, Susan M.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Himmelberg, Glen R.; Zumsteg, Cathy L.; Layer, Paul W.; Friedman, Richard M.; Roeske, Sarah M.; Snee, Lawrence W.
Karl, S.M., Haeussler, P.J., Himmelberg, G.R., Zumsteg, C.L., Layer, P.W., Friedman, R.M., Roeske, S.M., and Snee, L.W., 2015, Geologic map of Baranof Island, southeastern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3335, pamphlet 82 p., scale 1:200,000, http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/sim3335.

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Year Published: 2015

Tsunami recurrence in the eastern Alaska-Aleutian arc: A Holocene stratigraphic record from Chirikof Island, Alaska

Despite the role of the Alaska-Aleutian megathrust as the source of some of the largest earthquakes and tsunamis, the history of its pre–twentieth century tsunamis is largely unknown west of the rupture zone of the great (magnitude, M 9.2) 1964 earthquake. Stratigraphy in core transects at two boggy lowland sites on Chirikof Island’s...

Nelson, Alan R.; Briggs, Richard W.; Dura, Tina; Engelhart, Simon E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy; Bradley, Lee-Ann; Forman, S.L.; Vane, Christopher H.; Kelley, K.A.

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Year Published: 2015

Updating the USGS seismic hazard maps for Alaska

The U.S. Geological Survey makes probabilistic seismic hazard maps and engineering design maps for building codes, emergency planning, risk management, and many other applications. The methodology considers all known earthquake sources with their associated magnitude and rate distributions. Specific faults can be modeled if slip-rate or recurrence...

Mueller, Charles; Briggs, Richard W.; Wesson, Robert L.; Petersen, Mark D.

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Year Published: 2015

Depositional conditions for the Kuna Formation, Red Dog Zn-PB-Ag-Barite District, Alaska, inferred from isotopic and chemical proxies

Water column redox conditions, degree of restriction of the depositional basin, and other paleoenvironmental parameters have been determined for the Mississippian Kuna Formation of northwestern Alaska from stratigraphic profiles of Mo, Fe/Al, and S isotopes in pyrite, C isotopes in organic matter, and N isotopes in bulk rock. This unit is...

Johnson, Craig A.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Burruss, Robert A.; Slack, John F.
Johnson, C.A., Dumoulin, J.A., Burruss, R.A., and Slack, J.F., 2015, Depositional conditions for the Kuna Formation, Red Dog Zn-Pb-Ag-barite district, Alaska, inferred from isotopic and chemical proxies: Economic Geology, v. 110, p. 1143-1156.

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Year Published: 2015

Mesozoic magmatism and timing of epigenetic Pb-Zn-Ag mineralization in the western Fortymile mining district, east-central Alaska: Zircon U-Pb geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and Pb isotopes

The Mesozoic magmatic history of the North American margin records the evolution from a more segmented assemblage of parautochthonous and allochthonous terranes to the more cohesive northern Cordilleran orogenic belt. We characterize the setting of magmatism, tectonism, and epigenetic mineralization in the western Fortymile mining district, east-...

Dusel-Bacon, Cynthia; Aleinkoff, J.N.; Day, W.C.; Mortensen, J.K.
Dusel-Bacon, C., Aleinikoff, J.N., Day, W.C., and Mortensen, J.K., 2015, Mesozoic magmatism and timing of epigenetic Pb-Zn-Ag mineralization in the western Fortymile mining district, east-central Alaska: Zircon U-Pb geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and Pb isotopes: Geosphere, v. 11, no. 3, p. 786–822, doi:10.1130/GES01092.1.

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Year Published: 2015

Focused exhumation along megathrust splay faults in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Megathrust splay faults are a common feature of accretionary prisms and can be important for generating tsunamis during some subduction zone earthquakes. Here we provide new evidence from Alaska that megathrust splay faults have been conduits for focused exhumation in the last 5 Ma. In most of central Prince William Sound, published and new...

Haeussler, Peter J.; Armstrong, Phillip A; Liberty, Lee M; Ferguson, Kelly M; Finn, Shaun P; Arkle, Jeannette C; Pratt, Thomas L.
Haeussler, P. J., Armstrong, P. A., Liberty, L. M., Ferguson, K. M., Finn, S. P., Arkle, J. C., & Pratt, T. L. (2015, April). Focused exhumation along megathrust splay faults in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Quaternary Science Reviews. Elsevier BV. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2014.10.013

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Year Published: 2015

Slab melting beneath the Cascades Arc driven by dehydration of altered oceanic peridotite

Water is returned to Earth’s interior at subduction zones. However, the processes and pathways by which water leaves the subducting plate and causes melting beneath volcanic arcs are complex; the source of the water—subducting sediment, altered oceanic crust, or hydrated mantle in the downgoing plate—is debated; and the role of...

Walowski, Kristina J; Wallace, Paul J.; Hauri, E.H.; Wada, I.; Clynne, Michael A.
Walowski, Kristina J., Wallace, Paul J., Hauri, E.H., Wada, I., and Clynne, M.A., 2015, Slab melting beneath the Cascades Arc driven by dehydration of altered oceanic peridotite: Nature Geoscience doi: 10.1038/NGEO2417.

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Year Published: 2015

Strain accumulation across the Prince William Sound asperity, Southcentral Alaska

The surface velocities predicted by the conventional subduction model are compared to velocities measured in a GPS array (surveyed in 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2004) spanning the Prince William Sound asperity. The observed velocities in the comparison have been corrected to remove the contributions from postseismic (1964 Alaska earthquake)...

Savage, James C.; Svarc, Jerry L.; Lisowski, Michael

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Year Published: 2015

Beach ridges as paleoseismic indicators of abrupt coastal subsidence during subduction zone earthquakes, and implications for Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone paleoseismology, southeast coast of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

The Kenai section of the eastern Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone straddles two areas of high slip in the 1964 great Alaska earthquake and is the least studied of the three megathrust segments (Kodiak, Kenai, Prince William Sound) that ruptured in 1964. Investigation of two coastal sites in the eastern part of the Kenai segment, on the southeast...

Kelsey, Harvey M.; Witter, Robert C.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Briggs, Richard W.; Nelson, Alan R.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Corbett, D. Reide

Filter Total Items: 1,101
Thermal photograph of a coastal bluff where two people can be seen standing and waving.
September 30, 2019

Thermal photograph of Barter Island bluffs

Example of a thermal photograph of Barter Island's bluffs, on the North Slope of Alaska. Two USGS scientists stand waving on the right side of the photo. Lighter areas are warmer, darker areas are colder. Thermal photography makes it easy to detect areas of permafrost, or the lack thereof.

A person stands on tundra at the edge of a cliff that has gigantic chunks of eroded blocks tumbled down onto the beach.
September 30, 2019

Large blocks of failed coastal bluff on Barter Island

Large blocks of coastal bluff tumble down onto the beach of Barter Island, on the North Slope of Alaska.

A person rides an ATV on a beach alongside gigantic chunks of coastal bluff that have fallen onto the beach.
September 30, 2019

Coastal bluffs collapsed onto the beach

Gigantic chunks of perafrost coastal bluffs tumbled down onto the beach along Barter Island on the North Slope of Alaska. A USGS scientist drives past them, seeking good locations to place instruments and markers that will be used in photographic analysis.

An instrument with propellers, about the size of a large pizza box, stands on four legs on bare ground.
September 30, 2019

USGS PCMSC UAS

An remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or drone, equipped with a camera, sits on the Arctic tundra awaiting a radio signal that tells it to fly.

forage species caught in trawl net, Alaska
September 23, 2019

Forage species caught in trawl net, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Squid, adult walleye pollock, herring, eulachon, northern smoothtongue, capelin, juvenile walleye pollock, krill, and shrimp are forage species that are caught by a modified-herring trawl in Prince William Sound, Alaska during the Fall Integrated Predator-Prey Survey.

Sending the trawl net overboard, Alaska
September 19, 2019

Sending the trawl overboard, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Caitlin Marsteller (USGS) and April Sturgess (USGS) throw the cod end of the modified herring trawl overboard on the USGS R/V Alaskan Gyre during the Fall Integrated Predator-Prey survey in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Keychain for USGS outreach activities about bird banding and reporting
September 17, 2019

Keychain for USGS outreach activities about bird banding and reporting

Keychain developed for USGS outreach activities about bird banding and reporting in Yup'ik and English. Yup'ik translation provided by Jakob Sipary, Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP).

Please see description for full content of infographic
September 10, 2019

Gas Hydrates in Alaska 2019

The Alaska North Slope is rich in gas hydrate-bearing formations which contain significant natural gas resources. The USGS has released a geologically based assessment for how much of these resources is technically recoverable.

53.8 trillion cubic feet
Estimate of the undiscovered technically recoverable amount of natural gas that is stored in

...
exposed ablation stake in the fall at Wolverine Glacier
September 9, 2019

Ablation Stake on Wolverine Glacier

An ablation stake which began the summer below the surface of the snow is shown here in the fall, extending far above bare ice surface of Wolverine Glacier, Alaska. A USGS scientist carries a portable steam drill, used to install the stakes in the glacier.

Water chemistry measurements on the Alaska Peninsula
September 6, 2019

Hydrologist takes water chemistry measures on the Alaska Peninsula

Laura Hubbard of the USGS Upper Midwest Water Science Center takes water chemistry measures on the Alaska Peninsula as part of research to understand how long influenza viruses remain viable in the environment.  

Pacific walruses jousting with their tusks, Chukchi Sea, Alaska
September 3, 2019

Pacific walruses jousting with their tusks, Chukchi Sea, Alaska

Pacific walruses jousting with their tusks on the eastern shore of the Chukchi Sea (Photo taken during USGS research efforts permitted under US Fish and Wildlife Service Permit No. MA801652-7.)

Pacific walruses hauled out on beach, Alaska
September 3, 2019

Pacific walruses hauled out on beach, Alaska

Pacific walruses 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.)

Filter Total Items: 283
Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Bogoslof Volcano, Alaska: ongoing eruption through the Bering Sea...
March 30, 2017

Hawai‘i is not the only island in the United States with an ongoing eruption involving hot lava and cold water.

Scientists taking soil samples
March 15, 2017

Alaska has considerable potential for undiscovered mineral resources, including critical minerals.

USGS
March 13, 2017

A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.

Scientist collecting samples in the Arctic Coastal Plain
March 7, 2017

Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years. 

Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
March 3, 2017

Bogoslof volcano, located in the Aleutian Islands about 98 km (61 mi) northwest of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, is in an active eruption sequence that began in mid-December 2016 and continues today.

A small bird with distinctive orange-brown feathers around its neck and blue feathers on head, sitting on a small shrub
March 2, 2017

Scientists can now predict which avian species are most sensitive to the increasingly dominant shrub habitat spreading across Alaska, a capability that will be useful for natural resource agencies in Alaska charged with managing these resources.

Image shows an undersea gas hydrate formation with shellfish on it.
February 9, 2017

A recent interpretive review of scientific literature performed by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Rochester sheds light on the interactions of gas hydrates and climate.

Dr. Christian Zimmerman, USGS Alaska Science Center Director
February 1, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Christian Zimmerman as the new director of their Alaska Science Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Zimmerman succeeds Dr. Mark Shasby who held the position for the past six years.

USGS scientist placing a tracking collar on a caribou.
December 19, 2016

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer and caribou are large, cold-adapted, herding herbivores related to deer, elk and moose.

To learn more about how these arctic antler-bearers spend the other 364 days of the year, we talked to USGS caribou expert Dr. Layne Adams, who has studied these animals for more than 30 years.