Unified Interior Regions

Region 11: Alaska

Alaska Science Center

Alaska Science Center

4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7000

View Center Website

Volcano Science Center

Volcano Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7497

View Center Website

Climate Adaptation Science Center

Climate Adaptation Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-301-7830

View Center Website

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USGS in Alaska engages approximately 400 scientists and support staff working across 3 major centers with a combined annual science budget of about $65 million. In just the last 5 years, USGS in Alaska has produced scientific benefits resulting from over 1000 publications and about 250 Technical Reports.

USGS publications for Alaska

Alaska Science Portal

AK CASC Projects

Alaska Volcano Observatory  

Filter Total Items: 170
Date published: October 7, 2019
Status: Active

Community Outreach and Engagement

It is critically important that Indigenous peoples, rural communities, and Alaska co-management councils are kept informed of USGS research activities and findings. Involvement of and collaboration with students also provides valuable perspectives to USGS science. This page offers information on how USGS communicates its activities and seeks opportunities to gain important perspectives from...

Date published: September 25, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI)

Our objective is to provide a strategic framework for planning, coordination, and execution of the USGS Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) in Alaska. Earth MRI aims to improve knowledge of the U.S. geologic framework through new geological and geophysical mapping and to identify areas that have the potential to contain undiscovered critical mineral resources.

Date published: September 11, 2019
Status: Active

Seabird Die-offs in Alaska

Beginning in 2015, large numbers of dead seabirds have been appearing on beaches in most marine areas of Alaska. Although seabird die-offs are known to occur sporadically (e.g. 1970, 1989, 1993, 1997/1998, and 2004) in Alaska, these recent die-offs have been distinguished from past events by their increased frequency, duration, geographic extent, and number of different species involved. 

Date published: September 9, 2019
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors)

Available here are tracking data of Blue-winged Teal, a duck species that breeds throughout much of North America and whose wintering range includes neotropical areas of the Caribbean and Central and South America, thus providing a migratory link between the continents of North and South America. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movement of...

Date published: September 5, 2019
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Northern Pintails (Anas acuta)

Available here are tracking data of Northern Pintails, a duck species that, in Alaska, nests throughout the state and in adjacent regions of Russia and Canada. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements of Northern Pintails from wintering grounds in Japan as part of a project on the possible spread of Eurasian forms of avian influenza to North...

Date published: August 25, 2019
Status: Active

Condition of Forage Fish in Prince William Sound During the Marine Heatwave

Changes in the body condition of a key forage fish species, Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes personatus), are examined to understand how energy transfer to predators may have been disrupted during the recent marine heatwave in the North Pacific (late 2013 to mid 2016).

Date published: August 21, 2019
Status: Completed

Potential Landslide Paths and Implications for Tsunami Hazards in Glacier Bay, Alaska – An Initial Investigation

Glacier Bay and its inlets are a popular destination for cruise ships and passenger boats; about 540,000 people visited Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve (GBNPP) in 2017. A typical tour of the Bay traverses the entire length up to the glacier calving viewpoints in the Johns Hopkins and Tarr Inlets.  A 2018 article “Landslides and Giant Waves” by the National Park Service (NPS) states, “...

Date published: August 2, 2019
Status: Active

Cook Inlet Seabird and Forage Fish Study

A massive die-off of Common Murres was documented in the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) during the fall and winter of 2015-2016 in association with a record-breaking marine heat wave in the GOA.

Date published: August 1, 2019
Status: Active

North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) includes more than 460,000 survey transects that were designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea.

Date published: July 31, 2019
Status: Active

USGS Alaska Science Center Wildlife Tracking Data Collection

Understanding the short- and long-distance movements of wildlife is critical for a wide variety of ecological research questions and management decisions. Since the mid-1980s, the USGS Alaska Science Center has used information from telemetry devices on wildlife species to determine locations of animals throughout their annual cycles, understand patterns of habitat use, quantify time spent on...

Date published: July 22, 2019
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa)

Available here are tracking data of Marbled Godwits, a large-bodied shorebird that, in Alaska, nests in the southwestern portion of the state. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements and seasonal use of different coastal areas in the Pacific region.

Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Active

Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Alaska Seabirds

Elevated ocean temperatures are linked to the development of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Toxins from these blooms may pose health threats to marine organisms, including seabirds. Since 2015, the USGS has worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop testing methods and research projects to better understand the geographic extent, timing and impacts of algal toxins in Alaska marine...

USGS research activities relevant to Alaska have yielded more than 9400 historical publications. This page features some of the most recent newsworthy research findings.

Search USGS publications for Alaska

Arctic Science for Decision Maker

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,578
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Year Published: 2021

Poecivirus is present in individuals with beak deformities in seven species of North American birds

Avian keratin disorder (AKD), a disease of unknown etiology characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth, has increasingly affected wild bird populations since the 1990s. A novel picornavirus, poecivirus, is closely correlated with disease status in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska. However, our knowledge of the...

Zylberberg, Maxine; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; Liu, Rachel; DeRisi, Joseph L.

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Year Published: 2021

Re-examination of population structure in Arctic ringed seals using DArTseq genotyping

Although Arctic ringed seals Phoca hispida hispida are currently abundant and broadly distributed, their numbers are projected to decline substantially by the year 2100 due to climate warming. While understanding population structure could provide insight into the impact of environmental changes on this subspecies, detecting...

Lang, Aimee R.; Boveng, Peter L.; Quakenbush, L.; Robertson, K.; Lauf, M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Ziel, H.; Taylor, B .L.

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Year Published: 2021

Coding-Complete Genome Sequence of Avian Orthoavulavirus 16, isolated from Emperor Goose (Anser canagica) feces, Alaska, USA

We sequenced the coding-complete genome of an avian orthoavulavirus serotype 16 (AOAV-16) isolate recovered from emperor goose (Anser canagicus) feces collected in Alaska. The detection of AOAV-16 in North America and genomic sequencing of the resultant isolate confirms that the geographic distribution of this virus extends beyond Asia.

Reeves, Andrew B.; Killian, Mary Lea; Tanner, Michael E; Lagasse, Benjamin Joel; Ramey, Andrew M.; Stallknecht, David E.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2021

Evidence for continental-scale dispersal of antimicrobial resistant bacteria by landfill-foraging gulls

Anthropogenic inputs into the environment may serve as sources of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and alter the ecology and population dynamics of synanthropic wild animals by providing supplemental forage. In this study, we used a combination of phenotypic and genomic approaches to characterize antimicrobial resistant indicator bacteria, animal...

Ahlstrom, Christina; van Toor, Mariëlle L.; Woksepp, Hanna; Chandler, Jeffrey C; Reed, John; Reeves, Andrew B.; Waldenström, Jonas; Franklin, Alan B.; Douglas, David C.; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2021

Identification of seasonal streamflow regimes and streamflow drivers for daily and peak flows in Alaska

Alaska is among northern high‐latitude regions where accelerated climate change is expected to impact streamflow properties, including seasonality and primary flow drivers. Evaluating changes to streamflow, including flood characteristics, across this large and diverse environment can be improved by identifying the distribution and influence of...

Curran, Janet H.; Frances E. Biles

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Year Published: 2021

The Alaska convergent margin backstop splay fault zone, a potential large tsunami generator between the frontal prism and continental framework

The giant tsunami that swept the Pacific from Alaska to Antarctica in 1946 was generated along one of three Alaska Trench instrumentally recorded aftershock areas following great and giant earthquakes. Aftershock areas were investigated during the past decade with multibeam bathymetry, ocean bottom seismograph wide‐angle seismic, reprocessed...

von Huene, Roland; Miller, John J.; Krabbenhoeft, Anne

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Year Published: 2021

Shifts in the wintering distribution and abundance of Emperor Geese in Alaska

For wildlife species that winter at northern latitudes, harsh overwinter conditions can play an important role in population dynamics. Recent changes in global temperatures have resulted in distributional shifts of wildlife species, as well as amelioration of winter climates in northern landscapes. The emperor goose (Anser canagicus), an endemic...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Buccheit, Raymond M.; Eldermire, Charles R.; Wilson, Heather M.; Schmutz, Joel A.

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Year Published: 2021

Multiple physical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments recovered from Alaska North Slope 2018 Hydrate-01 Stratigraphic Test Well

Knowledge of the petrophysical and geomechanical properties of gas hydrate-bearing sediments is essential for predicting reservoir responses to gas production from gas hydrate reservoirs. In December 2018, Stratigraphic Test Well Hydrate-01 was drilled in the western part of the Prudhoe Bay Unit, Alaska North Slope, as part of the technical...

Yoneda, Jun; Jin, Yusuke; Muraoka, Michihiro; Oshima, Motoi; Suzuki, Kiyofumi; Walker, Mike; Donald Westacott; Otsuki, Satoshi; Kumagai, Kenichi; Collett, Timothy; Boswell, Ray; Okinaka, Norihiro

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Year Published: 2021

Lake trout growth is sensitive to spring temperature in southwest Alaska lakes

In high‐latitude lakes, air temperature is an important driver of ice cover thickness and duration, which in turn influence water temperature and primary production supporting lake consumers and predators. In lieu of multidecadal observational records necessary to assess the response of lakes to long‐term warming, we used otolith‐based growth...

von Biela, Vanessa R.; Black, Bryan A.; Young, Daniel B.; van der Sleen, Peter; Bartz, Krista K.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2020

Coastal permafrost erosion

Highlights• Since the early 2000s, erosion of permafrost coasts in the Arctic has increased at 13 of 14 sites with observational data that extend back to ca. 1960 and ca. 1980, coinciding with warming temperatures, sea ice reduction, and permafrost thaw.• Permafrost coasts along the US and Canadian Beaufort Sea experienced the largest increase in...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Irrgang, Anna M; Farquharson, Louise M.; Lantuit, Hugues; Whalen, Dustin; Ogorodov, Stanislav; Grigoriev, Mikhail; Tweedie, Craig E.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Strzelecki, Matt C; Baranskaya, Alisa; Belova, Nataliya; Sinitsyn, Anatoly; Kroon, Art; Maslakov, Alexey; Vieira, Gonçalo; Grosse, Guido; Overduin, Paul; Nitze, Ingmar; Maio, Christopher V.; Overbeck, Jacquelyn R.; Bendixen, Mette; Zagórski, Piotr; Romanovsky, Vladimir

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Year Published: 2020

Changing storm conditions in response to projected 21st century climate change and the potential impact on an arctic barrier island–lagoon system—A pilot study for Arey Island and Lagoon, eastern Arctic Alaska

Executive SummaryArey Lagoon, located in eastern Arctic Alaska, supports a highly productive ecosystem, where soft substrate and coastal wet sedge fringing the shores are feeding grounds and nurseries for a variety of marine fish and waterfowl. The lagoon is partially protected from the direct onslaught of Arctic Ocean waves by a barrier island...

Erikson, Li H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Ohman, Karin
Erikson, L.H., Gibbs, A.E., Richmond, B.M., Storlazzi, C.D., Jones, B.M., and Ohman, K.A., 2020, Changing storm conditions in response to projected 21st century climate change and the potential impact on an arctic barrier island–lagoon system—A pilot study for Arey Island and Lagoon, eastern Arctic Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1142, 68, p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201142.

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Year Published: 2020

Effects of fish populations on Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed Loon (G. adamsii) lake occupancy and chick production in northern Alaska

Predator populations are vulnerable to changes in prey distribution or availability. With warming temperatures, lake ecosystems in the Arctic are predicted to change in terms of hydrologic flow, water levels, and connectivity with other lakes. We surveyed lakes in northern Alaska to understand how shifts in the distribution or availability of fish...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Uher-Koch, Hannah R.; Schmutz, Joel A.

Browse a selection of videos, audio clips, images, and more from a wide range of science topics covered by USGS!

"Science for a Changing World" - watch the short film here!

Documentary on walruses here!

Watch the first-ever footage of a polar bear on Arctic sea ice!

Join USGS geologists as they collect lava samples from Kilauea Volcano.

Watch researchers in the Arctic!

Filter Total Items: 983
Geologist at Yukon Tanana Uplands Alaska
December 31, 2019

Geologist at Yukon Tanana Uplands Alaska

Geologist at Yukon Tanana Uplands Alaska.  This is part of the Earth MRI project.

Keychain in Inupiaq for USGS outreach activities about bird banding and reporting
December 3, 2019

Keychain in Inupiaq for USGS outreach activities about bird banding

Keychain developed for USGS outreach activities about bird banding and reporting in Inupiaq and English. Inupiaq translation provided by Qaiyaan and Jana Harcharek.

Tundra swan on the Colville River Delta
October 31, 2019

Tundra swan on the Colville River Delta, Alaska

Tundra swan on the Colville River Delta, Alaska 2013.

October 31, 2019

Animation depicting seasonal cycles on Alaska's Arctic bluffs

In the spring, winter sea ice thaws and moves offshore leaving the coast exposed to increased wave action and relatively warm water temperatures that, when in contact with the bluff, erodes the toe of the bluff. Additionally, warm air temperatures during the spring and summer months thaw the upper layers of permafrost causing erosion or sloughing of the bluff face above

October 24, 2019

Climate Adaptation Planning with Alaska-Based Adaptation Tools

The dynamic landscape and climate of Alaska presents many challenges to the over 200 communities that live in rural areas of the state and have a wide variety of resource needs. Coastal and riverine erosion, flooding, wildfire, permafrost dynamics and increasing temperatures act as drivers for many of these landscape changes. Both the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science

Beaver dam and lodge on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
October 16, 2019

Beaver dam and lodge on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dam and lodge on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dam complex and lodge at the confluence of Wrench Creek and Kelly River, Noatak National Preserve
October 16, 2019

Beaver dam complex and lodge at the confluence

Beaver dam complex and lodge at the confluence of Wrench Creek and Kelly River, Noatak National Preserve

Adult Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) caught in impounded water above beaver dam. >2 5rKM from coast
October 9, 2019

Adult Pacific salmon caught in impounded water above beaver dam

Adult Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) caught in impounded water above beaver dam. >25 rKM (river KM) from coast.

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

...
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.  

Browse a collection of stories about prominent USGS scientists and projects in Alaska news.

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 253
Map of earthquake in Anchorage, Alaska, November 30, 2018
November 30, 2018

A magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck north of Anchorage, Alaska, on November 30, 2018, at 8:29 a.m. local time (17:29:28 UTC).  For the most up-to-date information, please visit the USGS event page, and for estimates of casualties and damage, visit the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) website.

man standing on dock next to large white ship
August 6, 2018

Researchers from NOAA, U.S. Geological Survey and their partners have completed the first high-resolution, comprehensive mapping of one of the fastest moving underwater tectonic faults in the world, located in southeastern Alaska. This information will help communities in coastal Alaska and Canada better understand and prepare for the risks from earthquakes and tsunamis that can occur when faults suddenly move.

Animated GIF of polar bears interacting on the ice
February 1, 2018

In June of 2014, the USGS released the first-ever polar bear point-of-view footage, offering a never-seen-before perspective from the top Arctic predator.

Map showing part of southern Alaska and Gulf of Alaska, with orange star in Gulf & white dots strung out along Aleutian Islands
January 30, 2018

One week ago, on January 23rd at 12:31 a.m. local time, Alaskans were rocked by a magnitude 7.9 earthquake, with an epicenter in the Gulf of Alaska, about 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, and about 175 miles southeast of Kodiak Island.

Image shows a map of Florida with USGS groundwater monitoring stations
January 24, 2018

At 12:32 am Alaska time on January 23, 2018, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake shook Alaska residents out of their beds and set off fears of a tsunami all down the West Coast. Fortunately, the tsunami was only a few inches in height, but within an hour of the earthquake in Alaska, waves of a different sort were hitting far away in Florida. 

Regional map showing the Gulf of Alaska and epicenter of M7.9 earthquake
January 23, 2018

The USGS has up-to-date details on the January 23, 2018 event.

Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 22, 2017

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Drill Rig at the Mt. Elbert Test Site
October 20, 2017

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

3 men leaning over big yellow metal grab bucket on the deck of a ship. Dark sediment is visible inside bucket
October 19, 2017

An international team of scientists just finished probing the depths of the Pacific Ocean offshore of Alaska and British Columbia, to better understand the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault. During the past century, the 700-mile-long fault has generated at least half a dozen major earthquakes, and future shocks threaten coastal communities in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Barry Grand, USGS Cooperative Research Unit Supervisor
September 27, 2017

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in the Alaska Region by checking out our different social media accounts. You can also contact Alaska Regional Office staff or Center Directors for more information.

The Regional Office provides active input to a variety of external collaborations by:

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