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: 172
Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Date published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

Date published: May 9, 2016
Status: Completed

Wildlife Potential Habitat Forecasting Framework (WildCast)

WildCast (WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Project) is a completed project led by USGS, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. WildCast was devised to provide models for projecting future land cover and wildlife habitat conditions in northwest Alaska under potential scenarios of climate change, and to provide an...

Contacts: Bruce Marcot
Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

Conservation of native salmonids in South-Central Alaska

The proliferation of introduced northern pike in Southcentral Alaska is an urgent fishery management concern because pike are voracious predators that prey heavily on juvenile salmonids. Eradication of pike is not possible in connected freshwater networks, so managers must develop control methods that reduce pike populations to less destructive numbers. We are using field and bioenergetics...

Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Critical Minerals Cooperative

The project developed means to use several large legacy digital databases together in GIS to identify areas with mineral resource potential for critical minerals in Alaska.

Contacts: Timothy Hayes
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Geophysical Survey Interpretation

Available geophysical data for Alaska have not been fully exploited. Project objectives were to conduct systematic analysis of existing gravity, aeromagnetic and airborne electromagnetic data to map geologic trends, structural geologic and tectonic patterns, and identify key lithologies for direct integration with geologic framework and mineral potential studies.

Contacts: Bruce D Smith, Richard Saltus
Date published: June 1, 2015
Status: Completed

The "Snow Plow Theory"* of Early-Arriving Tsunamis

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2015

What is a splay fault, and how can they affect tsunamis?

* completely contrived term by this author, not a scientific term or theory

Date published: April 25, 2013
Status: Active

Webinar: From Icefield to Ocean: Impacts of Glacier Change in Alaska

Check out this webinar to learn more about glacial loss in the Gulf of Alaska.

Contacts: Shad O'Neel, Ph.D., Eran Hood
Date published: September 28, 2010
Status: Completed

COOK NAWQA Data Clearinghouse

This page will serve as the repository for data collected by the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA team using NAWQA sampling protocols. Data sets collected using NAWQA protocols but not collected as part of the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA program are identified with an asterisk (*). A list of ...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 20, 2003
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Statewide Coverages

Legacy Data for AK Precipitation, Hydrologic Unit Map, and Streamflow analysis regions for AK and conterminous basins in Canada.

Contacts: Janet H Curran

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: 2,487
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Year Published: 2019

State of knowledge on current exposure, fate and potential health effects of contaminants in polar bears from the circumpolar Arctic

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is among the Arctic species exposed to the highest concentrations of long-range transported bioaccumulative contaminants, such as halogenated organic compounds and mercury. Contaminant exposure is considered to be one of the largest threats to polar bears after the loss of their Arctic sea ice habitat due to...

Routti, Heli; Atwood, Todd C.; Bechshoft, Thea; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Dietz, Rune; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Letcher, Robert J.; McKinney, Melissa A.; Morris, A.; Riget, F.; Sonne, Christian; Styrishave, Bjarne; Tartu, Sabrina

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring long-term changes in forage fish distribution, abundance and body condition

We collected data on forage fish abundance, distribution and body condition in Prince William Sound, Alaska during summers in 2012 through 2016. This included acoustic – trawl surveys, aerial-acoustic surveys, opportunistic sampling where we encountered forage aggregations, and concurrent measurements of forage fish habitat. Acoustic indices of...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

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Year Published: 2019

Selecting a landscape model for natural resource management applications

Purpose of Review: Climate change and associated ecological impacts have challenged many conventional, observation-based approaches for predicting ecosystem and landscape responses to natural resource management. Complex spatial ecological models provide powerful, flexible tools which managers and others can use to make inferences about management...

Keane, Robert E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.

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Year Published: 2019

Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging

The U.S. Geological Survey monitors water level (water surface elevation relative to an arbitrary datum) and measures streamflow in Alaska rivers to compute and compile river flow records for use by water resource planners, engineers, and land managers to design infrastructure, manage floodplains, and protect life, property, and aquatic resources...

Conaway, Jeff; Eggleston, John R.; Legleiter, Carl J.; Jones, John W.; Kinzel, Paul J.; Fulton, John W.
Conaway, J.S., Eggleston, J., Legleiter, C.J., Jones, J.W., Kinzel, P.J., and Fulton, J.W., 2019, Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3024, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193024.

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Year Published: 2019

Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms for use in a genetic stock identification system for greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) subspecies wintering in California

California provides wintering habitat for most greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons [GWFG]) in the Pacific Flyway and this population has rapidly increased since the 1980s. Increased harvest of GWFG wintering in California may prevent agricultural depredation while providing increased hunting opportunities. However, changes in harvest...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; DaCosta, Jeffrey M.; Ely, Craig R.; Sorenson, Michael D.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E., Sonsthagen, S.A., DaCosta, J.M., Ely, C.R., Sorenson, M.D., and Talbot, S.L., 2019, Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms for use in a genetic stock identification system for greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) subspecies wintering in California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1040, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191040.

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Year Published: 2019

Cloud cover and delayed herbivory relative to timing of spring onset interact to dampen climate change impacts on net ecosystem exchange in a coastal Alaskan wetland

Rapid warming in northern ecosystems over the past four decades has resulted in earlier spring, increased precipitation, and altered timing of plant–animal interactions, such as herbivory. Advanced spring phenology can lead to longer growing seasons and increased carbon (C) uptake. Greater precipitation coincides with greater cloud cover possibly...

Leffler, Josh; Beard, Karen H.; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Choi, Ryan T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring annual trends in abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2018

A lagoon-wide, point-sampling survey of eelgrass (Zostera marina) abundance was conducted in Izembek Lagoon, Alaska, August 7–16, 2018, the ninth year of annual surveys (2007–11, 2015–18). Mean predicted aboveground biomass of eelgrass across 116 sampled points was 238 grams per square meter (g m-2) (95 percent confidence interval: 203–278 g m-2)...

Ward, David H.; Amundson, Courtney L.
Ward, D.H., and Amundson, C.L., 2019, Monitoring annual trends in abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1042, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191042.

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Year Published: 2019

Phenological mismatch between season advancement and migration timing alters Arctic plant traits

1. Climate change is creating phenological mismatches between herbivores and their plant resources throughout the Arctic. While advancing growing seasons and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores has been shown to have consequences for herbivores and forage quality, developing mismatches are also likely to influence other traits of plants...

Choi, Ryan T.; Beard, Karen H.; Leffler, A. Joshua; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan, Version III

In recognition of declines among perhaps half of Alaska’s breeding shorebirds, ongoing or emerging threats to shorebirds and their habitats, and considerable knowledge of Alaska’s shorebirds acquired over the past decade, the Alaska Shorebird Group decided that the Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan was due for updates. Similar to Version II (2008...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Alaska Shorebird Group. 2019. Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan. Version III. Alaska Shorebird Group, Anchorage, AK, https://www.fws.gov/alaska/mbsp/mbm/shorebirds/plans.htm

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Year Published: 2019

Satellite tracking of gulls and genomic characterization of fecal bacteria reveals environmentally mediated acquisition and dispersal of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Gulls (Larus spp.) have frequently been reported to carry Escherichia coli exhibiting antimicrobial resistance (AMR E. coli); however, the pathways governing the acquisition and dispersal of such bacteria are not well-described. We equipped 17 landfill-foraging gulls with satellite transmitters and collected gull fecal samples longitudinally from...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Reed, John; Tibbitts, Lee; Olsen, Björn; Douglas, David C.; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2019

The rise of an apex predator following deglaciation

AimSea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an apex predator of the nearshore marine community and nearly went extinct at the turn of the 20th century. Reintroductions and legal protection allowed sea otters to re‐colonize much of their former range. Our objective was to chronicle the colonization of this apex predator in Glacier Bay, Alaska, to help...

Hooten, Mevin; Esslinger, George G.

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Year Published: 2019

Changes in behavior are unable to disrupt a trophic cascade involving a specialist herbivore and its food plant

Changes in ecological conditions can induce changes in behavior and demography of wild organisms, which in turn may influence population dynamics. Pacific black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) nesting in colonies on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) in western Alaska have declined substantially (~50%) since the turn of the century. Pacific black...

Lohman, Madeleine G; Riecke, Thomas V.; Acevedo, Cheyenne R; Person, Brian T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Sedinger, James S.

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: 974
Cross-section illustration showing structure beneath the seafloor where sediment layers are deformed by high seismic activity.
July 31, 2017

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile, QCF fault

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile showing deformed sediment layers on the Pacific plate, just seaward of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault near the south end of the study area. Location of profile shown by yellow line on trackline map, above. km, kilometer; m, meter; s, second.

An aerial view of McKinley Lake
July 31, 2017

An aerial view of McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska

McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska. This is the site of deployment of limnocorrals for an Elodea spp. experiment. 

Two scientists capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for physiology study in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

Capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for study in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Brielle Heflin and Brian Robinson capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes at the base of the colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. These birds were used in adult physiology studies.

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

A Tufted Puffin in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea near Gull Island in Lower Cook Inlet , Alaska

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
Knik River bridge
July 27, 2017

Knik River bridge

Knik River bridge

A Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's mouth
July 20, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwake with herring near Gull Island, Cook Inlet, AK

Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's bill. These seabirds were foraging near Gull Island in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 20, 2017

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, AK

Brian Robinson holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Geologist Jamey Jones studying and preparing to collect samples of igneous rocks in Lake Clark National Park
July 20, 2017

Geologist collecting igneous rock samples in Lake Clark Nat'l Park

The photo was taken by Erin Todd during helicopter-supported geologic fieldwork in Lake Clark National Park this past summer. The project is funded by the USGS Mineral Resources Program that is focused on investigating the bedrock geology of the national park and surrounding areas through geologic mapping and supporting analytical work such as geochemistry and

...
Black-legged Kittiwakes diving into the water to catch small fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 19, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Geologist collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark
July 17, 2017

Geologist collecting rock samples exposed in a glacial stream valley

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark.

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite, with a helicopter in the background
July 15, 2017

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones stands on a dike of granite intruding darker granodiorite, with helicopter in background.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Alaska region-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 6, 2009

When Alaska's Kasatochi Volcano erupted on Aug. 7, 2008, it virtually sterilized Kasatochi Island, covering the small Aleutian island with a layer of ash and other volcanic material several meters thick.
The eruption also provided a rare research opportunity: the chance to see how an ecosystem develops from the very first species to colonize the island.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 9, 2009

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's oceans, but relatively impoverished in many natural resources, particularly oil and gas. It is the home to a large fisheries industry that is seemingly in peril, and the place itself, a peaceful namesake, can erupt into cataclysmic disasters on a moment's notice.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 6, 2009

Alaska's Redoubt Volcano continues to emit a plume of water vapor, gas and minor ash after its 19th successive explosion this past weekend. Scientists believe the volcano has entered a new period of cyclical lava dome growth marked by small earthquakes and intermittent tremors.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 2, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Unified Command will host a news conference at 1:00PM AKDT (5:00PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.
High resolution photos are available on the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Redoubt Activity Web site.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, erupted explosively more than 10 times this week, sending ash skyrocketing as high as 65,000 feet into the air.
The eruption of Redoubt poses a threat to national and international aviation as volcanic ash is sent into the busy North Pacific flight paths between North America and Asia.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano and yesterday's (March 26) overflight of the volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 26, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.

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.