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: 181
Thermokarst lake, Seward Peninsula
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
Sampling for invasive northern pike in south central Alaska.
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...

Contacts: Adam Sepulveda
USGS science for a changing world
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
AK aeromagnetic anomaly map
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
The tsunami created by the 2004 M9.1 Sumatra earthquake.
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

Image: Alaskan Glacier
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
Image: Cook Inlet
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
Illustration shows study area was divided into seven streamflow analysis regions in Alaska
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
placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 15, 2001
Status: Completed

Alaska Ecoregions Mapping

Legacy Data: Ecoregions of Alaska

Illustration shows study area was divided into seven streamflow analysis regions in Alaska
Date Published: November 20, 2000
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Legacy Data for Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 19, 1997
Status: Completed

High-Latitude Climate Transects

Legacy Data: High-Latitude Climate Transects

Filter Total Items: 2,364
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Year Published: 2018

Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems

Variation in body size across populations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) is largely a function of the availability and quality of nutritional resources while plasticity within populations reflects utilized niche width with implications for population resiliency. We assessed skull size, body length, and lean mass of adult female and male brown...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Joly, Kyle; Leacock, William; Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Erlenbach, Joy; Sorum, Mathew; Cameron, Matthew; Belant, Jerrold L.; Cambier, Troy
Hilderbrand, G. V., D. D. Gustine, B. Mangipane, K. Joly, W. Leacock, L. Mangipane, J. Erlenbach, M. S. Sorum, M. D. Cameron, J. L. Belant, and T. Cambier. 2018. Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems. Journal of Zoology 305:53-62. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12536.

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Year Published: 2018

Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures

Survival rate estimates are critical to understanding the dynamics and status of a population, and they are often inferred from samples of the population’s age structure. A recently developed method uses time series of standing age-structure data with information about population growth rate or fecundity to provide explicit maximum likelihood...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.
Taylor, R.L., and M.S. Udevitz. 2018. Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures. Wildlife Society Bulletin 42(1):32–39; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.858

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Year Published: 2018

Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments

Generalist feeding strategies are favoured in stressful or variable environments where flexibility in ecological traits is beneficial. Species that feed across multiple habitat types and trophic levels may impart stability on food webs through the use of readily available, alternative energy pools. In lakes, generalist fish species may take...

Laske, Sarah M.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Laske, S.M., Rosenberger, A.E., Wipfli, M.S. and Zimmerman, C.E., 2018, Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments: Ecology of Freshwater Fish, doi: 10.1111/eff.12391

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Year Published: 2018

Biological responses of Crested and Least auklets to volcanic destruction of nesting habitat in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella) and Least Auklets (A. pusilla) are crevice-nesting birds that breed in large mixed colonies at relatively few sites in the Aleutian Island archipelago, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Sea of Okhotsk. Many of these colonies are located on active volcanic islands. The eruption of Kasatochi volcano, in the central...

Drew, Gary S.; Piatt, John F.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Drew, G.S., Piatt, J.F., and Williams, J., 2018, Biological responses of Crested and Least auklets to volcanic destruction of nesting habitat in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska: The Auk, vol. 135, no. 3, p. 477-485. doi: 10.1642/AUK-17-180.1

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Year Published: 2018

Surficial geologic map of the Dillingham quadrangle, southwestern Alaska

The geologic map of the Dillingham quadrangle in southwestern Alaska shows surficial unconsolidated deposits, many of which are alluvial or glacial in nature. The map area, part of Alaska that was largely not glaciated during the late Wisconsin glaciation, has a long history reflecting local and more distant glaciations. Late Wisconsin...

Wilson, Frederic H.
Wilson, F.H., 2018, Surficial geologic map of the Dillingham quadrangle, southwestern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3388, 15 p., scale 1:250,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/sim3388.

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Year Published: 2018

Development and characterization of 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the sea sandwort, Honckenya peploides

Codominant marker systems are better suited to analyze population structure and assess the source of an individual in admixture analyses. Currently, there is no codominant marker system using microsatellites developed for the sea sandwort, Honckenya peploides (L.) Ehrh., an early colonizer in island systems. We developed and characterized novel...

Gravley, Megan C.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Carlson, Matthew L.
Gravley, M. C., G. K. Sage, S. L. Talbot, and M. L. Carlson. 2018. Development and characterization of 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the sea sandwort, Honckenya peploides. Journal of Plant Research:1-7. doi:10.1007/s10265-018-1036-7

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Year Published: 2018

A comparison of photograph-interpreted and IfSAR-derived maps of polar bear denning habitat for the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Alaska use the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for maternal denning. Pregnant bears den in snow banks for more than 3 months in winter during which they give birth to and nurture young. Denning is one of the most vulnerable times in polar bear life history as the family group cannot simply walk away from a...

Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.
Durner, G.M., and Atwood, T.C., 2018, A comparison of photograph-interpreted and IfSAR-derived maps of polar bear denning habitat for the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1083, 12 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181083.

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Year Published: 2018

Acquisition and dissemination of cephalosporin-resistant E. coli in migratory birds sampled at an Alaska landfill as inferred through genomic analysis

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacterial pathogens threatens global health, though the spread of AMR bacteria and AMR genes between humans, animals, and the environment is still largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role of wild birds in the epidemiology of AMR Escherichia coli. Using next-generation sequencing, we characterized...

Ahlstrom, Christina Ann; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Bjorn, Olsen; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2018

A snow density dataset for improving surface boundary conditions in Greenland ice sheet firn modeling

The surface snow density of glaciers and ice sheets is of fundamental importance in converting volume to mass in both altimetry and surface mass balance studies, yet it is often poorly constrained. Site-specific surface snow densities are typically derived from empirical relations based on temperature and wind speed. These parameterizations...

Robert Fausto; Box, Jason E.; Baptiste Vandecrux; Dirk van As; Steffen, Konrad; MacFerrin, Michael J.; Machguth, Horst; Colgan, William; Koenig, Lora S.; Mcgrath, Daniel; Charalampidis, Charalampos; Braithwaite, Roger J.

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on ecological disturbance in the Northern Rockies Region [Chapter 8]

This chapter describes the ecology of important disturbance regimes in the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USFS) Northern Region and the Greater Yellowstone Area, hereafter called the Northern Rockies region, and potential shifts in these regimes as a consequence of observed and projected climate change. The term disturbance regime...

Loehman, Rachel A.; Bentz, Barbara J.; DeNitto, Gregg A.; Keane, Robert E.; Manning, Mary E.; Duncan, Jacob P.; Egan, Joel M.; Jackson, Marcus B.; Kegley, Sandra; Lockman, I. Blakey; Pearson, Dean E.; Powell, James A.; Shelly, Steve; Steed, Brytten E.; Zambino, Paul J.
Loehman, Rachel A., B. Bentz, R. Keane, and others. 2018. Effects of Climate Change on Ecological Disturbance in the Northern Rockies region. In Halofsky, J.E.; Peterson, D.L.; Dante-Wood, S.K.; Hoang, L., eds. Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Northern Rocky Mountains – Part 2. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-374. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Ft. Collins, CO. Pp. 317-352.

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies Region [Chapter 6]

The projected rapid changes in climate will affect the unique vegetation assemblages of the Northern Rockies region in myriad ways, both directly through shifts in vegetation growth, mortality, and regeneration, and indirectly through changes in disturbance regimes and interactions with changes in other ecosystem processes, such as hydrology, snow...

Keane, Robert E.; Mahalovich, Mary Frances; Bollenbacher, Barry L.; Manning, Mary E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Larson, Andrew J.; Webster, Meredith M.
Keane, Robert E.; Mahalovich, Mary Frances; Bollenbacher, Barry L.; Manning, Mary E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Larson, Andrew J.; Webster, Meredith M. 2018. Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies Region [Chapter 6]. In: Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L.; Dante-Wood, S. Karen; Hoang, Linh; Ho, Joanne J.; Joyce, Linda A., eds. 2018. Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the Northern Rocky Mountains - Part 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-374. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 128-173.

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Year Published: 2018

Phenological mismatch in coastal western Alaska may increase summer season greenhouse gas uptake

High latitude ecosystems are prone to phenological mismatches due to climate change- driven advances in the growing season and changing arrival times of migratory herbivores. These changes have the potential to alter biogeochemical cycling and contribute to feedbacks on climate change by altering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of carbon dioxide (...

Kelsey, Katharine C.; Leffler, A. Joshua; Beard, Karen H.; Choi, Ryan T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffery M.
Kelsey, K.C., Leffler, A.J., Beard, K.H., Choi, R.T., Schmutz, J.A., and Welker, J.M., 2018, Phenological mismatch in coastal western Alaska may increase summer season greenhouse gas uptake. Environmental Research Letters 13(4) 044032, https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aab698

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: 989
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.

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark
July 14, 2017

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark

USGS research geologists Richard Lease (left) and Jamey Jones (right) take notes and collect samples of fine-grained metamorphic rock hosted as an inclusion in coarser-grained granodiorite. 

Geologists make observations above glacial valley
July 14, 2017

Geologists make observations above glacial valley

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Richard Lease (right) make observations of rock units revealed by the glacier below.

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK
July 12, 2017

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK

Small yellow bird with black on top of it's head at the end of branch
July 3, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska . This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Two birds in the rocks, one with fish in it's mouth
July 3, 2017

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 3, 2017.

A male Wilson's Warbler songbird in a shrub
July 2, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler in a shrub on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Many people on a boat putting a cable in the water
July 1, 2017

Seismic survey of the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS scientists deploy a seismic streamer aboard the R/V David Starr offshore of southeast Alaska to study the Queen Charlotte Fault.

Satellite image showing a picture of northeastern Alaska.
June 27, 2017

7 Million Landsat Scenes and Counting!

The Landsat archive, the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based, moderate-resolution land remote sensing data, has now surpassed 7 million scenes since Landsat 1 first began collecting data in July 1972. This Landsat 8 image acquired on June 27, 2017, represents one of those millions of scenes

...
Scientist examining geologic outcrop
June 25, 2017

Geologist examines rocks at Darby Pluton, AK

USGS Geologist George Case examines granitic rocks in preparation for collecting samples for geochemistry and geochronology near the Boulder Creek prospect at the north end of the Darby pluton on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 246
USGS science for a changing world logo
December 18, 2008

Dr. Julio Betancourt, a U.S. Geological Survey senior scientist, was recently awarded a prestigious 2008 Presidential Rank Award. Betancourt, who has conducted groundbreaking research in how climate variability affects ecosystems, is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, where he received his graduate degrees.

 

USGS
October 23, 2008

Anchorage --  The brown bear killed by biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) in August is, by DNA analysis, the same bear that mauled an Anchorage woman earlier that month.

USGS
October 6, 2008

Most glaciers in every mountain range and island group in Alaska are experiencing significant retreat, thinning or stagnation, especially glaciers at lower elevations, according to a new book published by the U.S. Geological Survey. In places, these changes began as early as the middle of the 18th century.

USGS
August 8, 2008

Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted explosively Aug. 7, sending an ash plume more than 35,000 feet into the air and forcing two biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evacuate the island.

USGS
July 23, 2008

The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum.

USGS
July 18, 2008

Anchorage, AK - Okmok Volcano in Alaska continues to produce explosions and ash plumes through a newly created vent and poses hazards to air travel in the area.

USGS
May 8, 2008

After a long and distinguished career with the U. S. Geological Survey, George Gryc, 88, passed away on April 27 in Sunnyvale, California. Well known from the smallest bush settlement on the Yukon to Capital Hill in Washington, Gryc was the preeminent Alaskan geologist of his day. His work bore directly on the outcome of all the major issues of consequence to Alaska in the 20th century.

USGS
April 3, 2008

Alaska is one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth, located at the far northern border of the Pacific Ocean, a vast, rugged area of critical importance to global commerce and national security.

USGS
March 19, 2008

Alaska has dozens of active volcanoes, some which erupt explosively multiple times a year. Learn how the scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), which turns 20 in April, help prevent these hazards from becoming disasters.

USGS
July 12, 2007

A 20-year U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study documents that recent changes in the quality and availability of sea ice in northern Alaska are the most likely explanation for a decrease in maternal polar bear denning on sea ice and an increase of denning on land. The results of the peer-reviewed study by the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage were just published online in the journal

USGS
July 2, 2007

An article by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists on documentation of coastal land loss, lake expansion and drainage in Alaska from 1955 - 2005 was recently published in the July issue of Geology, a Geological Society of America publication.

USGS
February 6, 2007

The U. S Geological Survey (USGS) was recently asked by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to evaluate the status of Marbled Murrelets in Alaska and British Columbia.

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.