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: 175
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

placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 19, 1996
Status: Completed

Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Legacy Data: Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Filter Total Items: 2,394
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Year Published: 2018

Aerial surveys of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, May, 2017

Portions of two stocks of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) occur in Lower Cook Inlet (LCI), Alaska. Sea otters on the west side of LCI are considered part of the southwest Alaska stock; sea otters occupying eastern LCI are considered part of the southcentral Alaska stock. Information concerning the distributions and abundance of sea...

Gerlach-Miller, Joel; Esslinger, George G.; Weitzman, Ben

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Year Published: 2018

Flyway structure in the circumpolar greater white‐fronted goose

Dispersal and migratory behavior are influential factors in determining how genetic diversity is distributed across the landscape. In migratory species, genetic structure can be promoted via several mechanisms including fidelity to distinct migratory routes. Particularly within North America, waterfowl management units have been delineated...

Wilson, Robert E.; Ely, Craig R.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson RE, Ely CR, Talbot SL. Flyway structure in the circumpolar greater white‐fronted goose. Ecol Evol. 2018;00:1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4345

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Year Published: 2018

A transcriptome resource for the Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida)

Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) serve as an important link in Arctic food webs and are thus considered an important species for environmental monitoring. RNA-Seq was conducted on samples from wild-collected individuals representing various age classes and tissue types to obtain as complete a transcriptome as possible on an Illumina MiSeq, which...

Wilson, Robert E.; Menning, Damian M.; Wedemeyer, Kate; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E., D.M. Menning, K. Wedemeyer, S.L. Talbot. 2018. A transcriptome resource for the Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida), Marine Genomics, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2018.03.003

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Year Published: 2018

Liverworts from Attu Island, Near Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska (USA) with comparison to the Commander Islands (Russia)

The liverwort flora of Attu Island, the westernmost Aleutian Island in the United States, was studied to assess species diversity in the hyperoceanic sector of the northern boreal subzone. The field study was undertaken in sites selected to represent a spectrum of environmental variation, primarily within the eastern part of the island. Data were...

Talbot, Stephen S.; Schofield, Wilfred B.; Váňa, Jiří; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2018

Sex-specific variation in denning by brown bears

Denning characteristics of brown bears (Ursus arctos) have been described in numerous studies; however, population specific factors (i.e., landscape characteristics and climate) can greatly influence the location and timing of denning. Our objective was to evaluate den-site characteristics and denning chronology for male and female brown...

Mangipane, Lindsey; Belant, Jerrold L.; Mangipane, Buck; Gustine, David; Hilderbrand, Grant V.

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Year Published: 2018

Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range

Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciation modified the topography and erosion of most middle- and high-latitude mountain belts, because the evolution of catchment topography controls long-term glacier mass balance and erosion. Hence, characterizing how erosion rates change during repeated glaciations can help test hypothesized glacier erosion-landscape...

Lease, Richard O.
Lease, Richard O., 2018, Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range: Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Year Published: 2018

Landscape genetics identifies streams and drainage infrastructure as dispersal corridors for an endangered wetland bird

Anthropogenic alterations to landscape structure and composition can have significant impacts on biodiversity, potentially leading to species extinctions. Population‐level impacts of landscape change are mediated by animal behaviors, in particular dispersal behavior. Little is known about the dispersal habits of rails (Rallidae) due to their...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate change and future wildfire in the western USA: An ecological approach to nonstationarity

We developed ecologically based climate‐fire projections for the western United States. Using a finer ecological classification and fire‐relevant climate predictors, we created statistical models linking climate and wildfire area burned for ecosections, which are geographic delineations based on biophysical variables. The results indicate a...

Littell, Jeremy; McKenzie, Donald; Wan, Ho Yi; Cushman, Samuel A.
Littell, J. S., McKenzie, D., Wan, H. Y., & Cushman, S. A. (2018). Climate change and future wildfire in the western United States: An ecological approach to nonstationarity. Earth's Future, 6, 1097–1111. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000878

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Year Published: 2018

Lactation and resource limitation affect stress responses, thyroid hormones, immune function, and antioxidant capacity of sea otters (Enhydra lutris)

Lactation is the most energetically demanding stage of reproduction in female mammals. Increased energetic allocation toward current reproduction may result in fitness costs, although the mechanisms underlying these trade‐offs are not well understood. Trade‐offs during lactation may include reduced energetic allocation to cellular maintenance,...

Chinn, Sarah M.; Monson, Daniel; Tinker, M. Tim; Staedler, Michelle M.; Crocker, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 2018

Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific

The tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is a generalist seabird that breeds throughout the North Pacific and eats more than 75 different prey species. Using puffins as samplers, we characterized the geographic variability in pelagic food webs across the subarctic North Pacific from the composition of ~10,000 tufted puffin meals (~56,000 prey items...

Piatt, John F.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Renner, Heather; Zador, Stephani; Douglas, David C.; Hatch, Scott A.; Kettle, Arthur B.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Piatt, J.F., Arimitsu, M.L., Sydeman, W.J., Thompson, S.A., Renner, H., Zador, S., Douglas, D., Hatch, S., Kettle, A., and Williams, J., 2018. Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific: Fisheries Oceanography, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 366-380. doi: 10.1111/fog.12258

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Year Published: 2018

Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic

Identifying factors influencing nest survival among sympatric species is important for understanding and managing sources of variation in population dynamics of individual species. Three species of loons nest sympatrically in northern Alaska and differ in body size, life history characteristics, and population trends. We tested the effects of...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Koch, Joshua C.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, BD, JC Koch, KW Wright, and JA Schmutz. 2018. Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic. Journal of Avian Biology doi: 10.1111/jav.01671.

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Year Published: 2018

Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA

Context In the interior Northwest, debate over restoring mixed-conifer forests after a century of fire exclusion is hampered by poor understanding of the pattern and causes of spatial variation in historical fire regimes. Objectives To identify the roles of topography, landscape structure, and forest type in driving spatial variation in...

Merschel, Andrew; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Spies, Thomas A.; Loehman, Rachel A.
Merschel, A.G., Heyerdahl, E.K., Spies, T.A. et al. Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA. Landscape Ecol (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0656-6

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: 986
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.

Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite towards the contact between the pluton and Paleozoic marbles
June 25, 2017

Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite

Looking east past a typical Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite towards the contact between the pluton and Paleozoic marbles

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 247
USGS science for a changing world logo
January 29, 2009

Scientists Monitoring it 24/7-The level of seismic activity at Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, has increased and an eruption is possible within days to weeks.
Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) are monitoring events round-the-clock.

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.

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.