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 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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,661
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Year Published: 2020

Early goose arrival increases soil nitrogen availability more than an advancing spring in coastal western Alaska

An understudied aspect of climate change-induced phenological mismatch is its effect on ecosystem functioning, such as nitrogen (N) cycling. Migratory herbivore arrival time may alter N inputs and plant–herbivore feedbacks, whereas earlier springs are predicted to increase N cycling rates through warmer temperatures. However, the relative...

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

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Year Published: 2020

Spatial and temporal dynamics of Pacific capelin Mallotus catervarius in the Gulf of Alaska: Implications for ecosystem-based fisheries management

Pacific capelin Mallotus catervarius are planktivorous, small pelagic fish that serve an intermediate trophic role in marine food webs. Due to the lack of a directed fishery or monitoring of capelin in the Northeast Pacific, there is limited information on their distribution and abundance, and how spatio-temporal fluctuations in capelin...

David W. McGowan; Esther Goldstein; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Alison Dreary; Olav Ormseth; Alex DeRobertis; John Horne; Lauren Rogers; Matt Wilson; Kenneth Coyle; Holderied, Kris; Piatt, John F.; Stockhausen, W.T.; Stephani Zador

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Year Published: 2020

Algal toxins in Alaskan seabirds: Evaluating the role of saxitoxin and domoic acid in a large-scale die-off of Common Murres

Elevated seawater temperatures are linked to the development of harmful algal blooms (HABs), which pose a growing threat to marine birds and other wildlife. During late 2015 and early 2016, a massive die-off of Common Murres (Uria algae; hereafter, murres) was observed in the Gulf of Alaska coincident with a strong marine heat wave. Previous...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Schoen, Sarah K.; Litaker, R. Wayne; Smith, Matthew M.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Holland, William C.; Hardison, Ransom; Pearce, John M.

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Year Published: 2020

Caribou use of habitat near energy development in Arctic Alaska

Increasing demands for energy have generated interest in expanding oil and gas production on the North Slope of Alaska, raising questions about the resilience of barren-ground caribou populations to new development. Although the amount of habitat lost directly to energy development in the Arctic will likely be relatively small, there are...

Johnson, Heather E.; Golden, Trevor; Adams, Layne G.; Gustine, David; Lenart, Elizabeth A.

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Year Published: 2020

Seismo-acoustic evidence for vent drying during shallow submarine eruptions at Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

Characterizing the state of the volcanic vent is key for interpreting observational datasets and accurately assessing volcanic hazards. This is particularly true for remote, complex eruptions such as the 2016–2017 Bogoslof volcano, Alaska eruption sequence. Bogoslof’s eruptions in this period were either shallow submarine or subaerial, or some...

Fee, David; Lyons, John J.; Haney, Matthew M.; Wech, Aaron; Waythomas, Christopher F.; Diefenbach, Angela K.; Lopez, Taryn; Van Eaton, Alexa R.; Schneider, David

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Year Published: 2020

USGS near-real-time products-and their use-for the 2018 Anchorage earthquake

In the minutes to hours after a major earthquake, such as the recent 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 Anchorage event, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) produces a suite of interconnected earthquake products that provides diverse information ranging from basic earthquake source parameters to loss estimates. The 2018 Anchorage earthquake is the first...

Thompson, Eric M.; McBride, Sara; Hayes, Gavin P.; Allstadt, Kate; Wald, Lisa; Wald, David J.; Knudsen, Keith L.; Worden, Charles; Marano, Kristin; Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R.

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Year Published: 2020

Preface to the focus section on the 30 November 2018 Mw 7.1 Anchorage, Alaska earthquake

On 30 November 2018, a magnitude (⁠Mw">Mw⁠) 7.1 intraslab earthquake occurred under the most densely populated area of Alaska, ∼12  km">∼12  km north of downtown Anchorage. It generated the strongest ground shaking in the greater Anchorage area since the 1964 Mw">Mw 9.2 Great Alaska...

Ruppert, Natalia; Witter, Robert C.

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Year Published: 2020

Seismic survey design and impacts to maternal polar bear dens

Large‐scale industrial activities can have negative effects on wildlife populations. Some of these effects, however, could be reduced with effective planning prior to development. The Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, in northeastern Alaska, USA, is an important maternal denning area for polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Recent...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Durner, George M.

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Year Published: 2020

Drivers of landscape change in the northwest boreal region

The northwest boreal region (NWB) of North America is a land of extremes. Extending more than 1.3 million square kilometers (330 million acres), it encompasses the entire spectrum between inundated wetlands below sea level to the tallest peak in North America. Permafrost gradients span from nearly continuous to absent. Boreal ecosystems are...

Markon, Carl; Sesser, Amanda; Rockhill, Aimee P.; Magness, Dawn R; Reid, Don; DeLapp, John; Burton, Phil; Schroff, Eric; Barber, Valerie

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Year Published: 2020

Antibiotic resistant bacteria in wildlife: Perspectives on trends, acquisitions and dissemination, data gaps, and future directions

The proliferation of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the environment has potential negative economic and health consequences. Thus, previous investigations have targeted wild animals to understand the occurrence of antibiotic resistance in diverse environmental sources. In this critical review and synthesis, we summarize important concepts...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Ahlstrom, Christina

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Year Published: 2020

Ground-motion amplification in Cook Inlet region, Alaska from intermediate-depth earthquakes, including the 2018 MW=7.1 Anchorage earthquake

We measure pseudospectral and peak ground motions from 44 intermediate‐depth Mw≥4.9">Mw≥4.9 earthquakes in the Cook Inlet region of southern Alaska, including those from the 2018 Mw">Mw 7.1 earthquake near Anchorage, to identify regional amplification features (⁠0.1–5  s">0.1...

Moschetti, Morgan P.; Thompson, Eric M.; Rekoske, John; Hearne, Mike; Powers, Peter M.; McNamara, Daniel E.; Tape, Carl

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Year Published: 2020

The sedimentary record of the 2018 Anchorage Earthquake in Eklutna Lake, Alaska: Calibrating the lacustrine seismograph

The 30 November 2018 Mw">MMw">w 7.1 Anchorage earthquake caused modified Mercalli intensities of V¼ to V½ at Eklutna Lake (south central Alaska). A few hours after the earthquake, a “dirt streak” was observed on the lake surface, followed by a peak in sediment turbidity values (⁠∼80">∼80 times normal) at a drinking...

Van Daele, Maarten; Haeussler, Peter; Witter, Robert C.; Praet, Nore; De Batist, Marc

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: 976
 Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 26, 2017

Collecting GPR Data in Alaska

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data along an oil pipeline in Alaska. (April 2017)

Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 24, 2017

Ground-penetrating Radar

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) tows ground-penetrating radar (GPR) during field work in Alaska. (April 2017)

Helicopter with equipment strapped to side
April 24, 2017

GPR and Helicopter

Helicopters are often used to carry scientists and equipment to remote study areas in Alaska. In this photo, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) unit is securely strapped to the side of the helicopter. (April 2017)

Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
April 24, 2017

Hydrologist and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. He is wearing special ice cleats on his shoes to have better traction walking on the ice. (April 2017)

Scientists work on equipment in snow-covered area.
April 22, 2017

Surface nuclear magnetic resonance in Alaska

USGS Research Geophysicist Andy Kass (left, in orange) adjusts surface nuclear magnetic resonance equipment (NMR) with input from collaborators Eliot Grunewald (Vista Clara), Alex Huryn (University of Alabama), and Patrick Hendrickson (University of Colorado). NMR is being used to measure the distribution of liquid water in the subsurface. (April 2017)

Small bird with really long beak
April 14, 2017

Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated deformed beak

Female Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated beak. It was captured in Anchorage as part of the beak deformity research project.

March 30, 2017

2017 March Public Lecture—Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!

Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!
Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast
by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center

  • Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park
  • Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears
A stony islet in an Icy Point pond
February 28, 2017

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point.

February 28, 2017

Assessing Soil Moisture Availability Across the Gulf of Alaska Region

The distribution of water on the landscape influences many ecological functions such as the distribution of vegetation, soil development and the cycle of chemical nutrients. All of these functions are subject to change as a result of variations in the duration of soil water saturation and flow of water through the distributed channel networks of watersheds. The landscape

Aerial photo of snow-covered mountaIns with umbrella-shaped volcanic ash plume rising in the background
February 19, 2017

Bogoslof volcano eruption plume

February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.

Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith.  This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.

Satellite image of small crescent-shaped ocean island.
January 24, 2017

Shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano

Analysis of shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano due to eruptive activity between January 11 and 24, 2017. The base image is a Worldview-2 satellite image collected on January 24, 2017. The approximate location of the shoreline on January 11, 2017 is shown by the dashed orange line.

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
USGS
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere. 

USGS
June 5, 2006

Today, June 5, 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the third year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. 

USGS
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 25, 2005

 

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found.

USGS
October 25, 2005

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found, developed...

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 30, 2005

In a pioneering study, a USGS-led team has tracked a surf scoter from its coastal wintering area in San Francisco Bay to pinpoint its nest, 2000 miles away in the vast northern boreal forest of interior Canada.

USGS
June 28, 2005

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the second year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. The grant award is split among six topics that support the goals of the Mineral Resources Program and deliver products within one year.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 2, 2005

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlights the breadth of scientific studies on Native lands. American Indian and Alaska Native governments will use information from these studies in their land and resource management decisions. 

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.