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: 2,602
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Year Published: 2019

Coast to coast: High genomic connectivity in North American scoters

Dispersal shapes demographic processes and therefore is fundamental to understanding biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes acting within populations. However, assessing population connectivity in scoters (Melanitta sp.) is challenging as these species have large spatial distributions that span remote landscapes, have varying...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Lavretsky, Philip; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatio-temporal population change of Arctic-breeding waterbirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Rapid physical changes that are occurring in the Arctic are primary drivers of landscape change and thus may drive population dynamics of Arctic-breeding birds. Despite the importance of this region to breeding and molting waterbirds, lack of a comprehensive analysis of historic data has hindered quantifying avian population change. We estimated...

Amundson, Courtney L.; Flint, Paul L.; Stehn, Robert A; Platte, Robert; Wilson, Heather M.; Larned, William W.; Fischer, Julian B.

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Year Published: 2019

Handbook to the partners in flight population estimates database, version 3.0

This document describes the content of Version 3.0 of the Partners in Flight (PIF) Population Estimates Database, which provides population estimates for breeding USA/Canada landbirds at several geographic scales following the Partners in Flight approach described initially in Rich et al. (2004) and by Rosenberg and Blancher (2005) and most...

Will, Tom; Stanton, J.C.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Camfield, Alaine; Shaw, Allison; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Blancher, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2019

The influence of body size, condition, and age on recruitment of four Alaskan brown bear populations

Recruitment of brown bear (Ursus arctos) offspring into a population is the product of initial cub production and subsequent survival and is a critical component of overall population status and trend. We investigated the relationship between maternal body size, body condition, and age (as a surrogate for gained experience) and recruitment of...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Joly, Kyle; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William; Cameron, Matthew; Sorum, Mathew; Mangipane, Lindsey; Erlenbach, Joy

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Year Published: 2019

Evidence for frequent, large tsunamis spanning locked and creeping parts of the Aleutian megathrust

At the eastern end of the 1957 Andreanof Islands magnitude-8.6 earthquake rupture, Driftwood Bay (Umnak Island) and Stardust Bay (Sedanka Island) lie along presently locked and creeping parts of the Aleutian megathrust, respectively, based on satellite geodesy onshore. Both bays, located 200-km apart, face the Aleutian trench and harbor coastal...

Witter, Robert C.; Briggs, Richard W.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Koehler, Richard D; Nelson, Alan R.; La Selle, Seanpaul; Corbett, Reide; Wallace, Kristi L.

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Year Published: 2019

Development and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in Northern Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis (Procellariformes), and cross-species amplification in eight other seabirds

BackgroundIn the North Pacific, northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) forms extensive colonies in few locales, which may lead to limited gene flow and locale-specific population threats. In the Atlantic, there are thousands of colonies of varying sizes and in Europe the species is considered threatened. Prior screens and classical microsatellite...

Gravley, Megan C.; Sage, George K.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hatch, Scott A.; Gill, Verena A.; Rearick, Jolene R.; Petersen, Aevar; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Global phylodynamic analysis of avian paramyxovirus-1 provides evidence of inter-host transmission and intercontinental spatial diffusion

BackgroundAvian avulavirus (commonly known as avian paramyxovirus-1 or APMV-1) can cause disease of varying severity in both domestic and wild birds. Understanding how viruses move among hosts and geography would be useful for informing prevention and control efforts. A Bayesian statistical framework was employed to estimate the evolutionary...

Hicks, Joseph T.; Dimitrov, Kiril M.; Afonso, Claudio L.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Bahl, Justin

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Year Published: 2019

Evidence of Culiseta mosquitoes as vectors for Plasmodium parasites in Alaska

Mosquito vectors play a crucial role in the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites worldwide. At northern latitudes, where climate warming is most pronounced, there are questions about possible changes in the abundance and distribution of Plasmodium parasites, their vectors, and their impacts to avian hosts. To better...

Smith, Matthew M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2019

Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are exposed to a diversity of influenza A viruses, are infected during the non-breeding period and contribute to intercontinental viral dispersal

Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are endemic to coastal areas within Beringia and have previously been found to have antibodies to or to be infected with influenza A viruses (IAVs) in Alaska. In this study, we use virological, serological and tracking data to further elucidate the role of emperor geese in the ecology of IAVs in Beringia during the...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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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.

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
ASC biologists necropsy Common Murres
November 30, 2016

ASC biologists necropsy Common Murres

ASC biologists John Piatt, Sarah Schoen, Gary Drew, and Brielle Heflin necropsy Common Murres recovered in Prince William Sound following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.

Emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table
November 30, 2016

Emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table

An emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table during a necropsy to determine the cause of death for a massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
November 23, 2016

Tufted Puffin, near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

November 15, 2016

Surprising Role of Trees in the Boreal Water Cycle

Approximately 25 to 50 percent of a living tree is made up of water, depending on the species and time of year. The water stored in trees has previously been considered just a minor part of the water cycle, but a study by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists with support from the DOI Alaska Climate Science Center shows otherwise. Their research is the first to show

Salmon River
October 27, 2016

Salmon River in Southeast Alaska

Salmon River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Glacier Creek bridge
October 27, 2016

Glacier Creek bridge

Glacier Creek bridge

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge
October 10, 2016

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Many Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling underwater in the Agashashok River
September 30, 2016

Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River

Underwater photo of a large school of Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River.  These fish were part of the Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

Two people stand on a coastal bluff wearing heavy coats and hoods to keep warm, with waves crashing in the distance.
September 18, 2016

Coastal bluff study site prep

Two scientists on the Arctic coastal bluff preparing a study location with cameras that they hope will run continuously, collecting images.

Polar bear appears to walk on top of rippled gray water. Just behind it are very large breaking waves below a gray-blue sky.
September 18, 2016

Polar bear walks across flooded barrier island during Arctic storm

Adult polar bear walking across a recently overwashed barrier island during a large Arctic storm in September 2016. The barrier island is offshore of Barter Island on Alaska’s north coast. Polar bears typically rest on the barrier islands during the day and transit to the "bone pile" on Barter Island in the evenings to feast on whale carcass remnants supplied by local

...
A shorebird walking in small rocks on a shore
September 17, 2016

Pacific Golden-Plover standing on rocks near Big Creek, Alaska

Pacific Golden-Plover standing on rocks near Big Creek, Alaska.

The Agashashok River and Asik watershed
September 15, 2016

Agashashok River and Asik watershed

The Agashashok River and Asik watershed

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 251
USGS
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2002

Standard fare in geology textbooks and school classrooms across the world is that the hot springs, geysers and volcanoes of Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Iceland, and many other volcanic regions were "created" by plumes of hot rock that rise from near the Earth’s core. New results from recently published U.S. Geological Survey research hint, astonishingly, that such plumes may not exist.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

USGS
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The map is the first ShakeMap produced for the state of Alaska and is considered a prototype.

USGS
November 7, 2002

Sunday’s magnitude 7.9 earthquake in central Alaska created a scar across the landscape for more than 145 miles, according to surveys conducted the past two days by geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey.

USGS
November 6, 2002

Sunday’s magnitude (M) 7.9 central Alaska earthquake was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in our Nation’s history. The epicenter of the Nov. 3 temblor was located approximately 75 miles (135 km) south of Fairbanks and 176 miles (283 km) north of Anchorage. 

USGS
October 25, 2002

On October 23, 2002, a strong magnitude (M) 6.7 earthquake occurred at 3:27 AM Local time 85 miles (135 km) south of Fairbanks and 172 miles (276 km) north of Anchorage. The earthquake was felt broadly, from Fairbanks in the north to Anchorage in the south, a distance of 255 miles. Because of the remote location, however, there was very little damage.

USGS
October 23, 2002

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) shows that the Castle Mountain fault in south-central Alaska may be ready to produce a strong magnitude 6 to 7 earthquake. The study, which examined the ancient earthquake history of the Castle Mountain fault, was just published in the October issue of the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 16, 2002

The immediate threat of overflow of water from Russell Lake caused by the advance of Hubbard Glacier, North America’s largest tidewater glacier, is over, according to reports from Dennis Trabant, a glaciologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
August 16, 2002

The immediate threat of overflow of water from Russell Lake caused by the advance of Hubbard Glacier, North America’s largest tidewater glacier, is over, according to reports from Dennis Trabant, a glaciologist with the U.S. Geological Survey

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 18, 2002

North America’s largest calving glacier, Hubbard Glacier, is advancing and is close to blocking the entrance to Russell Fiord near Yakutat, Alaska, according to reports from Dennis Trabant, a glaciologist with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS
June 18, 2002

North America’s largest calving glacier, Hubbard Glacier, is advancing and is close to blocking the entrance to Russell Fiord near Yakutat, Alaska, according to reports from Dennis Trabant, a glaciologist with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS).

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.