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

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

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: 2,659
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Year Published: 2019

Visualizing populations of North American sea ducks: Maps to guide research and management planning

North American sea ducks generally breed in mid- to northern-latitude regions and nearly all rely upon marine habitats for much of their annual cycle. Most sea duck species remained poorly studied until the 1990s when declines were noted in several species and populations. Subsequent research, much of which was funded by the Sea Duck Joint Venture...

Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Whalen, Mary E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Stiller, Josh; Patil, Vijay P.; Bowman, Timothy D.; Boyd, Sean; Badzinski, Shannon S.; Gilchrist, H.G.; Gilliland, Scott G; Lepage, Christine; Loring, Pam; McAuley, Daniel; McLellan, Nic; Osenkowski, Jason; Reed, Eric T.; Roberts, Anthony J.; Robertson, Myra; Rothe, Tom; Safine, David E.; Silverman, Emily D.; Spragens, Kyle A.
Pearce, J.M., Flint, P.L., Whalen, M.E., Sonsthagen, S.A., Stiller, J., Patil, V.P., Bowman, T., Boyd, S., Badzinski, S.S., Gilchrist, H.G., Gilliland, S.G., Lepage, C., Loring, P., McAuley, D., McLellan, N.R., Osenkowski, J., Reed, E.T., Roberts, A.J., Robertson, M.O., Rothe, T., Safine, D.E., Silverman, E.D., and Spragens, D., 2019, Visualizing populations of North American Sea Ducks—Maps to guide research and management planning: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1142, 50 p., plus appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191142.

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Year Published: 2019

The seasonal energetic landscape of an apex marine carnivore, the polar bear

Divergent movement strategies have enabled wildlife populations to adapt to environmental change. In recent decades, the Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) has developed a divergent movement strategy in response to diminishing sea ice where the majority of the subpopulation (73–85%) stays on the sea ice in summer...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Durner, George M.; Williams, Terrie M.

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Year Published: 2019

Use of subsistence-harvested whale carcasses by polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

The availability of a food subsidy has the potential to influence the condition, behavior, fitness, and population dynamics of a species. Since the early 2000s, monitoring efforts along the coast of northern Alaska indicated a higher proportion of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation come onshore and feed...

Lillie, Kate M; Gese, Eric M; Atwood, Todd C.; Conner, Mary M

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Year Published: 2019

The August 2018 Kaktovik earthquakes: Active tectonics in northeastern Alaska revealed With InSAR and seismology

The largest earthquakes recorded in northern Alaska (Mw 6.4 and Mw 6.0) occurred ~6 hours apart on August 12, 2018 in the northeastern Brooks Range. The earthquakes were captured by Sentinel-1 InSAR satellites and Earthscope Transportable Array seismic data, giving insight into the little-known active tectonic processes of Arctic Alaska, obscured...

Gaudreau, E.; Nissen, E.K.; Bergman, Eric A.; Benz, Harley M.; Tan, F.; Karasözen, E.

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Year Published: 2019

A leg-hold noose capture method for Brent Geese Branta bernicla at staging or wintering sites

Effective and efficient capture methods are needed for marking and monitoring individuals in studies of demography, migration and habitat use. We describe a novel use of leg-hold nooses aligned on lines and mats to capture non-breeding Brent Geese Branta bernicla in water at a staging and wintering site in Japan. A total of 24 Brent Geese were...

Sawa, Yusuke; Tamura, Chieko; Ikeuchi, Toshio; Fujii, Kaoru; Ishioroshi, Aisa; Shimada, T.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2019

Historical range and variation (HRV)

Fire-prone landscapes are experiencing rapid and potentially persistent changes as the result of complex and potentially novel interactions of anthropogenic climate changes, shifting fire regimes, exotic plant, insect, and pathogen invasions, and industrial, agricultural, and urban development. Are these landscapes fully departed from historical...

Keane, Robert; Loehman, Rachel A.

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Year Published: 2019

Temporal variation in genetic structure within the threatened spectacled eider

We examined the genetic structure of the threatened spectacled eider 14–18 years after the initial assessment to evaluate the influence of population recovery on diversity. Concordant with the initial assessment, spectacled eiders were highly structured at mitochondrial (mt) DNA and lacked differentiation at microsatellite loci. The degree and...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Haughey, Christy; Sexson, Matthew G.; Solovyeva, Diana V; Petersen, Margaret R.; Powell, Abby

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Year Published: 2019

Overhauling ocean spatial planning to improve marine megafauna conservation

Tracking data have led to evidence-based conservation of marine megafauna, but a disconnect remains between the many thousands of individual animals that have been tracked and the use of these data in conservation and management actions. Furthermore, the focus of most conservation efforts is within Exclusive Economic Zones despite the ability of...

Sequeira, Ana M. M.; Hays, Graeme C.; Sims, David W.; Eguíluz, Victor M.; Rodríguez, Jorge P.; Heupel, Michelle R.; Harcourt, Robert G.; Calich, Hannah J.; Queiroz, Nuno; Costa, Daniel P.; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Ferreira, Luciana C.; Goldsworthy, Simon D.; Hindell, Mark; Lea, Mary-Anne; Meekan, Mark G.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Reisser, Julia; Thums, Michele; Weise, Michael J; Duarte, Carlos M.

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Year Published: 2019

1200 years of Upper Missouri River streamflow reconstructed from tree rings

Paleohydrologic records can provide unique, long-term perspectives on streamflow variability and hydroclimate for use in water resource planning. Such long-term records can also play a key role in placing both present day events and projected future conditions into a broader context than that offered by instrumental observations. However,...

Martin, Justin; Pederson, Gregory T.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Cook, Edward R; McCabe, Gregory J.; Wise, Erika K.; Erger, Patrick; Dolan, Larry; McGuire, Marketa; Gangopadhyay, Subhrendu; Chase, Katherine J.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Gray, Stephen; St. George, Scott; Friedman, Jonathan M.; Sauchyn, David J.; St. Jacques, Jannine; King, John W.

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Year Published: 2019

Surface water connectivity controls fish food web structure and complexity across local- and meta-food webs in Arctic Coastal Plain lakes

The need for theories that address food web assembly and complexity over multiple spatial scales are critical to understanding their stability and persistence. In a meta-food web – an integrated network of local food webs – spatial heterogeneity in physical processes may have profound effects on food web function and energy flow. In the Arctic,...

Laske, Sarah M.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Ground failure from the Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake of 30 November 2018

Investigation of ground failure triggered by the 2018 Mw">MwMw 7.1 Anchorage earthquake showed that landslides, liquefaction, and ground cracking all occurred and caused significant damage. Shallow rock falls and rock slides were the most abundant types of landslides, but they occurred in smaller numbers than global models that are...

Jibson, Randall W.; Grant, Alex R. R. ; Witter, Robert C.; Allstadt, Kate; Thompson, Eric M.; Bender, Adrian

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Year Published: 2019

User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) Tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions

Decisionmakers need better methods for identifying critical ecosystem vulnerabilities to changing climate and fire regimes. Climate-wildfire-vegetation interactions are complex and hinder classification and projection necessary for development of management strategies. One such vulnerability assessment (VA) is FireCLIME VA, which allows users to...

Friggens, Megan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Thode, Andi; Flatley, William T.; Evans, Alexander; Bunn, Windy; Wilcox, Craig; Mueller, Stephanie; Yocum, Larissa; Falk, Donald A.
Friggens, M.; Loehman, R.; Thode, A.; Flatley, W.; Evans, A.; Bunn, W.; Wilcox, C.; Mueller, S.; Yocom, L.; Falk, D. 2019. User guide to the FireCLIME Vulnerability Assessment (VA) tool: A rapid and flexible system for assessing ecosystem vulnerability to climate-fire interactions. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-395. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 42 p.

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
Salmon River
October 27, 2016

Salmon River in Southeast Alaska

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

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

Scientists operate equipment in snow-covered area.
September 6, 2016

GPR and Broadband Electromagnetic Induction

USGS scientists conduct field work in the foothills of the Brooks Range in Alaska. Hydrologist Eric White (left) is collecting ground-penetrating radar (GPR). Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (right) is collecting broadband electromagnetic induction data. The flowing water visible in the background is groundwater discharging at a spring. (October 2016)

Tyndall Glacier, Alaska
September 6, 2016

Tyndall Glacier in Taan Fiord, Alaska

Tyndall Glacier in Taan Fiord, Alaska, is a modern day remnant of the glaciers that once flowed over the Gulf of Alaska.

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites
September 5, 2016

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites

Example of thawing landscapes and thermokarst at our field sites

Scientist pours a dye in a pit to see how water moves through soil
September 3, 2016

Soil tracer applied on burned hillslope

Brian Ebel pours a dye tracer into a pit to observe how water moves through soils on a burned hillslope.

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
July 2, 2003

On July 9, 1953, at 6 a.m., flying out of Anchorage International Airport, a Northwest Airlines pilot noticed a rapidly growing ash cloud erupting from Mount Spurr volcano on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, about 80 miles west of Anchorage.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA). 

USGS
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA).

USGS science for a changing world logo
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
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.

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.