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: 2,642
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Year Published: 2019

Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3)—Including “Best Value” Data Compilations for Rock, Sediment, Soil, Mineral, and Concentrate Sample Media

The Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3) contains new geochemical data compilations in which each geologic material sample has one “best value” determination for each analyzed species, greatly improving speed and efficiency of use. Like the Alaska Geochemical Database Version 2.0 before it, the AGDB3 was created and designed to compile...

Granitto, Matthew; Wang, Bronwen; Shew, Nora B.; Karl, Susan M.; Labay, Keith A.; Werdon, Melanie B.; Seitz, Susan S.; Hoppe, John E.
Granitto, M., Wang, B., Shew, N.B., Karl, S.M., Labay, K.A., Werdon, M.B., Seitz, S.S., and Hoppe, J.E., 2019, Alaska Geochemical Database Version 3.0 (AGDB3)—Including “best value” data compilations for rock, sediment, soil, mineral, and concentrate sample media: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1117, 33 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1117.

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Year Published: 2019

The Yellow-billed Loon

The Yellow-billed Loon, known in Europe as the White-billed Diver, is a relatively rare bird nesting in arctic tundra regions of North America and Eurasia. This species was first described by G. R. Gray in 1859 (1), and named (Gavia adamsii) after the surgeon Dr. Edward Adams (who collected the first specimen) aboard the H.M.S. Enterprise...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Mike North; Schmutz, Joel A.

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Year Published: 2019

Catalog of earthquake parameters and description of seismograph and infrasound stations at Alaskan volcanoes—January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017

Between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2017, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) located a total of 28,172 earthquakes at volcanoes in Alaska. The annual totals are 3,840, 5,819, 5,297, 6,151, and 7,065 earthquakes for the years 2013 through 2017, respectively. This represents an average of 5,634 earthquakes per year, which is comparable to...

Dixon, James P.; Stihler, Scott D.; Haney, Matthew M.; Lyons, John J.; Ketner, Dane M.; Mulliken, Katherine M.; Parker, Thomas; Power, John A.
Dixon, J.P., Stihler S.D., Haney, M.M., Lyons, J.J., Ketner, D.M., Mulliken, K.M., Parker, T., and Power, J.A., 2019, Catalog of earthquake parameters and description of seismograph and infrasound stations at Alaskan volcanoes—January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2017: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1115, 92 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1115.

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Year Published: 2019

Soil mineralogy and geochemistry along a north-south transect in Alaska and the relation to source-rock terrane

Soils collected along a predominately north-south transect in Alaska were used to evaluate regional differences in the soil mineralogy and geochemistry in the context of a geotectonic framework for Alaska. The approximately 1,395-kilometer-long transect followed the Dalton, Elliott, and Richardson Highways from near Prudhoe Bay to Valdez. Sites...

Wang, Bronwen; Hults, Chad P.; Eberl, Dennis D.; Woodruff, Laurel G.; Cannon, William F.; Gough, Larry P.
Wang, B., Hults, C., Eberl, D., Woodruff, L., Cannon, W., and Gough, L., 2019, Soil mineralogy and geochemistry along a north-south transect in Alaska and the relation to source-rock terrane in Dumoulin, J.A., ed., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, vol. 15: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1814–E, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1814E.

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Year Published: 2019

Confronting models with data: The challenges of estimating disease spillover

For pathogens known to transmit across host species, strategic investment in disease control requires knowledge about where and when spillover transmission is likely. One approach to estimating spillover is to directly correlate observed spillover events with covariates. An alternative is to mechanistically combine information on host density,...

Cross, Paul C.; Prosser, Diann; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Pepin, Kim M.

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Year Published: 2019

An initial assessment of areas where landslides could enter the West Arm of Glacier Bay, Alaska and implications for tsunami hazards

Tsunamis generated by landslides in Glacier Bay are uncommon, but have potential to be extraordinarily destructive when they occur. This article identifies areas that are susceptible to landslides that could generate tsunamis and discusses approaches to characterize hazard and risk from these events.

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin

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Year Published: 2019

Giving ecological meaning to satellite-derived fire severity metrics across North American forests

Satellite-derived spectral indices such as the relativized burn ratio (RBR) allow fire severity maps to be produced in a relatively straightforward manner across multiple fires and broad spatial extents. These indices often have strong relationships with field-based measurements of fire severity, thereby justifying their widespread use in...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Koontz, Michael J.; Collins, Luke S.; Whitman, Ellen; Parisien, Marc-André; Loehman, Rachel A.; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Bourdon, Jean-François; Boucher, Jonathan; Boucher, Yan; Caprio, Anthony C.; Collingwood, Adam; Hall, Ron; Park, Jane; Saperstein, Lisa; Smetanka, Charlotte; Smith, Rebecca; Soverel, Nick

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Year Published: 2019

The Aleutian Low – Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index for predicting the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere

Early and late extremes in the timing of snowmelt have recently been observed in the Pacific Arctic. Subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts of this timing are important for industry, environmental management and Arctic communities. In northern Alaska, the timing is influenced by the advection of marine air from the north Pacific by the Aleutian Low,...

Cox, Christopher J.; Stone, Robert S.; Douglas, David C.; Stanitski, Diane; Gallagher, Michael
Cox, C. J., Stone, R. S., Douglas, D. C., Stanitski, D. M., & Gallagher, M. R. (2019). The Aleutian Low‐Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index correlated with the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 7464–7473. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL083306

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Year Published: 2019

Filling knowledge gaps in a threatened shorebird flyway through satellite tracking

Satellite‐based technologies that track individual animal movements enable the mapping of their spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence. This is particularly useful in poorly studied or remote regions where there is a need for the rapid gathering of relevant ecological knowledge to inform management actions. One such region is East Asia, where...

Yin-Chi Chan; Tibbitts, Lee; Tamar Lok; Chris Hassell; Peng, He-Bo; Zhijun Ma; Zhengwang Zhang; Theunis Piersma

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Year Published: 2019

Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: Correcting aerial counts for visibility bias

Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) population in western Alaska has since rebounded, prompting an assessment of their suitability for delisting. This assessment, however, is limited by aerial-based population estimates that are incompletely corrected for unobserved eiders....

Lewis, Tyler; Michael Swaim; Schmutz, Joel A.; Julian Fischer
Lewis TL, Swaim MA, Schmutz JA, Fischer JB (2019) Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: correcting aerial counts for visibility bias. Endang Species Res 39:191-206. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00959

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Year Published: 2019

Are polar bear habitat resource selection functions developed from 1985-1996 data still useful?

1. Greenhouse gas-induced warming in the Arctic has caused declines in sea ice extent and changed its composition, raising concerns by all circumpolar nations for polar bear conservation. 2. Negative impacts have been observed in three well-studied polar bear subpopulations. Most subpopulations, however, receive little or no direct monitoring,...

Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Atwood, Todd C.

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: 984
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.

Scientist walking up a stream in the Agashashok River drainage
August 31, 2016

Scientist sampling a stream in the drainage of the Agashashok River

Chris Zimmerman sampling a stream in the drainage of the Agashashok River which is in the Boreal-Arctic transition of the Brooks Range in Noatak National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park. This is part of the Hydro-Ecoloy of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

An aerial view of a stream in the Agashashok River watershed in the western Brooks range
August 31, 2016

An aerial view of a stream in the Agashashok River watershed

A stream type at the Boreal-Arctic transition of the Brooks Range, Noatak National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park. The stream is part of the Agashashok River watershed. This is part of the Hydro-Ecoloy of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

A stream in the Agashashok River drainage
August 31, 2016

A stream in the Agashashok River watershed

A stream type at the Boreal-Arctic transition of the Brooks Range, Noatak National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park. This stream is in the Agashashok River watershed. This is part of the Hydro-Ecoloy of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
August 26, 2016

Horned Puffin, near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water
August 26, 2016

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water

The north fork of the Agashashok River
August 20, 2016

The north fork of the Agashashok River

The north fork of the Agashashok River

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed
August 20, 2016

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 254
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).

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 16, 2002

U.S. Geological Survey scientists have completed a four-year re-assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). The re-assessment includes an economic analysis of the undiscovered oil in the NPRA and shows that the federal part of NPRA contains significant volumes of technically recoverable oil and gas resources spread over a vast area.

USGS
May 16, 2002

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists have completed a four-year re-assessment of the undiscovered oil and gas resources of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska (NPRA). 

USGS
March 29, 2002

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) released today a summary report of more than 10 years of investigations on the biological resources of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in and near the 1002 Area, a region of about 1.5 million acres on the coastal plain in the northern part of the Arctic Refuge.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 10, 2001

Of Alaska’s several-thousand valley glaciers, including nearly 700 that are named, fewer than 20 are advancing, according to a major study that U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Bruce F. Molnia will present at the American Geophysical Union Annual 2001 Fall Meeting, scheduled for Dec. 10-14 in San Francisco, CA.

USGS
December 10, 2001

Of Alaska’s several-thousand valley glaciers, including nearly 700 that are named, fewer than 20 are advancing, according to a major study that U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Bruce F. Molnia will present at the American Geophysical Union Annual 2001 Fall Meeting, scheduled for Dec. 10-14 in San Francisco, CA.

USGS
November 6, 2001

USGS scientist, Chris Potter, will summarize the USGS approach to hydrocarbon assessment in fold-thrust related structures beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) coastal plain and the National Petroleum Reserve, foothills and coastal plain on Alaska’s North Slope.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 20, 2001

Dr.William Seitz has assumed his duties as the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Deputy Regional Director for Alaska and the director of the Alaska Science Center.

USGS
September 20, 2001

Dr.William Seitz has assumed his duties as the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Deputy Regional Director for Alaska and the director of the Alaska Science Center.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 6, 2001

The third largest spring snowpack in 36 years on Gulkana Glacier won’t necessarily reverse the current slow retreat of the glacier and usher in a new growth cycle, according to U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists who measured the glacier’s snowpack in late April.

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.