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: 172
Date published: June 26, 2019
Status: Active

Information by Region-Alaska

  

Date published: June 19, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial and Temporal Maps of Population Change of Waterbirds on Alaska's North Slope

A main objective of the USGS Changing Arctic Research Initiative is to quantify and provide projections of the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic.  The following project provides information for Department of Interior agencies, industry, and other stakeholders related to this objective.

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Landslide-Induced Tsunamis of Southern Alaska

Working with partners to study and inform the Nation about geohazard risks

Date published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Winter Habitat of Juvenile Dolly Varden in the Canning River

In the Arctic, rivers often freeze all the way to the bottom each winter leaving fish with limited habitat where they can survive. 

Date published: April 20, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these...

Date published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Macrofossil and Sediment Processing Laboratory

In the Macrofossil and sediment processing lab we analyze the physical, biological, and geochemical characteristics of peat and sediment samples collected from lake, wetland, and peat cores as proxies for past changes to these depositional environments on timescales of decades to millennia. We primarily study terrestrial wetland ecosystems from subtropical to arctic regions in order to...

Date published: February 1, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...

Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.

Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

Webinar: Aquatic Ecosystem Vulnerability to Fire and Climate Change in Alaskan Boreal Forests

View this webinar for more information about conservation efforts surrounding aquatic habitats in boreal Alaska.

Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Benchmark Glacier Project

Scientists with the USGS Benchmark Glacier Project study the process and impacts of glacier change, including sea-level rise, water resources, environmental hazards and ecosystem links. At the core of this research are mass balance measurements at five glaciers in the United States. Since the 1960s, these glaciers have been studied using direct observations of glaciers and meteorology. The...

Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Land-Sea Linkages in the Arctic

The Arctic is undergoing historically unprecedented changes in weather, sea ice, temperature and ecosystems.  These changes have led to greater coastal erosion, greater export of freshwater, and changes to marine and terrestrial ecosystems, habitats, and productivity, among other trends. Meanwhile, many believe the Arctic “amplifies” large climate changes during both warm periods and ice ages...

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,528
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Year Published: 2020

Imaging the tectonic grain of the Northern Cordillera orogen using Transportable Array receiver functions

Azimuthal variations in receiver function conversions can image lithospheric structural contrasts and anisotropic fabrics that together compose tectonic grain. We apply this method to data from EarthScope Transportable Array in Alaska and additional stations across the northern Cordillera. The best‐resolved quantities are the strike and depth of...

Schulte-Pelkum, Vera; Caine, Jonathan; Jones, James V.; Becker, Thorsten W

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Year Published: 2020

Four decades of land-cover change on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska: Detecting disturbance-influenced vegetation shifts using landsat legacy data

Across Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, disturbance events have removed large areas of forest over the last half century. Simultaneously, succession and landscape evolution have facilitated forest regrowth and expansion. Detecting forest loss within known pulse disturbance events is often straightforward given that reduction in tree cover is a readily...

Baughman, Carson; Loehman, Rachel A.; Magness, Dawn R.; Saperstein, Lisa; Sherriff, Rosemary L.

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Year Published: 2020

Can oceanic prey effects on growth and time to fledging mediate terrestrial predator limitation of an at‐risk seabird?

Most seabird species nest colonially on cliffs or islands with limited terrestrial predation, so that oceanic effects on the quality or quantity of prey fed to chicks more often determine nest success. However, when predator access increases, impacts can be dramatic, especially when exposure to predators is extended due to slow growth from...

Knudson, Timothy; Lovvorn, James R.; Lawonn, M. James; Corcoran, Robin; Roby, Dan; Piatt, John F.; Pyle, William

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Year Published: 2020

High site fidelity does not equate to population genetic structure for common goldeneye and Barrow's goldeneye in North America

Delineation of population structure provides valuable information for conservation and management of species, as levels of demographic and genetic connectivity not only affect population dynamics but also have important implications for adaptability and resiliency of populations and species. Here, we measure population genetic structure and...

Brown, Joshua I.; Lavretsky, Philip; Wilson, Robert E.; Haughey, Christy; Boyd, W Sean; Esler, Daniel N.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2020

Analyses on subpopulation abundance and annual number of maternal dens for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

The long-term persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is threatened by sea-ice loss due to climate change, which is concurrently providing an opportunity in the Arctic for increased anthropogenic activities including natural resource extraction. Mitigating the risk of those activities, which can adversely affect the population dynamics of the...

Atwood, Todd C.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Patil, Vijay P.; Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Simac, Kristin S.
Atwood, T.C., Bromaghin, J.F., Patil, V.P., Durner, G.M., Douglas, D.C., and Simac, K.S., 2020, Analyses on subpopulation abundance and annual number of maternal dens for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020-1087, 16 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201087.

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Year Published: 2020

Comparative genomics and genomic epidemiology of mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis strains

Two phenotypically distinct strains of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) were recognized in the 1930s but it was not until the introduction of restriction endonuclease analysis (REA) in the mid-1980s that these two strains, MAP-C and MAP-S, could be distinguished genetically. Since then, a plethora of molecular typing techniques...

Stevenson, Karen; Ahlstrom, Christina

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Year Published: 2020

Reliability of external characteristics to age Barrow’s goldeneye

Accurate assignment of age class is critical for understanding most demographic processes. For waterfowl, most techniques for determining age class require birds in hand, reducing utility for quickly and efficiently sampling a large portion of the population. As an alternative, we sought to establish an observation‐based methodology, achievable in...

Lewis, Tyler L.; Esler, Daniel N.; Hogan, Danica H.; Boyd, W Sean; Bowman, Timothy D.; Thompson, Jonathan

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Year Published: 2020

Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals

Phase 2 of the Earth Mapping Resources Initiative (Earth MRI) focuses on geologic belts that are favorable for hosting mineral systems that may contain select critical minerals. Phase 1 of the Earth MRI program focused on rare earth elements (REE), and phase 2 adds aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum-group metals, tantalum, tin...

Kreiner, Douglas C.; Jones, James V.
Kreiner, D.C., and Jones, J.V., 2020, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic resources of 11 critical minerals in Alaska—Aluminum, cobalt, graphite, lithium, niobium, platinum group elements, rare earth elements, tantalum, tin, titanium, and tungsten, chap. C of U.S. Geological Survey, Focus areas for data acquisition for potential domestic sources of critical minerals: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1023, 20 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191023C.

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Year Published: 2020

A manipulative thermal challenge protocol for adult salmonids in remote field settings

Manipulative experiments provide stronger evidence for identifying cause-and-effect relationships than correlative studies, but protocols for implementing temperature manipulations are lacking for large species in remote settings. We developed an experimental protocol for holding adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) and exposing them to...

Donnelly, Daniel S.; von Biela, Vanessa R.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Laske, Sarah M.; Carey, Michael P.; Waters, Shannon C.; Bowen, Lizabeth; Brown, Randy J; Larson, Sean; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2020

Transcriptomic response to elevated water temperatures in adult migrating Yukon River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) declines are widespread and may be attributed, at least in part, to warming river temperatures. Water temperatures in the Yukon River and tributaries often exceed 18°C, a threshold commonly associated with heat stress and elevated mortality in Pacific salmon. Untangling the complex web of direct and...

Bowen, Lizabeth; von Biela, Vanessa R.; McCormick, Stephen D.; Regish, Amy M.; Waters, Shannon C.; Durbin-Johnson, Blythe; Britton, Monica; Settles, Matt; Donnelly, Daniel S.; Laske, Sarah M.; Carey, Michael P.; Brown, Randy J; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2020

Keystone predators govern the pathway and pace of climate impacts in a subarctic marine ecosystem

Predator loss and climate change are hallmarks of the Anthropocene yet their interactive effects are largely unknown. Here, we show that massive calcareous reefs, built slowly by the alga Clathromorphum nereostratum over centuries to millennia, are now declining because of the emerging interplay between these two processes. Such reefs,...

Rasher, Douglas B; Stenek, Robert S; Halfar, Jochen; Kroeker, Kristy J; Ries, Justin B.; Tinker, M. Tim; Chan, Phoebe T W; Fietzke, J; Kamenos, Nicolas; Konar, Brenda H.; Lefcheck, Jonathan S.; Norley, Christopher J D; Weitzman, Ben; Westfield, Isaac T; Estes, James A

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Year Published: 2020

Microbiomes from biorepositories? 16S rRNA bacterial amplicon sequencing of archived and contemporary intestinal samples of wild mammals (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae)

Interest in gut microbial community composition has exploded recently as a result of the increasing ability to characterize these organisms and a growing understanding of their role in host fitness. New technologies, such as next generation amplicon (16S rRNA) sequencing, have enabled identification of bacterial communities from samples of diverse...

Greiman, Stephen E.; Cook, Joseph A.; Odem, Timothy; Cranmer, Katelyn; Liphardt, Schuyler W; Menning, Damian M.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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: 989
Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 26, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris on beach in Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

August 18, 2019

Time-lapse video of bluff erosion on Barter Island, Alaska

Recorded June 1, 2019 - August 18, 2019: Video shows a series of photos taken every hour during daylight hours in the summer of 2019. The camera looks westward along the coastal bluffs of Barter Island, located on Alaska’s North Slope. A pole on the bluff, visible in the first half of the video, once supported another video camera that was aimed at the

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek
August 17, 2019

Arctic grayling and Dolly varden from impounded water of beaver dam

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve. 

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
August 17, 2019

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve.

 

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve
August 16, 2019

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument.
August 14, 2019

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam

 

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument. 

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcass in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
A polar bear walks across rubble ice in the Alaska portion of the southern Beaufort Sea
June 6, 2017

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

Sea otter in kelp
May 2, 2017

Thanks to a quarter-century of research and monitoring, scientists now know how different wildlife species were injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and how long it took for populations to recover.

Photo of a duck floating in the water.
May 1, 2017

Ducks in North America can be carriers of avian influenza viruses similar to those found in a 2016 outbreak in Indiana that led to the losses of hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys, according to a recent study.

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
April 28, 2017

Which U.S. State or territory has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined?

Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

Duck with various brown colored feathers
March 15, 2017

Wild ducks and shorebirds do not appear to carry Newcastle disease viruses that sicken or kill poultry, according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Scientists taking soil samples
March 15, 2017

Alaska has considerable potential for undiscovered mineral resources, including critical minerals.

USGS
March 13, 2017

A new report by the USGS finds that although snow geese are increasing rapidly in northern Alaska, they are not having a negative effect on black brant. Brant are a goose species that shares its nesting habitat with snow geese.

Scientist collecting samples in the Arctic Coastal Plain
March 7, 2017

Despite recent changes to the growing season for plants in the Arctic, Alaska, caribou appear to have remained in sync with these changes over the last 30 years. 

Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
March 3, 2017

Bogoslof volcano, located in the Aleutian Islands about 98 km (61 mi) northwest of Dutch Harbor/Unalaska, is in an active eruption sequence that began in mid-December 2016 and continues today.

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.

The Regional Office provides active input to a variety of external collaborations by:

Filter Total Items: 55