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: 169
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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,644
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Year Published: 2021

Arctic insect emergence timing and composition differs across thaw ponds of varying morphology

Freshwater ponds provide habitats for aquatic insects that emerge and subsidize consumers in terrestrial ecosystems. In the Arctic, insects provide an important seasonal source of energy to birds that breed and rear young on the tundra. The abundance and timing of insect emergence from arctic thaw ponds is poorly understood, but understanding...

Laske, Sarah M.; Gurney, Kirsty E. B.; Koch, Joshua C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wipfli, Mark S.

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1,407 billion (1.4 trillion) cubic feet of gas in conventional accumulations in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska.

Houseknecht, David W.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Moore, Thomas E.; Rouse, William A.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Craddock, William H.; Lease, Richard O.; Botterell, Palma J.; Sanders, Margaret M.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Connors, Christopher D.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Whidden, Katherine J.; Gooley, Jared T.; Counts, John W.; Long, Joshua H.; DeVera, Christina A.
Houseknecht, D.W., Mercier, T.J., Schenk, C.J., Moore, T.E., Rouse, W.A., Dumoulin, J.A., Craddock, W.H., Lease, R.O., Botterell, P.J., Sanders, M.M., Smith, R.A., Connors, C.D., Garrity, C.P., Whidden, K.J., Gooley, J.T., Counts, J.W., Long, J.H., and DeVera, C.A., 2021, Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3003, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213003.

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Year Published: 2021

Red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) use of nearshore marine habitats—Results from a 2019 pilot study in northern Alaska

Red-throated loons (Gavia stellata) are a species of conservation concern in Alaska due to recent evidence of a population decline on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) in northern Alaska. In 2019, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducted a pilot study to evaluate diet and use of nearshore foraging areas as possible...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Latty, Christopher J.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, B.D., Latty, C.J., and Schmutz, J.A., 2021, Red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) use of nearshore marine habitats—Results from a 2019 pilot study in Northern Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1029, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211029.

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Year Published: 2021

Abundance of a recently discovered Alaskan rhodolith bed in a shallow, seagrass-dominated lagoon

Rhodoliths are important foundation species of the benthic photic zone but are poorly known and rarely studied in Alaska. A bed of Lithothamnion soriferum rhodoliths was discovered in 2008 in Kinzarof Lagoon, Alaska, a shallow-water embayment dominated by eelgrass (Zostera marina). Rhodolith presence and biomass were estimated to assess trends...

Ward, David H.; Amundson, Courtney; Fitzmorris, Patrick; Menning, Damian M.; Markis, Joel; Sowl, Kristine M.; Lindstrom, Sandra C.

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Year Published: 2021

Metabarcoding of environmental samples suggest wide distribution of eelgrass (Zostera marina) pathogens in the north Pacific

Seagrass meadows provide important ecological services to the marine environment but are declining worldwide. Although eelgrass meadows in the north Pacific are thought to be relatively healthy, few studies have assessed the presence of known disease pathogens in these meadows. In a pilot study to test the efficacy of the methods and to provide...

Menning, Damian M.; Gravley, Hunter A; Cady, Melissa N.; Pepin, Daniel J; Wyllie-Echeverria, Sandy; Ward, David H.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2021

Effects of midazolam on corticosterone and blood gases in spectacled eiders prior to transmitter implantation

Stress and physical exertion may affect the physiology and behavior of wildlife during and after capture, and consequently, survival following release. Such effects may reduce the quality and quantity of the data obtained from captured wildlife. We captured spectacled eiders (Somateria fischeri), a species listed as threatened under the United...

Spriggs, Maria; Rizzolo, Daniel; Martin, Kate; Myers, Gwen E.; Sexson, Matthew G.

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Year Published: 2021

The extent and variability of storm‐induced temperature changes in lakes measured with long‐term and high‐frequency data

The intensity and frequency of storms are projected to increase in many regions of the world because of climate change. Storms can alter environmental conditions in many ecosystems. In lakes and reservoirs, storms can reduce epilimnetic temperatures from wind‐induced mixing with colder hypolimnetic waters, direct precipitation to the lake's...

Doubek, Jonathan P.; Anneville, Orlane; Dur, Gael; Lewandowska, Aleksandra M.; Patil, Vijay P.; Rusak, James A.; Salmaso, Nico; Seltmann, Christian T.; Straile, Dietmar; Urrutia‐Cordero, Pablo; Venail, Patrick; Adrian, Rita; Alfonso, Maria B.; DeGasperi, Curtis L.; de Eyto, Elvira; Feuchtmayr, Heidrun; Gaiser, Evelyn; Girdner, Scott F; Graham, Jennifer L.; Grossart, Hans-Peter; Hejzlar, Josef; Jacquet, Stéphan; Kirillin, Georgiy; Llames , María E.; Matsuzaki, Shin-Ichiro S.; Nodine, Emily; Piccolo, Maria Cintia; Pierson, Donald C.; Rimmer, Alon; Rudstam, Lars G.; Sadro, Steven; Swain, Hilary M.; Thackeray, Stephen J.; Thiery, Wim; Verburg, Piet; Zohary, Tamar; Stockwell, Jason D.

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Year Published: 2021

Water reliability in the west -- SECURE Water Act Section 9503(C)

No abstract available.

McGuire, Marketa; Gangopadhyay, Subhrendu; Martin, Justin; Pederson, Gregory T.; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Littell, Jeremy S.
Reclamation (Bureau of Reclamation) 2021. Water Reliability in the West -- SECURE Water Act Section 9503(C). Prepared for the United States Congress. Bureau of Reclamation, Water Resources and Planning Office. Denver, Colorado.

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Year Published: 2021

Biological correlates of sea urchin recruitment in kelp forest and urchin barren habitats

Shifts between the alternate stable states of sea urchin barren grounds and kelp forests correspond to sea urchin density. In the Aleutian Archipelago, green sea urchins Strongylocentrotus polyacanthus are the dominant herbivores that graze kelp forests. Sea urchin recruitment is an important driver that influences sea urchin density,...

Weitzman, Ben; Konar, Brenda H.

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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey Arctic ecosystem assessments

The U.S Geological Survey (USGS) conducts natural hazard and resource assessments of the Earth’s ecosystems and the response of those ecosystems to environmental change, human activities, and land use. Arctic regions of Alaska are important for cultural and economic sustainability and host a wide variety of wildlife species, many of which are of...

Pearce, John M.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.
Pearce, J.M. and Van Hemert, C.R., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey Arctic ecosystem assessments: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3016, 2 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20213016.

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Year Published: 2021

Investigation of algal toxins in a multispecies seabird die-off in the Bering and Chukchi seas

Between 2014 and 2017, widespread seabird mortality events were documented annually in the Bering and Chukchi seas, concurrent with dramatic reductions of sea ice, warmer than average ocean temperatures, and rapid shifts in marine ecosystems. Among other changes in the marine environment, harmful algal blooms (HABs) that produce the neurotoxins...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Dusek, Robert J.; Smith, Matthew M.; Kaler, Robert; Sheffield, Gay; Divine, Lauren M.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Knowles, Susan; Lankton, Julia S.; Hardison, D. Ransom; Litaker, R. Wayne; Jones, Timothy; Burgess, Hillary K.; Parrish, Julia K.

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Year Published: 2021

Whole‐genome resequencing reveals persistence of forest‐associated mammals in Late Pleistocene refugia along North America’s North Pacific Coast

AimNumerous glacial refugia have been hypothesized along North America's North Pacific Coast that may have increased divergence of refugial taxa, leading to elevated endemism and subsequently clustered hybrid zones following deglaciation. The locations and community composition of these ice‐free areas remains controversial, but whole‐genome...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Lan, Tianying; Talbot, Sandra L.; Lindqvist, Charlotte; Cook, Joseph A.

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
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

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.

 

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. 

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

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

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

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

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach 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.

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 22, 2017

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Drill Rig at the Mt. Elbert Test Site
October 20, 2017

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

3 men leaning over big yellow metal grab bucket on the deck of a ship. Dark sediment is visible inside bucket
October 19, 2017

An international team of scientists just finished probing the depths of the Pacific Ocean offshore of Alaska and British Columbia, to better understand the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault. During the past century, the 700-mile-long fault has generated at least half a dozen major earthquakes, and future shocks threaten coastal communities in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Barry Grand, USGS Cooperative Research Unit Supervisor
September 27, 2017

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Alaska mapping status map showing 84% statewide IfSAR coverage available
July 24, 2017

The USGS continues to collect high resolution elevation data, contributing to greatly improved Alaska map data

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.

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