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

Filter Total Items: 2,376
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Year Published: 2017

Drivers and environmental responses to the changing annual snow cycle of northern Alaska

On the North Slope of Alaska, earlier spring snowmelt and later onset of autumn snow accumulation are tied to atmospheric dynamics and sea ice conditions, and result in environmental responses.Linkages between atmospheric, ecological and biogeochemical variables in the changing Arctic are analyzed using long-term measurements near Utqiaġvik (...

Cox, Christopher J.; Stone, Robert S.; Douglas, David C.; Stanitski, Diane; Divoky, George J.; Dutton, Geoff S.; Sweeney, Colm; George, J. Craig; Longenecker, David U.
Cox, C.J., Stone, R.S., Douglas, D.C., Stanitski, D.M., Divoky, G.J., Dutton, G.S., Sweeney, C., George, J.C., and Longnecker, D.U., 2017, Drivers and environmental responses to the changing annual snow cycle of northern Alaska: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Early Online Release. doi: 10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0201.1

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Year Published: 2017

Effects of industrial and investigator disturbance on Arctic-nesting geese

Oil and gas development on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska, USA may have effects on Arctic-nesting birds. To estimate effects of industrial activity and investigator disturbance on avian productivity, we monitored nests of greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) with digital cameras and periodic nest visits during 2013–2014 at 2...

Meixell, Brandt W.; Flint, Paul L.
Meixell, B. W. and P. L. Flint. 2017. Effects of industrial and investigator disturbance on Arctic-nesting geese. Journal of Wildlife Management 81(8):1372-1385. doi:10.1002/jwmg.21312

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Year Published: 2017

Environment and science: Chapter 9

Alaska is part of an international circumpolar North, which makes the United States an Arctic nation. Alaska is a place of Indigenous ingenuity and adaptation, a place where environmental extremes challenge the ways of living. In its more recent history, Alaska has been a place of resources and influx-a land known best for what it provides. This...

Pearce, John M.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Pearce, J., and Talbot, S., 2017. Science and the Environment. In: North: Finding Place in Alaska. 2017. Decker, J. (ed.). 304 p. University of Washington Press ISBN-10: 0295741848.

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Year Published: 2017

High altitude flights by ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea during trans-Himalayan migrations

Birds that migrate across high altitude mountain ranges are faced with the challenge of maintaining vigorous exercise in environments with limited oxygen. Ruddy shelducks are known to use wintering grounds south of the Tibetan Plateau at sea level and breeding grounds north of Himalayan mountain range. Therefore, it is likely these shelducks are...

Parr, N.; Bearhop, S.; Douglas, David C.; Takekawa, J.Y.; Prosser, Diann J.; Newman, S.H.; Perry, W.M.; Balachandran, S.; Witt, M.J.; Hou, Y.; Luo, Z.; Hawkes, L.A.
Parr, N., Bearhop, S., Douglas, D.C., Takekawa, J.Y., Prosser, D.J., Newman, S.H., Perry, W.M., Balachandran, S., Witt, M.J., Hou, Y., Luo, Z., and Hawkes, L.A., 2017, High altitude flights by ruddy shelduck Tadorna ferruginea during trans-Himalayan migrations: Journal of Avian Biology, vol. 48, no. 10, p. 1310-1315. doi: 10.1111/jav.01443

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Year Published: 2017

Use of swabs for sampling epithelial cells for molecular genetics analyses in Enteroctopus

We evaluated the efficacy of using swabs to collect cells from the epidermis of octopus as a non-invasive DNA source for classical genetic studies, and demonstrated value of the technique by incorporating it into an effort to determine, within a day, the lineage of captured, live Enteroctopus (E. dofleini or a cryptic lineage). The...

Hollenback, Nathan; Scheel, David; Gravley, Megan C.; Sage, George K.; Toussaint, Rebecca K.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Hollenbeck, N., Scheel, D., Gravely, M.C., Sage, G.K., Toussaint, R., and Talbot, S.L., 2017, Use of swabs for sampling epithelial cells for molecular genetics analyses in Enteroctopus: American Malacological Bulletin, vol. 35, no. 2, p. 145-157. doi: 10.4003/006.035.0207

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Year Published: 2017

Variation in abundance of Pacific Blue Mussel (Mytilus trossulus) in the Northern Gulf of Alaska, 2006–2015

Mussels are conspicuous and ecologically important components of nearshore marine communities around the globe. Pacific blue mussels (Mytilus trossulus) are common residents of intertidal habitats in protected waters of the North Pacific, serving as a conduit of primary production to a wide range of nearshore consumers including predatory...

Bodkin, James L.; Coletti, Heather A.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Monson, Daniel; Esler, Daniel N.; Dean, Thomas A.
Bodkin, J.L., Coletti, H.A., Ballachey, B.E., Monson, D.H., Esler, D., and Dean, T.A. 2017. Variation in abundance of Pacific Blue Mussel (Mytilus trossulus) in the Northern Gulf of Alaska, 2006–2015: Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. vol. no. p. . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.008

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Year Published: 2017

Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea

Assessing the health and condition of animals in their natural environment can be problematic. Many physiological metrics, including immunity, are highly influenced by specific context and recent events to which researchers may be unaware. Thus, using a multifaceted physiological approach and a context-specific analysis encompassing multiple time...

Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Terletzky, Patricia; Atwood, Todd C.; Gese, Eric; Smith, Geoffrey; Greenfield, Sydney; Pettit, John; French, Susannah
Neuman-Lee, L.A., Terletzky, P.A., Atwood, T.C., Gese, E.M., Smith, G.D., Greenfield, S., Pettit, J., and French, S.S., 2017, Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea: Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology, vol. 327, no. 5, p. 333-346. doi: 10.1002/jez.2112

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Year Published: 2017

Environmental and behavioral changes may influence the exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants

Recent decline of sea ice habitat has coincided with increased use of land by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB), which may alter the risks of exposure to pathogens and contaminants. We assayed blood samples from SB polar bears to assess prior exposure to the pathogens Brucella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Coxiella...

Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Nol, Pauline; Rhyan, Jack; McCollum, Matthew; McKinney, Melissa A.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Cerqueira-Cezar, Camila; Kwok, Oliver C H; Dubey, Jitender P; Hennager, S.G.
Atwood, T.C., Duncan, C., Patyk, K.A., Nol, P., Rhyan, J., McCollum, M., McKinney, M.A., Ramey, A.M., Cerqueira-Cézar, C.K., Kwok, O.C.H., Dubey, J.P., and Hennager, S., 2017, Environmental and behavioral changes may influence the exposure of an Arctic apex predator to pathogens and contaminants: no. 13193. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-13496-9

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Year Published: 2017

Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate

Understanding causes of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) attacks on humans is critical to ensuring both human safety and polar bear conservation. Although considerable attention has been focused on understanding black (U. americanus) and grizzly (U. arctos) bear conflicts with humans, there have been few attempts to systematically collect, analyze,...

Wilder, James; Vongraven, Dag; Atwood, Todd C.; Hansen, Bob; Jessen, Amalie; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; York, Geoff; Vallender, Rachel; Hedman, Daryll; Gibbons, Melissa
Wilder, J.M., Vongraven, D., Atwood, T., Hansen, B., Jessen, A., Kochnev, A., York, G., Vallender, R., Hedman, D., and Gibbons, M., 2017, Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate: Wildlife Society Bulletin, vol. 41, no. 3, p. 537-547. doi: 10.1002/wsb.783

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Year Published: 2017

Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore distribution of polar bears

Climate change is altering habitat for many species, leading to shifts in distributions that can increase levels of human-wildlife conflict. To develop effective strategies for minimizing human-wildlife conflict, we must understand the relative influences that climate change and other factors have on wildlife distributions. Polar bears (Ursus...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Miller, Susanne; Divoky, George J.
Wilson, R.R., Regehr, E.V., St. Martin, M., Atwood, T.C., Peacock, E., Miller, S., Divoky, G., 2017, Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore distribution of polar bears: Biological Conservation, vol. 214, p. 288-294. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.005

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Year Published: 2017

Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use

From 2000 to 2013, use of land as a seasonal habitat by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation substantially increased. This onshore use has been linked to reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice, as well as to the availability of subsistence‐harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) bone...

McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.
McKinney, M.A., Atwood, T.C., Iverson, S.J., and Peacock, E., 2017, Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use: Ecosphere. vol. 9, no. 1, e01633. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1633

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Year Published: 2017

Movements and habitat use of White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) during the remigial molt in arctic Alaska, USA

Proposed oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska has raised questions about possible impacts of development on molting Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) and their habitats. We used GPS transmitters to record fine-scale location data of molting and post-molt White-fronted Geese to assess patterns of...

Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.
Flint, P. L. and B. W. Meixell. 2017. Movements and habitat use of White-fronted geese during the remigial molt in Arctic Alaska, USA. Waterbirds 40(3):272-281. doi:10.1675/063.040.0308

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
Four birds standing on a ledge of rock
July 23, 2016

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 23, 2016.

Common Murres in the water
July 23, 2016

Common Murres in the water

Large amount of Common Murres in the water 

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges
July 20, 2016

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

A male longspur songbird in short grass
July 18, 2016

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

A bucket of the trawl catch of forage fish
July 17, 2016

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Trawling was part of an assessment of abundance, distribution and species composition of forage fish in marine waters in lower Cook Inlet.

Copper River bridge
July 14, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark
July 14, 2016

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
July 14, 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 flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying

A Horned Puffin flying

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park
July 9, 2016

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Erin Todd (right) discuss the "big picture" geology in their project area in and around Lake Clark National Park. Redoubt volcano in background left; baseball-sized cobbles on ground at researchers feet are pumice cobbles from the 2009(?) eruption of Redoubt volcano. 

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark
July 9, 2016

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark

Jamey Jones collects a sample of Talkeenta Formation volcaniclastic sandstone for detrital zircon geochronology. 

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.