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: 2,626
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Year Published: 2019

Heightened immune system function in polar bears using terrestrial habitats

Climate change is altering the distribution of some wildlife species while warming temperatures are facilitating the northward expansion of pathogens, potentially increasing disease risk. Melting of Arctic sea ice is causing polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the Southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) to increasingly spend summer on land, where they may...

Whiteman, John P.; Harlow, Henry J.; Durner, George M.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, Merav

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Year Published: 2019

Brood size affects future reproduction in a long-lived bird with precocial young

Estimation of trade-offs between current reproduction and future survival and fecundity of long-lived vertebrates is essential to understanding factors that shape optimal reproductive investment. Black brant geese (Branta bernicla nigricans) fledge more goslings, on average, when their broods are experimentally enlarged to be greater than the most...

Alan Leach; James Sedinger; Thomas Riecke; Amanda Van Dellen; Ward, David H.; Sean Boyd

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Year Published: 2019

Seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli, are a conspicuous predator in the Prince William Sound ecosystem, yet there has been little effort directed towards monitoring this species since the 1980s, prior to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We used vessel-based surveys to examine the seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in the waters of Prince William...

J.R. Moran; O'Dell, M.B.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Straley, Jan M; Dickson, D.M.S.

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Year Published: 2019

Implications of introgression for wildlife translocations: the case of North American martens

The evolutionary consequences of natural introgression provide a rare opportunity to retrospectively evaluate how the introduction of exotics or genetic rescue efforts may impact endemic faunas. Phylogeographic structure among mainland, endemic insular, and introduced North American marten (Martes americana and M. caurina) populations...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Wilson, Robert E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2019

Investigating lake-area dynamics across a permafrost-thaw spectrum using airborne electromagnetic surveys and remote sensing time-series data in Yukon Flats, Alaska

Lakes in boreal lowlands cycle carbon and supply an important source of freshwater for wildlife and migratory waterfowl. The abundance and distribution of these lakes are supported, in part, by permafrost distribution, which is subject to change. Relationships between permafrost thaw and lake dynamics remain poorly known in most boreal regions....

Rey, David; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Minsley, Burke; Rover, Jennifer; Singha, Kamini

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Year Published: 2019

Survival of Bristle-thighed Curlews equipped with externally mounted transmitters

Telemetry devices are widely used in avian research, but the degree to which the deployment of such devices affects the survival of study subjects is often not addressed. It is generally assumed that such effects are less pronounced in large-bodied species that conduct relatively short migrations and carry relatively light telemetry devices. We...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Patil, Vijay P.

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Year Published: 2019

Global sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971 to 2017

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (AMAP, 2017) identifies the Arctic as the largest regional source of land ice to global sea-level rise in the 2003 to 2014 period. Yet, this contextualization ignores the longer perspective from in-situ records of glacier mass balance. Here, using 18 (> 55 °N latitude) glacier and ice cap mass...

Box, Jason E.; Colgan, William T.; Wouters, Bert; Burgess, David O; O'Neel, Shad; Thomson, Laura; Mernild, Sebastian H

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Year Published: 2019

Interannual snow accumulation variability on glaciers derived from repeat spatially extensive ground-penetrating radar surveys

There is significant uncertainty regarding the spatiotemporal distribution of seasonal snow on glaciers, despite being a fundamental component of glacier mass balance. To address this knowledge gap, we collected repeat, spatially extensive high-frequency ground-penetrating radar (GPR) observations on two glaciers in Alaska for five consecutive...

McGrath, Daniel J; Sass, Louis; O'Neel, Shad; McNeil, Christopher J.; Candela, Salvatore G; Baker, Emily; Marshall, Hans P.

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Year Published: 2019

New approach to assessing age uncertainties – The 2300-year varve chronology from Eklutna Lake, Alaska (USA)

Developing robust chronological frameworks of lacustrine sediment is central to reconstructing past environmental changes. We present varve chronologies from five sites extending back 2300 years from Eklutna Lake, in the Chugach Mountains of south-central Alaska. The chronologies are built from image analysis of high-resolution...

Fortin, David; Praet, Nore; McKay, Nicholas P.; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Jensen, Britta J.L.; Haeussler, Peter; Buchanan, Casey; De Batist, Marc

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Year Published: 2019

Density‐dependent and phenological mismatch effects on growth and survival in lesser snow and Ross's goslings

Strong seasonality of high‐latitude environments imposes temporal constraints on forage availability and quality for keystone herbivores in terrestrial arctic ecosystems, including hyper‐abundant colonial geese. Changes in food quality due to intraspecific competition, or food availability relative to the breeding phenology of birds, may have...

Megan V. Ross; Ray T. Alisauskas; Douglas, David C.; Dana K. Kellett; Kiel L. Drake
Ross, M. V., R. T. Alisauskas, D. C. Douglas, D. K. Kellett, and K. L. Drake. Density-dependent and phenological mismatch effects on growth and survival in lesser snow and Ross’s goslings. J. Avian Biology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01748

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Year Published: 2019

Delayed herbivory by migratory geese increases summer‐long CO2 uptake in coastal western Alaska

The advancement of spring and the differential ability of organisms to respond to changes in plant phenology may lead to ‘phenological mismatches’ as a result of climate change. One potential for considerable mismatch is between migratory birds and food availability in northern breeding ranges and these mismatches may have consequences for...

Leffler, A. Joshua; Beard, Karen H.; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Choi, Ryan T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffery M.

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Year Published: 2019

Changing station coverage impacts temperature trends in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Over the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), temperatures in widely used gridded data products do not warm as much as mean temperatures from a stable set of U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations, located at generally lower elevations, in most months of the year. This is contrary to expectations of elevation-dependent warming, which...

McAfee, Stephanie A.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Gray, Stephen; Pederson, Gregory T.

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
An owl perched on an old log
July 1, 2016

Short-eared Owl on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Short-eared Owl.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Black-legged Kittiwake captured Pacific sand lance above the water
July 1, 2016

Black-legged Kittiwake foraging on Pacific sand lance

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on Pacific sand lance.

Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon.
June 30, 2016

Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon.

Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon; photo taken during sampling trip in July 2016.

John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016
June 30, 2016

A gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill

John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.

A close up of a male Willow Ptarmigan
June 30, 2016

A male Willow Ptarmigan

A closeup of a male Willow Ptarmigan.

Person in a trench
June 26, 2016

Investigating a trench across the Fairweather Fault

USGS Research Geologist Chris DuRoss investigates earthquake-faulted stratigraphy exposed in a hand-dug trench across the Fairweather Fault scarp. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Two men walking on the edge of a thin forest
June 22, 2016

Walking along the Fairweather Fault scarp

USGS scientists Adrian Bender and Peter Haeussler walk along the base of a ~10 m tall escarpment formed during past ground-rupturing earthquakes on the Fairweather Fault. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

A person in a forest of tall trees
June 20, 2016

Surveying the Fairweather Fault trace

USGS Geologist Adrian Bender surveys a trace of the 1958 Fairweather Fault earthquake surface rupture. The trace forms a linear, uphill-facing, 1-2 m tall escarpment flanked by trees that were likely tilted during the 1958 earthquake. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

A nest of a warbler in a bush
June 17, 2016

Yellow Warbler nest in a tall shrub thicket habitat

Yellow Warbler nest in a tall shrub thicket habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Small bird in a tree
June 16, 2016

Male Arctic Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Arctic Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Scientists setting a trap for gulls at the landfill
June 9, 2016

Setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016

Scientists Andrew Ramey, Bjorn Olsen, and Jonas Bonnedahl (L to R) setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.

Alaska field team revisit Tocher's 1958  site
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team revisit Tocher's 1958 site

The field team revisited many of the same locations geologists  Don Tocher and Don Miller studied in 1958.

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.