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: 2,644
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Year Published: 2019

Pace and process of active folding and fluvial incision across the Kantishna Hills anticline, central Alaska

Rates of northern Alaska Range thrust system deformation are poorly constrained. Shortening at the system's west end is focused on the Kantishna Hills anticline. Where the McKinley River cuts across the anticline, the landscape records both Late Pleistocene deformation and climatic change. New optically stimulated luminescence and cosmogenic ...

Bender, Adrian; Lease, Richard O.; Haeussler, Peter; Rittenour, Tammy M.; Corbett, Lee B.; Bierman, Paul R.; Caffee, Marc W.

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Year Published: 2019

Wasting disease and static environmental variables drive sea star assemblages in the northern Gulf of Alaska

Sea stars are ecologically important in rocky intertidal habitats where they can play an apex predator role, completely restructuring communities. The recent sea star die-off throughout the eastern Pacific, known as Sea Star Wasting Disease, has prompted a need to understand spatial and temporal patterns of sea star assemblages and the...

Konar, Brenda; Mitchell, Timothy J.; Iken, K.; Dean, Thomas; Esler, Daniel N.; Lindeberg, Mandy; Pister, Benjamin; Weitzman, Ben P.

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Year Published: 2019

Micro-geographic population genetic structure within Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) in Beaufort Sea of Alaska

Many marine organisms show significant levels of genetic heterogeneity on local spatial scales despite exhibiting limited genetic structure at large geographic scales which can be produced through a variety of mechanisms. The Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) is a circumpolar species and is a vital species in Arctic food webs. To examine population...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Wedemeyer, Kate; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Menning, Damian M.; Gravley, Megan C.; Nelson, R. John; Talbot, Sandra L.

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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

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
Three people standing next to a vertical trench dug in the side of a cliff
June 5, 2016

Alaska field crew next to a trench

The field crew studies various areas thoughout the fault. 

Five people walking across big rocks
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team walking to sample site

The field crew walked miles daily to research the Fairweather fault and surrounding areas.

Glacier National Park
June 5, 2016

Glacier Bay National Park

View of Glacier Bay National Park from the air.

Fairweather Fault
June 5, 2016

Fairweather Fault

USGS research geologist Kate Scharer with her finger on the Fairweather Fault in southeast Alaska. The magnitude 7.8 Lituya Bay earthquake caused shaking that toppled trees along the fault, which left a break in the forest shown here.

South Crillon Glacier
June 5, 2016

South Crillon Glacier

Nearly 60 years after a magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck Lituya Bay, Alaska — leading to a tsunami that devastated the area — six U.S. Geological Survey geologists revisited the isolated region of Alaska, to pick up where their scientific predecessors left off. In this photo, members of the USGS research team pause to take in the view of South Crillon Glacier from a study

...
South Crillon Glacier
June 5, 2016

South Crillon Glacier

Periodic calving of ice from the snout of South Crillon Glacier.

Glacier Bay National Park
June 5, 2016

Glacier Bay National Park

Trench site along the southern Fairweather Fault, in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. The alluvial fan at left consists of lake, stream channel and debris flow deposits impounded by the Fairweather Fault scarp, at right.

Alaska field team
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team

The field team included USGS geologists Rob Witter, Adrian Bender, Chris DuRoss, Peter Haeussler, Richard Lease and Kate Scharer

Fairweather fault lidar
June 5, 2016

Fairweather fault lidar

Fairweather fault lidar 

Scientist inspecting permafrost
June 1, 2016

Inspecting Permafrost

USGS scientist Neal Pastick inspects a permafrost plot in North Slope of Alaska near Galbraith Lake.

Scientist laying cable in a field
June 1, 2016

Laying Ground Cable to Measure Permafrost

USGS scientist Burke Minsley and project partners from the U. Alaska Fairbanks lay ground cable to measure permafrost depth at Nome Creek site north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

A bird nest camouflaged in the grass
May 31, 2016

American Golden-Plover nest in dwarf shrub mat habitat

American Golden-Plover nest 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.

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.