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

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: 2018

Non‐linear effect of sea ice: Spectacled Eider survival declines at both extremes of the ice spectrum

Understanding the relationship between environmental factors and vital rates is an important step in predicting a species’ response to environmental change. Species associated with sea ice are of particular concern because sea ice is projected to decrease rapidly in polar environments with continued levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The...

Christie, Katherine S.; Hollmen, Tuula E.; Flint, Paul L.; Douglas, David C.

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Year Published: 2018

Exposure of Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos) to bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents varies spatiotemporally and may be influenced by age

We collected blood and serum from 155 brown bears (Ursus arctos) inhabiting five locations in Alaska during 2013–16 and tested samples for evidence of prior exposure to a suite of bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents. Antibody seroprevalence among Alaska brown bears was estimated to be 15% for Brucella spp., 10% for Francisella...

Leacock, William B.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Cleveland, Christopher A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Joly, Kyle; Gustine, David D.; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William B.; Crupi, Anthony P.; Hill, Dolores E.; Dubey, Jitender P.; Yabsley, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2018

Survey of Arctic Alaskan wildlife for influenza A antibodies: Limited evidence for exposure of mammals

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are maintained in wild waterbirds and have the potential to infect a broad range of species, including wild mammals. The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska supports a diverse suite of species, including waterfowl that are common hosts of IAVs. Mammals co-occur with geese and other migratory waterbirds during the summer...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Sinnett, David R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Jiang, Kaijun; Adams, Layne G.; Gustine, David D.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Wan, Xiu-Feng

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Year Published: 2018

U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell Terrane, Alaska

The Farewell terrane is an exotic continental fragment in interior Alaska that during the early Paleozoic was the site of a passive margin. We report a 238U/206Pb zircon age of 432.9±3.0 Ma from a Farewell terrane ash in Mt. McKinley quadrangle, Alaska. This age overlaps with prominent detrital zircon age maxima reported from Silurian and Devonian...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dan B.
Bradley, D.C., Dumoulin, J.A., and Bradley, D.B., 2018, U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell terrane, Alaska, in Dumoulin, J.A., ed., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, vol. 15: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1814–F, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1814F.

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Year Published: 2018

Energy-rich mesopelagic fishes revealed as a critical prey resource for a deep-diving predator using quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

Understanding the diet of deep-diving predators can provide essential insight to the trophic structure of the mesopelagic ecosystem. Comprehensive population-level diet estimates are exceptionally difficult to obtain for elusive marine predators due to the logistical challenges involved in observing their feeding behavior and collecting samples...

Goetsch, Chandra; Conners, Melinda G.; Budge, Suzanne M.; Mitani, Yoko; Walker, William A; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Simmons, Samantha E.; Reichmuth, Colleen; Costa, Daniel P.

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Year Published: 2018

Factors affecting disaster preparedness, response, and recovery using the community capitals framework

Disaster research often focuses on how and why communities are affected by a discrete extreme event. We used the community capitals framework to understand how community characteristics influence their preparedness, response to, and recovery from successive or multiple disasters using the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake and the 1989 Exxon Valdez...

Himes-Cornell, Amber; Ormond, Carlos; Hoelting, Kristin R; Ban, Natalie C.; Koehn, J. Zachary; Allison, Edward H.; Larson, Eric R.; Monson, Daniel; Huntington, Henry P.; Okey, Tom

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Year Published: 2018

Climate, disturbance, and vulnerability to vegetation change in the Northwest Forest Plan Area

Climate change is expected to alter the composition, structure, and function of forested ecosystems in the United States (Vose et al. 2012). Increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide [CO2]) and temperature, as well as altered precipitation and disturbance regimes (e.g., fire, insects, pathogens, and...

Reilly, Matthew J.; Spies, Thomas A.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Butz, Ramona J.; Kim, John B.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate Change in Port Heiden, Alaska - Strategies for Community Health

There are two components to this document. The first component is the scope of described environmental change and its impacts in Port Heiden Alaska. The second component is a list of priorities to be addressed that will help Port Heiden achieve its vision for the future. Each priority area incorporates local knowledge with available climate...

Lujan, Erica; Brubaker, Mike; Warren, John; Christensen, Jaclyn; Anderson, Scott; O'Domin, Melissa; Littell, Jeremy S.; Buzard, Richard M.; Overbeck, Jacquelyn R.; Holen, Davin; Flensburg, Sue; Powers, Elizabeth

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Year Published: 2018

Interisland genetic structure of two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: The Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Gallinule

Most of Hawaii's endemic avifauna are species of conservation concern. Some of Hawaii's endangered waterbirds, however, have increased in number as a result of intensive management of wetlands. To inform these conservation efforts, we examined interisland genetic structure and gene flow within 2 Hawaiian endemic waterbirds, the Hawaiian Coot (...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.
Sonsthagen, S.A., Wilson, R.E., and Underwood, J.G., 2018, Interisland genetic structure of two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: The Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Gallinule, The Condor, 120:863-873, https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-18-98.1

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Year Published: 2018

Ice wedge degradation and stabilization impacts water budgets and nutrient cycling in Arctic trough ponds

Trough ponds are ubiquitous features of Arctic landscapes and an important component of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Permafrost thaw causes ground subsidence, creating depressions that gather water, creating ponds. Permafrost thaw also releases solutes and nutrients, which may fertilize these newly formed ponds. We measured water budget elements...

Koch, Joshua C.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Striegl, Robert G.
Koch, J.C., Jorgenson, M.T., Wickland, K.P., Kanevskiy, M., and Striegl, R.G., 2018, Ice wedge degradation and stabilization impacts water budgets and nutrient cycling in Arctic trough ponds, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 123(8), 2604-2616.

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Year Published: 2018

Drought and fire in the western USA: Is climate attribution enough?

Purpose of ReviewI sought to review the contributions of recent literature and prior foundational papers to our understanding of drought and fire. In this review, I summarize recent literature on drought and fire in the western USA and discuss research directions that may increase the utility of that body of work for twenty-first century...

Littell, Jeremy S.

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Year Published: 2018

Downscaling of climate model output for Alaskan stakeholders

The paper summarizes an end-to-end activity connecting the global climate modeling enterprise with users of climate information in Alaska. The effort included retrieval of the requisite observational datasets and model output, a model evaluation and selection procedure, the actual downscaling by the delta method with its...

Walsh, John E.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Leonawicz, Matthew; Lindgren, Michael; Kurkowski, Thomas A.; Bieniek, Peter A.; Thoman, Richard; Gray, Stephen; Rupp, T. Scott

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
A Common Murre carcass decomposes
May 2, 2016

A Common Murre carcass decomposes

A Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Portage Bay, Alaska Peninsula.

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide line
May 2, 2016

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide

Retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide line on the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses
May 2, 2016

Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses

USGS biologist Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses on the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide
May 2, 2016

Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide

A Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide line along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula
May 2, 2016

Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula

A Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula.

April 30, 2016

Polar Bear - POV Cams (Spring 2016)

This short clip is representative of a large amount of video footage of an adult female polar bear, equipped with a point of view camera, that is used by scientists to study polar bear behavior and feeding rates. Camera were attached to 10 animals in the southern Beaufort Sea over the course of several years, and stay on the animals for about 2 weeks until it is retrieved

Alaska Surveying
April 25, 2016

Alaska Surveyors Circa 1924

Alaska surveying crew circa 1924 using alidade and plane table; transportation by dogsled. USGS photo files.

Spectacled eider male and female flying near the Colville River in 2013.
April 20, 2016

Pair of spectacled eiders flying near the Colville River in 2013

Spectacled eider male and female flying near the Colville River in 2013.

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula
April 19, 2016

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula in 2002.

Two men looking at equipment
April 19, 2016

Field Work - Scientists and Air-Quality Monitoring

Alaska Volcano Observatory scientist Mark Hansen working with Larsen Bay Mayor David Harmes on how the AVO-4 particulate monitor operates.

Geologist doing field work in Alaska
April 14, 2016

Geologist and Helicopter

Geologist doing field work in Alaska

Large, imperfect geometric shapes in shades of brown surrounded by a fine-grained matrix, all including medium-sized blobs.
April 5, 2016

Photomicrograph of rock thin section: Gabbroic inclusion

Photomicrograph of gabbroic inclusion in Ogres Brow basaltic andesite. A rock thin section is created by gluing a small piece of rock onto a glass slide, then grinding it down to a thickness of 30 microns (the average human hair is about 100 microns in diameter) so that light shines through it when examined under the microscope. In this image, euhedral reddish-brown

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