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: 181
Researchers deploying gravity corer off boat in Chukchi Sea.
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...

A scenic of a Aleutian island with fireweed in full bloom
Date Published: October 22, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Science Center Seminar Series

The USGS Alaska Science Center has a monthly seminar series that runs from October through May.  This series highlights the multiple research programs that are taking place across all disciplines at the center.

Contacts: Yvette Gillies
Lingering oil in the sediments of Knight Island
Date Published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Genomic Mechanisms that Underlie Lack of Recovery of Prince William Sound Herring Following the 1990s Collapse

In the decades following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS), it has become increasingly apparent that oil can be toxic at extremely low concentrations to developing fish embryos including herring, where some toxic phenotypes may be apparent during embryogenesis, but some are delayed until later in life. Therefore, acute and lingering oil may act as an insidious selective force within...

Contacts: Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., Jacob Gregg, Ashley MacKenzie, William Richards, Andrew Whitehead, John Incardona, Nat Scholtz
Oil Tanker in Prince William Sound
Date Published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Herring Disease Program

Using an approach that involves a combination of field- and laboratory-based studies, we are investigating fish health factors that may be contributing to the failed recovery of Pacific herring populations in Prince William Sound, AK.  Field studies are providing infection and disease prevalence data to inform the population models, serological data that indicate the prior exposure history and...

Map of Alaska with red lines
Date Published: October 9, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Seismic Hazard Map

The National Seismic Hazard Maps developed by the USGS show the spatial probability of peak earthquake-driven ground motion levels. Since the last revisions to the map for Alaska in 2007, scientists have made significant advances in understanding active faulting, fault slip rates, and fault behavior.

Image: Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska
Date Published: October 9, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska-Aleutian Subduction Zone Studies

Our research team is exploring seismic and aseismic slip along the Alaska-Aleutian arc and studying the prehistoric record of megathrust earthquakes and tsunamis along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone

Seismic and Aseismic Slip: Tectonic tremor and associated slow slip events represent a newly discovered part of the earthquake cycle. This research aims to...

Fault offset along the Queen Charlotte Fault
Date Published: October 9, 2018
Status: Active

Characterizing the Active Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault System

This research aims to better characterize the earthquake potential of the southern Fairweather Fault in order to provide more accurate fault source data for the USGS National Seismic Hazard Map. Our approach interrogates lidar data and satellite imagery, applies paleoseismological methods to examine earthquake history, and leverages partnerships with USGS scientists from Colorado and...

Small bird in a hand
Date Published: September 22, 2018
Status: Active

Monitoring and Research Boreal Partners in Flight Projects

Boreal Partners in Flight has five major regional projects designed to monitor broad-scale trends in populations of landbirds. There are also many projects throughout Alaska that address specific research questions or local monitoring needs.

Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey emblem
Date Published: September 21, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey

Alaska provides breeding habitats for 135 species of landbirds, half of which breed predominantly north of the U.S.-Canada border. The road-based North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) provides some data on population trends in Alaska but most northern species are inadequately monitored because of a paucity of roads. Boreal Partners in Flight thus developed the Alaska Landbird Monitoring...

Small yellow bird on a bush
Date Published: September 18, 2018
Status: Active

Festivals Celebrating Birds in Alaska

Here are a few festivals celebrating birds around the state of Alaska.

Small bird in a bush
Date Published: September 17, 2018
Status: Active

Meeting and Project Summaries for Boreal Partners in Flight

Information on topics discussed by Boreal Partners in Flight (BPIF) working groups organized by year.

A Black-capped Chickadee with a severely deformed beak where the upper beak is elongated and curved down while the lower beak is
Date Published: August 21, 2018
Status: Active

Background of Beak Deformity Research

Large numbers of Black-capped Chickadees with abnormal beaks were reported in south-central Alaska in the late 1990s.  More recently, similar beak deformities have appeared in other species throughout the state. At least 30 Alaskan bird species are affected and the geographic extent of the problem appears to be growing.  In addition to Alaskan observations, we have received increasing numbers...

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Year Published: 2019

Repeated detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in gulls inhabiting Alaska, USA

We report the first detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in Alaska and in wildlife in the United States. Wild bird (gull) feces sampled at three locations in Southcentral Alaska yielded isolates that harbored plasmid-encoded blaKPC-2 or chromosomally-encoded blaOXA-48, and genes associated with...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Ramey, Andrew M.; Woksepp, Hanna; Bonnedahl, Jonas
Citation: Ahlstrom CA, Woksepp H, Ramey AM, Bonnedahl J. Repeated Detection of Carbapenemase-Producing Escherichia coli in Gulls Inhabiting Alaska. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy: 63 (8), https://doi.org/10.1128/AAC.00758-19

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Year Published: 2019

Technical comment on “Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds”

Kubelka et al. (Report, 9 November 2018, p. 680-683) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their...

Bulla, Martin; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Weiser, Emily L.; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Taylor, Audrey R.; Sittler, Benoit; McCaffery, Brian J; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Payer, David C.; Ward, David H.; Solovyeva, Diana V; Santos, Eduardo SA; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Nol, Erica; Kwon, Eunbi; Brown, Glen S; Hevia, Glenda D; Gates, H. River; Johnson, James A.; van Gils, Jan A.; Hansen, Jannik; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Rausch, Jennie; Conklin, Jesse R.; Liebezeit, Joe; Bety, Joel; Lang, Johannes; Alves, Jose A; Fernandez-Elipe, Juan; Exo, Klaus-Michael; Bollache, Loic; Bertellotti, Marcelo; Giroux, Marie-Andree; van de Pol, Martijn; Johnson, Matthew D.; Boldenow, Megan L.; Valcu, Mihai; Soloviev, Mikhail; Sokolova, Natalya; Senner, Nathan R.; Lecomte, Nicholas; Meyer, Nicolas; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Gilg, Olivier; Smith, Paul A; Machin, Paula; McGuire, Rebecca L; Cerboncini, Ricardo AS; Ottvall, Richard; van Bemmelen, Rob SA; Swift, Rose J; Saalfeld, Sara T; Jamieson, Sara E; Brown, Stephen C.; Piersma, Theunis; Albrecht, Tomas; D'Amico, Veronica L; Lanctot, Richard B.; Kempenaers, Bart

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Year Published: 2019

Ecosystem scale loss of grazing habitat impacted by abundance of dominant herbivores

Grazing lawns, patches of grazing tolerant plants with high nutrient value, provide important habitat for herbivores, and changes in abundance can impact herbivore populations. Grazing lawns are maintained in quality and quantity by repeated grazing and are a result of a positive feedback since the availability of grazing lawn can increase...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wilson, Heather M.; Anthony, R Michael; Day, Thomas L; Fondell, Thomas F; Person, Brian T.; Sedinger, James S.

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Year Published: 2019

Prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites in a resident northern passerine

Background: Climate-related changes are expected to influence the prevalence and distribution of vector-borne haemosporidian parasites at northern latitudes, although baseline information about resident birds is still lacking. In this study, we investigated prevalence and genetic diversity of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasites...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Smith, Matthew M.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2019

Geographic variation in the intensity of warming and phenological mismatch between Arctic shorebirds and invertebrates

Responses to climate change can vary across functional groups and trophic levels, leading to a temporal decoupling of trophic interactions or ‘phenological mismatches.’ Despite a growing number of single-species studies that identified phenological mismatches as a nearly universal consequence of climate change, we have a limited understanding of...

Kwon, Enubi; Weiser, Emily L.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Brown, Stephen C.; Gates, H. River; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Kendall, Steve J.; David B. Lank; Joseph R. Liebezeit; McKinnon, Laura; Erica Nol; Payer, David C.; Jennie Rausch; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Rinella, Daniel J.; Senner, Nathan R.; Ward, David; Smith, Paul A.; Wissman, Robert C.; Sandercock, Brett K.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy depletion and stress levels of Sockeye Salmon migrating at the northern edge of their distribution

The physiological challenge for anadromous fish to migrate upriver is influenced by river temperature, but the impacts of river temperature can be difficult to predict due to an incomplete understanding of how temperature influences migration costs, especially in high‐latitude (>60°N) ecosystems. To assess temperature influences on migrating...

Carey, Michael P.; Keith, Kevin D.; Schelske, Merlyn; Lean, Charlie; McCormick, Stephen D.; Regish, Amy M.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Coast to coast: High genomic connectivity in North American scoters

Dispersal shapes demographic processes and therefore is fundamental to understanding biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes acting within populations. However, assessing population connectivity in scoters (Melanitta sp.) is challenging as these species have large spatial distributions that span remote landscapes, have varying...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Lavretsky, Philip; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatio-temporal population change of Arctic-breeding waterbirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Rapid physical changes that are occurring in the Arctic are primary drivers of landscape change and thus may drive population dynamics of Arctic-breeding birds. Despite the importance of this region to breeding and molting waterbirds, lack of a comprehensive analysis of historic data has hindered quantifying avian population change. We estimated...

Amundson, Courtney L.; Flint, Paul L.; Stehn, Robert A; Platte, Robert; Wilson, Heather M.; Larned, William W.; Fischer, Julian B.

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Year Published: 2019

Handbook to the partners in flight population estimates database, version 3.0

This document describes the content of Version 3.0 of the Partners in Flight (PIF) Population Estimates Database, which provides population estimates for breeding USA/Canada landbirds at several geographic scales following the Partners in Flight approach described initially in Rich et al. (2004) and by Rosenberg and Blancher (2005) and most...

Will, Tom; Stanton, J.C.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Camfield, Alaine; Shaw, Allison; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Blancher, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2019

The influence of body size, condition, and age on recruitment of four Alaskan brown bear populations

Recruitment of brown bear (Ursus arctos) offspring into a population is the product of initial cub production and subsequent survival and is a critical component of overall population status and trend. We investigated the relationship between maternal body size, body condition, and age (as a surrogate for gained experience) and recruitment of...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Joly, Kyle; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William; Cameron, Matthew; Sorum, Mathew; Mangipane, Lindsey; Erlenbach, Joy

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Year Published: 2019

Evidence for frequent, large tsunamis spanning locked and creeping parts of the Aleutian megathrust

At the eastern end of the 1957 Andreanof Islands magnitude-8.6 earthquake rupture, Driftwood Bay (Umnak Island) and Stardust Bay (Sedanka Island) lie along presently locked and creeping parts of the Aleutian megathrust, respectively, based on satellite geodesy onshore. Both bays, located 200-km apart, face the Aleutian trench and harbor coastal...

Witter, Robert C.; Briggs, Richard W.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Koehler, Richard D; Nelson, Alan R.; La Selle, Seanpaul; Corbett, Reide; Wallace, Kristi

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Year Published: 2019

Development and characterization of polymorphic microsatellite markers in Northern Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis (Procellariformes), and cross-species amplification in eight other seabirds

BackgroundIn the North Pacific, northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) forms extensive colonies in few locales, which may lead to limited gene flow and locale-specific population threats. In the Atlantic, there are thousands of colonies of varying sizes and in Europe the species is considered threatened. Prior screens and classical microsatellite...

Gravley, Megan C.; Sage, George K.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hatch, Scott A.; Gill, Verena A.; Rearick, Jolene R.; Petersen, Aevar; Talbot, Sandra L.

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: 987
Canada goose (Branta canadensis), Anchorage, AK
July 27, 2019

Canada goose (Branta canadensis), Anchorage, AK

Canada goose (Branta canadensis), Anchorage, AK

Common Murre on the water in Kachemak Bay, Alaska
July 25, 2019

A Common Murre on the water near its colony in Kachemak Bay, Alaska

Northern Fulmars, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Common Murres have all been tested for and contained harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins. Since 2015, the USGS has worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop testing methods and research projects to better understand the geographic extent, timing and impacts of algal toxins in Alaska marine ecosystems.

ANSEP student holds a red-throated loon
July 13, 2019

ANSEP student Jakob Sipary holds a red-throated loon, Alaska

Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) student Jakob Sipary holds a red-throated loon on the Canning River Delta, Alaska, July 2019 as part of a USGS study on loon marine habitat use areas. Jakob was an intern for the summer with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Taku Glacier, Alaska retreat
July 9, 2019

Taku Glacier, Alaska retreat

2019 Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) students during a four day and 83 kilometers ski traverse across Taku Glacier, carrying all their food, water, clothing, tents, and science gear as they help measure the mass balance along the way.

Kasilof River sonar on a bridge
June 28, 2019

Kasilof River sonar on a bridge

Kasilof River sonar on a bridge

Tazlina River bridge
June 28, 2019

Tazlina River bridge

Tazlina River bridge

A Common Murre holds a Pacific sand lance near Gull Island, Alaska
June 19, 2019

A Common Murre holds a Pacific sand lance near Gull Island in Alaska

Northern Fulmars, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Common Murres have all been tested for and contained harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins. Since 2015, the USGS has worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop testing methods and research projects to better understand the geographic extent, timing and impacts of algal toxins in Alaska marine ecosystems.

Beaver lodge and drained impoundment in tributary of the Noatak River, Noatak National Preserve
June 12, 2019

Beaver lodge and drained impoundment in tributary of the Noatak River

Beaver lodge and drained impoundment in tributary of the Noatak River, Noatak National Preserve

Impounded water above beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
June 12, 2019

Impounded water above beaver dam on the Wrench Creek

Impounded water above beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dam and lodge on the Ahaliknak Creek, Noatak National Preserve
June 9, 2019

Beaver dam and lodge on the Ahaliknak Creek, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dam and lodge on the Ahaliknak Creek, Noatak National Preserve

Chilkat River bridge
May 30, 2019

Chilkat River bridge

Chilkat River bridge

Chilkat River sonar on a bridge
May 30, 2019

Chilkat River sonar on a bridge

Chilkat River sonar on a bridge

Browse a collection of stories about prominent USGS scientists and projects in Alaska news.

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 244
Scientists setting a trap for gulls at the landfill
September 26, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Some gulls in southcentral Alaska are carriers of antibiotic resistant strains of E. coli, according to a new study co-authored by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Ariel photo of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta
September 20, 2016

New research from the U.S. Geological Survey and partners illustrates how climate change is perceived among different generations of indigenous residents in subarctic Alaska. While all subjects agreed climate change is occurring, the older participants observed more overall changes than the younger demographic.

Glacier National Park
September 7, 2016

A team of USGS scientists spent 10 days in the wilderness, exploring one of the fastest-moving faults in America

Arctic Cod
August 8, 2016

Information relating to fish biology, locations and effects of climate change will help guide future research and management decisions

Female scientist and young girls looking at scientific equipment
August 4, 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon are participating in the second annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

vertical columns of volcanic rock at Devils Postpile National Monument
July 13, 2016

A new geologic map of the Long Valley Caldera, Mammoth Mountain, and the Middle Fork canyon of the San Joaquin River including Devils Postpile National Monument, recounts the geologic and volcanic history of the area east of the Sierra Nevada in far greater detail than any previously published report.

USGS
July 7, 2016

Alaska is a major producer of base and precious metals and has a high potential for additional undiscovered mineral resources. However, discovery is hindered by Alaska’s vast size, remoteness and rugged terrain. New methods are needed to overcome these obstacles in order to evaluate Alaska’s geology and mineral resource potential.

Female and her cub-of-the-year
June 29, 2016

“The scenarios predicted by our models are encouraging in that there are clear actions that humans can take to improve the chances that healthy polar bear populations persist in the future.” - Todd Atwood, USGS

Painting - Denali in Midsummer
June 21, 2016

The U.S. Geological Survey has produced a new compilation of landscape-scale sediment and soil geochemical data for Alaska. This was last completed nearly 40 years ago in 1978, but the new effort uses modern modeling and analysis techniques to map 68 elements across a newly developed and updated geochemical atlas of Alaska.

USGS study of fires and waterfowl surveys in the western boreal forest of North America. 
June 21, 2016

“These results suggest that waterfowl populations in the western boreal forest are resilient to forest fires and that current policies of limited fire suppression have not been detrimental to waterfowl populations." – Tyler Lewis, U.S. Geological Survey.

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:

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