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: 174
Date published: July 19, 2018
Status: Active

Science for Oil and Gas Leasing-related Decisions

Through the Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) Initiative, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is informing key resource management decisions by better understanding how wildlife populations of special interest to the Department of the Interior (DOI) are responding to rapid physical changes in the Arctic. Below are some examples of how CAE research is...

Date published: July 10, 2018
Status: Active

Remotely Sensed Discharge

River discharge is an important component of the water cycle, and an accurate accounting of streamflow can be accomplished by monitoring the spatial and temporal variations in river discharge. The U.S. Geological Survey is actively pursuing remote-sensing platforms to compute river discharge using a combination of satellite-, high altitude-, drone-, and fixed-based platforms to directly...

Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Active

Walrus Media/Contacts

If you have questions about walrus research or media inquiries regarding the USGS Alaska Science Center please contact Yvette Gillies or Steven Sobieszczyk.

Date published: June 29, 2018
Status: Active

Polar Bear Media/Contacts

If you have questions about research or media inquiries regarding the USGS Alaska Science Center please contact Yvette Gillies or Paul Laustsen.

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Glaciers and Climate Project

Scientists with the Glaciers and Climate Project study many of the pertinent impacts that glaciers present to society, such as altering hydrologic cycles, contributing to sea-level rise, and creating environmental hazards. 

Contacts: Louis Sass, III
Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Completed

Mountain Permafrost, Climate Change, and Rock Avalanches in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

Release Date: JUNE 18, 2018

We usually hear about landslides and avalanches that are caused by large amounts of rainfall, the shaking from earthquakes, or a volcanic eruption, but we may be hearing more about avalanches caused by the (seemingly innocuous) melting of ice in the coming years.

Date published: June 18, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Resource Data File

The Alaska Resource Data File (ARDF) site provides descriptions of mines, prospects, and mineral occurrences for individual U.S. Geological Survey 1:250,000-scale quadrangles in Alaska.

Date published: June 11, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Databases and Information Analysis

We provide GIS and database support for Alaska-based research projects, including database design, data capture, and maintenance, GIS analysis and display, and production of datasets and metadata for publication and data releases.

Contacts: Nora B Shew
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Tectonic and Metallogenic Evolution of the Yukon-Tanana Upland, Alaska

The Yukon-Tanana upland in eastern interior Alaska is a geologically complex block containing deposits of base-metal, platinum-group-element, and gold-silver-copper mineralization. It also hosts numerous mineral systems that are known or suspected to contain critical minerals.

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Petrology, Tectonic Setting, and Potential for Concentration of Rare Earth Elements (REE) and High Field Strength Elements (HFSE) in the High-K Darby and Kachauik Plutons, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

One of the geologic environments that host rare earth and other critical and strategic element deposits are alkaline intrusive rocks.

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Metallogeny and Tectonics of the Lake Clark and Neacola Mountains Region, South-central Alaska

Alaska hosts a well-documented belt of ore deposits that lies roughly parallel to the Alaska Range, beginning at the Alaska Peninsula in the southwest, continuing up through the Fairbanks Mining District in the north, and curving back into the Tintina Gold Belt on its eastern end. Known mineral prospects and occurrences include porphyry copper, intrusion-related gold, volcanogenic massive...

Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

GIS Prospectivity Analysis for Critical Minerals in Ore-Forming Systems in Alaska

Alaska is dominated by a history of tectonic events that foster mobilization and concentration of a wide variety of mineral commodities that are critical to the US economy and are vital to national defense, renewable-energy, and emerging electronics technologies.

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: 2,678
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Year Published: 2021

Tectonic and magmatic controls on the metallogenesis of porphyry deposits in Alaska

Porphyry Cu and Mo deposits and occurrences are found throughout Alaska; they formed episodically during repeated subduction and arc-continent collisions spanning the Silurian to Quaternary. Porphyry systems occur in continental-margin and island arcs, which are broadly grouped into pre-accretionary or post-accretionary arcs. Pre-Mesozoic...

Kreiner, Douglas C.; Jones, James V.; Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.

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Year Published: 2021

Sr, Nd, Hf and Pb isotope geochemistry of Early Miocene shoshonitic lavas from the South Fiji Basin: Note

We present new Sr, Nd, Hf and Pb isotope data for Early Miocene shoshonitic and high-K lavas dredged from seamounts in the South Fiji Basin, southwest Pacific Ocean. Our analyses provide a useful reference dataset for this distinctive compositional suite. The shoshonitic lavas formed in an intra-oceanic back-arc basin setting and are broadly...

Mortimer, Nick; Bosch, Delphine; Laporte-Magoni, Christine; Todd, Erin; Gill, James B

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Year Published: 2021

Forecasting community reassembly using climate-linked spatio-temporal ecosystem models

Ecosystems are increasingly impacted by human activities, altering linkages among physical and biological components. Spatial community reassembly occurs when these human impacts modify the spatial overlap between system components, and there is need for practical tools to forecast spatial community reassembly at landscape scales using monitoring...

Thorson, James; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Barnett, Lewis; Cheng, Wei; Eisner, Lisa; Haynie, Alan; Hermann, Albert; Holsman, Kirsten; Kimmel, David; Lomas, Michael; Richar, Jon; Siddon, Elizabeth

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Year Published: 2021

Variability of lipids and fatty acids in Pacific walrus blubber

The variability of lipid content and fatty acid (FA) composition across blubber depth and body sites are important considerations for condition and diet studies of marine mammals. We investigated lipid and FA variability among inner and outer blubber layers, three body sites, four study years, and lactation status of adult female Pacific walruses...

Jay, Chadwick V.; Iverson, Sara J.; Fischbach, Anthony S.

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Year Published: 2021

Native American fire management at an ancient wildland–urban interface in the Southwest United States

The intersection of expanding human development and wildland landscapes—the “wildland–urban interface” or WUI—is one of the most vexing contexts for fire management because it involves complex interacting systems of people and nature. Here, we document the dynamism and stability of an ancient WUI that was apparently sustainable for more than 500 y...

Roos, Christopher; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Ferguson, T. J.; Liebmann, Matthew J.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Welch, John; Margolis, Ellis; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Hockaday, William; Aiuvalasit, Michael; Battillo, Jenna; Farella, Joshua; Kiahtipes, Christopher

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Year Published: 2021

Predictors of invertebrate biomass and rate of advancement of invertebrate phenology across eight sites in the North American Arctic

Average annual temperatures in the Arctic increased by 2–3 °C during the second half of the twentieth century. Because shorebirds initiate northward migration to Arctic nesting sites based on cues at distant wintering grounds, climate-driven changes in the phenology of Arctic invertebrates may lead to a mismatch between the nutritional...

Shaftel, Rebecca; Rinella, Daniel J.; Kwon, Eunbi; Brown, Stephen C.; Gates, H. River; Kendall, Steve; Lank, David B.; Liebezeit, Joseph R.; Payer, David C.; Rausch, Jennie; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Sandercock, Brett K.; Smith, Paul A.; Ward, David H.; Lanctot, Richard B.

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Year Published: 2021

USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with university, Federal, Tribal, and independent partners, conducts fundamental research on the distribution, vulnerability, and importance of permafrost in arctic and boreal ecosystems. Scientists, land managers, and policy makers use USGS data to help make decisions for development, wildlife...

Waldrop, Mark P.; Anderson, Lesleigh; Dornblaser, Mark; Erikson, Li H.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Herman-Mercer, Nicole M.; James, Stephanie R.; Jones, Miriam C.; Koch, Joshua C.; Leewis, Mary-Cathrine; Manies, Kristen L.; Minsley, Burke J.; Pastick, Neal J.; Patil, Vijay; Urban, Frank; Walvoord, Michelle A.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Zimmerman, Christian
Waldrop, M.P., Anderson, L., Dornblaser, M., Erikson, L.H., Gibbs, A.E., Herman-Mercer, N.M., James, S.R., Jones, M.C., Koch, J.C., Leewis, M.-C., Manies, K.L., Minsley, B.J., Pastick, N.J., Patil, V., Urban, F., Walvoord, M.A., Wickland, K.P., and Zimmerman, C., 2021, USGS permafrost research determines the risks of permafrost thaw to biologic and hydrologic resources: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020-3058, 6 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203058.

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Year Published: 2021

Poecivirus is present in individuals with beak deformities in seven species of North American birds

Avian keratin disorder (AKD), a disease of unknown etiology characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth, has increasingly affected wild bird populations since the 1990s. A novel picornavirus, poecivirus, is closely correlated with disease status in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska. However, our knowledge of the...

Zylberberg, Maxine; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; Liu, Rachel; DeRisi, Joseph L.

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Year Published: 2021

Re-examination of population structure in Arctic ringed seals using DArTseq genotyping

Although Arctic ringed seals Phoca hispida hispida are currently abundant and broadly distributed, their numbers are projected to decline substantially by the year 2100 due to climate warming. While understanding population structure could provide insight into the impact of environmental changes on this subspecies, detecting...

Lang, Aimee R.; Boveng, Peter L.; Quakenbush, L.; Robertson, K.; Lauf, M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Ziel, H.; Taylor, B .L.

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Year Published: 2021

Geochemistry of coastal permafrost and erosion-driven organic matter fluxes to the Beaufort Sea near Drew Point, Alaska

Accelerating erosion of the Alaska Beaufort Sea coast is increasing inputs of organic matter from land to the Arctic Ocean, and improved estimates of organic matter stocks in eroding coastal permafrost are needed to assess their mobilization rates under contemporary conditions. We collected three permafrost cores (4.5–7.5 m long) along a...

Bristol, Emily M.; Connolly, Craig T.; Lorenson, Thomas; Richmond, Bruce M.; Ilgen, Anastasia G.; Choens, Charles R.; Bull, Diana L.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Iwahana, Go; Jones, Benjamin M.; McClelland, James M.

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Year Published: 2021

Coding-Complete Genome Sequence of Avian Orthoavulavirus 16, isolated from Emperor Goose (Anser canagica) feces, Alaska, USA

We sequenced the coding-complete genome of an avian orthoavulavirus serotype 16 (AOAV-16) isolate recovered from emperor goose (Anser canagicus) feces collected in Alaska. The detection of AOAV-16 in North America and genomic sequencing of the resultant isolate confirms that the geographic distribution of this virus extends beyond Asia.

Reeves, Andrew B.; Killian, Mary Lea; Tanner, Michael E; Lagassé, Benjamin Joel; Ramey, Andrew M.; Stallknecht, David E.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2021

Freezing in a warming climate: Marked declines of a subnivean hibernator after a snow drought

Recent snow droughts associated with unusually warm winters are predicted to increase in frequency and affect species dependent upon snowpack for winter survival. Changes in populations of some cold‐adapted species have been attributed to heat stress or indirect effects on habitat from unusually warm summers, but little is known about the...

Johnston, Aaron; Christophersen, Roger G; Beever, Erik A.; Ransom, Jason I.

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: 976
Canning River with Brooks Range in the background
April 24, 2019

Canning River with Brooks Range in the background

Supporting the project of winter habitat of juvenile Dolly Varden in the Canning River.

Knik River bridge aerial view
April 22, 2019

Knik River bridge aerial view

Knik River bridge aerial view

Twentymile River bridge
March 27, 2019

Twentymile River bridge

Twentymile bridge

A photo from the sky of a coastline showing areas of sediment and water as well as land features like roads.
February 26, 2019

Orthophotomosaic image, north coast of Barter Island, July 1, 2014

Aerial photographs were collected from a small, fixed-wing aircraft over the coast of Barter Island, Alaska on July 01 2014, September 07 2014. Precise aircraft position information and structure-from-motion photogrammetric methods were combined to derive a high-resolution orthophotomosaic. This orthophotomosaic contain 3-band, 8-bit, unsigned raster data (red/green/blue;

...
Evidence of turbidity currents in Eklutna Lake triggered by shaking during the 2018 Mw7.1 Anchorage earthquake
February 16, 2019

Evidence of turbidity currents in Eklutna Lake

USGS scientists, working with researchers from the University of Ghent, probed the floor of Eklutna Lake, Anchorage Borough, Alaska, for evidence of turbidity currents triggered by strong shaking during the 2018 Mw7.1 Anchorage earthquake. In this photo, USGS scientist Peter Haeussler points to a dark layer at the top of a sediment core taken from the floor of Eklutna Lake

...
house next to landslide with snowcovered ground
December 31, 2018

Landslide near Potter Hill, Anchorage, Alaska

Landslide near Potter Hill, Anchorage, Alaska, after 2018 Anchorage earthquake.

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence
December 31, 2018

Map of AK showing probability of change occurrence

Map of Alaska showing probability (%) of change occurrence. Insets show fire boundaries from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Large Fire Database and Landsat 8 imagery (bottom right; 2016) north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska.
December 31, 2018

Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Thawing permafrost on various peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. The black spruce forests found on permafrost plateaus are replaced with sedge- and moss-dominated bogs and fens, altering the ecosystem structure and function.

December 31, 2018

Polar Bears Film Their Own Sea Ice World

This video showcases the latest polar bear point-of-view footage to date along with an interview of the research scientist who is responsible for the project. Released in conjunction with a new scientific study led by the USGS. 
 

Scientist extract a sediment core from the permafrost plateaus in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Collecting Cores in Thawing Permafrost, Alaska

Cores were collected from various areas of thawing permafrost-peatlands in Alaska. Permafrost thaw results in ground subsidence and inundation that kills black spruce and other understory plants living on the permafrost plateau. 

Landsat animation of change in Twelvemile Lake, in the Yukon Flats ecoregion in Alaska
December 31, 2018

Twelvemile Lake - Change Over Time

Animation of Twelvemile Lake in the Yukon Flats ecoregion in Alaska, created using USGS Landsat data.

December 20, 2018

Image of the Week - Letters to the North Pole

Unlike the South Pole, the geographic North Pole does not lie on a land mass. The Earth’s northern axis of rotation is in the Arctic Ocean, covered by shifting sea ice.

Landsat does not image the North Pole, which makes it an imperfect investigative tool for the detection of Santa’s workshop. 

It does, however, collect imagery over North Pole, Alaska, a small

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
Alaska Geologic Map
January 5, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – A new digital geologic map of Alaska is being released today providing land users, managers and scientists geologic information for the evaluation of land use in relation to resource extraction, conservation, natural hazards and recreation.

Caribou walking in a line in the winter in Northern Alaska
December 18, 2015

Caribou, North America’s wild reindeer, have lives apart from their famous role on Christmas Eve. Reindeer, of course, is another common name for caribou (Rangifer tarandus) a large, cold-adapted, herding herbivore related to deer, elk and moose.

Current probability of near-surface permafrost in Alaska
November 30, 2015

Using statistically modeled maps drawn from satellite data and other sources, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have projected that the near-surface permafrost that presently underlies 38 percent of boreal and arctic Alaska would be reduced by 16 to 24 percent by the end of the 21st century under widely accepted climate scenarios.

Planned US Topo map production schedule for the next three- year revision cycle
November 19, 2015

With the release of new US Topo maps for Illinois and South Dakota, the USGS has completed the second, three-year cycle of revising and updating electronic US Topo quadrangles. This means that since late 2009, the USGS has published nearly every map in the conterminous U.S., twice.

Thermokarst
November 12, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Large and severe tundra fires cause top down permafrost thaw, playing a major role in altering Arctic landscapes according to a new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 19, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A new scientific study predicts that some of Alaska’s mammal species will respond to future climate warming by concentrating in northern areas such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska. If true, for many species, this would be a significant northward shift into tundra habitats where they are currently absent.

Image: Repairing Seismic Stations in Alaska
October 15, 2015

The Alaska Volcano Observatory has recently completed repairs to seismic monitoring equipment on Aniakchak Volcano on the Alaska Peninsula that have restored ground-based monitoring at the volcano.

Image: Blueberry
October 6, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey today announced the publication of a new study examining how Alaska’s tribal environmental managers and local observer networks view statewide trends in wild berry harvests.

Image: Severe Coastal Erosion During an El Niño Storm
September 21, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study published today in Nature Geoscience.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 10, 2015

MENLO PARK, Calif. — Some of the inner workings of Earth’s subduction zones and their “megathrust” faults are revealed in a paper published today in the journal “Science.” U.S. Geological Survey scientist Jeanne Hardebeck calculated the frictional strength of subduction zone faults worldwide, and the stresses they are under.

Image: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Alaska
September 3, 2015

Two community events about monitoring old volcanic ash resuspended by high winds are scheduled next week in the City of Kodiak and in Larsen Bay, Alaska.

Probing the snow pack at the highest point in North America
September 2, 2015

A new, official height for Denali has been measured at 20,310 feet, just 10 feet less than the previous elevation of 20,320 feet which was established using 1950’s era technology.

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.