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: 171
Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Marine Ecosystems

The USGS conducts research on marine wildlife, habitats, and processes to provide science to inform our partners as they make decisions relative to species status, resource use, and human activities.

Date published: April 26, 2018
Status: Active

Hazards in Alaska

A major goal of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to reduce the vulnerability of the people and areas most at risk from natural hazards. Working with partners throughout all sectors of society, the USGS provides information, products, and knowledge to help build more resilient communities. This site provides important links to a number of hazard related internet sites that provide important...

Date published: April 25, 2018
Status: Active

Arctic Lake Food Webs

From 2011 to 2013 we investigated freshwater food webs of Arctic Coastal Plain lakes in Alaska to improve our understanding how Arctic freshwater food webs may respond to landscape change the warmer, drier future.

Date published: April 25, 2018
Status: Active

Condition of Forage Fish in Prince William Sound During the Marine Heatwave

Changes in the body condition of a key forage fish species, Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes personatus), are examined to understand how energy transfer to predators may have been disrupted during the recent marine heatwave in the North Pacific (late 2013 to mid 2016).

Date published: April 24, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystem Shifts in Arctic Seas

In addition to the direct effects of sea ice loss on walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) and polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that use ice as a platform, the decline of Arctic sea ice is predicted to promote a fundamental ecosystem shift from benthic animals that forage on the sea floor to pelagic animals that forage near the sea surface. 

Date published: April 24, 2018
Status: Active

Lake Trout Biochronologies as Long-term Climate and Productivity Indicators in Alaska Lake Ecosystems

High latitude ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to long-term climate change, yet continuous, multidecadal indicators by which to gauge effects on biology are scarce, especially in freshwater environments.

Contacts: Vanessa von Biela, Ph.D., Christian E Zimmerman, Ph.D., Bryan Black, Randy J. Brown, Dan Young
Date published: April 19, 2018
Status: Active

Primary Production Sources and Bottom-up Limitations in Nearshore Ecosystems

Kelp forests are among the world’s most productive habitats, but recent evidence suggests that production is highly variable.

Contacts: James L Bodkin, Christian E Zimmerman, Ph.D., David Douglas, Gordon Kruse, Franz Mueter
Date published: April 18, 2018
Status: Active

Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT): Ecology

Permafrost thaw is leading to a myriad of changes in physical and chemical conditions throughout the Arctic.

Date published: April 18, 2018
Status: Active

Effect of Elodea spp. on Fish Performance Mediated Through Food Web Interactions

The potential for invasive species introductions in Arctic and Subarctic ecosystems is growing as climate change manifests and human activity increases in high latitudes.

Contacts: Michael P Carey, Ph.D., Suresh Andrew Sethi, Ph.D., Christian E Zimmerman, Ph.D., Dan Young, Gordon Reeves, Theresa Tanner
Date published: April 17, 2018
Status: Active

Sockeye Salmon Migrating at the Northern Edge of Their Distribution

The physiological challenge for anadromous fish to migrate upriver to spawn and complete their life cycle is influenced by river temperature.

Contacts: Michael P Carey, Ph.D., Stephen D McCormick, Amy Regish, Christian E Zimmerman, Ph.D., Kevin D. Keith, Merlyn Schelske, Charlie Lean
Date published: April 16, 2018
Status: Active

Nearshore Fish Surveys in the Beaufort Sea

Nearshore systems provide habitat to a unique community of marine and diadromous (lives in both fresh and saltwater) fish and support high fish abundance.

Date published: April 11, 2018
Status: Active

Development and Validation of Hyperspectral Imager for Field and Lab Scanning

The Mineral Resources Program has advanced methods of imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral remote sensing) that are now used routinely by the earth science and remote sensing communities for mineral mapping, soil quality mapping, hazard mitigation, and other terrestrial and planetary applications. The USGS is highly qualified to advance this technology based on its world class expertise in...

Contacts: Raymond Kokaly

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,445
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Year Published: 2019

Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands

IntroductionThis geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands is a compilation of information from the literature, integrated to provide a seamless geologic map of the region. The geology shown on sheet 1 covers Cuba, the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico...

Wilson, Frederic H.; Orris, Greta; Gray, Floyd
Wilson, F.H., Orris, G., and Gray, F., 2019, Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1036, pamphlet 50 p., 2 sheets, scales 1:2,500,000 and 1:300,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191036.

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Year Published: 2019

Limited detection of antibodies to clade 2.3.4.4 A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in North American waterfowl

During 2014, highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) of the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage (GsGD-HP-H5), originating from Asia, were detected in domestic poultry and wild birds in Canada and the US. These clade 2.3.4.4 GsGD-HP-H5 viruses included reassortants possessing North American lineage gene segments; were detected in wild birds...

Stallknecht, David E.; Kienzle-Dean, Clara; Davis-Fields, Nick; Jennelle, Christopher S.; Bowman, Andrew S.; Nolting, Jacqueline M.; Boyce, Walter; Crum, James; Santos, Jefferson; Brown, Justin D.; Prosser, Diann; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Casazza, Michael L.; Krauss, Scott; Perez, Daniel; Ramey, Andrew M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring boreal avian populations: How can we estimate trends and trajectories from noisy data?

Substantial effort has been dedicated to developing reliable monitoring schemes for North American bird populations, but our ability to monitor bird populations in the boreal forest remains limited because of the sparsity of long-term data sets, particularly in northerly regions. Given the importance of the boreal forest for many migratory birds,...

Roy, Christian; Michel, Nicole L; Handel, Colleen M.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven; Burkhalter, Curtis; Gurney, Kirsty A B; Messmer, David; Prince, Karine; Rushing, Clark S; Saracco, James E; Schuster, Richard; Smith, Adam C.; Smith, Paul A; Solymos, Peter; Venier, Lisa A; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

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Year Published: 2019

Recovery planning in a dynamic system: Integrating uncertainty into a decision support tool for an endangered songbird

Along the Santa Clara River in California, populations of the federally and state-listed Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) are recovering from near extirpation. Habitat protection and restoration, as well as controlling rates of brood parasitism, are thought to be the primary drivers of this recovery. Continuing successful management of...

Stanton, Jessica; Marek, Jenny; Hall, Linnea S.; Kus, Barbara E.; Alvarado, Allison; Orr, Bruce K.; Morrissette, Eric; Riege, Laura; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

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Year Published: 2019

U.S. Geological Survey—Department of the Interior Region 11, Alaska—2019 annual science report

In keeping with our national mission, the USGS in Alaska provides timely and objective scientific information to help the Nation address issues and solve problems in five major topical areas (listed alphabetically):Energy and Minerals;Geospatial Mapping;Natural Hazards;Water Quality, Streamflow, and Ice Dynamics; andWildlife, Fish, and Habitat....

Williams, Dee; Powers, Elizabeth
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Williams, D.M., and Powers, E.M., eds., 2019, U.S. Geological Survey—Department of the Interior Region 11, Alaska—2019 annual science report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1141, 79 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191141.

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Year Published: 2019

National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

Beach erosion is a persistent problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. Along the Arctic coast of Alaska, coastal erosion is widespread and threatens communities, defense and energy-related infrastructure, and coastal habitat. As coastal populations continue to expand and infrastructure and habitat are increasingly threatened by...

Gibbs, Ann E.; Snyder, Alexander G.; Richmond, Bruce M.
Gibbs, A.E., Snyder, A.G., and Richmond, B.M., 2019, National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1146, 52 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191146.

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Year Published: 2019

Streambed scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016–17

Stream stability, flood frequency, and streambed scour potential were evaluated at 20 Alaskan river- and stream-spanning bridges lacking a quantitative scour analysis or having unknown foundation details. Three of the bridges had been assessed shortly before the study described in this report but were re-assessed using different methods or data....

Beebee, Robin A.; Dworsky, Karenth L.; Knopp, Schyler J.
Beebee, R.A., Dworsky, K.L., and Knopp, S.J.., 2018, Streambed scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5110, 32 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195110.

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Year Published: 2019

Visualizing populations of North American sea ducks: Maps to guide research and management planning

North American sea ducks generally breed in mid- to northern-latitude regions and nearly all rely upon marine habitats for much of their annual cycle. Most sea duck species remained poorly studied until the 1990s when declines were noted in several species and populations. Subsequent research, much of which was funded by the Sea Duck Joint Venture...

Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Whalen, Mary E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Stiller, Josh; Patil, Vijay P.; Bowman, Timothy D.; Boyd, Sean; Badzinski, Shannon S.; Gilchrist, H.G.; Gilliland, Scott G; Lepage, Christine; Loring, Pam; McAuley, Daniel; McLellan, Nic; Osenkowski, Jason; Reed, Eric T.; Roberts, Anthony J.; Robertson, Myra; Rothe, Tom; Safine, David E.; Silverman, Emily D.; Spragens, Kyle A.
Pearce, J.M., Flint, P.L., Whalen, M.E., Sonsthagen, S.A., Stiller, J., Patil, V.P., Bowman, T., Boyd, S., Badzinski, S.S., Gilchrist, H.G., Gilliland, S.G., Lepage, C., Loring, P., McAuley, D., McLellan, N.R., Osenkowski, J., Reed, E.T., Roberts, A.J., Robertson, M.O., Rothe, T., Safine, D.E., Silverman, E.D., and Spragens, D., 2019, Visualizing populations of North American Sea Ducks—Maps to guide research and management planning: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1142, 50 p., plus appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191142.

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Year Published: 2019

The seasonal energetic landscape of an apex marine carnivore, the polar bear

Divergent movement strategies have enabled wildlife populations to adapt to environmental change. In recent decades, the Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) has developed a divergent movement strategy in response to diminishing sea ice where the majority of the subpopulation (73–85%) stays on the sea ice in summer...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Durner, George M.; Williams, Terrie M.

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Year Published: 2019

Use of subsistence-harvested whale carcasses by polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

The availability of a food subsidy has the potential to influence the condition, behavior, fitness, and population dynamics of a species. Since the early 2000s, monitoring efforts along the coast of northern Alaska indicated a higher proportion of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation come onshore and feed...

Lillie, Kate M; Gese, Eric M; Atwood, Todd C.; Conner, Mary M

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Year Published: 2019

The August 2018 Kaktovik earthquakes: Active tectonics in northeastern Alaska revealed With InSAR and seismology

The largest earthquakes recorded in northern Alaska (Mw 6.4 and Mw 6.0) occurred ~6 hours apart on August 12, 2018 in the northeastern Brooks Range. The earthquakes were captured by Sentinel-1 InSAR satellites and Earthscope Transportable Array seismic data, giving insight into the little-known active tectonic processes of Arctic Alaska, obscured...

Gaudreau, E.; Nissen, E.K.; Bergman, Eric A.; Benz, Harley M.; Tan, F.; Karasözen, E.

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Year Published: 2019

A leg-hold noose capture method for Brent Geese Branta bernicla at staging or wintering sites

Effective and efficient capture methods are needed for marking and monitoring individuals in studies of demography, migration and habitat use. We describe a novel use of leg-hold nooses aligned on lines and mats to capture non-breeding Brent Geese Branta bernicla in water at a staging and wintering site in Japan. A total of 24 Brent Geese were...

Sawa, Yusuke; Tamura, Chieko; Ikeuchi, Toshio; Fujii, Kaoru; Ishioroshi, Aisa; Shimada, T.; Ward, David H.

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: 974
Eagle River landslides, Eagle River, AK
December 1, 2018

Eagle River landslides, Eagle River, AK

Superficial slides along Eagle River east of Eagle River Loop Road. 

2018 Anchorage Earthquake

Eklutna Dam after 2018 Anchorage earthquake
December 1, 2018

Eklutna Dam after 2018 Anchorage earthquake

Eklutna Lake dam appeared to be undamaged the day after the earthquake; overflights of the lake showed no landslides impacted the lake shoreline.

November 30, 2018

Shaking of Atwood Building, Mw 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage quake

This video presents a visualization of how the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the Mw 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by the U.S. Geological Survey to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data are useful in making decisions about improving the performance of the

November 30, 2018

Shaking of Frontier Building, M7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage Quake

This video presents a visualization of how the Frontier Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by U.S. Geological Survey to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data are useful in making decisions about improving the

November 30, 2018

Shaking of BP Exploration Building, M7 Nov. 30, 2018, Anchorage Quake

This video presents a visualization of how the BP Exploration Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the moment magnitude (Mw) 7.0 November 30, 2018, Anchorage, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data are useful in making decisions about

View from the sky of a very small, flat island that is completely man-made with a petroleum processing plant on it.
October 31, 2018

Endicott Island, Alaska

Endicott Island, and artificial island built in 1987 by Alaska Interstate Construction and is used by BP and Hilcorp Alaska for petroleum production.

Tanana River at Big Delta bridge
October 3, 2018

Tanana River at Big Delta bridge

Tanana River at Big Delta bridge

Tanana River at Big Delta sonar and debris on a bridge
October 3, 2018

Tanana River at Big Delta sonar and debris on a bridge

Tanana River at Big Delta sonar and debris on a bridge

Taku Glacier, Alaska 2018
October 1, 2018

Satellite image of Taku Glacier in October 1, 2018

Satellite image of Taku Glacier in October 1, 2018. The Norris Glacier can be seen on the lower left hand corner and the Hole-in-the-Wall Glacier in the upper center portion of the image. Citation: McNeil, C. J., and Baker, E. H., 2019, Geodetic data for Juneau Icefield Glaciers: orthophotos, digital elevation models, and glacier boundaries (ver 1.0, August, 2019): U.S.

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A silhouette of a person on a high bluff overlooking the calm ocean at sunset.
September 8, 2018

Peace at dusk

USGS oceanographer Shawn Harrison stands on the coastal bluff of Barter Island, Alaska at sunset. Shawn and his fellow researchers are studying how the highly erosive bluff changes under the varied conditions experienced by this stretch of coastline. The knowledge gained will be used to improve computer-derived simulations of shoreline change, that in turn communities can

...
View from the sky of a marsh with many sinuous channels near larger body of water, the spit of land on the right has buildings.
August 23, 2018

View of Unalakleet from the air

Unalakleet village on the low-lying barrier spit at the inlet of the Unalakleet River and Norton Sound, Alaska.

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge
August 21, 2018

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge

Twentymile 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: 252
Mount McKinley landscape
June 15, 2015

A new GPS survey of Mount McKinley, the highest point in North America, will update the commonly accepted elevation of McKinley’s peak, 20,320 ft. The last survey was completed in 1953.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 8, 2015

North America may have once been attached to Australia, according to research just published in Lithosphere and spearheaded by U.S. Geological Survey geologist James Jones and his colleagues at Bucknell University and Colorado School of Mines.

Map of basement domains
April 23, 2015

A map showing the many different pieces of Earth’s crust that comprise the nation’s geologic basement is now available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
April 8, 2015

A new scientific synthesis suggests a gradual, prolonged release of greenhouse gases from permafrost soils in Arctic and sub-Arctic regions, which may afford society more time to adapt to environmental changes, say scientists in a paper published in Nature today. 

Image: Polar Bear at Rest
April 1, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A team of scientists led by the U.S. Geological Survey found that polar bears, increasingly forced on shore due to sea ice loss, may be eating terrestrial foods including berries, birds and eggs, but any nutritional gains are limited to a few individuals and likely cannot compensate for lost opportunities to consume their traditional, lipid-rich prey—ice seals.

Illustration showing migratory bird paths across the Pacific
March 31, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — In a new study published today, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service harnessed a new type of DNA technology to investigate avian influenza viruses in Alaska.

USGS
March 18, 2015

Frozen bodies of ice cover nearly 10 percent of the state of Alaska, but the influence of glaciers on the environment, tourism, fisheries, hydropower, and other important Alaska resources is rarely discussed.

USGS
February 24, 2015

Kristin Timm, a designer with the Interior Department's Alaska Climate Science Center and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Scenarios Network for Alaska and Arctic Planning, is among 10 designers who were recently recognized internationally for excellence in science communication.

Estimated potential for rare earth element (REE) deposits in watersheds across northern Alaska
February 23, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska. — New maps highlighting areas with potential for placer gold and five other critical mineral deposit types in the Bureau of Land Management’s Central Yukon Planning Area in central and northern Alaska are being released today. 

Three panel view of Alaska from NLCD
February 18, 2015

The latest edition of the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD 2011) for Alaska is now publicly available.

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.