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: 2,679
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Year Published: 2014

Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for the Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai, and Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula galeata sandvicensis, through next-generation sequencing

We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop novel microsatellite markers for two endangered waterbirds; the Hawaiian coot (Fulica alai) and Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata sandvicensis). The 20 loci polymorphic in the Hawaiian coot displayed moderate allelic diversity (average 3.8 alleles/locus) and heterozygosity (average 59.5...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.
Sonsthagen, S.A., R.E. Wilson, and J.G. Underwood. 2014. Development and characterization of microsatellite markers for the Hawaiian coot, Fulica alai, and Hawaiian gallinule, Gallinula galeata sandvicensis, through next-generation sequencing. Conservation Genetics Resources (6)3: 765-767. doi:10.1007/s12686-014-0210-z

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Year Published: 2014

Survival of surf scoters and white-winged scoters during remigial molt

Quantifying sources and timing of variation in demographic rates is necessary to determine where and when constraints may exist within the annual cycle of organisms. Surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) and white-winged scoters (M. fusca) undergo simultaneous remigial molt during which they are flightless for >1 month. Molt could result in...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Esler, Daniel N.; Dickson, Rian D.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Evenson, Joseph R.; Anderson, Eric M.; Barrett, Jennifer; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, B. D., D. Esler, R. D. Dickson, J. W. Hupp, J. R. Evenson, E. M. Anderson, J. Barrett, and J. A. Schmutz. 2014. Survival of Surf Scoters and White-Winged Scoters during remigial molt. Journal of Wildlife Management 78(7):1189-1196. doi:10.1002/jwmg.774

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Year Published: 2014

Guidelines for the collection of continuous stream water-temperature data in Alaska

Objectives of stream monitoring programs differ considerably among many of the academic, Federal, state, tribal, and non-profit organizations in the state of Alaska. Broad inclusion of stream-temperature monitoring can provide an opportunity for collaboration in the development of a statewide stream-temperature database. Statewide and regional...

Toohey, Ryan C.; Neal, Edward G.; Solin, Gary L.
Guidelines for the collection of continuous stream water-temperature data in Alaska; 2014; OFR; 2014-1182; Toohey, Ryan C.; Neal, Edward G.; Solin, Gary L.

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Year Published: 2014

Environmental and physiological influences to isotopic ratios of N and protein status in a montane ungulate in winter

Winter severity can influence large herbivore populations through a reduction in maternal proteins available for reproduction. Nitrogen (N) isotopes in blood fractions can be used to track the use of body proteins in northern and montane ungulates. We studied 113 adult female caribou for 13 years throughout a series of severe winters that reduced...

Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Adams, Layne G.; Wolf, Nathan B.
Environmental and physiological influences to isotopic ratios of N and protein status in a montane ungulate in winter; 2014; Article; Journal; PLoS One; Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Adams, Layne G.; Wolf, Nathan B.

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Year Published: 2014

Multilocus phylogeography and systematic revision of North American water shrews (genus: Sorex)

North American water shrews, which have traditionally included Sorex alaskanus, S. bendirii, and S. palustris, are widely distributed through Nearctic boreal forests and adapted for life in semiaquatic environments. Molecular mitochondrial signatures for these species have recorded an evolutionary history with variable levels of regional...

Hope, Andrew G.; Panter, Nicholas; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Nagorsen, David W.
Multilocus phylogeography and systematic revision of North American water shrews (genus: Sorex); 2014; Article; Journal; Journal of Mammalogy; Hope, Andrew G.; Panter, Nicholas; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Nagorsen, David W.

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Year Published: 2014

The Early Jurassic Bokan Mountain peralkaline granitic complex (southeastern Alaska): geochemistry, petrogenesis and rare-metal mineralization

The Early Jurassic (ca. 177 Ma) Bokan Mountain granitic complex, located on southern Prince of Wales Island, southernmost Alaska, cross-cuts Paleozoic igneous and metasedimentary rocks of the Alexander terrane of the North American Cordillera and was emplaced during a rifting event. The complex is a circular body (~3 km in diameter) of peralkaline...

Dostal, Jaroslav; Kontak, Daniel J.; Karl, Susan M.
The Early Jurassic Bokan Mountain peralkaline granitic complex (southeastern Alaska): geochemistry, petrogenesis and rare-metal mineralization; 2014; Article; Journal; Lithos; Dostal, Jaroslav; Kontak, Daniel J.; Karl, Susan M.

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Year Published: 2014

A hierarchical model combining distance sampling and time removal to estimate detection probability during avian point counts

Imperfect detection during animal surveys biases estimates of abundance and can lead to improper conclusions regarding distribution and population trends. Farnsworth et al. (2005) developed a combined distance-sampling and time-removal model for point-transect surveys that addresses both availability (the probability that an animal is available...

Amundson, Courtney L.; Royle, J. Andrew; Handel, Colleen M.
A hierarchical model combining distance sampling and time removal to estimate detection probability during avian point counts; 2014; Article; Journal; The Auk; Amundson, Courtney L.; Royle, J. Andrew; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2014

Reconstruction of an early Paleozoic continental margin based on the nature of protoliths in the Nome Complex, Seward Peninsula, Alaska

The Nome Complex is a large metamorphic unit that sits along the southern boundary of the Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane, the largest of several micro continental fragments of uncertain origin located between the Siberian and Laurentian cratons. The Arctic Alaska–Chukotka terrane moved into its present position during the Mesozoic; its Mesozoic...

Till, Alison B.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Ayuso, Robert A.; Aleinikoff, John N.; Amato, Jeffrey M.; Slack, John F.; Shanks, W.C. Pat

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Year Published: 2014

Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska

The Arctic Coastal Plain of northern Alaska is a complex landscape of lakes, streams, and wetlands scattered across low-relief tundra that is underlain by permafrost. This region of the Arctic has experienced a warming trend over the past three decades leading to thawing of on-shore permafrost and the disappearance of sea ice at unprecedented...

Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis H.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.
Historical and contemporary imagery to assess ecosystem change on the Arctic coastal plain of northern Alaska; 2014; OFR; 2014-1140; Tape, Ken D.; Pearce, John M.; Walworth, Dennis; Meixell, Brandt W.; Fondell, Tom F.; Gustine, David D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2014

Cenozoic mountain building on the northeastern Tibetan Plateau

Northeastern Tibetan Plateau growth illuminates the kinematics, geodynamics, and climatic consequences of large-scale orogenesis, yet only recently have data become available to outline the spatiotemporal pattern and rates of this growth. I review the tectonic history of range growth across the plateau margin north of the Kunlun fault (35°–40°N)...

Lease, Richard O.

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Year Published: 2014

Polar bears from space: Assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife

Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small...

Stapleton, Seth P.; LaRue, Michelle A.; Lecomte, Nicolas; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Garshelis, David L.; Porter, Claire; Atwood, Todd C.
Stapleton, S. P., M. LaRue, N. Lecomte, S. N. Atkinson, D. L. Garshelis, C. Porter, and T. C. Atwood. 2014. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife. PLoS ONE 9(7):e101513. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0101513

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Year Published: 2014

Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic

Climatic warming has direct implications for fire-dominated disturbance patterns in northern ecosystems. A transforming wildfire regime is altering plant composition and successional patterns, thus affecting the distribution and potentially the abundance of large herbivores. Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are an important subsistence resource for...

Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.
Climate-driven effects of fire on winter habitat for caribou in the Alaskan-Yukon Arctic; 2014; Article; Journal; PLoS One; Gustine, David D.; Brinkman, Todd J.; Lindgren, Michael A.; Schmidt, Jennifer I.; Rupp, T. Scott; Adams, Layne G.

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
Tanana River sonar at Nenana
June 2, 2005

Tanana River sonar at Nenana

Tanana River sonar at Nenana

Image: Alaskan Glacier
June 1, 2005

Alaskan Glacier

Near Seward, Alaska

Yukon River near Eagle, Alaska
May 23, 2005

Yukon River near Eagle, Alaska

Yukon River and rainbow near Eagle, Alaska

Sheridan River sonar
April 8, 2005

Sheridan River sonar

Sheridan River sonar

George Durner collecting data on an anesthetized polar bear
April 1, 2005

George Durner collecting data on an anesthetized polar bear

George Durner collecting data on an anesthetized polar bear

Sheridan River scour hole
January 26, 2005

Sheridan River scour hole

Sheridan River scour hole

Muir and Riggs glaciers flowing into a lake in Alaska
December 31, 2004

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska

Glaciers

As this picture of Muir and Riggs Glaceris in Alaska shows, glaciers are really rivers, but rivers of solid ice instead of liquid water. Just because they are solid does not mean they don't move, though. Glaciers do flow downhill, just very, very slowly.

Glaciers begin life as snowflakes. When the snowfall in an area far exceeds the

...
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
October 30, 2004

PubTalk 10/2004 — Hot Oil, Frozen Ground, and Earthquakes

The Trans-Alaska Pipeline story-- so far, so good!

by George Gryc, Arthur Lachenbruch, and Robert Page, Scientists Emeriti

  • The 1968 discovery of North America.s largest oil fi eld on the Arctic coast posed the challenge of an 800-mile pipeline to carry hot oil across mountains, rivers, and the giant Denali Fault
  • The oil
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Black Scoter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska
September 1, 2004

Black Scoter in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Black Scoter: Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Steller's Eider in Dutch Harbor, Alaska
September 1, 2004

Steller's Eider in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Steller's Eider in Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Image: Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 2004
August 31, 2004

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 2004

The second repeat photograph documents significant changes that have occurred during the 63 years between photographs A and C, and during the 54 years between photographs B and C. Muir Glacier has retreated out of the field of view and is now more than 7 kilometers northwest. Riggs Glacier has retreated as much as 600 meters and thinned more than 250 meters. Note the dense

...
Pacific sand lance in Prince William Sound next to a ruler
July 8, 2004

Pacific sand lance in Prince William Sound next to a ruler

Pacific sand lance in Prince William Sound next to a ruler

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.