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: 175
A fish weir on the Pilgrim River to prevent fish from going downstream except when controlled by a gate
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
A lot of small fish from a fyke net set near Kaktovik, AK.  Biologists sort through them.
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.

Hyperspectral camera measures output from calibration lamp
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
Biologist transferring a muscle biopsy from the sampler to the vial
Date Published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing heat stress in migrating Yukon River Chinook Salmon

We will examine evidence of heat stress in Yukon River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) using heat shock proteins and gene expression.

Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite towards the contact between the pluton and Paleozoic marbles
Date Published: March 13, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Technical Data Unit - Field Records Archives

This project is designed to collect, inventory, preserve, and make available the records of USGS geologic and minerals work in Alaska. Materials are organized in two broad categories of records: (1) Project History files, which contain field notes, maps, and fossil reports; and (2) Geologic Subject files, containing unpublished materials, correspondence, and the Economic Minerals files. Access...

USGS Alaska Science Center sign
Date Published: March 2, 2018
Status: Active

Media/Outreach at the Alaska Science Center

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

Ice bergs in the Chukchi Sea, Alaska
Date Published: March 2, 2018
Status: Active

Wind - Habitat Dynamics

Several species of shorebird that nest in the Arctic make remarkable non-stop trans-oceanic migrations to non-breeding areas in the southern hemisphere. Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have discovered many fascinating and previously unknown details about these long-distance migrations by instrumenting individual birds with Argos satellite transmitters (see...

Contacts: David Douglas
Three caribou from the Porcupine Herd standing on the tundra
Date Published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Vegetation Phenology - Habitat Dynamics

Vegetation Phenology

Contacts: David Douglas
Open water, sea ice, and pressure ridges in the Beaufort Sea
Date Published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Sea Ice - Habitat Dynamics

Sea Ice Present, Future and Ice Loss and Wildlife

Contacts: David Douglas
Spawing sockeye salmon in a Matanuska River side channel, Alaska
Date Published: February 27, 2018
Status: Active

Fish and Aquatic Ecology

Fish and aquatic habitats in Alaska support important commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries and provide forage fish that support wildlife populations.  The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts interdisciplinary research to inform local, state, federal, and international policy makers regarding conservation of fish, aquatic species, and their habitats.  We work collaboratively with...

A stream flowing from a small lake on the Arctic Coastal Plain
Date Published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Research Conducted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain (1002 Area)

Selected Bibliography of Research Involving USGS and Conducted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain (1002 Area)

Compiled as of 12/17/2018

Snow Goose near the Colville River, northern Alaska
Date Published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Research Conducted in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA)

Selected Bibliography of Research Involving USGS and Conducted in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A)

Compiled as of 12/17/2018

Filter Total Items: 2,394
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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.

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Year Published: 2019

Global phylodynamic analysis of avian paramyxovirus-1 provides evidence of inter-host transmission and intercontinental spatial diffusion

BackgroundAvian avulavirus (commonly known as avian paramyxovirus-1 or APMV-1) can cause disease of varying severity in both domestic and wild birds. Understanding how viruses move among hosts and geography would be useful for informing prevention and control efforts. A Bayesian statistical framework was employed to estimate the evolutionary...

Hicks, Joseph T.; Dimitrov, Kiril M.; Afonso, Claudio L.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Bahl, Justin

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Year Published: 2019

Evidence of Culiseta mosquitoes as vectors for Plasmodium parasites in Alaska

Mosquito vectors play a crucial role in the distribution of avian Plasmodium parasites worldwide. At northern latitudes, where climate warming is most pronounced, there are questions about possible changes in the abundance and distribution of Plasmodium parasites, their vectors, and their impacts to avian hosts. To better...

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

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Year Published: 2019

Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are exposed to a diversity of influenza A viruses, are infected during the non-breeding period and contribute to intercontinental viral dispersal

Emperor geese (Anser canagicus) are endemic to coastal areas within Beringia and have previously been found to have antibodies to or to be infected with influenza A viruses (IAVs) in Alaska. In this study, we use virological, serological and tracking data to further elucidate the role of emperor geese in the ecology of IAVs in Beringia during the...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2019

State of knowledge on current exposure, fate and potential health effects of contaminants in polar bears from the circumpolar Arctic

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is among the Arctic species exposed to the highest concentrations of long-range transported bioaccumulative contaminants, such as halogenated organic compounds and mercury. Contaminant exposure is considered to be one of the largest threats to polar bears after the loss of their Arctic sea ice habitat due to...

Routti, Heli; Atwood, Todd C.; Bechshoft, Thea; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Dietz, Rune; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Letcher, Robert J.; McKinney, Melissa A.; Morris, A.; Riget, F.; Sonne, Christian; Styrishave, Bjarne; Tartu, Sabrina

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring long-term changes in forage fish distribution, abundance and body condition

We collected data on forage fish abundance, distribution and body condition in Prince William Sound, Alaska during summers in 2012 through 2016. This included acoustic – trawl surveys, aerial-acoustic surveys, opportunistic sampling where we encountered forage aggregations, and concurrent measurements of forage fish habitat. Acoustic indices of...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.

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Year Published: 2019

Selecting a landscape model for natural resource management applications

Purpose of Review: Climate change and associated ecological impacts have challenged many conventional, observation-based approaches for predicting ecosystem and landscape responses to natural resource management. Complex spatial ecological models provide powerful, flexible tools which managers and others can use to make inferences about management...

Keane, Robert E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.

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Year Published: 2019

Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging

The U.S. Geological Survey monitors water level (water surface elevation relative to an arbitrary datum) and measures streamflow in Alaska rivers to compute and compile river flow records for use by water resource planners, engineers, and land managers to design infrastructure, manage floodplains, and protect life, property, and aquatic resources...

Conaway, Jeff; Eggleston, John R.; Legleiter, Carl J.; Jones, John W.; Kinzel, Paul J.; Fulton, John W.
Conaway, J.S., Eggleston, J., Legleiter, C.J., Jones, J.W., Kinzel, P.J., and Fulton, J.W., 2019, Remote sensing of river flow in Alaska—New technology to improve safety and expand coverage of USGS streamgaging: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019-3024, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20193024.

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Year Published: 2019

Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms for use in a genetic stock identification system for greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) subspecies wintering in California

California provides wintering habitat for most greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons [GWFG]) in the Pacific Flyway and this population has rapidly increased since the 1980s. Increased harvest of GWFG wintering in California may prevent agricultural depredation while providing increased hunting opportunities. However, changes in harvest...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; DaCosta, Jeffrey M.; Ely, Craig R.; Sorenson, Michael D.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E., Sonsthagen, S.A., DaCosta, J.M., Ely, C.R., Sorenson, M.D., and Talbot, S.L., 2019, Identification of single nucleotide polymorphisms for use in a genetic stock identification system for greater white-fronted goose (Anser albifrons) subspecies wintering in California: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1040, 18 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191040.

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Year Published: 2019

Cloud cover and delayed herbivory relative to timing of spring onset interact to dampen climate change impacts on net ecosystem exchange in a coastal Alaskan wetland

Rapid warming in northern ecosystems over the past four decades has resulted in earlier spring, increased precipitation, and altered timing of plant–animal interactions, such as herbivory. Advanced spring phenology can lead to longer growing seasons and increased carbon (C) uptake. Greater precipitation coincides with greater cloud cover possibly...

Leffler, Josh; Beard, Karen H.; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Choi, Ryan T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring annual trends in abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2018

A lagoon-wide, point-sampling survey of eelgrass (Zostera marina) abundance was conducted in Izembek Lagoon, Alaska, August 7–16, 2018, the ninth year of annual surveys (2007–11, 2015–18). Mean predicted aboveground biomass of eelgrass across 116 sampled points was 238 grams per square meter (g m-2) (95 percent confidence interval: 203–278 g m-2)...

Ward, David H.; Amundson, Courtney L.
Ward, D.H., and Amundson, C.L., 2019, Monitoring annual trends in abundance of eelgrass (Zostera marina) at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2018: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1042, 8 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191042.

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: 986
Twentymile River sonar on a bridge
August 21, 2018

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge

drone crew
August 20, 2018

Scientific crew and drone operators

Scientific crew and drone operators. Left to right: Richard Kolyer (NASA), Jack McFarland (USGS), Kristen Manies (USGS), and Jonas Jonsson (NASA)

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Baby bird on the rocks of a volcano
August 15, 2018

Glaucous-winged Gull chick on Bogoslof Island in August 2018

A Glaucous-winged Gull on the rock floor of the Bogoslof Volcano a year after it explosively erupted.

Knik River sonar on a bridge
August 15, 2018

Knik River sonar on a bridge

Knik River sonar on a bridge

Baby bird walking on the rocks of a volcano
August 15, 2018

Glaucous-winged Gull chick walking on Bogoslof Island in August 2018

A Glaucous-winged Gull on the rock floor of the Bogoslof Volcano a year after it explosively erupted.

drone
August 10, 2018

Methane drone hovering above permafrost

Looking up at a drone hovering near an open-path methane analyzer mounted on a flux tower. Instruments mounted on both the towers and on the drones are measuring gases emitted from the soil.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
USGS on the Colville River Delta, Alaska
August 1, 2018

USGS on the Colville River Delta, Alaska

Alaska Native Science and Engineer Program (ANSEP) student and USGS intern Parker Pickett on the Colville River Delta, Alaska, helping to band molting snow geese and black brant.

Woman holding gull with satellite tag on it's back
July 31, 2018

Christina Ahlstrom and gull with satellite transmitter

Christina Ahlstrom holding a gull tagging with a satellite transmitter.

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008
July 30, 2018

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008

A Northern Fulmar flying in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 19, 2018

A Northern Fulmar flying in Lower Cook Inlet, 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.

A Northern Fulmar on the water in Lower Cook Inlet
July 18, 2018

A Northern Fulmar on the water in Lower Cook Inlet

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.

A bird swimming on top of the ocean
July 18, 2018

A Northern Fulmar on the water offshore of Anchor Point, Cook Inlet

A Northern Fulmar on the water offshore of Anchor Point, Cook Inlet on July 18, 2018.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 247
collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
November 17, 2014

In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent. 

Location of study site in western Alaska and Radarsat-1 satellite images of the Hazen Bay coast during low water
September 23, 2014

Scientists examined storm flooding events in the Bering Sea region of western Alaska from 1913 to 2011 and found that the largest events occurred in autumn and were associated with high tides and strong southwest winds.

Landcover map (left) and pedestrian evacuation time estimate map (right) Ocean Shores, Washington.
September 16, 2014

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new mapping tool, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst, for use by researchers and emergency managers to estimate how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a tsunami-hazard zone.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
September 8, 2014

The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline.

USGS
August 19, 2014

As of Wednesday afternoon, August 13, all power issues were resolved and the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory resumed monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes.

USGS
July 24, 2014

Alaska — Due to climate change, some communities in rural Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada may face a future with fewer caribou according to new research published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the recent issue of PLoS ONE.

USGS
July 9, 2014

Monitoring wildlife in the Arctic is difficult. Study areas are cold, barren and often inaccessible. For decades scientists have struggled to study animals, like polar bears, which live in these remote areas. Now researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey have begun testing a new, yet counterintuitive solution – rather then get close to the animals, monitor them from afar. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

As part of a continuing earthquake hazard study in the Seattle urban area, the U. S. Geological Survey will be conducting a series of seismic-reflection surveys starting July 10 on Mercer Island and the city of Seattle, Washington. The studies will conclude on or around July 19.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

Starting on July 5 (weather permitting), U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey over the next 30 days to study the distribution of minerals exposed at the surface in various parts of Alaska.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

Starting on July 5 (weather permitting), U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey over the next 30 days to study the distribution of minerals exposed at the surface in various parts of Alaska.

USGS
June 6, 2014

The first "point of view" video from a polar bear on Arctic sea ice has just become available courtesy of the 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.