Unified Interior Regions

Region 11: Alaska

Alaska Science Center

Alaska Science Center

4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7000

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Volcano Science Center

Volcano Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7497

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Climate Adaptation Science Center

Climate Adaptation Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-301-7830

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USGS research activities relevant to Alaska have yielded more than 9400 historical publications. This page features some of the most recent newsworthy research findings.

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Arctic Science for Decision Maker

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,661
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Year Published: 2013

Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea

Icebreaker-based sampling in the northern Bering Sea south of St. Lawrence Island in March of 2008, 2009, and 2010 has provided new data on overall ecosystem function early in the annual productive cycle. While water-column chlorophyll concentrations (<25 mg m−2 integrated over the whole water column) are two orders of magnitude lower than...

Cooper, L. W.; Sexson, Matthew G.; Grebmeier, J.M.; Gradinger, R.; Mordy, C.W.; Lovvorn, J.R.
Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea; 2013; Article; Journal; Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography; Cooper, L. W.; Sexson, M. G.; Grebmeier, J. M.; Gradinger, R. ; Mordy, C. W.; Lovvorn, J. R.

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Year Published: 2013

Macroscopic, histologic, and ultrastructural lesions associated with avian keratin disorder in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

An epizootic of beak abnormalities (avian keratin disorder) was recently detected among wild birds in Alaska. Here we describe the gross, histologic, and ultrastructural features of the disease in 30 affected adult black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). Grossly, there was elongation of the rhamphotheca, with varying degrees of lateral...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Armién, A. G.; Blake, J.E.; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Hara, T. M.
Macroscopic, histologic, and ultrastructural lesions associated with avian keratin disorder in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus); 2013; Article; Journal; Veterinary Pathology; Van Hemert, C. ; Armién, A. G.; Blake, J. E.; Handel, C. M.; O'Hara, T. M.

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Year Published: 2013

Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus

We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop 21 novel microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew (Sorex ugyunak), which were polymorphic among individuals from northern Alaska. The loci displayed moderate allelic diversity (averaging 6.81 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 70 %). Two loci deviated from Hardy–...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sage, G. Kevin; Fowler, Megan C.; Hope, Andrew G.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus; 2013; Article; Journal; Conservation Genetics Resources; Sonsthagen, S. A.; Sage, G. K.; Fowler, M. ; Hope, A. G.; Cook, J. A.; Talbot, S. L.

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Year Published: 2013

Evidence that life history characteristics of wild birds influence infection rates and exposure to influenza A viruses

We report on life history characteristics, temporal, and age-related effects influencing the frequency of occurrence of avian influenza (AI) viruses in four species of migratory geese breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Emperor geese (Chen canagica), cackling geese (Branta hutchinsii), greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons), and...

Ely, Craig R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Terenzi, John; Sedinger, James S.; Ip, Hon S.
Evidence that life history characteristics of wild birds influence infection rates and exposure to influenza A viruses; 2013; Article; Journal; PLoS ONE; Ely, Craig R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Terenzi, John ; Sedinger, James S.; Ip, Hon S.

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Year Published: 2013

Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves

Availability of summer sea ice has been decreasing in the Chukchi Sea during recent decades, and increasing numbers of Pacific walruses have begun using coastal haulouts in late summer during years when sea ice retreats beyond the continental shelf. Calves and yearlings are particularly susceptible to being crushed during disturbance events that...

Udevitz, Mark S.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Snyder, Jonathan A.
Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; Udevitz, Mark S.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Garlich-Miler, Joel L.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Snyder, Jonathan A.

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Year Published: 2013

Movements and dive patterns of short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) released from a mass stranding in the Florida Keys

Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) are among the most common cetaceans to engage in mass strandings in the southeastern United States. Because these are primarily pelagic, continental shelf-edge animals, much of what is known about this species has derived from mass stranding events. Post-release monitoring via satellite-linked...

Wells, Randall S.; Fougeres, Erin M.; Cooper, Arthur G.; Stevens, Robert O.; Brodsky, Micah; Lingenfelser, Robert; Dold, Chris; Douglas, David C.
Movements, dive patterns, and social associations of short-finned pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhynchus, released from a mass stranding in the Florida keys; 2013; Article; Journal; Aquatic Mammals; Wells, Randall S.; Fougeres, Erin M.; Cooper, Arthur G.; Stevens, Robert O.; Brodsky, Micah ; Lingenfelser, Robert ; Dold, Chris ; Douglas, David C.

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Year Published: 2013

Patterns of social association in the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei

Little is known from living animals about the social patterns of the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei, a small dolphin inhabiting a narrow strip of coastal waters off Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. These dolphins tend to be found in small groups, typically composed of two or three individuals (Bordino et al. 1999). Throughout much of the...

Wells, Randall S.; Bordino, Pablo; Douglas, David C.
Patterns of social association in the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei; 2013; Article; Journal; Marine Mammal Science; Wells, Randall S.; Bordino, Pablo ; Douglas, David C.

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Year Published: 2013

Plausible combinations: An improved method to evaluate the covariate structure of Cormack-Jolly-Seber mark-recapture models

Mark-recapture models are extensively used in quantitative population ecology, providing estimates of population vital rates, such as survival, that are difficult to obtain using other methods. Vital rates are commonly modeled as functions of explanatory covariates, adding considerable flexibility to mark-recapture models, but also increasing the...

Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Amstrup, Steven C.
Plausible combinations: An improved method to evaluate the covariate structure of Cormack-Jolly-Seber mark-recapture models; 2013; Article; Journal; Open Journal Of Ecology; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; McDonald, Trent L.; Amstrup, Steven C.

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Year Published: 2013

Rapid runoff via shallow throughflow and deeper preferential flow in a boreal catchment underlain by frozen silt (Alaska, USA)

In high-latitude catchments where permafrost is present, runoff dynamics are complicated by seasonal active-layer thaw, which may cause a change in the dominant flowpaths as water increasingly contacts mineral soils of low hydraulic conductivity. A 2-year study, conducted in an upland catchment in Alaska (USA) underlain by frozen, well-sorted...

Koch, Joshua C.; Ewing, Stephanie A.; Striegl, Robert G.; McKnight, Diane M.
Rapid runoff via shallow throughflow and deeper preferential flow in a boreal catchment underlain by frozen silt (Alaska, USA); 2013; Article; Journal; Hydrogeology Journal; Koch, Joshua C.; Ewing, Stephanie A. Ewing; Striegl, Rob; McKnight, Diane M.

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Year Published: 2013

Water-quality and flow data, Chulitna River basin, Southwest Alaska, October 2009-June 2012

The Chulitna River basin in southwest Alaska drains an area of about 1,160 square miles, with the lower 158 square miles of the basin in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Water from this basin influences Lake Clark ecosystems that support salmon that, in part, sustain the Bristol Bay fishery. An area of about 391 square miles in the upper...

Brabets, Timothy P.
Water-quality and flow data, Chulitna River basin, Southwest Alaska, October 2009-June 2012; 2013; OFR; 2013-1009; Brabets, Timothy P.

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Year Published: 2013

Testing the use of microfossils to reconstruct great earthquakes at Cascadia

Coastal stratigraphy from the Pacific Northwest of the United States contains evidence of sudden subsidence during ruptures of the Cascadia subduction zone. Transfer functions (empirical relationships between assemblages and elevation) can convert microfossil data into coastal subsidence estimates. Coseismic deformation models use the subsidence...

Engelhart, S. E.; Horton, B. P; Nelson, Alan R.; Hawkes, A. D.; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, K.; Wang, P.-L.; Vane, C. H.
Engelhart, S. E., Horton, B. P., Nelson, A. R., Hawkes, A. D., Witter, R. C., Wang, K., … Vane, C. H. (2013). Testing the use of microfossils to reconstruct great earthquakes at Cascadia. Geology, 41(10), 1067–1070.

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Year Published: 2013

Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.
Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR; 2013; Article; Journal; Environmental Research Letters; Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.

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