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
Date published: August 1, 2019
Status: Active

North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) includes more than 460,000 survey transects that were designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea.

Date published: July 31, 2019
Status: Active

USGS Alaska Science Center Wildlife Tracking Data Collection

Understanding the short- and long-distance movements of wildlife is critical for a wide variety of ecological research questions and management decisions. Since the mid-1980s, the USGS Alaska Science Center has used information from telemetry devices on wildlife species to determine locations of animals throughout their annual cycles, understand patterns of habitat use, quantify time spent on...

Date published: July 22, 2019
Status: Active

Tracking Data for Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa)

Available here are tracking data of Marbled Godwits, a large-bodied shorebird that, in Alaska, nests in the southwestern portion of the state. These data were collected to better understand the timing and patterns of migratory movements and seasonal use of different coastal areas in the Pacific region.

Date published: July 11, 2019
Status: Active

Harmful Algal Bloom Toxins in Alaska Seabirds

Elevated ocean temperatures are linked to the development of harmful algal blooms (HABs). Toxins from these blooms may pose health threats to marine organisms, including seabirds. 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...

Date published: June 28, 2019
Status: Active

Seismic Seiches

Definition of seismic seiches and examples dating back to their first public mention in 1755.

Date published: June 26, 2019
Status: Active

Information by Region-Alaska

  

Date published: June 19, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial and Temporal Maps of Population Change of Waterbirds on Alaska's North Slope

A main objective of the USGS Changing Arctic Research Initiative is to quantify and provide projections of the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic.  The following project provides information for Department of Interior agencies, industry, and other stakeholders related to this objective.

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Landslide-Induced Tsunamis of Southern Alaska

Working with partners to study and inform the Nation about geohazard risks

Date published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Winter Habitat of Juvenile Dolly Varden in the Canning River

In the Arctic, rivers often freeze all the way to the bottom each winter leaving fish with limited habitat where they can survive. 

Date published: April 20, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these...

Date published: April 1, 2019
Status: Completed

Using Video Imagery to Study Coastal Change: Barter Island, Alaska

For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes.

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: 2,691
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Year Published: 2021

Predicting wildfire impacts on the prehistoric archaeological record of the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, USA

Wildfires of uncharacteristic severity, a consequence of climate changes and accumulated fuels, can cause amplified or novel impacts to archaeological resources. The archaeological record includes physical features associated with human activity; these exist within ecological landscapes and provide a unique long-term perspective on human–...

Friggens, Megan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Constan, Connie; Kneifel, Rebekah

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Year Published: 2021

Human-polar bear interactions

Human-wildlife interactions (HWI) are driven fundamentally by overlapping space and resources. As competition intensifies, the likelihood of interaction and conflict increases. In turn, conflict may impede conservation efforts by lowering social tolerance of wildlife, especially when human-wildlife conflict (HWC) poses a threat to human safety and...

Davis, Randall W.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Wilder, James

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Year Published: 2021

Sea otter foraging behavior

Sea otters are marine specialists but diet generalists, which feed primarily on benthic mega-invertebrates (i.e., body dimension >1 cm). They locate and capture epibenthic and infaunal prey with their forepaws by relying on vision and tactile sensitivity during short-duration dives (generally <2 min) in shallow waters (routine...

Davis, Randall W.; Bodkin, James L.

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Year Published: 2021

The petrologic and degassing behavior of sulfur and other magmatic volatiles from the 2018 eruption of Kīlauea, Hawaiʻi: Melt concentrations, magma storage depths, and magma recycling

Kīlauea Volcano’s 2018 lower East Rift Zone (LERZ) eruption produced exceptionally high lava effusion rates and record-setting SO2 emissions. The eruption involved a diverse range of magmas, including primitive basalts sourced from Kīlauea’s summit reservoirs. We analyzed LERZ matrix glasses, melt inclusions, and host minerals to identify...

Lerner, Allan; Wallace, Paul J.; Shea, Thomas; Mourey, Adrien; Kelly, Peter J.; Nadeau, Patricia; Elias, Tamar; Kern, Christoph; Clor, Laura E.; Gansecki, Cheryl; Lee, R. Lopaka; Moore, Lowell; Werner, Cynthia A.

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Year Published: 2021

Alaska Landbird Conservation Plan

Alaska is a land of extremes. The diversity of its avifauna reflects the heterogeneity of its landscape, with more than 500 species of birds recorded in the state. Species inhabiting primarily terrestrial habitats, known collectively as landbirds, constitute the largest and most ecologically diverse component of the Alaska avifauna. Habitats used...

Handel, Colleen M.; Stenhouse, Iain; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Booms, Travis L.; Cady, Melissa N.; Carrothers, Cheryl A.; DeCicco, Lucas H.; de Zeeuw, Maureen L.; Flamme, Melanie J.; Hagelin, Julie; Handel, Colleen M.; Johnson, James A.; Kirchoff, Matthew D.; Kissling, Michelle L.; Lewis, Stephen B.; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Nigro, Debora A.; Perkins, Deborah E.; Renner, Heather M.; Savage, Susan E.; Sowl, Kristine M.; Sharbaugh, Susan M.; Stenhouse, Iain J; Van Hemert, Caroline R.

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Year Published: 2021

Diffusion modeling reveals effects of multiple release sites and human activity on a recolonizing apex predator

BackgroundReintroducing predators is a promising conservation tool to help remedy human-caused ecosystem changes. However, the growth and spread of a reintroduced population is a spatiotemporal process that is driven by a suite of factors, such as habitat change, human activity, and prey availability. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are apex predators...

Eisaguirre, Joseph M.; Willliams, Perry J.; Lu, Xinyi; Kissling, Michelle L.; Beatty, William S.; Esslinger, George G.; Womble, Jamie N.; Hooten, Mevin

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Year Published: 2021

GIS-based identification of areas that have resource potential for lode gold in Alaska

Several comprehensive, data-driven geographic information system (GIS) analyses were conducted to assess prospectivity for lode gold in Alaska. These analyses use available geospatial datasets of lithologic, geochemical, mineral occurrence, and geophysical data to build models for recognizing different types of gold deposits within physiographic...

Karl, Susan M.; Kreiner, Douglas C.; Case, George N.D.; Labay, Keith A.; Shew, Nora B.; Granitto, Matthew; Wang, Bronwen; Anderson, Eric D.
Karl, S.M., Kreiner, D.C., Case, G.N.D., Labay, K.A., Shew, N.B., Granitto, M., Wang, B., and Anderson, E.D., 2021, GIS-based identification of areas that have resource potential for lode gold in Alaska (ver. 1.1, October 2021): U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1041, 75 p., 9 plates, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211041.

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Year Published: 2021

Chemical analysis of archived stream-sediment samples, Alaska

Geochemical data are presented for more than 1,500 archived stream-sediment samples and accompanying quality control samples. The archived sediments were reanalyzed to improve the stream geochemical dataset for Alaska and to support ongoing U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) studies. Sediment samples were primarily from the USGS Mineral Resources...

Wang, Bronwen; Case, George N.D.; Granitto, Mathew; Labay, Keith A.; Shew, Nora B.; Ingraham, Andrew D.; Azain, Jaime S.; Bueghly, Zachary C.; Karl, Susan M.; Kelley, Karen D.
Wang, B., Case, G.N.D., Granitto, M., Labay, K.A., Shew, N.B., Ingraham, A.D., Bueghly, Z.C., Azain, J.S., Karl, S.M., and Kelley, K.D., 2021, Chemical analysis of archived stream-sediment samples, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2021–1058, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20211058.

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Year Published: 2021

Comparison of historical water temperature measurements with landsat analysis ready data provisional surface temperature estimates for the Yukon River in Alaska

Water temperature is a key element of freshwater ecological systems and a critical element within natural resource monitoring programs. In the absence of in situ measurements, remote sensing platforms can indirectly measure water temperature over time and space. The Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center has processed archived...

Baughman, Carson; Conaway, Jeff

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Year Published: 2021

Physiomorphic transformation in extreme endurance migrants: Revisiting the case of bar-tailed godwits preparing for trans-pacific flights

In a 1998 paper entitled “Guts don’t fly: small digestive organs in obese bar-tailed godwits,” Piersma and Gill (1998) showed that the digestive organs were tiny and the fat loads huge in individuals suspected of embarking on a non-stop flight from Alaska to New Zealand. It was suggested that prior to migratory departure, these godwits...

Piersma, Theunis; Gill, Robert E.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.

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Year Published: 2021

Translocations maintain genetic diversity and increase connectivity in sea otters, Enhydra lutris

Sea otters, Enhydra lutris, were once abundant along the nearshore areas of the North Pacific. The international maritime fur trade that ended in 1911 left 13 small remnant populations with low genetic diversity. Subsequent translocations into previously occupied habitat resulted in several reintroduced populations along the coast of North...

Larson, Shawn E.; Gagne, Roderick B.; Bodkin, James L.; Murray, Michael J.; Ralls, Katherine; Bowen, Lizabeth; Leblois, Raphael; Piry, Sylvain; Penedo, Maria Cecilia; Tinker, M. Tim; Ernest, Holly B.

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Year Published: 2021

Sea otter population collapse in southwest Alaska: Assessing ecological covariates, consequences, and causal factors

Sea otter (Enhydra lutris) populations in southwest Alaska declined substantially between about 1990 and the most recent set of surveys in 2015. Here we report changes in the distribution and abundance of sea otters, and covarying patterns in reproduction, mortality, body size and condition, diet and foraging behavior, food availability, health...

Tinker, M Tim; Bodkin, James L; Bowen, Lizabeth; Ballachey, Brenda; Bentall, Gena; Burdin, Alexander; Coletti, Heather; Esslinger, George G.; Hatfield, Brian; Kenner, Michael C.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Konar, Brenda; Miles, A. Keith; Monson, Daniel; Murray, Michael J.; Weitzman, Ben; Estes, James A

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: 975
Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 26, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris on beach in Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

August 18, 2019

Time-lapse video of bluff erosion on Barter Island, Alaska

Recorded June 1, 2019 - August 18, 2019: Video shows a series of photos taken every hour during daylight hours in the summer of 2019. The camera looks westward along the coastal bluffs of Barter Island, located on Alaska’s North Slope. A pole on the bluff, visible in the first half of the video, once supported another video camera that was aimed at the

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
August 17, 2019

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve.

 

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek
August 17, 2019

Arctic grayling and Dolly varden from impounded water of beaver dam

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve. 

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve
August 16, 2019

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument.
August 14, 2019

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam

 

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument. 

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcass on rocky beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019.

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 22, 2017

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Drill Rig at the Mt. Elbert Test Site
October 20, 2017

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

3 men leaning over big yellow metal grab bucket on the deck of a ship. Dark sediment is visible inside bucket
October 19, 2017

An international team of scientists just finished probing the depths of the Pacific Ocean offshore of Alaska and British Columbia, to better understand the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault. During the past century, the 700-mile-long fault has generated at least half a dozen major earthquakes, and future shocks threaten coastal communities in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Barry Grand, USGS Cooperative Research Unit Supervisor
September 27, 2017

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Alaska mapping status map showing 84% statewide IfSAR coverage available
July 24, 2017

The USGS continues to collect high resolution elevation data, contributing to greatly improved Alaska map data

A polar bear walks across rubble ice in the Alaska portion of the southern Beaufort Sea
June 6, 2017

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

Sea otter in kelp
May 2, 2017

Thanks to a quarter-century of research and monitoring, scientists now know how different wildlife species were injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and how long it took for populations to recover.

Photo of a duck floating in the water.
May 1, 2017

Ducks in North America can be carriers of avian influenza viruses similar to those found in a 2016 outbreak in Indiana that led to the losses of hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys, according to a recent study.

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
April 28, 2017

Which U.S. State or territory has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined?

Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

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.

The Regional Office provides active input to a variety of external collaborations by:

Filter Total Items: 55