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: 181
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: 2,366
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Year Published: 2019

Migratory goose arrival time plays a larger role in influencing forage quality than advancing springs in an Arctic coastal wetland

With warmer springs, herbivores migrating to Arctic breeding grounds may experience phenological mismatches between their energy demands and the availability of high quality forage. However, the timing of high quality forage relative to the timing of grazing is often unknown. In coastal western Alaska, approximately one million migratory geese...

Beard, Karen H.; Choi, Ryan T.; Leffer, A. Joshua; Carlson, Lindsay; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Influenza A prevalence and subtype diversity in migrating teal sampled along the United States Gulf Coast

Wild birds in the order Anseriformes are important reservoirs for influenza A viruses (IAV); however, IAV prevalence and subtype diversity may vary by season, even at the same location. To better understand the ecology of IAV during waterfowl migration through the Gulf Coast of the United States (Louisiana and Texas), surveillance of blue-winged (...

Carter, Deborah; Link, Paul T.; Walther, Patrick; Ramey, Andrew M.; Stallknecht, David E.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2019

The black brant population is declining based on mark recapture

Annual survival and recruitment in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) have declined since the 1990s, yet aerial surveys of the global population have been stable or even increasing over the past decade. We used a combination of a Lincoln estimator based on harvest information and band recoveries, and marked‐unmarked ratios in bag checks in 1...

Sedinger, James S.; Riecke, Thomas V.; Leach, Alan G.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2019

Flexible timing of annual movements across consistently used sites by Marbled Godwits breeding in Alaska

The study of avian movement has detailed a spectrum of strategies for the timing and use of sites throughout the annual cycle, from near randomness to complete consistency. New tracking devices now permit the repeated tracking of individual animals throughout the annual cycle, detailing previously unappreciated levels of variation within migratory...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Gill, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant

On average, band recovery rates of adult black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) more than doubled between the 2000s and 2010s. However, the spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant has not been reported. Our objective was to describe the spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant since 1990. We found that Alaska,...

Leach, Alan G.; Ward, David H.; Sedinger, James S.; Riecke, Thomas V.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ritchie, Robert J.

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Year Published: 2019

Heightened immune system function in polar bears using terrestrial habitats

Climate change is altering the distribution of some wildlife species while warming temperatures are facilitating the northward expansion of pathogens, potentially increasing disease risk. Melting of Arctic sea ice is causing polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the Southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) to increasingly spend summer on land, where they may...

Whiteman, John P.; Harlow, Henry J.; Durner, George M.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, Merav

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Year Published: 2019

Brood size affects future reproduction in a long-lived bird with precocial young

Estimation of trade-offs between current reproduction and future survival and fecundity of long-lived vertebrates is essential to understanding factors that shape optimal reproductive investment. Black brant geese (Branta bernicla nigricans) fledge more goslings, on average, when their broods are experimentally enlarged to be greater than the most...

Alan Leach; James Sedinger; Thomas Riecke; Amanda Van Dellen; Ward, David H.; Sean Boyd

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Year Published: 2019

Seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli, are a conspicuous predator in the Prince William Sound ecosystem, yet there has been little effort directed towards monitoring this species since the 1980s, prior to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We used vessel-based surveys to examine the seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in the waters of Prince William...

J.R. Moran; O'Dell, M.B.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Straley, Jan M; Dickson, D.M.S.

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Year Published: 2019

Implications of introgression for wildlife translocations: the case of North American martens

The evolutionary consequences of natural introgression provide a rare opportunity to retrospectively evaluate how the introduction of exotics or genetic rescue efforts may impact endemic faunas. Phylogeographic structure among mainland, endemic insular, and introduced North American marten (Martes americana and M. caurina) populations...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Wilson, Robert E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2019

Investigating lake-area dynamics across a permafrost-thaw spectrum using airborne electromagnetic surveys and remote sensing time-series data in Yukon Flats, Alaska

Lakes in boreal lowlands cycle carbon and supply an important source of freshwater for wildlife and migratory waterfowl. The abundance and distribution of these lakes are supported, in part, by permafrost distribution, which is subject to change. Relationships between permafrost thaw and lake dynamics remain poorly known in most boreal regions....

Rey, David; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Minsley, Burke; Rover, Jennifer; Singha, Kamini

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Year Published: 2019

Survival of Bristle-thighed Curlews equipped with externally mounted transmitters

Telemetry devices are widely used in avian research, but the degree to which the deployment of such devices affects the survival of study subjects is often not addressed. It is generally assumed that such effects are less pronounced in large-bodied species that conduct relatively short migrations and carry relatively light telemetry devices. We...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Patil, Vijay P.

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Year Published: 2019

Global sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971 to 2017

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (AMAP, 2017) identifies the Arctic as the largest regional source of land ice to global sea-level rise in the 2003 to 2014 period. Yet, this contextualization ignores the longer perspective from in-situ records of glacier mass balance. Here, using 18 (> 55 °N latitude) glacier and ice cap mass...

Box, Jason E.; Colgan, William T.; Wouters, Bert; Burgess, David O; O'Neel, Shad; Thomson, Laura; Mernild, Sebastian 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: 989
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

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.

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.

Knik River sonar on a bridge
August 15, 2018

Knik River sonar on a bridge

Knik River sonar on a bridge

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.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 246
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. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 28, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey is reducing its footprint on the Alaska Pacific University campus by closing the Map Store @ USGS to lower rent costs. The store will remain open through Oct. 31, 2014.

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.