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 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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,433
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Year Published: 2018

Exposure of Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos) to bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents varies spatiotemporally and may be influenced by age

We collected blood and serum from 155 brown bears (Ursus arctos) inhabiting five locations in Alaska during 2013–16 and tested samples for evidence of prior exposure to a suite of bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents. Antibody seroprevalence among Alaska brown bears was estimated to be 15% for Brucella spp., 10% for Francisella...

Leacock, William B.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Cleveland, Christopher A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Joly, Kyle; Gustine, David D.; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William B.; Crupi, Anthony P.; Hill, Dolores E.; Dubey, Jitender P.; Yabsley, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2018

Survey of Arctic Alaskan wildlife for influenza A antibodies: Limited evidence for exposure of mammals

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are maintained in wild waterbirds and have the potential to infect a broad range of species, including wild mammals. The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska supports a diverse suite of species, including waterfowl that are common hosts of IAVs. Mammals co-occur with geese and other migratory waterbirds during the summer...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Sinnett, David R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Jiang, Kaijun; Adams, Layne G.; Gustine, David D.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Wan, Xiu-Feng

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Year Published: 2018

U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell Terrane, Alaska

The Farewell terrane is an exotic continental fragment in interior Alaska that during the early Paleozoic was the site of a passive margin. We report a 238U/206Pb zircon age of 432.9±3.0 Ma from a Farewell terrane ash in Mt. McKinley quadrangle, Alaska. This age overlaps with prominent detrital zircon age maxima reported from Silurian and Devonian...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dan B.
Bradley, D.C., Dumoulin, J.A., and Bradley, D.B., 2018, U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell terrane, Alaska, in Dumoulin, J.A., ed., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, vol. 15: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1814–F, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1814F.

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Year Published: 2018

Energy-rich mesopelagic fishes revealed as a critical prey resource for a deep-diving predator using quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

Understanding the diet of deep-diving predators can provide essential insight to the trophic structure of the mesopelagic ecosystem. Comprehensive population-level diet estimates are exceptionally difficult to obtain for elusive marine predators due to the logistical challenges involved in observing their feeding behavior and collecting samples...

Goetsch, Chandra; Conners, Melinda G.; Budge, Suzanne M.; Mitani, Yoko; Walker, William A; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Simmons, Samantha E.; Reichmuth, Colleen; Costa, Daniel P.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate, disturbance, and vulnerability to vegetation change in the Northwest Forest Plan Area

Climate change is expected to alter the composition, structure, and function of forested ecosystems in the United States (Vose et al. 2012). Increases in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide [CO2]) and temperature, as well as altered precipitation and disturbance regimes (e.g., fire, insects, pathogens, and...

Reilly, Matthew J.; Spies, Thomas A.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Butz, Ramona J.; Kim, John B.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate Change in Port Heiden, Alaska - Strategies for Community Health

There are two components to this document. The first component is the scope of described environmental change and its impacts in Port Heiden Alaska. The second component is a list of priorities to be addressed that will help Port Heiden achieve its vision for the future. Each priority area incorporates local knowledge with available climate...

Lujan, Erica; Brubaker, Mike; Warren, John; Christensen, Jaclyn; Anderson, Scott; O'Domin, Melissa; Littell, Jeremy S.; Buzard, Richard M.; Overbeck, Jacquelyn R.; Holen, Davin; Flensburg, Sue; Powers, Elizabeth

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Year Published: 2018

Interisland genetic structure of two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: The Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Gallinule

Most of Hawaii's endemic avifauna are species of conservation concern. Some of Hawaii's endangered waterbirds, however, have increased in number as a result of intensive management of wetlands. To inform these conservation efforts, we examined interisland genetic structure and gene flow within 2 Hawaiian endemic waterbirds, the Hawaiian Coot (...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.
Sonsthagen, S.A., Wilson, R.E., and Underwood, J.G., 2018, Interisland genetic structure of two endangered Hawaiian waterbirds: The Hawaiian Coot and Hawaiian Gallinule, The Condor, 120:863-873, https://doi.org/10.1650/CONDOR-18-98.1

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Year Published: 2018

Ice wedge degradation and stabilization impacts water budgets and nutrient cycling in Arctic trough ponds

Trough ponds are ubiquitous features of Arctic landscapes and an important component of freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Permafrost thaw causes ground subsidence, creating depressions that gather water, creating ponds. Permafrost thaw also releases solutes and nutrients, which may fertilize these newly formed ponds. We measured water budget elements...

Koch, Joshua C.; Jorgenson, M. Torre; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Striegl, Robert G.
Koch, J.C., Jorgenson, M.T., Wickland, K.P., Kanevskiy, M., and Striegl, R.G., 2018, Ice wedge degradation and stabilization impacts water budgets and nutrient cycling in Arctic trough ponds, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 123(8), 2604-2616.

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Year Published: 2018

Drought and fire in the western USA: Is climate attribution enough?

Purpose of ReviewI sought to review the contributions of recent literature and prior foundational papers to our understanding of drought and fire. In this review, I summarize recent literature on drought and fire in the western USA and discuss research directions that may increase the utility of that body of work for twenty-first century...

Littell, Jeremy S.

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Year Published: 2018

Downscaling of climate model output for Alaskan stakeholders

The paper summarizes an end-to-end activity connecting the global climate modeling enterprise with users of climate information in Alaska. The effort included retrieval of the requisite observational datasets and model output, a model evaluation and selection procedure, the actual downscaling by the delta method with its...

Walsh, John E.; Bhatt, Uma S.; Littell, Jeremy S.; Leonawicz, Matthew; Lindgren, Michael; Kurkowski, Thomas A.; Bieniek, Peter A.; Thoman, Richard; Gray, Stephen; Rupp, T. Scott

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Year Published: 2018

NDVI exhibits mixed success in predicting spatiotemporal variation in caribou summer forage quality and quantity

The satellite‐derived Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) is commonly used by researchers and managers to represent ungulate forage conditions in landscapes across the globe, despite limited information about how it compares to empirical measurements of forage quality and quantity. The application of NDVI as a forage metric is...

Johnson, Heather E.; Gustine, David D.; Golden, Trevor S.; Adams, Layne G.; Parrett, Lincoln S.; Lenart, Elizabeth A.; Barboza, Perry S.
Johnson, H.E., Gustine, D.D., Golden, T.S., Adams, L.G., Parrett, L.S., Lenart, E.A., and Barboza, P.S., 2018, NDVI exhibits mixed success in predicting spatiotemporal variation in caribou summer forage quality and quantity: Ecosphere, vol. 9, no. 10, p. e02461. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2461

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Year Published: 2018

Inventory of lowland-breeding birds on the Alaska Peninsula

We conducted the first systematic inventory of birds in the lowlands (areas ≤100 m above sea level) of the Alaska Peninsula during summers of 2004–2007 to determine their breeding distributions and habitat associations in this remote region. Using a stratified random survey design, we allocated sample plots by elevation and land cover with a...

Savage, Susan E.; Tibbitts, Lee; Sesser, Kristin; Kaler, Robb S.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: 974
Tony Fischbach's staff photo
June 17, 2017

Tony Fischbach's staff photo

Tony Fischbach's staff photo

Children from the village of Elim, Alaska explore the beach outcrops with USGS geologists
June 13, 2017

Elim village children explore beach outcrops with USGS geologists

USGS geologists (Andy Allard, Beth Drewes-Todd and Alan Pongratz) investigating the rocks exposed on the beaches near the village of Elim with the trusty local guides and eager budding geologists. 

Small yellow bird on a bush
June 13, 2017

Lone male Yellow Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Lone male Yellow Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

man holding bird in a field
June 9, 2017

Joel Schmutz with an Emperor Goose

Joel Schmutz holding an Emperor Goose

Three people looking in a hole they dug
June 5, 2017

Investigating a marine terrace along the Fairweather Fault

USGS scientists Kate Scharer, Richard Lease, and Adrian Bender excavate a marine terrace elevated tens of meters above sea level on the west side of the Fairweather Fault. Location: Icy Point, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Two people on a gravel surface next to a cliff
June 1, 2017

River terraces elevated along the Fairweather Fault

USGS scientists Richard Lease and Adrian Bender examine river terraces elevated tens of meters above the modern channel level on the west side of the Fairweather Fault. Location: Kaknau Creek, Icy Point, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Kasilof River bridge
May 5, 2017

Kasilof River bridge

Kasilof River bridge

Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
May 4, 2017

Pulling GPR

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. Using hydrogeophysical tools such as GPR enables scientists to collect images of the structure and conditions of the ice below them. (April 2017)

A Black-capped Chickadee with a beak that has grown long and crossed
May 4, 2017

Black-capped Chickadee with a deformed crossed beak

A Black-capped Chickadee with a beak that has grown long and crossed

 Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 26, 2017

Collecting GPR Data in Alaska

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data along an oil pipeline in Alaska. (April 2017)

Helicopter with equipment strapped to side
April 24, 2017

GPR and Helicopter

Helicopters are often used to carry scientists and equipment to remote study areas in Alaska. In this photo, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) unit is securely strapped to the side of the helicopter. (April 2017)

Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
April 24, 2017

Hydrologist and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. He is wearing special ice cleats on his shoes to have better traction walking on the ice. (April 2017)

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 250
USGS
March 19, 2008

Alaska has dozens of active volcanoes, some which erupt explosively multiple times a year. Learn how the scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), which turns 20 in April, help prevent these hazards from becoming disasters.

USGS
July 12, 2007

A 20-year U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study documents that recent changes in the quality and availability of sea ice in northern Alaska are the most likely explanation for a decrease in maternal polar bear denning on sea ice and an increase of denning on land. The results of the peer-reviewed study by the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage were just published online in the journal

USGS
July 2, 2007

An article by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists on documentation of coastal land loss, lake expansion and drainage in Alaska from 1955 - 2005 was recently published in the July issue of Geology, a Geological Society of America publication.

USGS
February 6, 2007

The U. S Geological Survey (USGS) was recently asked by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to evaluate the status of Marbled Murrelets in Alaska and British Columbia.

USGS
September 25, 2006

The Wildlife Society´s 13th Annual Conference & Trade Show is being held September 23–27, 2006 in downtown Anchorage, Alaska at the William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center. 

USGS
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere. 

USGS
June 5, 2006

Today, June 5, 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the third year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. 

USGS
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 25, 2005

 

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found.

USGS
October 25, 2005

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found, developed...

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.