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: 2,440
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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.

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Year Published: 2018

Museum metabarcoding: a novel method revealing gut helminth communities of small mammals across space and time

Natural history collections spanning multiple decades provide fundamental historical baselines to measure and understand changing biodiversity. New technologies such as next generation DNA sequencing (NGS) have considerably increased the potential of museum specimens to address significant questions regarding the impact of environmental changes on...

Greiman, Stephen E.; Cook, Joseph A.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Menning, Damian M.; Hope, Andrew G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Greiman, S.E., Cook, J.A., Tkachc, V.V., Hobergb, E.P, Menning, D.M., Hope A.G., Sonsthagen, S.A., Talbot, S.L., 2018. Museum metabarcoding: a novel method revealing gut helminth communities of small mammals across space and time. International Journal for Parasitology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpara.2018.08.001

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Year Published: 2018

Fuelling conditions at staging sites can mitigate Arctic warming effects in a migratory bird

Under climate warming, migratory birds should align reproduction dates with advancing plant and arthropod phenology. To arrive on the breeding grounds earlier, migrants may speed up spring migration by curtailing the time spent en route, possibly at the cost of decreased survival rates. Based on a decades-long series of observations along an...

Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Duijns, Sjoerd; Karagicheva, Julia; Camphuysen, Cornelis J.; Dekinga, Anne; Dekker, Rob; Gavrilov, Anatoly; ten Horn, Job; Jukema, Joop; Saveliev, Anatoly; Soloviev, Mikhail; Tibbitts, Lee; van Gils, Jan A.; Piersma, Theunis; Castricum, VRS
Rakhimberdiev, Eldar, Duijns, S., Karagicheva, J., Camphuysen, C.J., Dekinga, A., Dekker, R., Gavrilov, A., ten Horn, J., Jukema, J., Saveliev, A., Soloviev, M., Tibbitts, T.L., van Gils, J.A., Piersma, T., van Loon, A., Wijker, A., Keijl, G., Levering, H., Jan V., Heemskerk, L., Knijnsberg, L., van Roomen, M., Ruiters, P., Admiraal, P., Veldt, P., Reijnders, R., Beentjes, W., VRS Castricum., 2018, Fuelling conditions at staging sites can mitigate Arctic warming effects in a migratory bird., Nature Communications, 9(1): 4263, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-06673-5

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Year Published: 2018

Trends and traditions: Overview and synthesis

This paper provides an overview by the editors of a collection of 25 papers for the Studies of Western Birds, to be published in a single volume by Western Field Ornithologists. The title of the volume is: "Trends and traditions: Avifaunal change in western North America."

Shuford, W David; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2018

A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic

Eroding permafrost coasts are indicators and integrators of changes in the Arctic System as they are susceptible to the combined effects of declining sea ice extent, increases in open water duration, more frequent and impactful storms, sea-level rise, and warming permafrost. However, few observation sites in the Arctic have yet to link decadal-...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Farquharson, Louise M.; Baughman, Carson; Buzard, Richard M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Grosse, Guido; Bull, Diana L.; Günther, Frank; Nitze, Ingmar; Urban, Frank; Kasper, Jeremy L.; Frederick, Jennifer M.; Thomas, Matthew A.; Jones, Craig; Mota, Alejandro; Dallimore, Scott; Tweedie, Craig E.; Maio, Christopher V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Xiao, Ming; Sachs, Torsten; Iwahana, Go; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.
Benjamin M. Jones et al 2018 Environ. Res. Lett. in press https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aae471

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Year Published: 2018

Unusual foraging observations associated with seabird die-offs in Alaska

We report the first documentation of off-water foraging by the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma furcata and Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris, a behavior not previously documented in any member of the families Hydrobatidae or Procellariidae. Over a two-week period in September 2016, we regularly observed individuals of these species...

Robinson, Bryce; DeCicco, Lucas H.; Johnson, James A.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.

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
Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 24, 2017

Ground-penetrating Radar

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) tows ground-penetrating radar (GPR) during field work in Alaska. (April 2017)

Scientists work on equipment in snow-covered area.
April 22, 2017

Surface nuclear magnetic resonance in Alaska

USGS Research Geophysicist Andy Kass (left, in orange) adjusts surface nuclear magnetic resonance equipment (NMR) with input from collaborators Eliot Grunewald (Vista Clara), Alex Huryn (University of Alabama), and Patrick Hendrickson (University of Colorado). NMR is being used to measure the distribution of liquid water in the subsurface. (April 2017)

Small bird with really long beak
April 14, 2017

Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated deformed beak

Female Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated beak. It was captured in Anchorage as part of the beak deformity research project.

March 30, 2017

2017 March Public Lecture—Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!

Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!
Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast
by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center

  • Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park
  • Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears
A stony islet in an Icy Point pond
February 28, 2017

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point.

February 28, 2017

Assessing Soil Moisture Availability Across the Gulf of Alaska Region

The distribution of water on the landscape influences many ecological functions such as the distribution of vegetation, soil development and the cycle of chemical nutrients. All of these functions are subject to change as a result of variations in the duration of soil water saturation and flow of water through the distributed channel networks of watersheds. The landscape

Aerial photo of snow-covered mountaIns with umbrella-shaped volcanic ash plume rising in the background
February 19, 2017

Bogoslof volcano eruption plume

February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.

Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith.  This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.

Satellite image of small crescent-shaped ocean island.
January 24, 2017

Shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano

Analysis of shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano due to eruptive activity between January 11 and 24, 2017. The base image is a Worldview-2 satellite image collected on January 24, 2017. The approximate location of the shoreline on January 11, 2017 is shown by the dashed orange line.

Annotated aerial photo of crescent shaped island surrounded by open ocean.
January 10, 2017

Annotated photo of Bogoslof Island showing effects of eruption

Annotated photograph of Bogoslof Island showing the cumulative effects of 2016-17 eruptive activity. A layer of fine muddy appearing ash drapes most of the landscape and covers pre-existing vegetation. The dashed line indicates the area excavated by explosive eruptive activity so far. A prominent zone of upwelling is probably the surface expression of a shallow submarine

...
A long-beaked brown bird standing in the grass
December 31, 2016

Bristle-thighed Curlew in Alaska

A Bristle-thighed Curlew on the tundra.  This photo was taken during the Changing Arctic Ecosystems Boreal-Arctic Transition program.

Image shows a sample of epidote and quartz against a black background
December 31, 2016

Epidote and Quartz

Epidote is a silicate mineral used mostly as a semiprecious gemstone.

Sample provided by Carlin Green, USGS. Sample originated from Prince of Wales Island, Alaska, and is 6.0cm in size.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
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...

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 30, 2005

In a pioneering study, a USGS-led team has tracked a surf scoter from its coastal wintering area in San Francisco Bay to pinpoint its nest, 2000 miles away in the vast northern boreal forest of interior Canada.

USGS
June 28, 2005

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the second year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. The grant award is split among six topics that support the goals of the Mineral Resources Program and deliver products within one year.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 2, 2005

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlights the breadth of scientific studies on Native lands. American Indian and Alaska Native governments will use information from these studies in their land and resource management decisions. 

USGS
May 2, 2005

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlights the breadth of scientific studies on Native lands. American Indian and Alaska Native governments will use information from these studies in their land and resource management decisions.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 29, 2005

Reston, VA – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) today released the first ever comprehensive and systematic review of the 169 U.S. volcanoes and established a framework for a National Volcano Early Warning System (NVEWS) which calls for a 24-hour seven-day-a-week Volcano Watch Office and enhanced instrumentation and monitoring at targeted volcanoes.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 14, 2004

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a new assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Yukon Flats region of east-central Alaska. 

USGS
December 14, 2004

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently completed a new assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Yukon Flats region of east-central Alaska.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2004

USGS Director Chip Groat is available for interviews on Dec. 6-7. Please call the contact, above. Groat will present Science for Ecosystem Restoration on Mon, Dec. 6 from 2:20-2:50pm.

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.