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

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 2,418
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Year Published: 2018

Patterns and controls of mercury accumulation in sediments from three thermokarst lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

The biogeochemical cycle of mercury will be influenced by climate change, particularly at higher latitudes. Investigations of historical mercury accumulation in lake sediments inform future predictions as to how climate change might affect mercury biogeochemistry; however, in regions with a paucity of data, such as the thermokarst-rich Arctic...

Burke, Samantha M.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Branfireun, Brian A.; Koch, Joshua C.; Swanson, Heidi K.

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Year Published: 2018

The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

Terrestrial plants are often limited by nitrogen (N) in arctic systems, but constraints of N supply on herbivores are typically considered secondary to those of energy. We tested the hypothesis that forage N is more limiting than energy for arctic caribou by collecting key forages (three species of graminoids, three species of woody browse, and...

Barboza, Perry S.; Van Someren, Lindsay L.; Gustine, David D.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia
Barboza, P. S., L. L. Van Someren, D. D. Gustine, and M. S. Bret‐Harte. 2018. The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Ecosphere 9(1):e02073. 10.1002/ecs2.2073

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on ecological disturbance in the northern Rockies

Disturbances alter ecosystem, community, or population structure and change elements of the biological and/or physical environment. Climate changes can alter the timing, magnitude, frequency, and duration of disturbance events, as well as the interactions of disturbances on a landscape, and climate change may already be affecting disturbance...

Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Bentz, Barbara J.; DeNitto, Gregg A.; Keane, Robert E.; Manning, Mary E.; Duncan, Jacob P.; Egan, Joel M.; Jackson, Marcus B.; Kegley, Sandra; Lockman, I. Blakey; Pearson, Dean E.; Powell, James A.; Shelly, Steve; Steed, Brytten E.; Zambino, Paul J.
Loehman, R.A., Bentz, B.J., DeNitto, G.A., Keane, R.E., Manning, M.E., Duncan, J.P., Egan, J.M., Jackson, M.B., Kegley, S., Lockman, I.B., Pearson, D.E., Powell, J.A., Shelly, S., Steed, B.E., and Zambino, P.J., 2017, Effects of climate change on ecological disturbance in the Northern Rockies, pages 115-141 in Halofsky, J.E. and Peterson, D.L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems; A Regional Assessment: Springer, Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 63. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56928-4_7

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the northern Rockies

Increasing air temperature, through its influence on soil moisture, is expected to cause gradual changes in the abundance and distribution of tree, shrub, and grass species throughout the Northern Rockies, with drought tolerant species becoming more competitive. The earliest changes will be at ecotones between lifeforms (e.g., upper and lower...

Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L.; Keane, Robert E.; Mahalovich, Mary Frances; Bollenbacher, Barry L.; Manning, Mary E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Larson, Andrew J.
Keane, R.E., Mahalovich, M.F., Bollenbacher, B.L., Manning, M.E., Loehman, R.A., Jain, T.B., Holsinger, L.M., and Larson, A.J., 2017, Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies, pages 115-141 in Halofsky, J.E. and Peterson, D.L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems; A Regional Assessment: Springer, Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 63. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56928-4_7

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Year Published: 2018

Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity

The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus...

Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Douglas, David C.; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa L; Atwood, Todd C.; Regehr, Eric V.; Richardson, Evan; Pilfold, Nicholas; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C.; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M.; Simac, Kristin S.
Rode KD, Wilson RR, Douglas DC, et al. Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity. Glob Change Biol. 2017;00:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13933

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Year Published: 2018

Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears

Animal space use is influenced by many factors and can affect individual survival and fitness. Under optimal foraging theory, individuals use landscapes to optimize high-quality resources while minimizing the amount of energy used to acquire them. The spatial resource variability hypothesis states that as patchiness of resources increases,...

Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.
Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears: Mammalian Biology, In Press,. doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2017.09.002

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Year Published: 2018

Small-scale genetic structure in an endangered wetland specialist: possible effects of landscape change and population recovery

The effects of anthropogenic landscape change on genetic population structure are well studied, but the temporal and spatial scales at which genetic structure can develop, especially in taxa with high dispersal capabilities like birds, are less well understood. We investigated population structure in the Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.
van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J.G., and Sonsthagen, S.A., 2017, Small-scale genetic structure in an endangered wetland specialist: possible effects of landscape change and population recovery: Conservation Genetics, doi: 10.1007/s10592-017-1020-0

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Year Published: 2018

Timelines and mechanisms of wildlife population recovery following the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Research and monitoring activities over the 28 years since the T/V Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska have led to an improved understanding of how wildlife populations were damaged, as well as the mechanisms and timelines of recovery. A key finding was that for some species, such as harlequin ducks...

Esler, Daniel N.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Matkin, Craig O.; Cushing, Daniel; Kaler, Robert; Bodkin, James L.; Monson, Daniel; Esslinger, George G.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.
Esler, D., Ballachey, B.E., Matkin, C., Cushing, D., Kaler, R., Bodkin, J., Monson, D., Esslinger, G., and Kloecker, K. 2017 .Timelines and mechanisms of wildlife population recovery following the Exxon Valdez oil spill: Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. vol. , no. , p. . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.007

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Year Published: 2018

Tracing biogeochemical subsidies from glacier runoff into Alaska's coastal marine food webs

Nearly half of the freshwater discharge into the Gulf of Alaska originates from landscapes draining glacier runoff, but the influence of the influx of riverine organic matter on the trophodynamics of coastal marine food webs is not well understood. We quantified the ecological impact of riverine organic matter subsidies to glacier-marine habitats...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Hobson, Keith A.; Webber, D'Arcy N.; Piatt, John F.; Hood, Eran W.; Fellman, Jason B.
Arimitsu, M.L., Hobson, K.A., Webber, D.N., Piatt, J.F., Hood, E.W. and Fellman, J.B., 2017. Tracing biogeochemical subsidies from glacier runoff into Alaska's coastal marine food webs: Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13875

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Year Published: 2017

The Peters Hills basin, a Neogene wedge-top basin on the Broad Pass thrust fault, south-central Alaska

The Neogene Peters Hills basin is a small terrestrial basin that formed along the south flank of the Alaska Range during a time in which there was regional shortening. The formation of the Peters Hills basin is consistent with it being a wedge-top basin that formed on top of the active southeast-vergent Broad Pass thrust fault. Movement along this...

Haeussler, Peter J.; Saltus, Richard W.; Stanley, Richard G.; Ruppert, Natalia; Lewis, Kristen; Karl, Susan M.; Bender, Adrian M.
Haeussler, P.J., Saltus, R.W., Stanley, R.G., Ruppert, N., Lewis, K., Karl, S.M. and Bender, A., 2017, The Peters Hills basin, a Neogene wedge-top basin on the Broad Pass thrust fault, south-central Alaska: Geosphere, vol. 13, no. 5, p. 1-25. https://doi.org/10.1130/GES01487.1

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Year Published: 2017

Atmospheric deposition of glacial iron in the Gulf of Alaska impacted by the position of the Aleutian Low

Our understanding of glacial flour dust storm delivery of iron to the Gulf of Alaska (GoA) is limited. Here we interpret concurrent time series satellite, meteorological, and aerosol geochemical data from the GoA to examine how interannual variability in regional weather patterns impacts offshore aerosol glacial Fe deposition. In 2011, when a...

Schroth, Andrew W.; Crusius, John; Gasso, Santiago; Moy, Christopher M.; Buck, Nathan J.; Resing, Joseph A.; Campbell, Robert W.
Schroth, A. W., J. Crusius, S. Gassó, C. M. Moy, N. J. Buck, J. A. Resing, and R. W. Campbell (2017), Atmospheric deposition of glacial iron in the Gulf of Alaska impacted by the position of the Aleutian Low, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, doi:10.1002/2017GL073565.

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Year Published: 2017

Declining survival of black brant from subarctic and arctic breeding areas

Since the mid 1990s, the number of black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans; brant) nests on the Yukon‐Kuskokwim Delta (YKD), Alaska, USA, the historically predominant breeding area of brant, has declined steadily. This has caused researchers and managers to question if arctic breeding populations can compensate for the reduction in brant nests on...

Leach, Alan G.; Ward, David H.; Sedinger, James S.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Boyd, W. Sean; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ritchie, Robert J.
Leach, A. G., D. H. Ward, J. G. Sedinger, M. S. Lindberg, W. S. Boyd, J. W. Hupp, and R. J. Ritchie. 2017. Declining survival of black brant from subarctic and arctic breeding areas. Journal of Wildlife Management 81(7):1210-1218. doi:10.1002/jwmg.21284

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: 972
Copper River bridge
July 14, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying

A Horned Puffin flying

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark
July 14, 2016

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
July 14, 2016

Horned Puffin, near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park
July 9, 2016

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Erin Todd (right) discuss the "big picture" geology in their project area in and around Lake Clark National Park. Redoubt volcano in background left; baseball-sized cobbles on ground at researchers feet are pumice cobbles from the 2009(?) eruption of Redoubt volcano. 

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark
July 9, 2016

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark

Jamey Jones collects a sample of Talkeenta Formation volcaniclastic sandstone for detrital zircon geochronology. 

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound
July 7, 2016

Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in the water in Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log floating in the water in Prince William Sound.

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Schools of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

Kittlittz's Murrelet flying above the water in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 4, 2016

Kittlittz's Murrelet flying above the water in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Kittlittz's Murrelet flying above the water in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Biologists catching forage fish with a cast net in Prince William Sound
July 2, 2016

Biologists with cast net caught forage fish in Prince William Sound

Brielle Heflin and Sarah Schoen catching forage fish with a cast net in Prince William Sound.

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.