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: 174
Date published: September 28, 2010
Status: Completed

COOK NAWQA Data Clearinghouse

This page will serve as the repository for data collected by the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA team using NAWQA sampling protocols. Data sets collected using NAWQA protocols but not collected as part of the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA program are identified with an asterisk (*). A list of ...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 20, 2003
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Statewide Coverages

Legacy Data for AK Precipitation, Hydrologic Unit Map, and Streamflow analysis regions for AK and conterminous basins in Canada.

Contacts: Janet H Curran
Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Completed

Alaska Ecoregions Mapping

Legacy Data: Ecoregions of Alaska

Date published: November 20, 2000
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Legacy Data for Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 19, 1997
Status: Completed

High-Latitude Climate Transects

Legacy Data: High-Latitude Climate Transects

Date published: November 19, 1996
Status: Completed

Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Legacy Data: Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Filter Total Items: 2,412
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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.

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Year Published: 2018

Shorebirds adjust spring arrival schedules with variable environmental conditions: Four decades of assessment on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Arctic summers are brief, and there has been strong selection for migratory birds to arrive in Arctic nesting areas as early as possible to time breeding with peak food availability and complete reproduction. The timing of emergence of nesting habitat in spring is, however, extremely variable in the Arctic, and few long-term studies have examined...

Shuford, W. David; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.; Ely, Craig R.; McCaffery, Brian; Gill, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2018

Survey-based assessment of the frequency and potential impacts of recreation on polar bears

Conservation plans for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) typically cannot prescribe management actions to address their primary threat: sea ice loss associated with climate warming. However, there may be other stressors that compound the negative effects of sea ice loss which can be mitigated. For example, Arctic tourism has...

Rode, Karyn D.; Fortin, Jennifer K.; Garshelis, Dave; Dyck, Markus; Sahanatien, Vicki; Atwood, Todd C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Laidre, Kristin L.; Miller, Susanne; Obbard, Martyn E.; Vongraven, Dag; Ware, Jasmine V.; Wilder, James
Rode, K. D., J. K. Fortin-Noreus, D. L. Garshelis, M. Dyck, V. Sahanatien, T. C. Atwood, S. E. Belikov, K. L. Laidre, S. Miller, M. E. Obbard, D. Vongraven, J. V. Ware, and J. Wilder. 2018. Survey-based assessment of the frequency and potential impacts of recreation on polar bears. Biological Conservation 227:121-132. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.09.008

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Year Published: 2018

Movements and dive patterns of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) released in the Gulf of Mexico following rehabilitation

The habits and habitats of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are poorly known outside of strandings and line-transect surveys. Two adult male pygmy killer whales were found live-stranded in the state of Mississippi (USA) on 1 September 2015 and were subsequently rehabilitated and returned to the offshore waters of...

Pulis, Eric; Wells, Randall S.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Douglas, David C.; Samuelson, Mystera M.; Solangi, Moby
Pulis, E.E., Wells, R.S., Schorr, G.S., Douglas, D.C., Samuelson, M.M., and Solangi, M., 2018, Movements and dive patterns of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) released in the Gulf of Mexico following rehabilitation: Aquatic Mammals vol. 44, no. 5 p. 555-567. doi: 10.1578/AM.44.5.2018.555

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: 988
Geologist collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark
July 17, 2017

Geologist collecting rock samples exposed in a glacial stream valley

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark.

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite, with a helicopter in the background
July 15, 2017

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones stands on a dike of granite intruding darker granodiorite, with helicopter in background.

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark
July 14, 2017

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark

USGS research geologists Richard Lease (left) and Jamey Jones (right) take notes and collect samples of fine-grained metamorphic rock hosted as an inclusion in coarser-grained granodiorite. 

Geologists make observations above glacial valley
July 14, 2017

Geologists make observations above glacial valley

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Richard Lease (right) make observations of rock units revealed by the glacier below.

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK
July 12, 2017

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK

Small yellow bird with black on top of it's head at the end of branch
July 3, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's 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.

Two birds in the rocks, one with fish in it's mouth
July 3, 2017

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 3, 2017.

A male Wilson's Warbler songbird in a shrub
July 2, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler in a shrub on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Many people on a boat putting a cable in the water
July 1, 2017

Seismic survey of the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS scientists deploy a seismic streamer aboard the R/V David Starr offshore of southeast Alaska to study the Queen Charlotte Fault.

Satellite image showing a picture of northeastern Alaska.
June 27, 2017

7 Million Landsat Scenes and Counting!

The Landsat archive, the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based, moderate-resolution land remote sensing data, has now surpassed 7 million scenes since Landsat 1 first began collecting data in July 1972. This Landsat 8 image acquired on June 27, 2017, represents one of those millions of scenes

...
Scientist examining geologic outcrop
June 25, 2017

Geologist examines rocks at Darby Pluton, AK

USGS Geologist George Case examines granitic rocks in preparation for collecting samples for geochemistry and geochronology near the Boulder Creek prospect at the north end of the Darby pluton on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 248
USGS science for a changing world logo
January 30, 2009

As of Wednesday, February 4, 2009, the Alaska Volcano Observatory will discontinue holding daily briefings on the status of Redoubt Volcano until further notice. We will announce new briefings when significant information becomes available or the status of the volcano changes.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 29, 2009

Scientists Monitoring it 24/7-The level of seismic activity at Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, has increased and an eruption is possible within days to weeks.
Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) are monitoring events round-the-clock.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 18, 2008

Dr. Julio Betancourt, a U.S. Geological Survey senior scientist, was recently awarded a prestigious 2008 Presidential Rank Award. Betancourt, who has conducted groundbreaking research in how climate variability affects ecosystems, is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, where he received his graduate degrees.

 

USGS
October 23, 2008

Anchorage --  The brown bear killed by biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) in August is, by DNA analysis, the same bear that mauled an Anchorage woman earlier that month.

USGS
October 6, 2008

Most glaciers in every mountain range and island group in Alaska are experiencing significant retreat, thinning or stagnation, especially glaciers at lower elevations, according to a new book published by the U.S. Geological Survey. In places, these changes began as early as the middle of the 18th century.

USGS
August 8, 2008

Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted explosively Aug. 7, sending an ash plume more than 35,000 feet into the air and forcing two biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evacuate the island.

USGS
July 23, 2008

The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum.

USGS
July 18, 2008

Anchorage, AK - Okmok Volcano in Alaska continues to produce explosions and ash plumes through a newly created vent and poses hazards to air travel in the area.

USGS
May 8, 2008

After a long and distinguished career with the U. S. Geological Survey, George Gryc, 88, passed away on April 27 in Sunnyvale, California. Well known from the smallest bush settlement on the Yukon to Capital Hill in Washington, Gryc was the preeminent Alaskan geologist of his day. His work bore directly on the outcome of all the major issues of consequence to Alaska in the 20th century.

USGS
April 3, 2008

Alaska is one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth, located at the far northern border of the Pacific Ocean, a vast, rugged area of critical importance to global commerce and national security.

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

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.