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

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: 2,528
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Year Published: 2018

Sex-specific variation in denning by brown bears

Denning characteristics of brown bears (Ursus arctos) have been described in numerous studies; however, population specific factors (i.e., landscape characteristics and climate) can greatly influence the location and timing of denning. Our objective was to evaluate den-site characteristics and denning chronology for male and female brown...

Mangipane, Lindsey; Belant, Jerrold L.; Mangipane, Buck; Gustine, David; Hilderbrand, Grant V.

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Year Published: 2018

Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range

Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciation modified the topography and erosion of most middle- and high-latitude mountain belts, because the evolution of catchment topography controls long-term glacier mass balance and erosion. Hence, characterizing how erosion rates change during repeated glaciations can help test hypothesized glacier erosion-landscape...

Lease, Richard O.
Lease, Richard O., 2018, Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range: Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Year Published: 2018

Landscape genetics identifies streams and drainage infrastructure as dispersal corridors for an endangered wetland bird

Anthropogenic alterations to landscape structure and composition can have significant impacts on biodiversity, potentially leading to species extinctions. Population‐level impacts of landscape change are mediated by animal behaviors, in particular dispersal behavior. Little is known about the dispersal habits of rails (Rallidae) due to their...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate change and future wildfire in the western USA: An ecological approach to nonstationarity

We developed ecologically based climate‐fire projections for the western United States. Using a finer ecological classification and fire‐relevant climate predictors, we created statistical models linking climate and wildfire area burned for ecosections, which are geographic delineations based on biophysical variables. The results indicate a...

Littell, Jeremy S.; McKenzie, Donald; Wan, Ho Yi; Cushman, Samuel A.
Littell, J. S., McKenzie, D., Wan, H. Y., & Cushman, S. A. (2018). Climate change and future wildfire in the western United States: An ecological approach to nonstationarity. Earth's Future, 6, 1097–1111. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000878

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Year Published: 2018

Lactation and resource limitation affect stress responses, thyroid hormones, immune function, and antioxidant capacity of sea otters (Enhydra lutris)

Lactation is the most energetically demanding stage of reproduction in female mammals. Increased energetic allocation toward current reproduction may result in fitness costs, although the mechanisms underlying these trade‐offs are not well understood. Trade‐offs during lactation may include reduced energetic allocation to cellular maintenance,...

Chinn, Sarah M.; Monson, Daniel; Tinker, M. Tim; Staedler, Michelle M.; Crocker, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 2018

Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific

The tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is a generalist seabird that breeds throughout the North Pacific and eats more than 75 different prey species. Using puffins as samplers, we characterized the geographic variability in pelagic food webs across the subarctic North Pacific from the composition of ~10,000 tufted puffin meals (~56,000 prey items...

Piatt, John F.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Renner, Heather; Zador, Stephani; Douglas, David C.; Hatch, Scott A.; Kettle, Arthur B.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Piatt, J.F., Arimitsu, M.L., Sydeman, W.J., Thompson, S.A., Renner, H., Zador, S., Douglas, D., Hatch, S., Kettle, A., and Williams, J., 2018. Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific: Fisheries Oceanography, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 366-380. doi: 10.1111/fog.12258

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Year Published: 2018

Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic

Identifying factors influencing nest survival among sympatric species is important for understanding and managing sources of variation in population dynamics of individual species. Three species of loons nest sympatrically in northern Alaska and differ in body size, life history characteristics, and population trends. We tested the effects of...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Koch, Joshua C.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, BD, JC Koch, KW Wright, and JA Schmutz. 2018. Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic. Journal of Avian Biology doi: 10.1111/jav.01671.

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Year Published: 2018

Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA

Context In the interior Northwest, debate over restoring mixed-conifer forests after a century of fire exclusion is hampered by poor understanding of the pattern and causes of spatial variation in historical fire regimes. Objectives To identify the roles of topography, landscape structure, and forest type in driving spatial variation in...

Merschel, Andrew; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Spies, Thomas A.; Loehman, Rachel A.
Merschel, A.G., Heyerdahl, E.K., Spies, T.A. et al. Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA. Landscape Ecol (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0656-6

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Year Published: 2018

Effect of climate change on disease spread in wildlife

A growing body of evidence indicates that climate change alone, or acting synergistically with current anthropogenic threats, is affecting the health of wild populations of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. Measurable by-products of climate change include elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, higher average global temperatures;...

Hofmeister, Erik K.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.
Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine Current Therapy, Volume 9, Edited by R. Eric Miller,, Nadine Lamberski, and Paul Calle. 2018

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Year Published: 2018

Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon–Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation

A new sulfur isotope stratigraphic profile has been developed for Ordovician-Silurian mudstones that host the Howards Pass Zn-Pb deposits (Canada) in an attempt to reconcile the traditional model of a stagnant euxinic basin setting with new contradictory findings. Our analyses of pyrite confirm the up-section 34S enrichment reported...

Johnson, Craig A.; Slack, John F.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Kelley, Karen Duttweiler; Falck, Hendrik
Johnson, C.A., Slack, J.F., Dumoulin, J.A., Kelley, K.D., and Falck, H., 2018, Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon-Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation: Geology, v. 46, p. 619-622.

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Year Published: 2018

Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

The use of preevent and postevent digital elevation models (DEMs) to estimate the volume of rock avalanches on glaciers is complicated by ablation of ice before and after the rock avalanche, scour of material during rock avalanche emplacement, and postevent ablation and compaction of the rock avalanche deposit. We present a model to account for...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Zhou, Wendy
Bessette-Kirton, E. K., Coe, J. A., & Zhou, W. (2018). Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface,123, 622–641.

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Year Published: 2018

Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season

We assessed hematozoa infection in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) at two areas in Alaska. No Haemoproteus or Plasmodium species were detected. Leucocytozoon prevalence was 6.5% for adults across sites and 41.9% for juveniles sampled in the Arctic, providing evidence for local transmission. All ...

Reed, John A.; Sexson, Matthew G.; Smith, Matthew M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Reed, J.A., M.G. Sexson, M.M. Smith, J.A. Schmutz, Ramey, A.M. 2018. Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 54(4): https://doi.org/10.7589/2018-01-012

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
Putting together a yellow polygonal floating structure with netting that will hang from the sides to do limnological studies
July 31, 2016

Constructing a limnocorral at McKinley Lake

Constructing a limnocorral at McKinley Lake for Elodea spp. experiment. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

Scientists moving a complete limnocorral to McKinley Lake
July 31, 2016

Deploying of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake

Deployment of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake, near Cordova, Alaska for Elodea spp. experiment. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.
July 31, 2016

Deployment of a limnocorral in McKinley Lake

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska
July 31, 2016

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Three scientists sorting through samples for invertebrates
July 29, 2016

Sorting aquatic macroinvertebrates in the field

Three researchers from the University of Waterloo hunt for aquatic insects among the detritus scooped from the lake’s nearshore zone.

Fyke net contents from a lake near Atqasuk, Alaska mainly sticklebacks
July 26, 2016

Fyke net contents from a lake near Atqasuk, Alaska

Contents of the fyke net that was set in the lake near Atqasuk in 2016.  All sticklebacks.

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on small fish in the water
July 23, 2016

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on small fish in the water

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging.

Common Murres in the water
July 23, 2016

Common Murres in the water

Large amount of Common Murres in the water 

Four birds standing on a ledge of rock
July 23, 2016

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 23, 2016.

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges
July 20, 2016

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

A male longspur songbird in short grass
July 18, 2016

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

A bucket of the trawl catch of forage fish
July 17, 2016

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Trawling was part of an assessment of abundance, distribution and species composition of forage fish in marine waters in lower Cook Inlet.

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.