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: 2,575
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Year Published: 2018

Evolving environmental and geometric controls on Columbia Glacier’s continued retreat

Geometry strongly controls the dynamic behavior of marine‐terminating (tidewater) glaciers, significantly influencing advance and retreat cycles independent of climate. Yet the recent, nearly ubiquitous retreat of tidewater glaciers suggests that changes in atmospheric and oceanic forcing may also drive dynamic change. To isolate the influence of...

Enderlin, Ellyn; O'Neel, Shad; Bartholomaus, Timothy C.; Joughin, Ian

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Year Published: 2018

Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential

Landsat-based fire severity datasets are an invaluable resource for monitoring and research purposes. These gridded fire severity datasets are generally produced with pre-and post-fire imagery to estimate the degree of fire-induced ecological change. Here, we introduce methods to produce three Landsat-based fire severity metrics using the Google...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Voss, Morgan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Robinson, Nathaniel P.
Parks, S.A., Holsinger, L.M., Voss, M.A., Loehman, R.A., and Robinson, N.P. 2018. Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential. Remote Sensing 10(6),879, doi:10.3390/rs10060879.

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Year Published: 2018

Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration

Annual productivity is an important parameter for the management of waterfowl populations. Fall age ratio (juveniles:total birds) is an index of productivity of the preceding breeding season. However, differences in the timing of migration between family groups and nonbreeding birds may bias age-ratio estimates. We examined temporal variation in...

Schock, Wade G.; Fischer, Julian B.; Ely, Craig R.; Stehn, Robert A.; Welker, Jeffery M.; Causey, Douglas
Schock WG, Fischer JB, Ely CR, Stehn RA, Welker JM, Causey D. 2018. Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration at a northern staging area. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9(1):xxxx; e1944-687X. https://doi.org/10.3996/112015-JFWM-117

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Year Published: 2018

A multi-species synthesis of satellite telemetry data in the Pacific Arctic (1987–2015): Overlap of marine mammal distributions and core use areas

We collated available satellite telemetry data for six species of ice-associated marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic: ringed seals (Pusa hispida; n = 118), bearded seals(Erignathus barbatus, n = 51), spotted seals (Phoca largha, n = 72), Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, n = 389); bowhead whales (...

Citta, John J.; Lowry, Lloyd F.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Kelly, Brendan P.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; London, Josh M.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Frost, Kathryn J.; Crowe, Gregory O'Corry; Crawford, Justin A.; Boveng, Peter L.; Cameron, Michael; Von Duyke, Andrew L.; Nelson, Mark; Harwood, Lois A.; Richard, Pierre; Suydam, Robert; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Hobbs, Roderick C.; Litovka, Dennis I.; Marcoux, Marianne; Whiting, Alex; Kennedy, Amy S.; George, John C.; Orr, Jack; Gray, Tom

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Year Published: 2018

Whole-genome analysis of Mustela erminea finds that pulsed hybridization impacts evolution at high latitudes

At high latitudes, climatic shifts hypothetically initiate recurrent episodes of divergence by isolating populations in glacial refugia—ice-free regions that enable terrestrial species persistence. Upon glacial recession, populations subsequently expand and often come into contact with other independently diverging populations, resulting in gene...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Lan, Tianying; Schuster, Stephen C.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

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Year Published: 2018

Remotely sensing the morphometrics and dynamics of a cold region dune field using historical aerial photography and airborne LiDAR data

This study uses an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey, historical aerial photography and historical climate data to describe the character and dynamics of the Nogahabara Sand Dunes, a sub-Arctic dune field in interior Alaska’s discontinuous permafrost zone. The Nogahabara Sand Dunes consist of a 43-km2 area of active...

Baughman, Carson; Jones, Benjamin M.; Bodony, Karin L.; Mann, Daniel H.; Larsen, Christopher F.; Himmelstoss, Emily A.; Smith, Jeremy

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Year Published: 2018

The Mystic subterrane (partly) demystified: New data from the Farewell terrane and adjacent rocks, interior Alaska

The youngest part of the Farewell terrane in interior Alaska (USA) is the enigmatic Devonian–Cretaceous Mystic subterrane. New U-Pb detrital zircon, fossil, geochemical, neodymium isotopic, and petrographic data illuminate the origin of the rocks of this subterrane. The Devonian–Permian Sheep Creek Formation yielded youngest detrital zircons of...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Jones, James V.; Box, Stephen E.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Ayuso, Robert A.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.

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Year Published: 2018

Alaska snowpack response to climate change: Statewide snowfall equivalent and snowpack water scenarios

Climatically driven changes in snow characteristics (snowfall, snowpack, and snowmelt) will affect hydrologic and ecological systems in Alaska over the coming century, yet there exist no projections of downscaled future snow pack metrics for the state of Alaska. We updated historical and projected snow day fraction (PSF, the fraction of days with...

Littell, Jeremy S.; McAfee, Stephanie A.; Hayward, Gregory D.
Littell, J.S.; McAfee, S.A.; Hayward, G.D. Alaska Snowpack Response to Climate Change: Statewide Snowfall Equivalent and Snowpack Water Scenarios. Water 2018, 10, 668.

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Year Published: 2018

Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems

Variation in body size across populations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) is largely a function of the availability and quality of nutritional resources while plasticity within populations reflects utilized niche width with implications for population resiliency. We assessed skull size, body length, and lean mass of adult female and male brown...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Joly, Kyle; Leacock, William; Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Erlenbach, Joy; Sorum, Mathew; Cameron, Matthew; Belant, Jerrold L.; Cambier, Troy
Hilderbrand, G. V., D. D. Gustine, B. Mangipane, K. Joly, W. Leacock, L. Mangipane, J. Erlenbach, M. S. Sorum, M. D. Cameron, J. L. Belant, and T. Cambier. 2018. Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems. Journal of Zoology 305:53-62. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12536.

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Year Published: 2018

Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures

Survival rate estimates are critical to understanding the dynamics and status of a population, and they are often inferred from samples of the population’s age structure. A recently developed method uses time series of standing age-structure data with information about population growth rate or fecundity to provide explicit maximum likelihood...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.
Taylor, R.L., and M.S. Udevitz. 2018. Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures. Wildlife Society Bulletin 42(1):32–39; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.858

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Year Published: 2018

Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments

Generalist feeding strategies are favoured in stressful or variable environments where flexibility in ecological traits is beneficial. Species that feed across multiple habitat types and trophic levels may impart stability on food webs through the use of readily available, alternative energy pools. In lakes, generalist fish species may take...

Laske, Sarah M.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Laske, S.M., Rosenberger, A.E., Wipfli, M.S. and Zimmerman, C.E., 2018, Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments: Ecology of Freshwater Fish, doi: 10.1111/eff.12391

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Year Published: 2018

Biological responses of Crested and Least auklets to volcanic destruction of nesting habitat in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Crested Auklets (Aethia cristatella) and Least Auklets (A. pusilla) are crevice-nesting birds that breed in large mixed colonies at relatively few sites in the Aleutian Island archipelago, Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Sea of Okhotsk. Many of these colonies are located on active volcanic islands. The eruption of Kasatochi volcano, in the central...

Drew, Gary S.; Piatt, John F.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Drew, G.S., Piatt, J.F., and Williams, J., 2018, Biological responses of Crested and Least auklets to volcanic destruction of nesting habitat in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska: The Auk, vol. 135, no. 3, p. 477-485. doi: 10.1642/AUK-17-180.1

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: 983
May 20, 2016

Shaking of Frontier Building — Anchorage, Alaska, During Mw7.1 Earthquake, January 24, 2016

This video presents a visualization of shaking that was recorded in the Frontier Building in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Mw7.1 earthquake, January 24, 2016, Iniskin, Alaska. It exhibits how a tall building behaves and performs during strong earthquake shaking. Note that relative to the height of the building, the motions are magnified by a factor of 300 to show

Scientist on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars
May 18, 2016

Scientist conducting marine bird and mammal survey

Scientists on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars

Salcha River debris near Salchaket
May 18, 2016

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch
May 18, 2016

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre
May 18, 2016

Erica Madison bringing in the mid-water trawl on the R/V Alaskan Gyre

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre

An ice worm on the tip of a finger
May 12, 2016

A True Ice Worm on La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park

A true ice worm (Mesenchytraeus solifugus) on the La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park. 

View of the deck from the mast of the boat
May 11, 2016

Coring earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake

USGS scientists work with academic collaborators from the University of Ghent (Belgium) to core earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake, Alaska.

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg
May 3, 2016

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg

A Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg following a die-off in 2015/2016.  West of Cape Grieg, Alaska Peninsula.

Scientist leaning over side of R/V Alaskan Gyre adjusting the multibeam arm
May 3, 2016

Tom Parsons preparing the multibeam arm on the R/V Alaskan Gyre

Scientist leaning over side of R/V Alaskan Gyre adjusting the multibeam arm

Scientists search for beachcast Common Murres
May 2, 2016

Scientists search for beachcast Common Murres

Sarah Schoen and pilot Chris Klosterman search for beachcast Common Murres along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses
May 2, 2016

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses

Retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Puale Bay, Alaska Peninsula

A Common Murre carcass decomposes
May 2, 2016

A Common Murre carcass decomposes

A Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Portage Bay, Alaska Peninsula.

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.