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: 2,487
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Year Published: 2012

Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for Scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats

Studies of declining populations of sea ducks have focused mainly on bottom-up processes with little emphasis on the role of predation. We identified 11 potential predators of White-winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca (L., 1758)) and Surf Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata (L., 1758)) in North American marine habitats. However, of 596 Scoters marked...

Anderson, Eric J.; Esler, Daniel N.; Sean, Boyd W.; Evenson, Joseph; Nysewander, David R.; Ward, David H.; Dickson, Rian D.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Vanstratt, C.S.; Hupp, Jerry W.
Anderson, E. M., D. Esler, W. S. Boyd, J. R. Evenson, D. R. Nysewander, D. H. Ward, R. D. Dickson, B. D. Uher-Koch, C. S. VanStratt, and J. W. Hupp. 2012. Predation rates, timing, and predator composition for scoters (Melanitta spp.) in marine habitats. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90(1):42-50. doi:10.1139/z11-110

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Year Published: 2012

Range overlap and individual movements during breeding season influence genetic relationships of caribou herds in south-central Alaska

North American caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herds commonly exhibit little nuclear genetic differentiation among adjacent herds, although available evidence supports strong demographic separation, even for herds with seasonal range overlap. During 1997–2003, we studied the Mentasta and Nelchina caribou herds in south-central Alaska using...

Roffler, Gretchen H.; Adams, Layne G.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Dale, Bruce W.
Range overlap and individual movements during breeding season influence genetic relationships of caribou herds in south-central Alaska; 2012; Article; Journal; Canadian Journal of Zoology; Roffler, Gretchen H.; Adams, Layne G.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Dale, Bruce W.

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Year Published: 2012

Diversity of nitrogen isotopes and protein status in caribou: implications for monitoring northern ungulates

Nutritional condition is an important determinant of productivity and survival in caribou (Rangifer tarandus). We used samples of excreta (n  =  1,150) to estimate diet composition from microhistology and 2 isotopic proxies of protein status for 2 ecotypes of caribou in 4 herds in late winter (2006–2008). Isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N in parts per...

Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Lawler, James P.; Adams, Layne G.; Parker, Kathy L.; Arthur, Steve M.; Shults, Brad S.
Diversity of nitrogen isotopes and protein status in caribou: implications for monitoring northern ungulates; 2012; Article; Journal; Journal of Mammalogy; Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Lawler, James P.; Adams, Layne G.; Parker, Kathy L.; Arthur, Steve M.; Shults, Brad S.

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Year Published: 2012

Small population size of Pribilof Rock Sandpipers confirmed through distance-sampling surveys in Alaska

The Rock Sandpiper (Calidris ptilocnemis) is endemic to the Bering Sea region and unique among shorebirds in the North Pacific for wintering at high latitudes. The nominate subspecies, the Pribilof Rock Sandpiper (C. p. ptilocnemis), breeds on four isolated islands in the Bering Sea and appears to spend the winter primarily in Cook Inlet, Alaska....

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Dementyev, Maksim N.; Handel, Colleen M.
Ruthrauff, D. R., T. L. Tibbitts, R. E. Gill, Jr., M. N. Dementyev, and C. M. Handel. 2012. Small population size of Pribilof Rock Sandpipers confirmed through distance-sampling surveys in Alaska. Condor 114(3):544-551. DOI: 10.1525/cond.2012.110109

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Year Published: 2012

Assessment of pingo distribution and morphometry using an IfSAR derived digital surface model, western Arctic Coastal Plain, Northern Alaska

Pingos are circular to elongate ice-cored mounds that form by injection and freezing of pressurized water in near-surface permafrost. Here we use a digital surface model (DSM) derived from an airborne Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) system to assess the distribution and morphometry of pingos within a 40,000 km2 area on...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Grosse, G.; Hinkel, Kenneth M.; Arp, C.D.; Walker, S.; Beck, R.A.; Galloway, J.P.
Assessment of pingo distribution and morphometry using an IfSAR derived digital surface model, western Arctic Coastal Plain, Northern Alaska; 2012; Article; Journal; Geomorphology; Jones, B. M.; Grosse, G.; Hinkel, K. M.; Arp, C. D.; Walker, S.; Beck, R. A.; Galloway, J. P.

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Year Published: 2012

Contrasting extreme long-distance migration patterns in bar-tailed godwits Limosa lapponica

Migrating birds make the longest non-stop endurance flights in the animal kingdom. Satellite technology is now providing direct evidence on the lengths and durations of these flights and associated staging episodes for individual birds. Using this technology, we compared the migration performance of two subspecies of bar-tailed godwit Limosa...

Battley, Phil F.; Warnock, Nils; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Gill, Robert E.; Piersma, Theunis; Hassell, Chris J.; Douglas, David C.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett D.; Schuckard, Rob; Melville, David S.; Riegen, Adrian C.
Battley, P. F., N. Warnock, T. L. Tibbitts, R. E. Gill, Jr., T. Piersma, C. J. Hassell, D. C. Douglas, D. M. Mulcahy, B. D. Gartrell, R. Schuckard, D. S. Melville, and A. C. Riegen. 2012. Contrasting extreme long-distance migration patterns in Bar-tailed Godwits Limosa lapponica. Journal of Avian Biology 43(1):21-32. doi:10.1111/j.1600-048X.2011.05473.x

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Year Published: 2012

Genetic and morphological divergence among Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) populations breeding in north-central and western North America

Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) populations breeding in the northern portion of the species' range exhibit variation in morphological traits that conforms to predictions based on differences in prey size, tree stand density, and migratory behavior. We examined genetic structure and gene flow and compared divergence at morphological traits (PST...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Rosenfield, Robert N.; Bielefeldt, John; Murphy, Robert K.; Stewart, Andrew C.; Stout, William C.; Driscoll, Timothy G.; Bozek, Michael A.; Sloss, Brian L.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Sonsthagen, S. A., R. N. Rosenfield, J. Bielefeldt, R. K. Murphy, A. C. Stewart, W. E. Stout, T. G. Driscoll, M. A. Bozek, B. L. Sloss, and S. L. Talbot. 2012. Genetic and morphological divergence among Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) populations breeding in north-central and western North America. The Auk 129(3):427-437. doi:10.1525/auk.2012.11166

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Year Published: 2012

Microanatomy of passerine hard-cornified tissues: Beak and claw structure of the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

The microanatomy of healthy beaks and claws in passerine birds has not been well described in the literature, despite the importance of these structures in avian life. Histological processing of hard‐cornified tissues is notoriously challenging and only a few reports on effective techniques have been published. An emerging epizootic of beak...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; Blake, J.E.; Swor, R.M.; O'Hara, T. M.

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Year Published: 2012

Microsatellite marker isolation and development for the giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini)

We isolated and developed 18 novel microsatellite markers for the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) and examined them for 31 individuals from Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska. These loci displayed moderate levels of allelic diversity (averaging 11 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 65%). Seven loci deviated from Hardy...

Toussaint, Rebecca K.; Sage, G. Kevin; Talbot, Sandra L.; Scheel, David
Toussaint, R. K., G. K. Sage, S. L. Talbot, and D. Scheel. 2011. Microsatellite marker isolation and development for the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini). Conservation Genetics 4:545-548. doi:10.1007/s12686-011-9588-z

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Year Published: 2012

Paired serologic and polymerase chain reaction analyses of avian influenza prevalence in Alaskan shorebirds

Surveillance has revealed low prevalence of avian influenza viruses (AIV) in shorebirds except Ruddy Turnstones (Arenaria interpres) on the North American Atlantic coast. Similarly, of five species of shorebirds surveyed in Alaska in 2010, Ruddy Turnstones had the highest AIV antibody prevalence; prevalence of AIV RNA was low or zero.

Pearce, John M.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.
Paired serologic and polymerase chain reaction analyses of avian influenza prevalence in Alaskan shorebirds; 2012; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Diseases; Pearce, John M.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.

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Year Published: 2012

Semiochemical compounds of preen secretion reflect genetic make-up in a seabird species

Several vertebrates choose their mate according to genetic heterozygosity and relatedness, and use odour cues to assess their conspecifics' genetic make-up. In birds, although several species (including the black-legged kittiwake) exhibit non-random mating according to genetic traits, the cues used to assess genetic characteristics remain unknown...

Leclaire, S.; Merkling, T.; Raynaud, C.; Mulard, Hervé; Bessiere, J.-M.; Lhuillier, E.M.; Hatch, Scott A.; Danchin, E.

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Year Published: 2012

The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing

Recent large and frequent fires above the Alaskan arctic circle have forced a reassessment of the ecological and climatological importance of fire in arctic tundra ecosystems. Here we provide a general overview of the occurrence, distribution, and ecological and climate implications of Alaskan tundra fires over the past half-century using...

Rocha, Adrian V.; Loranty, Michael M.; Higuera, Phil E.; Mack, Michelle C.; Hu, Feng Sheng; Jones, Benjamin M.; Breen, Amy L.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Goetz, Scott J.; Shaver, Gus R.
The footprint of Alaskan tundra fires during the past half-century: implications for surface properties and radiative forcing; 2012; Article; Journal; Environmental Research Letters; Rocha, Adrian V.; Loranty, Michael M.; Higuera, Phil E.; Mack, Michelle C.; Hu, Feng Sheng; Jones, Benjamin M.; Breen, Amy L.; Rastetter, Edward B.; Goetz, Scott J.; Shaver, Gus 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
Image: Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

Geologists extract a hand-driven core from 2-3 m depth on Sitkinak Island, Alaska. The cores contain peat with interbedded sand layers that record inundation of the coast by prehistoric tsunamis. (l-r: Peter Haeussler, USGS; Andrew Kemp, Tufts University; Alan Nelson, USGS)

Makushin volcano

Makushin Volcano

This camera is located at MREP, on the southeast flank of Makushin, and looks northwest towards Makushin's summit. Read more about Makushin volcano.

Image: Alaska Volcano Observatory Monitoring Station

Alaska Volcano Observatory Monitoring Station

An Alaska Volcano Observatory Monitoring station with Peulik Volcano behind. This is the main repeater for the Peulik monitoring network located on Whale Mountain, Beecharaof National Wildlife Refuge.

Image: Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

Geologists driving a core into marsh sediment to document interbedded peat and silt that records sudden vertical land movements associated with megathrust fault slip during large earthquakes.

Image: Alaska Pipeline

Alaska Pipeline

Northslope of Alaska in May

Image: Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

Geologic Studies on Sitkinak Island, Alaska

A tidal marsh bank exposed during low tide on Sitkinak Island, Alaska. The bank reveals ledges of alternating peat and silt. Abrupt uplift and subsidence during large megathrust earthquakes is interpreted to be the cause of the alternating layers.

Pavlof volcano

Pavlof - BLHA

There is a known issue with the timestamp on images from this camera: they are an hour ahead. AVO is working on a solution for this problem. This camera is co-located with seismic station BLHA, and looks southwest to Pavlof. Read more about Pavlof volcano.

Image: Alaska Coastal Marsh

Alaska Coastal Marsh

Coastal Marsh along Cook Inlet across from Anchorage Alaska.

Clear day view of Pavlof DOL

Pavlof - DOL

 

The Pavlof team (Ketner/Wech/Wellik) activated a new camera at station DOL on Tuesday (July 4). This camera looks north and provides good coverage of the volcanic complex in this region. Read more about Pavlof volcano.

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.