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: April 17, 2018
Status: Active

Sockeye Salmon Migrating at the Northern Edge of Their Distribution

The physiological challenge for anadromous fish to migrate upriver to spawn and complete their life cycle is influenced by river temperature.

Contacts: Michael P Carey, Ph.D., Stephen D McCormick, Amy Regish, Christian E Zimmerman, Ph.D., Kevin D. Keith, Merlyn Schelske, Charlie Lean
Date published: April 16, 2018
Status: Active

Nearshore Fish Surveys in the Beaufort Sea

Nearshore systems provide habitat to a unique community of marine and diadromous (lives in both fresh and saltwater) fish and support high fish abundance.

Date published: April 11, 2018
Status: Active

Development and Validation of Hyperspectral Imager for Field and Lab Scanning

The Mineral Resources Program has advanced methods of imaging spectroscopy (hyperspectral remote sensing) that are now used routinely by the earth science and remote sensing communities for mineral mapping, soil quality mapping, hazard mitigation, and other terrestrial and planetary applications. The USGS is highly qualified to advance this technology based on its world class expertise in...

Contacts: Raymond Kokaly
Date published: April 3, 2018
Status: Active

Assessing heat stress in migrating Yukon River Chinook Salmon

We will examine evidence of heat stress in Yukon River Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) using heat shock proteins and gene expression.

Date published: March 13, 2018
Status: Active

Alaska Technical Data Unit - Field Records Archives

This project is designed to collect, inventory, preserve, and make available the records of USGS geologic and minerals work in Alaska. Materials are organized in two broad categories of records: (1) Project History files, which contain field notes, maps, and fossil reports; and (2) Geologic Subject files, containing unpublished materials, correspondence, and the Economic Minerals files. Access...

Date published: March 2, 2018
Status: Active

Media/Outreach at the Alaska Science Center

If you have questions about upcoming events, research, or media inquiries regarding the USGS Alaska Science Center please contact Yvette Gillies, Paul Laustsen or Steven Sobieszczyk.

Date published: March 2, 2018
Status: Active

Wind - Habitat Dynamics

Several species of shorebird that nest in the Arctic make remarkable non-stop trans-oceanic migrations to non-breeding areas in the southern hemisphere. Scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center have discovered many fascinating and previously unknown details about these long-distance migrations by instrumenting individual birds with Argos satellite transmitters (see...

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Vegetation Phenology - Habitat Dynamics

Vegetation Phenology

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: March 1, 2018
Status: Active

Sea Ice - Habitat Dynamics

Sea Ice Present, Future and Ice Loss and Wildlife

Contacts: David Douglas
Date published: February 27, 2018
Status: Active

Fish and Aquatic Ecology

Fish and aquatic habitats in Alaska support important commercial, sport, and subsistence fisheries and provide forage fish that support wildlife populations.  The USGS Alaska Science Center conducts interdisciplinary research to inform local, state, federal, and international policy makers regarding conservation of fish, aquatic species, and their habitats.  We work collaboratively with...

Date published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Research Conducted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain (1002 Area)

Selected Bibliography of Research Involving USGS and Conducted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) Coastal Plain (1002 Area)

Compiled as of 12/17/2018

Date published: January 19, 2018
Status: Active

Research Conducted in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPRA)

Selected Bibliography of Research Involving USGS and Conducted in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska (NPR-A)

Compiled as of 12/17/2018

Filter Total Items: 2,409
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Year Published: 2019

Trends and carrying capacity of sea otters in Southeast Alaska

Sea otter populations in Southeast Alaska (SEAK) have increased dramatically from fewer than 500 translocated animals in the late 1960s. The recovery of sea otters to ecosystems from which they had been absent has affected coastal food webs, including commercially important fisheries, and thus information on expected growth and equilibrium...

Tinker, M. Tim ; Gill, Verena A.; Esslinger, George G.; Bodkin, James L.; Monk, Melissa; Mangel, Marc; Monson, Daniel; Raymond, Wendel W.; Kissling, Michelle

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Year Published: 2019

Shorebird subsistence harvest and indigenous knowledge in Alaska: Informing harvest assessment and management, and engaging users in shorebird conservation

Limited data on harvest and population parameters are major impediments to assess shorebird harvest sustainability. Because of sharp declines in shorebird populations, timely conservation efforts require approaches that account for uncertainty in harvest sustainability. We combined harvest assessment and ethnographic research to better understand...

Naves. Liliana; Keating, Jacqueline; Tibbitts, Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Liliana C Naves, Jacqueline M Keating, T Lee Tibbitts, Daniel R Ruthrauff, Shorebird subsistence harvest and indigenous knowledge in Alaska: Informing harvest management and engaging users in shorebird conservation, The Condor: Ornithological Applications, Volume 121, Issue 2, 1 May 2019, duz023, https://doi.org/10.1093/condor/duz023

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Year Published: 2019

Early emergence of mcr-1-positive Enterobacteriaceae in gulls from Spain and Portugal

We tested extended‐spectrum β‐lactamase producing bacteria from wild gulls (Larusspp.) sampled in 2009 for the presence of mcr‐1. We report the detection of mcr‐1 and describe genome characteristics of four Escherichia coli and one Klebsiella pneumoniaeisolate from Spain and Portugal that also exhibited colistin resistance...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Ramey, Andrew M.; Woksepp, Hanna; Bonnedahl, Jonas

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Year Published: 2019

Repeated detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in gulls inhabiting Alaska, USA

We report the first detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in Alaska and in wildlife in the United States. Wild bird (gull) feces sampled at three locations in Southcentral Alaska yielded isolates that harbored plasmid-encoded blaKPC-2 or chromosomally-encoded blaOXA-48, and genes associated with...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Ramey, Andrew M.; Woksepp, Hanna; Bonnedahl, Jonas

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Year Published: 2019

Technical comment on “Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds”

Kubelka et al. (Report, 9 November 2018, p. 680-683) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their...

Bulla, Martin; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Weiser, Emily L.; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Taylor, Audrey R.; Sittler, Benoit; McCaffery, Brian J; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Payer, David C.; Ward, David H.; Solovyeva, Diana V; Santos, Eduardo SA; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Nol, Erica; Kwon, Eunbi; Brown, Glen S.; Hevia, Glenda D; Gates, H. River; Johnson, James A.; van Gils, Jan A.; Hansen, Jannik; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Rausch, Jennie; Conklin, Jesse R.; Liebezeit, Joe; Bety, Joel; Lang, Johannes; Alves, Jose A; Fernandez-Elipe, Juan; Exo, Klaus-Michael; Bollache, Loic; Bertellotti, Marcelo; Giroux, Marie-Andree; van de Pol, Martijn; Johnson, Matthew D.; Boldenow, Megan L.; Valcu, Mihai; Soloviev, Mikhail; Sokolova, Natalya; Senner, Nathan R.; Lecomte, Nicholas; Meyer, Nicolas; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Gilg, Olivier; Smith, Paul A; Machin, Paula; McGuire, Rebecca L; Cerboncini, Ricardo AS; Ottvall, Richard; van Bemmelen, Rob SA; Swift, Rose J; Saalfeld, Sara T; Jamieson, Sara E; Brown, Stephen C.; Piersma, Theunis; Albrecht, Tomas; D'Amico, Veronica L; Lanctot, Richard B.; Kempenaers, Bart

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Year Published: 2019

Ecosystem scale loss of grazing habitat impacted by abundance of dominant herbivores

Grazing lawns, patches of grazing tolerant plants with high nutrient value, provide important habitat for herbivores, and changes in abundance can impact herbivore populations. Grazing lawns are maintained in quality and quantity by repeated grazing and are a result of a positive feedback since the availability of grazing lawn can increase...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wilson, Heather M.; Anthony, R Michael; Day, Thomas L; Fondell, Thomas F; Person, Brian T.; Sedinger, James S.

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Year Published: 2019

Prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites in a resident northern passerine

Background: Climate-related changes are expected to influence the prevalence and distribution of vector-borne haemosporidian parasites at northern latitudes, although baseline information about resident birds is still lacking. In this study, we investigated prevalence and genetic diversity of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasites...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Smith, Matthew M.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2019

Geographic variation in the intensity of warming and phenological mismatch between Arctic shorebirds and invertebrates

Responses to climate change can vary across functional groups and trophic levels, leading to a temporal decoupling of trophic interactions or ‘phenological mismatches.’ Despite a growing number of single-species studies that identified phenological mismatches as a nearly universal consequence of climate change, we have a limited understanding of...

Kwon, Enubi; Weiser, Emily L.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Brown, Stephen C.; Gates, H. River; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Kendall, Steve J.; David B. Lank; Joseph R. Liebezeit; McKinnon, Laura; Erica Nol; Payer, David C.; Jennie Rausch; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Rinella, Daniel J.; Senner, Nathan R.; Ward, David; Smith, Paul A.; Wissman, Robert C.; Sandercock, Brett K.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy depletion and stress levels of Sockeye Salmon migrating at the northern edge of their distribution

The physiological challenge for anadromous fish to migrate upriver is influenced by river temperature, but the impacts of river temperature can be difficult to predict due to an incomplete understanding of how temperature influences migration costs, especially in high‐latitude (>60°N) ecosystems. To assess temperature influences on migrating...

Carey, Michael P.; Keith, Kevin D.; Schelske, Merlyn; Lean, Charlie; McCormick, Stephen D.; Regish, Amy M.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Coast to coast: High genomic connectivity in North American scoters

Dispersal shapes demographic processes and therefore is fundamental to understanding biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes acting within populations. However, assessing population connectivity in scoters (Melanitta sp.) is challenging as these species have large spatial distributions that span remote landscapes, have varying...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Lavretsky, Philip; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatio-temporal population change of Arctic-breeding waterbirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Rapid physical changes that are occurring in the Arctic are primary drivers of landscape change and thus may drive population dynamics of Arctic-breeding birds. Despite the importance of this region to breeding and molting waterbirds, lack of a comprehensive analysis of historic data has hindered quantifying avian population change. We estimated...

Amundson, Courtney L.; Flint, Paul L.; Stehn, Robert A; Platte, Robert; Wilson, Heather M.; Larned, William W.; Fischer, Julian B.

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Year Published: 2019

Handbook to the partners in flight population estimates database, version 3.0

This document describes the content of Version 3.0 of the Partners in Flight (PIF) Population Estimates Database, which provides population estimates for breeding USA/Canada landbirds at several geographic scales following the Partners in Flight approach described initially in Rich et al. (2004) and by Rosenberg and Blancher (2005) and most...

Will, Tom; Stanton, J.C.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Camfield, Alaine; Shaw, Allison; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Blancher, Peter J.

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: 987
View from the sky of a marsh with many sinuous channels near larger body of water, the spit of land on the right has buildings.
August 23, 2018

View of Unalakleet from the air

Unalakleet village on the low-lying barrier spit at the inlet of the Unalakleet River and Norton Sound, Alaska.

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge
August 21, 2018

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge

Twentymile River sonar on a bridge

drone crew
August 20, 2018

Scientific crew and drone operators

Scientific crew and drone operators. Left to right: Richard Kolyer (NASA), Jack McFarland (USGS), Kristen Manies (USGS), and Jonas Jonsson (NASA)

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Baby bird on the rocks of a volcano
August 15, 2018

Glaucous-winged Gull chick on Bogoslof Island in August 2018

A Glaucous-winged Gull on the rock floor of the Bogoslof Volcano a year after it explosively erupted.

Knik River sonar on a bridge
August 15, 2018

Knik River sonar on a bridge

Knik River sonar on a bridge

Baby bird walking on the rocks of a volcano
August 15, 2018

Glaucous-winged Gull chick walking on Bogoslof Island in August 2018

A Glaucous-winged Gull on the rock floor of the Bogoslof Volcano a year after it explosively erupted.

drone
August 10, 2018

Methane drone hovering above permafrost

Looking up at a drone hovering near an open-path methane analyzer mounted on a flux tower. Instruments mounted on both the towers and on the drones are measuring gases emitted from the soil.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
USGS on the Colville River Delta, Alaska
August 1, 2018

USGS on the Colville River Delta, Alaska

Alaska Native Science and Engineer Program (ANSEP) student and USGS intern Parker Pickett on the Colville River Delta, Alaska, helping to band molting snow geese and black brant.

Woman holding gull with satellite tag on it's back
July 31, 2018

Christina Ahlstrom and gull with satellite transmitter

Christina Ahlstrom holding a gull tagging with a satellite transmitter.

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008
July 30, 2018

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008

Before and after views of Kasatochi Volcano's eruption of 2008

A Northern Fulmar flying in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 19, 2018

A Northern Fulmar flying in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Northern Fulmars, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Common Murres have all been tested for and contained harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins. Since 2015, the USGS has worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop testing methods and research projects to better understand the geographic extent, timing and impacts of algal toxins in Alaska marine ecosystems.

A Northern Fulmar on the water in Lower Cook Inlet
July 18, 2018

A Northern Fulmar on the water in Lower Cook Inlet

Northern Fulmars, Black-legged Kittiwakes, and Common Murres have all been tested for and contained harmful algal bloom (HAB) toxins. Since 2015, the USGS has worked with a variety of stakeholders to develop testing methods and research projects to better understand the geographic extent, timing and impacts of algal toxins in Alaska marine ecosystems.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 248
collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
December 15, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A polar bear capture and release-based research program had no adverse long-term effects on feeding behavior, body condition, and reproduction, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
November 17, 2014

In a new polar bear study published today, scientists from the United States and Canada found that during the first decade of the 21st century, the number of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea experienced a sharp decline of approximately 40 percent. 

Location of study site in western Alaska and Radarsat-1 satellite images of the Hazen Bay coast during low water
September 23, 2014

Scientists examined storm flooding events in the Bering Sea region of western Alaska from 1913 to 2011 and found that the largest events occurred in autumn and were associated with high tides and strong southwest winds.

Landcover map (left) and pedestrian evacuation time estimate map (right) Ocean Shores, Washington.
September 16, 2014

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey have developed a new mapping tool, the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst, for use by researchers and emergency managers to estimate how long it would take for someone to travel on foot out of a tsunami-hazard zone.

collage of scientists conducting science related to each mission are
September 8, 2014

The Pacific walrus population roughly halved between 1981 and 1999, the last year for which demographic data are available. A recent study by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey quantifies this historic population decline.

USGS
August 19, 2014

As of Wednesday afternoon, August 13, all power issues were resolved and the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory resumed monitoring volcanoes and earthquakes.

USGS
July 24, 2014

Alaska — Due to climate change, some communities in rural Alaska and the Yukon Territory of Canada may face a future with fewer caribou according to new research published by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the recent issue of PLoS ONE.

USGS
July 9, 2014

Monitoring wildlife in the Arctic is difficult. Study areas are cold, barren and often inaccessible. For decades scientists have struggled to study animals, like polar bears, which live in these remote areas. Now researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey have begun testing a new, yet counterintuitive solution – rather then get close to the animals, monitor them from afar. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

As part of a continuing earthquake hazard study in the Seattle urban area, the U. S. Geological Survey will be conducting a series of seismic-reflection surveys starting July 10 on Mercer Island and the city of Seattle, Washington. The studies will conclude on or around July 19.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

Starting on July 5 (weather permitting), U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey over the next 30 days to study the distribution of minerals exposed at the surface in various parts of Alaska.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 3, 2014

Starting on July 5 (weather permitting), U.S. Geological Survey scientists will conduct a high-resolution airborne survey over the next 30 days to study the distribution of minerals exposed at the surface in various parts of Alaska.

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.