Unified Interior Regions

Region 11: Alaska

Alaska Science Center

Alaska Science Center

4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7000

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Volcano Science Center

Volcano Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7497

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Climate Adaptation Science Center

Climate Adaptation Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-301-7830

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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: 2011

Assessment of clinical pathology and pathogen exposure in sea otters (Enhydra lutris) bordering the threatened population in Alaska

Northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) abundance has decreased dramatically over portions of southwest Alaska, USA, since the mid-1980s, and this stock is currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. In contrast, adjacent populations in south central Alaska, USA, and Russia have been stable to increasing during the same...

Goldstein, Tracey; Gill, Verena A.; Tuomi, Pamela A.; Monson, Daniel H.; Burdin, Alexander; Conrad, Patricia A.; Dunn, J. Lawrence; Field, Cara L.; Johnson, Christine K.; Jessup, David A.; Bodkin, James L.; Doroff, Angela M.
Assessment of clinical pathology and pathogen exposure in sea otters (Enhydra lutris) bordering the threatened population in Alaska; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Diseases; Goldstein, T.; Gill, V. A.; Tuomi, P.; Monson, D.; Burdin, A.; Conrad, P. A.; Dunn, J. L.; Field, C.; Johnson, C.; Jessup, D. A.; Bodkin, J.; Doroff, A. M.

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Year Published: 2011

Behavioral and physiological responses to male handicap in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

Parental investment entails a trade-off between the benefits of effort in current offspring and the costs to future reproduction. Long-lived species are predicted to be reluctant to increase parental effort to avoid affecting their survival. We tested this hypothesis in black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla by clipping flight feathers...

Leclaire, S.; Bourret, V.; Wagner, R.H.; Hatch, Scott A.; Helfenstein, F.; Chastel, O.; Danchin, E.

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Year Published: 2011

Characteristics of foraging sites and protein status in wintering muskoxen: insights from isotopes of nitrogen

Identifying links between nutritional condition of individuals and population trajectories greatly enhances our understanding of the ecology, conservation, and management of wildlife. For northern ungulates, the potential impacts of a changing climate to populations are predicted to be nutritionally mediated through an increase in the severity and...

Gustine, David D.; Barboza, Perry S.; Lawler, James P.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Shults, Brad S.; Persons, Kate; Adams, Layne G.
Characteristics of foraging sites and protein status in wintering muskoxen: Insights from isotopes of nitrogen; 2011; Article; Journal; Oikos; Gustine, D. D.; Barboza, P. S.; Lawler, J. P.; Arthur, S. M.; Shults, B. S.; Persons, K.; Adams, L. G.

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Year Published: 2011

Coelomic implantation of satellite transmitters in the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and the bristle-thighed curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) using propofol, bupivacaine, and lidocaine

Intravenous propofol was used as a general anesthetic with a 2∶1 (mg∶mg) adjunctive mixture of lidocaine and bupivacaine as local anesthetics infiltrated into the surgical sites for implantation of satellite transmitters into the right abdominal air sac of 39 female and 4 male bar-tailed godwits (Limosa lapponica baueri and Limosa lapponica...

Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett D.; Gill, Robert E.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Coelomic implantation of satellite transmitters in the bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica) and the bristle-thighed curlew (Numenius tahitiensis) using propofol, bupivacaine, and lidocaine; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Gartrell, Brett; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.

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Year Published: 2011

Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) prefer to live on Arctic sea ice but may swim between ice floes or between sea ice and land. Although anecdotal observations suggest that polar bears are capable of swimming long distances, no data have been available to describe in detail long distance swimming events or the physiological and reproductive...

Durner, George M.; Whiteman, J.P.; Harlow, H.J.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Regehr, E.V.; Ben-David, M.
Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat; 2011; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; Durner, G. M.; Whiteman, J. P.; Harlow, H. J.; Amstrup, S. C.; Regehr, E. V.; Ben-David, M.

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Year Published: 2011

Cytochrome P4501A biomarker indication of the timeline of chronic exposure of Barrow’s goldeneyes to residual Exxon Valdez oil

We examined hepatic EROD activity, as an indicator of CYP1A induction, in Barrow’s goldeneyes captured in areas oiled during the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and those from nearby unoiled areas. We found that average EROD activity differed between areas during 2005, although the magnitude of the difference was reduced relative to a previous...

Esler, Daniel N.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Trust, Kimberly A.; Iverson, Samuel A.; Reed, John A.; Miles, A. Keith; Henderson, John D.; Woodin, Bruce R.; Stegeman, John J.; McAdie, Malcolm; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Wilson, Barry W.
Cytochrome P4501A biomarker indication of the timeline of chronic exposure of Barrow's goldeneyes to residual Exxon Valdez oil; 2011; Article; Journal; Marine Pollution Bulletin; Esler, D.; Ballachey, B. E.; Trust, K. A.; Iverson, S. A.; Reed, J. A.; Miles, A. K.; Henderson, J. D.; Woodin, B. R.; Stegeman, J. J.; McAdie, M.; Mulcahy, D. M.; Wilson, B. W.

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Year Published: 2011

Design of ecoregional monitoring in conservation areas of high-latitude ecosystems under contemporary climate change

Land ownership in Alaska includes a mosaic of federally managed units. Within its agency’s context, each unit has its own management strategy, authority, and resources of conservation concern, many of which are migratory animals. Though some units are geographically isolated, many are nevertheless linked by paths of abiotic and biotic flows...

Beever, Erik A.; Woodward, Andrea
Design of ecoregional monitoring in conservation areas of high-latitude ecosystems under contemporary climate change; 2011; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Beever, E. A.; Woodward, A.

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Year Published: 2011

Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite

Avian brood parasitism provides an ideal system with which to understand animal recognition and its affect on fitness. This phenomenon of laying eggs in the nests of other individuals has classically been framed from the perspective of interspecific brood parasitism and host recognition of parasitic eggs. Few examples exist of strategies adopted...

Lemons, Patrick R.; Sedinger, James S.
Egg size matching by an intraspecific brood parasite; 2011; Article; Journal; Behavioral Ecology; Lemons, Patrick R.; Sedinger, James S.

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Year Published: 2011

Evidence for foraging -site fidelity and individual foraging behavior of pelagic cormorants rearing chicks in the Gulf of Alaska

The Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) is the most widespread cormorant in the North Pacific, but little is known about its foraging and diving behavior. However, knowledge of seabirds' foraging behavior is important to understanding their function in the marine environment. In 2006, using GPS dataloggers, we studied the foraging behavior...

Kotzerka, J.; Hatch, Scott A.; Garthe, S.

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Year Published: 2011

Fire, grazing history, lichen abundance, and winter distribution of caribou in Alaska's taiga

In the early 1990s the Nelchina Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) Herd (NCH) began a dramatic shift to its current winter range, migrating at least an additional 100 km beyond its historic range. We evaluated the impacts of fire and grazing history on lichen abundance and subsequent use and distribution by the NCH. Historic (prior to 1990) and current (...

Collins, William B.; Dale, Bruce W.; Adams, Layne G.; McElwain, Darien E.; Joly, Kyle
Fire, grazing history, lichen abundance, and winter distribution of caribou in Alaska's taiga; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Management; Collins, W. B.; Dale, B. W.; Adams, L. G.; McElwain, D. E.; Joly, K.

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Year Published: 2011

Hydrogeomorphic processes of thermokarst lakes with grounded-ice and floating-ice regimes on the Arctic coastal plain, Alaska

Thermokarst lakes cover > 20% of the landscape throughout much of the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) with shallow lakes freezing solid (grounded ice) and deeper lakes maintaining perennial liquid water (floating ice). Thus, lake depth relative to maximum ice thickness (1·5–2·0 m) represents an important threshold that impacts permafrost,...

Arp, C.D.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Urban, F.E.; Grosse, G.
Hydrogeomorphic processes of thermokarst lakes with grounded-ice and floating-ice regimes on the Arctic coastal plain, Alaska; 2011; Article; Journal; Hydrological Processes; Arp, C. D.; Jones, B. M.; Urban, F. E.; Grosse, G.

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Year Published: 2011

Integument coloration signals reproductive success, heterozygosity, and antioxidant levels in chick-rearing black-legged kittiwakes

Carotenoid pigments are important for immunity and as antioxidants, and carotenoid-based colors are believed to provide honest signals of individual quality. Other colorless but more efficient antioxidants such as vitamins A and E may protect carotenoids from bleaching. Carotenoid-based colors have thus recently been suggested to reflect the...

Leclaire, S.; White, J.; Arnoux, E.; Faivre, B.; Vetter, N.; Hatch, Scott A.; Danchin, E.

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