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 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: 170
Date published: January 10, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Research Vessel Alaskan Gyre

The R/V Alaskan Gyre is a 50-foot fiberglass seiner that has been converted into a versatile research vessel to provide USGS scientists and collaborators with access to remote marine areas of Alaska and serve as a mobile laboratory.  The vessel was built by Ledford Marine of Marysville, Washington in 1989 and is named after the Alaskan Gyre, a series of wind driven currents that...

Date published: December 18, 2017
Status: Active

Polar Bear Maternal Denning

Pregnant polar bears enter maternity dens in October/November, give birth to cubs in December/January, and exit dens in March/April. Historically, most polar bears from the Southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) population constructed maternity dens on the sea ice.  Over the last three decades, as sea ice has become thinner and prone to fragmentation, there has been a landward shift in the distribution...

Date published: December 15, 2017
Status: Active

Distribution and Movements of Polar Bears

Polar bears are tied to the sea ice for nearly all of their life cycle functions. Most important of these is foraging, or access to food. Polar bears almost exclusively eat seals, and they are equally as dependent upon the sea for their nutrition as are seals, whales, and other aquatic mammals. Polar bears are not aquatic, however, and their only access to the seals is from the surface of the...

Date published: December 15, 2017
Status: Active

Polar Bear Population Dynamics

Information on the status and trends of polar bear populations are needed to inform management of polar bears under US laws and international agreements. The USGS maintains a long-term research program focused on the population dynamics of the southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population.  In addition, the USGS collaborates with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in population studies in the...

Date published: December 15, 2017
Status: Active

Health and Energetics of Polar Bears

Research in this focal area is centered on (i) collecting data on a variety of systems that help determine and mediate polar bear health and energetics, and (ii) developing monitoring and surveillance programs for detecting changes in population health over time. Additionally, this work will allow us to develop an understanding of how polar bear populations will respond to a variety of...

Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Chilkat River

Chilkat River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Alsek River

Alsek River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska. 

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Unuk River Super Gage

Unuk River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Stikine River

Stikine River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Taku River

Taku River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Salmon River

Salmon River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway

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
Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Global change-driven use of onshore habitat impacts polar bear faecal microbiota

The gut microbiota plays a critical role in host health, yet remains poorly studied in wild species. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), key indicators of Arctic ecosystem health and environmental change, are currently affected by rapid shifts in habitat that may alter gut homeostasis. Declining sea ice has led to a divide in the southern Beaufort Sea...

Watson, Sophie; Hauffe, Heidi; Bull, Matthew; Atwood, Todd C.; McKinney, Melissa; Pindo, Massimo; Perkins, Sarah

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Weak effects of geolocators on small birds: a meta‐analysis controlled for phylogeny and publication bias

Currently, the deployment of tracking devices is one of the most frequently used approaches to study movement ecology of birds. Recent miniaturisation of light‐level geolocators enabled studying small bird species whose migratory patterns were widely unknown. However, geolocators may reduce vital rates in tagged birds and may bias obtained...

Brlík, Vojtěch; Koleček, Jaroslav; Burgess, Malcolm; Hahn, Steffen; Humple, Diana; Krist, Milos; Ouwehand, Janne; Weiser, Emily L.; Adamik, Peter; Alves, José A.; Arlt, Debora; Barišić, Sanja; Becker, Detlef; Belda, Eduardo J.; Beran, Vaclav; Both, Christiaan; Bravo, Susana P.; Briedis, Martins; Bohumír, Chutný; Ćiković, Davor; Cooper, Nathan W.; Costa, Joana S.; Cueto, Víctor R.; Emmenegger, Tamara; Fraser, Kevin; Gilg, Olivier; Guerrero, Marina; Hallworth, Michael T.; Hewson, Chris; Jiguet, Frédéric; Johnson, James; Kelly, Tosha; Kishkinev, Dmitry; Leconte, Michel; Lislevand, Terje; Lisovski, Simeon; López, Cosme; McFarland, Kent P.; Marra, Peter P.; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Matyjasiak. Piotr; Meier, Christoph M.; Metzger, Benjamin; Monrós, Juan S.; Neumann, Roland; Newman, Amy; Norris, Ryan; Pärt, Tomas; Pavel, Václav; Perlut, Noah; Piha, Markus; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Rimmer, Christopher C.; Roberto-Charro, Amélie; Scandolara, Chiara; Sokolova, Natalia; Takenaka, Makiko; Tolkmitt, Dirk; van Oosten, Herman; Wellbrock, Arndt H. J.; Wheeler, Hazel; van der Winden, Jan; Witte, Klaudia; Woodworth, Brad; Procházka, Petr

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2020

Using redundant primer sets to detect multiple native Alaskan fish species from environmental DNA

Accurate and timely data regarding freshwater fish communities is important for informed decision-making by local, state, tribal, and federal land and resource managers; however, conducting traditional gear-based fish surveys can be an expensive and time-consuming process, particularly in remote areas, like those that characterize much of Alaska....

Menning, Damian M.; Simmons, Trey; Talbot, Sandra L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Future directions in sea otter research and management

The conservation and management of sea otters has benefited from a dedicated research effort over the past 60 years enabling this species to recover from a few thousand in the early 20th century to about 150,000 today. Continued research to allow full, pre-exploitation recovery and restoration of nearshore ecosystems should focus on at least seven...

Davis, Randall W.; Bodkin, James L.; Coletti, Heather A.; Monson, Daniel; Larson, Shawn E.; Carswell, Lilian P.; Nichol, Linda M.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands

IntroductionThis geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands is a compilation of information from the literature, integrated to provide a seamless geologic map of the region. The geology shown on sheet 1 covers Cuba, the island of Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico...

Wilson, Frederic H.; Orris, Greta; Gray, Floyd
Wilson, F.H., Orris, G., and Gray, F., 2019, Preliminary geologic map of the Greater Antilles and the Virgin Islands: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1036, pamphlet 50 p., 2 sheets, scales 1:2,500,000 and 1:300,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191036.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Limited detection of antibodies to clade 2.3.4.4 A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage highly pathogenic H5 avian influenza virus in North American waterfowl

During 2014, highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) of the A/Goose/Guangdong/1/1996 lineage (GsGD-HP-H5), originating from Asia, were detected in domestic poultry and wild birds in Canada and the US. These clade 2.3.4.4 GsGD-HP-H5 viruses included reassortants possessing North American lineage gene segments; were detected in wild birds...

Stallknecht, David E.; Kienzle-Dean, Clara; Davis-Fields, Nick; Jennelle, Christopher S.; Bowman, Andrew S.; Nolting, Jacqueline M.; Boyce, Walter; Crum, James; Santos, Jefferson; Brown, Justin D.; Prosser, Diann; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Casazza, Michael L.; Krauss, Scott; Perez, Daniel; Ramey, Andrew M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Monitoring boreal avian populations: How can we estimate trends and trajectories from noisy data?

Substantial effort has been dedicated to developing reliable monitoring schemes for North American bird populations, but our ability to monitor bird populations in the boreal forest remains limited because of the sparsity of long-term data sets, particularly in northerly regions. Given the importance of the boreal forest for many migratory birds,...

Roy, Christian; Michel, Nicole L; Handel, Colleen M.; Van Wilgenburg, Steven; Burkhalter, Curtis; Gurney, Kirsty A B; Messmer, David; Prince, Karine; Rushing, Clark S; Saracco, James E; Schuster, Richard; Smith, Adam C.; Smith, Paul A; Solymos, Peter; Venier, Lisa A; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Recovery planning in a dynamic system: Integrating uncertainty into a decision support tool for an endangered songbird

Along the Santa Clara River in California, populations of the federally and state-listed Least Bell's Vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus) are recovering from near extirpation. Habitat protection and restoration, as well as controlling rates of brood parasitism, are thought to be the primary drivers of this recovery. Continuing successful management of...

Stanton, Jessica; Marek, Jenny; Hall, Linnea S.; Kus, Barbara E.; Alvarado, Allison; Orr, Bruce K.; Morrissette, Eric; Riege, Laura; Thogmartin, Wayne E.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

U.S. Geological Survey—Department of the Interior Region 11, Alaska—2019 annual science report

In keeping with our national mission, the USGS in Alaska provides timely and objective scientific information to help the Nation address issues and solve problems in five major topical areas (listed alphabetically):Energy and Minerals;Geospatial Mapping;Natural Hazards;Water Quality, Streamflow, and Ice Dynamics; andWildlife, Fish, and Habitat....

Williams, Dee; Powers, Elizabeth
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Williams, D.M., and Powers, E.M., eds., 2019, U.S. Geological Survey—Department of the Interior Region 11, Alaska—2019 annual science report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1141, 79 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191141.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales

Beach erosion is a persistent problem along most open-ocean shores of the United States. Along the Arctic coast of Alaska, coastal erosion is widespread and threatens communities, defense and energy-related infrastructure, and coastal habitat. As coastal populations continue to expand and infrastructure and habitat are increasingly threatened by...

Gibbs, Ann E.; Snyder, Alexander G.; Richmond, Bruce M.
Gibbs, A.E., Snyder, A.G., and Richmond, B.M., 2019, National assessment of shoreline change—Historical shoreline change along the north coast of Alaska, Icy Cape to Cape Prince of Wales: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1146, 52 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191146.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Streambed scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016–17

Stream stability, flood frequency, and streambed scour potential were evaluated at 20 Alaskan river- and stream-spanning bridges lacking a quantitative scour analysis or having unknown foundation details. Three of the bridges had been assessed shortly before the study described in this report but were re-assessed using different methods or data....

Beebee, Robin A.; Dworsky, Karenth L.; Knopp, Schyler J.
Beebee, R.A., Dworsky, K.L., and Knopp, S.J.., 2018, Streambed scour evaluations and conditions at selected bridge sites in Alaska, 2016–17: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019-5110, 32 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20195110.

Publication Thumbnail
Year Published: 2019

Visualizing populations of North American sea ducks: Maps to guide research and management planning

North American sea ducks generally breed in mid- to northern-latitude regions and nearly all rely upon marine habitats for much of their annual cycle. Most sea duck species remained poorly studied until the 1990s when declines were noted in several species and populations. Subsequent research, much of which was funded by the Sea Duck Joint Venture...

Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Whalen, Mary E.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Stiller, Josh; Patil, Vijay P.; Bowman, Timothy D.; Boyd, Sean; Badzinski, Shannon S.; Gilchrist, H.G.; Gilliland, Scott G; Lepage, Christine; Loring, Pam; McAuley, Daniel; McLellan, Nic; Osenkowski, Jason; Reed, Eric T.; Roberts, Anthony J.; Robertson, Myra; Rothe, Tom; Safine, David E.; Silverman, Emily D.; Spragens, Kyle A.
Pearce, J.M., Flint, P.L., Whalen, M.E., Sonsthagen, S.A., Stiller, J., Patil, V.P., Bowman, T., Boyd, S., Badzinski, S.S., Gilchrist, H.G., Gilliland, S.G., Lepage, C., Loring, P., McAuley, D., McLellan, N.R., Osenkowski, J., Reed, E.T., Roberts, A.J., Robertson, M.O., Rothe, T., Safine, D.E., Silverman, E.D., and Spragens, D., 2019, Visualizing populations of North American Sea Ducks—Maps to guide research and management planning: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1142, 50 p., plus appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191142.

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
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 bird swimming on top of the ocean
July 18, 2018

A Northern Fulmar on the water offshore of Anchor Point, Cook Inlet

A Northern Fulmar on the water offshore of Anchor Point, Cook Inlet on July 18, 2018.

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.

Satellite differences in imagery.
July 8, 2018

The Progress of Landsat Sensor Technology

Landsat sensor technology has come a long way since the days of the Return Beam Vidicon cameras on the first three Landsat satellites. Known as the RBV, it was originally intended to be the satellites’ primary sensor. But the Multispectral Scanner, or MSS, became the more stable and superior instrument.

A man stands smiling on a high coastal bluff near solar panels and a pole supported by guy wires, with a camera mounted on top.
July 8, 2018

Video camera installation, Barter Island

USGS oceanographer Shawn Harrison poses in front of the USGS video camera installation atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska.

Men and women sitting in a room with tables and chairs listening to a woman talk, she's pointing at a screen on the wall.
July 7, 2018

USGS hosts community outreach event on Barter Island

USGS oceanographer Li Erikson speaks at a community outreach event on Barter Island, Alaska, to present results from earlier USGS studies and to discuss ongoing USGS research.

A coastal cliff is covered in grasses and some snow, and chunks of the cliff are beginning to crack and fall into the ocean.
July 7, 2018

Camera set-up on Barter Island coastal bluffs

For a short study period, two video cameras overlooked the coast from atop the coastal bluff of Barter Island in northern Alaska. The purpose was to observe and quantify coastal processes such as wave run-up, development of rip channels, bluff erosion, and movement of sandbars and ice floes. The cameras and the pole they're mounted to can be seen atop the bluff.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
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.

USGS
June 6, 2014

The first "point of view" video from a polar bear on Arctic sea ice has just become available courtesy of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 28, 2014

The U.S. Geological Survey is reducing its footprint on the Alaska Pacific University campus by closing the Map Store @ USGS to lower rent costs. The store will remain open through Oct. 31, 2014.

2014 US Topo map of the Keedysville, Maryland area.
May 22, 2014

US Topo maps now have a crisper, cleaner design - enhancing readability of maps for online and printed use. Map symbols are easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off.

Lidar image showing the upper parts of the landslide that occurred in northwest Washington on March 22, 2014.
May 14, 2014

Want to know how elevation will benefit your state? The USGS National Geospatial Program is advancing the 3D Elevation Program, known as 3DEP, in response to the growing need for high-quality three-dimensional representations of the Nation’s natural and constructed features.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 30, 2014

The coastal geology of Simeonof Island, the southeastern-most island in the Shumagin archipelago of the Aleutian Islands, suggests the region has not experienced a great megathrust earthquake in at least the past 3,400 years.

US Topo map of the Cass, West Virginia quadrangle, March 2014.
April 24, 2014

US Topo maps now have a crisper, cleaner design - enhancing readability of maps for online and printed use. Map symbols are easier to read over the digital aerial photograph layer whether the imagery is turned on or off. Improvements to symbol definitions (color, line thickness, line symbols, area fills), layer order, and annotation fonts are additional features of this supplemental release.

USGS
March 27, 2014

Ever since the great magnitude 9.2 earthquake shook Alaska 50 years ago today, scientists have suspected that the quake's rupture halted at the southwestern tip of Kodiak Island due to a natural barrier.

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.