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: 178
Unuk River
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
Stikine River
Date Published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Stikine River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Taku River
Date Published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Taku River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Salmon River
Date Published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Salmon River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Southeast Alaska Transboundary Map rivers
Date Published: November 29, 2017
Status: Active

USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska

The quantity and quality of streamflow in transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska are important to many stakeholders. Development and operation of several mines in Canada have increased the interest in current and future conditions in these watersheds. The USGS Alaska Science Center operates streamflow information stations on the Alsek, Chilkat, Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers. Real-time...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Alaska Geologic Map
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Geologic Map of Alaska

In January 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey released the first ever digital geologic map of Alaska. This map reflects more than a century of work and provides a visual context for the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state. The map also is available to use in three different formats: a professional GIS database, a public interactive version via a web browser, and an...

Image: Sea Otter Ready for a Nap
Date Published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Pacific Nearshore Project

Sea otters are crucial indicators of the health of our nearshore waters and coastal resources, from kelp forests to fisheries. What clues does the sea otter's decline hold for our knowledge of ecosystem and global change? WERC's sea otter team and U.S. and Canadian researchers have teamed together to investigate. 

Relevance to USGS Missions:

This research project has direct...

placeholder for data files
Date Published: September 5, 2017
Status: Active

Alaska Science Center Data Policy

The Data Policy for ASC staff and contractors requires that research data, computational models, software and scripts, web-based tools, and information products (collectively “data”) adhere to the following policy statements.

A Black-capped Chickadee on a branch with a grossly deformed beak
Date Published: August 22, 2017
Status: Active

Beak Deformities in Landbirds

Over the past 20 years, Alaskans have witnessed a startling increase of beak deformities among Black-capped Chickadees and other species of resident birds. This disease, called avian keratin disorder (AKD), is characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth and other abnormalities of keratinized tissues. Affected birds have difficulty feeding and preening, and may suffer high rates of mortality...

download file
Date Published: August 10, 2017
Status: Active

Publication Briefs by the Alaska Science Center

These publication briefs feature research that informs partners and resource managers to make decisions relative to species habitat and status, natural resources, ecosystems, and human activities.

Contacts: Yvette Gillies
NPPSD illustration
Date Published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) includes more than 460,000 survey transects that were designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea.

Snow Goose near the Colville River, northern Alaska
Date Published: July 27, 2017
Status: Active

Goose Research

Over the past two decades the USGS Alaska Science Center has had a central focus on addressing science questions related to geese in Alaska.  Science information is needed for these species because all have undergone changes in population size through time and are important resources for subsistence and sport hunters in the state and outside of Alaska where these birds spend the winter.  The...

Filter Total Items: 2,376
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Year Published: 2019

Development of on-shore behavior among polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea: Inherited or learned?

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are experiencing rapid and substantial changes to their environment due to global climate change. Polar bears of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) have historically spent most of the year on the sea ice. However, recent reports from Alaska indicate that the proportion of the SB subpopulation observed on-shore during late...

Lillie, K. M.; Gese, E. M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2019

Slope failure and mass transport processes along the Queen Charlotte Fault, southeastern Alaska

The Queen Charlotte Fault defines the Pacific–North America transform plate boundary in western Canada and southeastern Alaska for c. 900 km. The entire length of the fault is submerged along a continental margin dominated by Quaternary glacial processes, yet the geomorphology along the margin has never been systematically examined due to the...

Brothers, Daniel; Andrews, Brian D.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; H. Gary Greene; J. Vaughn Barrie; Miller, Nathaniel C.; ten Brink, Uri S.; East, Amy E.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Kluesner, Jared W.; Conrad, James E.

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Year Published: 2019

Phenotypic plasticity and climate change: Can polar bears respond to longer Arctic summers with an adaptive fast?

Plasticity in the physiological and behavioural responses of animals to prolonged food shortages may determine the persistence of species under climate warming. This is particularly applicable for species that can “adaptively fast” by conserving protein to protect organ function while catabolizing endogenous tissues. Some Ursids, including polar...

Whiteman, John P.; Harlow, Henry J.; Durner, George M.; Regher, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, Merav

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Year Published: 2019

Monitoring and conservation of Japanese Murrelets and related seabirds in Japan

Of the 24 species in the Auk (or Alcidae) family of seabirds living in the northern hemisphere, 22 reside within the North Pacific Ocean. These “penguins of the north” use their small wings to “fly” underwater, some to more than 200 meters, where they catch and eat a variety of small fish and invertebrates. In terms of sheer numbers...

Piatt, John F.; Nelson, S Kim; Carter, Harry R

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Year Published: 2019

Size, growth, and density data for shallow-water sea urchins from Mexico to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, 1956–2016

Size, growth, and density have been studied for North American Pacific coast sea urchins Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, S. droebachiensis, S. polyacanthus, Mesocentrotus (Strongylocentrotus) franciscanus, Lytechinus pictus, Centrostephanus coronatus, and Arbacia stellata by various workers at diverse sites and for varying lengths of time from...

Ebert, Thomas A; Barr, Louis; Bodkin, James L.; Burcham, Dirk; Bureau, Dominique; Carson, Henry; Caruso, Nancy; Caselle, Jennifer E.; Claisse, Jeremy; Clemente, Sabrina; Davis, Kathryn; Detwiler, Paul; Dixon, John; Duggins, David; Engle, John; Estes, James; Groth, Scott; Grupe, Benjamin; Halmay, Peter; Hebert, Kyle; Hernandez, Jose Carlos; Jurgens, Laura J.; Kalvass, Peter; Kenner, Michael C.; Konar, Brenda; Kushner, David; Lee, Lynn; Leighton, David; Montano-Moctezuma, Gabriela; Munk, Eric; Olguin Espinoza, Irma; Weitzman, Ben

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Year Published: 2019

U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope, age, and trace-element data from zircons at four sites in the western Alaska Range and Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska

This Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys (DGGS) Raw Data File presents U-Pb geochronology and Lu-Hf isotopic compositions, age-dating results, and additional trace-elemental composition of zircons from four granitoids sampled during investigations by DGGS geologists in the western Alaska Range and the Talkeetna Mountains. The purpose...

Todd, Erin; Kylander-Clark, Andrew R. C. ; Wypych, Alicja; Twelker, Evan; Sicard, Karri R.
Todd, Erin, Kylander-Clark, Andrew, Wypych, Alicja, Twelker, Evan, and Sicard, K.R., 2017, U-Pb and Lu-Hf isotope, age, and trace-element data from zircons at four sites in the western Alaska Range and Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska: Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys Raw Data File 2017-2, 7 p. http://doi.org/10.14509/29717

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Year Published: 2018

Population trends of birds wintering in the Central Valley of California

Since the 1970s, the Central Valley of California has seen a large investment in preservation and restoration of wetlands and riparian areas. At the same time, grasslands have been lost to vineyards, orchards, and residential development at an accelerating rate. We analyzed data from 17 Christmas Bird Count circles that were surveyed regularly...

Pandolfino, Edward R; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2018

Non‐linear effect of sea ice: Spectacled Eider survival declines at both extremes of the ice spectrum

Understanding the relationship between environmental factors and vital rates is an important step in predicting a species’ response to environmental change. Species associated with sea ice are of particular concern because sea ice is projected to decrease rapidly in polar environments with continued levels of greenhouse gas emissions. The...

Christie, Katherine S.; Hollmen, Tuula E.; Flint, Paul L.; Douglas, David C.

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Year Published: 2018

Exposure of Alaska brown bears (Ursus arctos) to bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents varies spatiotemporally and may be influenced by age

We collected blood and serum from 155 brown bears (Ursus arctos) inhabiting five locations in Alaska during 2013–16 and tested samples for evidence of prior exposure to a suite of bacterial, viral, and parasitic agents. Antibody seroprevalence among Alaska brown bears was estimated to be 15% for Brucella spp., 10% for Francisella...

Leacock, William B.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Cleveland, Christopher A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Joly, Kyle; Gustine, David D.; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William B.; Crupi, Anthony P.; Hill, Dolores E.; Dubey, Jitender P.; Yabsley, Michael J.

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Year Published: 2018

Survey of Arctic Alaskan wildlife for influenza A antibodies: Limited evidence for exposure of mammals

Influenza A viruses (IAVs) are maintained in wild waterbirds and have the potential to infect a broad range of species, including wild mammals. The Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska supports a diverse suite of species, including waterfowl that are common hosts of IAVs. Mammals co-occur with geese and other migratory waterbirds during the summer...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Sinnett, David R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Jiang, Kaijun; Adams, Layne G.; Gustine, David D.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Wan, Xiu-Feng

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Year Published: 2018

U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell Terrane, Alaska

The Farewell terrane is an exotic continental fragment in interior Alaska that during the early Paleozoic was the site of a passive margin. We report a 238U/206Pb zircon age of 432.9±3.0 Ma from a Farewell terrane ash in Mt. McKinley quadrangle, Alaska. This age overlaps with prominent detrital zircon age maxima reported from Silurian and Devonian...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Bradley, Dan B.
Bradley, D.C., Dumoulin, J.A., and Bradley, D.B., 2018, U-Pb geochronology and tectonic implications of a Silurian ash in the Farewell terrane, Alaska, in Dumoulin, J.A., ed., Studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska, vol. 15: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1814–F, 13 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1814F.

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Year Published: 2018

Energy-rich mesopelagic fishes revealed as a critical prey resource for a deep-diving predator using quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

Understanding the diet of deep-diving predators can provide essential insight to the trophic structure of the mesopelagic ecosystem. Comprehensive population-level diet estimates are exceptionally difficult to obtain for elusive marine predators due to the logistical challenges involved in observing their feeding behavior and collecting samples...

Goetsch, Chandra; Conners, Melinda G.; Budge, Suzanne M.; Mitani, Yoko; Walker, William A; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Simmons, Samantha E.; Reichmuth, Colleen; Costa, Daniel P.

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: 989
A female McKay's Bunting songbird standing on the ground
June 17, 2018

Female McKay's Bunting on St. Matthew Island

Female McKay's Bunting on St. Matthew Island.

A male McKay's Bunting songbird sitting on a rock
June 14, 2018

Male McKay's Bunting on St. Matthew Island

Male McKay's Bunting on St. Matthew Island

Fog on Yukon River
May 29, 2018

Fog on Yukon River

Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire.  Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS

Large instruments waiting to loaded on a boat
May 7, 2018

Loading ocean bottom seismometers for deployment in the Gulf of Alaska

Ocean bottom seismometers being loaded onto the R/V Sikuliaq to be deployed on the sea floor in the Gulf of Alaska.

Man pointing to ground
May 2, 2018

Stratigraphic contact marking 1964 uplift of Montague Island, Alaska

Stratigraphic contact marking uplift of Montague Island, caused by slip on the Patton Bay fault system during the 1964 M9.2 Great ALaska Earthquake. 

Hot springs and hot muddy pools (Alaska) caused by geothermal activity underground.
March 8, 2018

Hot springs (Alaska) caused by geothermal activity underground.

Hot springs can occur in many parts of the world. The water is hot not due to climate, but rather due to geothermal activity underground, such as volcanic activity or active hydrothermal heating from hot material in the ground. Hot springs result from water heated by underground geothermal activity finding its way to the land surface. 

This hot spring is located in

...
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
March 5, 2018

Polar Bear Collar Cam B-Roll 2014, 2015, 2016

Exciting polar bear cam b-roll footage from the bear’s perspective from 2014, 2015, and 2016. The USGS Alaska Science Center Polar Bear Research Project conducts long-term research on polar bears to inform, local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation and management of the species and its habitat. The USGS’s studies are primarily focused on

Four people around a table
February 19, 2018

Sampling sea floor sediment cores from along the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS and Geological Survey of Canada scientists sample sediment cores collected from the sea floor along the Queen Charlotte Fault. This was taken while they were working with (or in) the Geological Survey of Canada. The researchers are, from left to right: Amy East, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal Marine Science Center (PCMSC); Tom Lorenson, Physical Scientist,

...
A repeating animated GIF showing a walrus scratching it's side.
February 14, 2018

Walrus Itch

An animated GIF showing a Pacific Walrus scratching/rubbing themselves on their side with their "eye" rolling. The animation repeats in a reverse-motion.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Map of coastline showing lines that ships followed, collecting data along the way, near labeled sites of earthquakes.
December 31, 2017

Research vessel tracklines offshore of southeast Alaska

Tracklines along which R/V Ocean Starr (2017, red lines) and R/V Norseman (2016, black lines) conducted seismic-reflection surveys, overlaid on high-resolution bathymetry (color background). Yellow stars represent earthquakes of magnitude (M) 7 and greater since 1900. Short yellow lines are locations of seismic-reflection profiles (shown below) along 

...
Emperor geese standing near the shoreline on Kodiak Island
December 31, 2017

Emperor geese near Kodiak.

Emperor geese gathered near the shoreline on Kodiak Island.

Glacier off Sargent Icefield
December 31, 2017

Glacier off Sargent Icefield

Landscape view of an un-named glacier off the Sargent Icefield, directly across from Wolverine Glacier, above the Nellie Juan River, in Alaska. Taken during a visit to a wolverine glacier field site as part of a study to examine how alpine areas are changing as temperatures rise in Alaska. 

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 246
USGS science for a changing world logo
February 20, 2014

It's 1964 in Alaska. Imagine 4.5 minutes of powerful ground shaking underneath you from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. You and your loved ones are then faced with resulting landslides and a devastating tsunami. You just experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. 

Photo of Santa Fe, New Mexico 2013 United States Topo map
January 22, 2014

The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Idaho US Topo quadrangles (1,193) and New Mexico quads (1,980 maps) which include Public Land Survey System (PLSS). These are added to the growing list of states west of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps.

Image: Black Brant Geese
January 21, 2014

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey report that warming temperatures are leading to the creation of high quality habitats for geese along the Arctic coast of Alaska. This scientific finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that warming global temperatures are having on habitats of sea ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

A view of snow-covered Akutan Volcano.
January 9, 2014

Akutan Island, in Alaska’s east-central Aleutian Islands, hosts the City of Akutan and is home to the largest seafood production facility in North America. It also hosts Akutan Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the U.S.

Image: Banding Together to Learn and Preserve
November 21, 2013

25 Years of Goose Banding and Conservation through Federal and Tribal Partnership on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Western Alaska

USGS
July 1, 2013

Wilderness pilots, hikers, boaters and people in Alaskan communities can now report online to authorities if they witness falling ash or an ash cloud from an erupting volcano. The  Alaska Volcano Observatory has developed a new online tool for reporting visible volcanic ash. 

USGS
May 30, 2013

Multiple sources of Alaskan geochemical information have united into one online resource. 

USGS
May 27, 2013

USGS releases more than 400 updated US Topo maps of Alaska

USGS
April 1, 2013

Twenty-five years of monitoring and studying Alaska's volcanoes by the Alaska Volcano Observatory have improved global understanding of how volcanoes work and how to live safely with volcanic eruptions. Timely warnings from AVO throughout its 25-year history have helped reduce the impact of erupting volcanoes, protecting lives, property, and economic well-being.

USGS
January 30, 2013

The upper Cook Inlet is the world's coldest site that regularly supports wintering shorebirds.  The rock sandpiper is the only shorebird found in this region during winter and is a species that is uniquely adapted to survive the winter chill, according to new research by biologists with the USGS Alaska Science Center.  

USGS
January 23, 2013

Invasive northern pike in southcentral Alaska are opportunistic and adaptable predators that feed on multiple native fish species when their preferred prey, native salmonids, are no longer abundant, according to a new study released in Ecology of Freshwater Fish. 

USGS
June 26, 2012

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Shrews are among a diverse group of small mammals that have rapidly evolved in response to climate change, according to a new study released this month.

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.