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: 180
Logo for Boreal Partners in Flight
Date Published: April 28, 2017
Status: Active

Boreal Partners in Flight

WELCOME to the Alaska Landbird Resource Information System, the official web site for Boreal Partners in Flight! Thanks for taking the time to learn more about the Boreal Partners in Flight program and our efforts to understand and conserve northern populations of landbirds.

Table Top Mountain and the West Twin Creek catchment
Date Published: April 18, 2017
Status: Active

Nome Creek Experimental Watershed

The Nome Creek Experimental Watershed (NCEW) has been the site of multiple studies focused on understanding hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem changes related to permafrost thaw and fire in the boreal forest.

The north fork of the Agashashok River
Date Published: April 12, 2017
Status: Active

Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT): Hydrology

The Arctic is warming at higher rates than much of the rest of the world. For Alaska, this results in changes in hydrology and ecosystems – permafrost is thawing, changing landscapes and releasing nutrients to soils and streams. 

Image: Central Alaska Range
Date Published: January 1, 2017
Status: Completed

Western Alaska Range Metallogeny and Tectonics

There are many different types of mineral deposits present in the Western Alaska Range: plutonic gold, porphyry copper-gold (Pebble prospect), epithermal gold, tin-silver skarns, sedimentary barite, mafic hosted nickle-platinum-group elements, uranium-thorium rare earth elements, and even a diamond prospect.

Vegetation along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon
Date Published: December 1, 2016
Status: Active

Riparian Ecology

Riparian ecologists in the AS Branch study interactions among flow, channel change, and vegetation along rivers across the western United States and worldwide. Our work focuses on issues relevant to the management of water and public lands, including dam operation, climate change, invasive species, and ecological restoration. Investigations take place on a range of scales. For example,...

Short-tailed Albatross taking off
Date Published: November 6, 2016
Status: Active

Seabirds at Sea

Helpful links for Seabirds at Sea

Spatial extent of North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database samples
Date Published: November 6, 2016
Status: Active

NPPSD Resources and Protocols

List of resources and protocols used by the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD).

A genetic analysis illustration
Date Published: August 10, 2016
Status: Active

Molecular Ecology Lab (MEL)

The Molecular Ecology Laboratory applies genetic and genomic technologies to address a variety of complex questions and conservation issues facing the management of the Nation's fish and wildlife resources. Together with our partners, we design and implement studies to document genetic diversity and the distribution of genetic variation among individuals, populations, and species. Information...

a birder on a bridge looking at the birds
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

HDgov: Multi-agency Website for Human Dimensions of Natural Resources

HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The...

A crowd of people in a National Park.
Date Published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp
Date Published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

Thermokarst lake, Seward Peninsula
Date Published: May 9, 2016
Status: Completed

Wildlife Potential Habitat Forecasting Framework (WildCast)

WildCast (WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Project) is a completed project led by USGS, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. WildCast was devised to provide models for projecting future land cover and wildlife habitat conditions in northwest Alaska under potential scenarios of climate change, and to provide an...

Contacts: Bruce Marcot
Filter Total Items: 2,376
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Year Published: 2018

Sex-specific variation in denning by brown bears

Denning characteristics of brown bears (Ursus arctos) have been described in numerous studies; however, population specific factors (i.e., landscape characteristics and climate) can greatly influence the location and timing of denning. Our objective was to evaluate den-site characteristics and denning chronology for male and female brown...

Mangipane, Lindsey; Belant, Jerrold L.; Mangipane, Buck; Gustine, David; Hilderbrand, Grant V.

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Year Published: 2018

Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range

Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciation modified the topography and erosion of most middle- and high-latitude mountain belts, because the evolution of catchment topography controls long-term glacier mass balance and erosion. Hence, characterizing how erosion rates change during repeated glaciations can help test hypothesized glacier erosion-landscape...

Lease, Richard O.
Lease, Richard O., 2018, Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range: Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Year Published: 2018

Landscape genetics identifies streams and drainage infrastructure as dispersal corridors for an endangered wetland bird

Anthropogenic alterations to landscape structure and composition can have significant impacts on biodiversity, potentially leading to species extinctions. Population‐level impacts of landscape change are mediated by animal behaviors, in particular dispersal behavior. Little is known about the dispersal habits of rails (Rallidae) due to their...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate change and future wildfire in the western USA: An ecological approach to nonstationarity

We developed ecologically based climate‐fire projections for the western United States. Using a finer ecological classification and fire‐relevant climate predictors, we created statistical models linking climate and wildfire area burned for ecosections, which are geographic delineations based on biophysical variables. The results indicate a...

Littell, Jeremy; McKenzie, Donald; Wan, Ho Yi; Cushman, Samuel A.
Littell, J. S., McKenzie, D., Wan, H. Y., & Cushman, S. A. (2018). Climate change and future wildfire in the western United States: An ecological approach to nonstationarity. Earth's Future, 6, 1097–1111. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000878

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Year Published: 2018

Lactation and resource limitation affect stress responses, thyroid hormones, immune function, and antioxidant capacity of sea otters (Enhydra lutris)

Lactation is the most energetically demanding stage of reproduction in female mammals. Increased energetic allocation toward current reproduction may result in fitness costs, although the mechanisms underlying these trade‐offs are not well understood. Trade‐offs during lactation may include reduced energetic allocation to cellular maintenance,...

Chinn, Sarah M.; Monson, Daniel; Tinker, M. Tim; Staedler, Michelle M.; Crocker, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 2018

Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific

The tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is a generalist seabird that breeds throughout the North Pacific and eats more than 75 different prey species. Using puffins as samplers, we characterized the geographic variability in pelagic food webs across the subarctic North Pacific from the composition of ~10,000 tufted puffin meals (~56,000 prey items...

Piatt, John F.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Renner, Heather; Zador, Stephani; Douglas, David C.; Hatch, Scott A.; Kettle, Arthur B.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Piatt, J.F., Arimitsu, M.L., Sydeman, W.J., Thompson, S.A., Renner, H., Zador, S., Douglas, D., Hatch, S., Kettle, A., and Williams, J., 2018. Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific: Fisheries Oceanography, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 366-380. doi: 10.1111/fog.12258

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Year Published: 2018

Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic

Identifying factors influencing nest survival among sympatric species is important for understanding and managing sources of variation in population dynamics of individual species. Three species of loons nest sympatrically in northern Alaska and differ in body size, life history characteristics, and population trends. We tested the effects of...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Koch, Joshua C.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, BD, JC Koch, KW Wright, and JA Schmutz. 2018. Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic. Journal of Avian Biology doi: 10.1111/jav.01671.

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Year Published: 2018

Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA

Context In the interior Northwest, debate over restoring mixed-conifer forests after a century of fire exclusion is hampered by poor understanding of the pattern and causes of spatial variation in historical fire regimes. Objectives To identify the roles of topography, landscape structure, and forest type in driving spatial variation in...

Merschel, Andrew; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Spies, Thomas A.; Loehman, Rachel A.
Merschel, A.G., Heyerdahl, E.K., Spies, T.A. et al. Influence of landscape structure, topography, and forest type on spatial variation in historical fire regimes, central Oregon, USA. Landscape Ecol (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0656-6

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Year Published: 2018

Effect of climate change on disease spread in wildlife: Chapter 36

A growing body of evidence indicates that climate change alone, or acting synergistically with current anthropogenic threats, is affecting the health of wild populations of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. Measurable by-products of climate change include elevated atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, higher average global temperatures;...

Hofmeister, Erik K.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.
Fowler's Zoo and Wild Animal Medicine Current Therapy, Volume 9, Edited by R. Eric Miller,, Nadine Lamberski, and Paul Calle. 2018

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Year Published: 2018

Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon–Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation

A new sulfur isotope stratigraphic profile has been developed for Ordovician-Silurian mudstones that host the Howards Pass Zn-Pb deposits (Canada) in an attempt to reconcile the traditional model of a stagnant euxinic basin setting with new contradictory findings. Our analyses of pyrite confirm the up-section 34S enrichment reported...

Johnson, Craig A.; Slack, John F.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Kelley, Karen Duttweiler; Falck, Hendrik
Johnson, C.A., Slack, J.F., Dumoulin, J.A., Kelley, K.D., and Falck, H., 2018, Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon-Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation: Geology, v. 46, p. 619-622.

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Year Published: 2018

Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

The use of preevent and postevent digital elevation models (DEMs) to estimate the volume of rock avalanches on glaciers is complicated by ablation of ice before and after the rock avalanche, scour of material during rock avalanche emplacement, and postevent ablation and compaction of the rock avalanche deposit. We present a model to account for...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Zhou, Wendy
Bessette-Kirton, E. K., Coe, J. A., & Zhou, W. (2018). Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface,123, 622–641.

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Year Published: 2018

Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season

We assessed hematozoa infection in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) at two areas in Alaska. No Haemoproteus or Plasmodium species were detected. Leucocytozoon prevalence was 6.5% for adults across sites and 41.9% for juveniles sampled in the Arctic, providing evidence for local transmission. All ...

Reed, John A.; Sexson, Matthew G.; Smith, Matthew M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Reed, J.A., M.G. Sexson, M.M. Smith, J.A. Schmutz, Ramey, A.M. 2018. Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 54(4): https://doi.org/10.7589/2018-01-012

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
Cross-section illustration showing structure beneath the seafloor where sediment layers are deformed by high seismic activity.
July 31, 2017

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile, QCF fault

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile showing deformed sediment layers on the Pacific plate, just seaward of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault near the south end of the study area. Location of profile shown by yellow line on trackline map, above. km, kilometer; m, meter; s, second.

Photo of USGS biological science tech Shannon Waters holding a salmon for release
July 31, 2017

Shannon Waters Releases Chinook Salmon, Alaska

USGS biological science technician Shannon Waters releases a Chinook Salmon into an Alaskan river.

An aerial view of McKinley Lake
July 31, 2017

An aerial view of McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska

McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska. This is the site of deployment of limnocorrals for an Elodea spp. experiment. 

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

A Tufted Puffin in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea near Gull Island in Lower Cook Inlet , Alaska

Two scientists capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for physiology study in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

Capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for study in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Brielle Heflin and Brian Robinson capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes at the base of the colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. These birds were used in adult physiology studies.

Knik River bridge
July 27, 2017

Knik River bridge

Knik River bridge

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
A Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's mouth
July 20, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwake with herring near Gull Island, Cook Inlet, AK

Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's bill. These seabirds were foraging near Gull Island in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 20, 2017

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, AK

Brian Robinson holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Geologist Jamey Jones studying and preparing to collect samples of igneous rocks in Lake Clark National Park
July 20, 2017

Geologist collecting igneous rock samples in Lake Clark Nat'l Park

The photo was taken by Erin Todd during helicopter-supported geologic fieldwork in Lake Clark National Park this past summer. The project is funded by the USGS Mineral Resources Program that is focused on investigating the bedrock geology of the national park and surrounding areas through geologic mapping and supporting analytical work such as geochemistry and

...
Black-legged Kittiwakes diving into the water to catch small fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 19, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, 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
April 9, 2009

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's oceans, but relatively impoverished in many natural resources, particularly oil and gas. It is the home to a large fisheries industry that is seemingly in peril, and the place itself, a peaceful namesake, can erupt into cataclysmic disasters on a moment's notice.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 6, 2009

Alaska's Redoubt Volcano continues to emit a plume of water vapor, gas and minor ash after its 19th successive explosion this past weekend. Scientists believe the volcano has entered a new period of cyclical lava dome growth marked by small earthquakes and intermittent tremors.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 2, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Unified Command will host a news conference at 1:00PM AKDT (5:00PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.
High resolution photos are available on the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Redoubt Activity Web site.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, erupted explosively more than 10 times this week, sending ash skyrocketing as high as 65,000 feet into the air.
The eruption of Redoubt poses a threat to national and international aviation as volcanic ash is sent into the busy North Pacific flight paths between North America and Asia.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano and yesterday's (March 26) overflight of the volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 26, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 24, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 12:00PM AKDT (4PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 18, 2009

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) will award up to $7 million in grants and cooperative agreements for earthquake research in 2010.
Interested researchers can apply online at GRANTS.GOV under the funding opportunity number 10HQPA0001. Applications are due May 13, 2009.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 18, 2009

Coastal erosion has more than doubled in Alaska - up to 45 feet per year - in a 5-year period between 2002 and 2007 along a 40-mile stretch of the Beaufort Sea.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 12, 2009

New b-roll footage of Alaska's Redoubt Volcano shows its current state of unrest, including vapor plumes emanating from holes in the newly deformed Drift Glacier near the volcano summit. This footage was shot from an aerial observation and gas measurement flight initiated in Anchorage.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 30, 2009

As of Wednesday, February 4, 2009, the Alaska Volcano Observatory will discontinue holding daily briefings on the status of Redoubt Volcano until further notice. We will announce new briefings when significant information becomes available or the status of the volcano changes.

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 29, 2009

Scientists Monitoring it 24/7-The level of seismic activity at Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, has increased and an eruption is possible within days to weeks.
Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) are monitoring events round-the-clock.

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.