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 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: 2,578
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Year Published: 2019

Confronting models with data: The challenges of estimating disease spillover

For pathogens known to transmit across host species, strategic investment in disease control requires knowledge about where and when spillover transmission is likely. One approach to estimating spillover is to directly correlate observed spillover events with covariates. An alternative is to mechanistically combine information on host density,...

Cross, Paul C.; Prosser, Diann; Ramey, Andrew M.; Hanks, Ephraim M.; Pepin, Kim M.

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Year Published: 2019

An initial assessment of areas where landslides could enter the West Arm of Glacier Bay, Alaska and implications for tsunami hazards

Tsunamis generated by landslides in Glacier Bay are uncommon, but have potential to be extraordinarily destructive when they occur. This article identifies areas that are susceptible to landslides that could generate tsunamis and discusses approaches to characterize hazard and risk from these events.

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin

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Year Published: 2019

Giving ecological meaning to satellite-derived fire severity metrics across North American forests

Satellite-derived spectral indices such as the relativized burn ratio (RBR) allow fire severity maps to be produced in a relatively straightforward manner across multiple fires and broad spatial extents. These indices often have strong relationships with field-based measurements of fire severity, thereby justifying their widespread use in...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Koontz, Michael J.; Collins, Luke S.; Whitman, Ellen; Parisien, Marc-André; Loehman, Rachel A.; Barnes, Jennifer L.; Bourdon, Jean-François; Boucher, Jonathan; Boucher, Yan; Caprio, Anthony C.; Collingwood, Adam; Hall, Ron; Park, Jane; Saperstein, Lisa; Smetanka, Charlotte; Smith, Rebecca; Soverel, Nick

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Year Published: 2019

The Aleutian Low – Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index for predicting the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere

Early and late extremes in the timing of snowmelt have recently been observed in the Pacific Arctic. Subseasonal-to-seasonal forecasts of this timing are important for industry, environmental management and Arctic communities. In northern Alaska, the timing is influenced by the advection of marine air from the north Pacific by the Aleutian Low,...

Cox, Christopher J.; Stone, Robert S.; Douglas, David C.; Stanitski, Diane; Gallagher, Michael
Cox, C. J., Stone, R. S., Douglas, D. C., Stanitski, D. M., & Gallagher, M. R. (2019). The Aleutian Low‐Beaufort Sea Anticyclone: A climate index correlated with the timing of springtime melt in the Pacific Arctic cryosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, 46, 7464–7473. https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL083306

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Year Published: 2019

Filling knowledge gaps in a threatened shorebird flyway through satellite tracking

Satellite‐based technologies that track individual animal movements enable the mapping of their spatial and temporal patterns of occurrence. This is particularly useful in poorly studied or remote regions where there is a need for the rapid gathering of relevant ecological knowledge to inform management actions. One such region is East Asia, where...

Yin-Chi Chan; Tibbitts, Lee; Tamar Lok; Chris Hassell; He-Bo Peng; Zhijun Ma; Zhengwang Zhang; Theunis Piersma

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Year Published: 2019

Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: Correcting aerial counts for visibility bias

Listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993, the Spectacled Eider (Somateria fischeri) population in western Alaska has since rebounded, prompting an assessment of their suitability for delisting. This assessment, however, is limited by aerial-based population estimates that are incompletely corrected for unobserved eiders....

Lewis, Tyler; Michael Swaim; Schmutz, Joel A.; Julian Fischer
Lewis TL, Swaim MA, Schmutz JA, Fischer JB (2019) Improving population estimates of threatened spectacled eiders: correcting aerial counts for visibility bias. Endang Species Res 39:191-206. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00959

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Year Published: 2019

Are polar bear habitat resource selection functions developed from 1985-1996 data still useful?

1. Greenhouse gas-induced warming in the Arctic has caused declines in sea ice extent and changed its composition, raising concerns by all circumpolar nations for polar bear conservation. 2. Negative impacts have been observed in three well-studied polar bear subpopulations. Most subpopulations, however, receive little or no direct monitoring,...

Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Atwood, Todd C.

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Year Published: 2019

Late Miocene to Pleistocene source to sink record of exhumation and sediment routing in the Gulf of Alaska from detrital zircon fission-track and U-Pb double dating

We investigate the late Miocene‐Pleistocene offshore sedimentary record of the Yakutat microplate to evaluate the spatial and temporal variations in rock exhumation and sediment routing patterns at the heavily glaciated and actively converging plate boundary in southeast Alaska. We present 1,456 new fission track ages and 1,372 new U‐Pb ages from...

Bootes, Nathaniel; Enkelmann, Eva; Lease, Richard O.

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Year Published: 2019

Near-field remote sensing of Alaskan Rivers

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geomorphology and Sediment Transport Laboratory (GSTL), in collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL), acquired remotely sensed data from several Alaskan rivers in 2017 and 2018 with the goal of developing a methodology for measuring streamflow from...

Kinzel, Paul J.; Legleiter, Carl J.; Nelson, Jonathan M.; Conaway, Jeff; LeWinter, Adam; Gadomski, Peter; Filiano, Dominic

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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

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: 983
Two birds in the rocks, one with fish in it's mouth
July 3, 2017

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 3, 2017.

A male Wilson's Warbler songbird in a shrub
July 2, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler in a shrub on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Many people on a boat putting a cable in the water
July 1, 2017

Seismic survey of the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS scientists deploy a seismic streamer aboard the R/V David Starr offshore of southeast Alaska to study the Queen Charlotte Fault.

Satellite image showing a picture of northeastern Alaska.
June 27, 2017

7 Million Landsat Scenes and Counting!

The Landsat archive, the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based, moderate-resolution land remote sensing data, has now surpassed 7 million scenes since Landsat 1 first began collecting data in July 1972. This Landsat 8 image acquired on June 27, 2017, represents one of those millions of scenes

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Scientist examining geologic outcrop
June 25, 2017

Geologist examines rocks at Darby Pluton, AK

USGS Geologist George Case examines granitic rocks in preparation for collecting samples for geochemistry and geochronology near the Boulder Creek prospect at the north end of the Darby pluton on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite towards the contact between the pluton and Paleozoic marbles
June 25, 2017

Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite

Looking east past a typical Darby Mountain outcrop of quartz monzonite towards the contact between the pluton and Paleozoic marbles

Rock with phenocrysts and hammer for scale
June 17, 2017

Potassium feldspar phenocrysts in syenite

Stretched phenocrysts of potassium feldspar in syenite of the Kachauik pluton on the Bering Sea coast of the southeastern Seward Peninsula.

Tony Fischbach's staff photo
June 17, 2017

Tony Fischbach's staff photo

Tony Fischbach's staff photo

Small yellow bird on a bush
June 13, 2017

Lone male Yellow Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Lone male Yellow Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Children from the village of Elim, Alaska explore the beach outcrops with USGS geologists
June 13, 2017

Elim village children explore beach outcrops with USGS geologists

USGS geologists (Andy Allard, Beth Drewes-Todd and Alan Pongratz) investigating the rocks exposed on the beaches near the village of Elim with the trusty local guides and eager budding geologists. 

man holding bird in a field
June 9, 2017

Joel Schmutz with an Emperor Goose

Joel Schmutz holding an Emperor Goose

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 253
USGS
July 18, 2008

Anchorage, AK - Okmok Volcano in Alaska continues to produce explosions and ash plumes through a newly created vent and poses hazards to air travel in the area.

USGS
May 8, 2008

After a long and distinguished career with the U. S. Geological Survey, George Gryc, 88, passed away on April 27 in Sunnyvale, California. Well known from the smallest bush settlement on the Yukon to Capital Hill in Washington, Gryc was the preeminent Alaskan geologist of his day. His work bore directly on the outcome of all the major issues of consequence to Alaska in the 20th century.

USGS
April 3, 2008

Alaska is one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth, located at the far northern border of the Pacific Ocean, a vast, rugged area of critical importance to global commerce and national security.

USGS
March 19, 2008

Alaska has dozens of active volcanoes, some which erupt explosively multiple times a year. Learn how the scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), which turns 20 in April, help prevent these hazards from becoming disasters.

USGS
July 12, 2007

A 20-year U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study documents that recent changes in the quality and availability of sea ice in northern Alaska are the most likely explanation for a decrease in maternal polar bear denning on sea ice and an increase of denning on land. The results of the peer-reviewed study by the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage were just published online in the journal

USGS
July 2, 2007

An article by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists on documentation of coastal land loss, lake expansion and drainage in Alaska from 1955 - 2005 was recently published in the July issue of Geology, a Geological Society of America publication.

USGS
February 6, 2007

The U. S Geological Survey (USGS) was recently asked by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to evaluate the status of Marbled Murrelets in Alaska and British Columbia.

USGS
September 25, 2006

The Wildlife Society´s 13th Annual Conference & Trade Show is being held September 23–27, 2006 in downtown Anchorage, Alaska at the William A. Egan Civic and Convention Center. 

USGS
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere. 

USGS
June 5, 2006

Today, June 5, 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the third year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. 

USGS
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

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.