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 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: 2,582
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Year Published: 2019

Seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Dall's porpoise, Phocoenoides dalli, are a conspicuous predator in the Prince William Sound ecosystem, yet there has been little effort directed towards monitoring this species since the 1980s, prior to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We used vessel-based surveys to examine the seasonal distribution of Dall's porpoise in the waters of Prince William...

J.R. Moran; O'Dell, M.B.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Straley, Jan M; Dickson, D.M.S.

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Year Published: 2019

Implications of introgression for wildlife translocations: the case of North American martens

The evolutionary consequences of natural introgression provide a rare opportunity to retrospectively evaluate how the introduction of exotics or genetic rescue efforts may impact endemic faunas. Phylogeographic structure among mainland, endemic insular, and introduced North American marten (Martes americana and M. caurina) populations...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Wilson, Robert E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2019

Investigating lake-area dynamics across a permafrost-thaw spectrum using airborne electromagnetic surveys and remote sensing time-series data in Yukon Flats, Alaska

Lakes in boreal lowlands cycle carbon and supply an important source of freshwater for wildlife and migratory waterfowl. The abundance and distribution of these lakes are supported, in part, by permafrost distribution, which is subject to change. Relationships between permafrost thaw and lake dynamics remain poorly known in most boreal regions....

Rey, David; Walvoord, Michelle Ann; Minsley, Burke; Rover, Jennifer; Singha, Kamini

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Year Published: 2019

Survival of Bristle-thighed Curlews equipped with externally mounted transmitters

Telemetry devices are widely used in avian research, but the degree to which the deployment of such devices affects the survival of study subjects is often not addressed. It is generally assumed that such effects are less pronounced in large-bodied species that conduct relatively short migrations and carry relatively light telemetry devices. We...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Patil, Vijay P.

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Year Published: 2019

Global sea-level contribution from Arctic land ice: 1971 to 2017

The Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) (AMAP, 2017) identifies the Arctic as the largest regional source of land ice to global sea-level rise in the 2003 to 2014 period. Yet, this contextualization ignores the longer perspective from in-situ records of glacier mass balance. Here, using 18 (> 55 °N latitude) glacier and ice cap mass...

Box, Jason E.; Colgan, William T.; Wouters, Bert; Burgess, David O; O'Neel, Shad; Thomson, Laura; Mernild, Sebastian H

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Year Published: 2019

Interannual snow accumulation variability on glaciers derived from repeat spatially extensive ground-penetrating radar surveys

There is significant uncertainty regarding the spatiotemporal distribution of seasonal snow on glaciers, despite being a fundamental component of glacier mass balance. To address this knowledge gap, we collected repeat, spatially extensive high-frequency ground-penetrating radar (GPR) observations on two glaciers in Alaska for five consecutive...

McGrath, Daniel J; Sass, Louis; O'Neel, Shad; McNeil, Christopher J.; Candela, Salvatore G; Baker, Emily; Marshall, Hans P.

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Year Published: 2019

New approach to assessing age uncertainties – The 2300-year varve chronology from Eklutna Lake, Alaska (USA)

Developing robust chronological frameworks of lacustrine sediment is central to reconstructing past environmental changes. We present varve chronologies from five sites extending back 2300 years from Eklutna Lake, in the Chugach Mountains of south-central Alaska. The chronologies are built from image analysis of high-resolution...

Fortin, David; Praet, Nore; McKay, Nicholas P.; Kaufman, Darrell S.; Jensen, Britta J.L.; Haeussler, Peter; Buchanan, Casey; De Batist, Marc

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Year Published: 2019

Density‐dependent and phenological mismatch effects on growth and survival in lesser snow and Ross's goslings

Strong seasonality of high‐latitude environments imposes temporal constraints on forage availability and quality for keystone herbivores in terrestrial arctic ecosystems, including hyper‐abundant colonial geese. Changes in food quality due to intraspecific competition, or food availability relative to the breeding phenology of birds, may have...

Megan V. Ross; Ray T. Alisauskas; Douglas, David C.; Dana K. Kellett; Kiel L. Drake
Ross, M. V., R. T. Alisauskas, D. C. Douglas, D. K. Kellett, and K. L. Drake. Density-dependent and phenological mismatch effects on growth and survival in lesser snow and Ross’s goslings. J. Avian Biology. https://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jav.01748

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Year Published: 2019

Delayed herbivory by migratory geese increases summer‐long CO2 uptake in coastal western Alaska

The advancement of spring and the differential ability of organisms to respond to changes in plant phenology may lead to ‘phenological mismatches’ as a result of climate change. One potential for considerable mismatch is between migratory birds and food availability in northern breeding ranges and these mismatches may have consequences for...

Leffler, A. Joshua; Beard, Karen H.; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Choi, Ryan T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffery M.

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Year Published: 2019

Changing station coverage impacts temperature trends in the Upper Colorado River Basin

Over the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB), temperatures in widely used gridded data products do not warm as much as mean temperatures from a stable set of U.S. Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) stations, located at generally lower elevations, in most months of the year. This is contrary to expectations of elevation-dependent warming, which...

McAfee, Stephanie A.; McCabe, Gregory J.; Gray, Stephen; Pederson, Gregory T.

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Year Published: 2019

Nesting ecology of a naturalized population of Mallards Anas platyrhynchos in New Zealand

Investigating the reproductive ecology of naturalized species provides insights into the role of the source population's characteristics vs. post‐release adaptation that influence the success of introduction programmes. Introduced and naturalized Mallards Anas platyrhynchos are widely established in New Zealand (NZ), but little is known...

Sheppard, Jennifer L.; Amundson, Courtney L.; Arnold, Todd W.; Klee, David

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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.

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
Copper River bridge longer view
August 18, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge longer view

A tributary of the Agashashok River
August 16, 2016

Tributary of the Agashashok River

A tributary of the Agashashok River.

The Agashashok River Watershed
August 15, 2016

The Agashashok River Watershed

The Agashashok River Watershed

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River
August 15, 2016

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

Kasilof River bridge during high water
August 11, 2016

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Four people looking a flattened trees
August 9, 2016

Surveying the Taan Fjord tsunami runup

USGS scientists investigate trees knocked over by the tsunami at the mouth of Taan Fjord. Flow depth here was likely 5 m based on the height of branches stripped off trees in the background. This event had the 4th highest tsunami runup ever recorded.

Landsat image showing the landslide in Glacier Bay
August 7, 2016

Landslide Spreads 6 Miles Across Glacier Bay National Park

On June 28, 2016, a 4,000-foot-high mountainside in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve collapsed, sending rocky debris equivalent to 60 million mid-size SUVs tumbling onto nearby Lamplugh Glacier.  Almost 6 weeks later, on August 7, the Operational Land Imager sensor aboard Landsat 8 captured the black stain of the landslide in the image on the right. No such

...
People with tents in the grass by a bay
August 7, 2016

Geologists' camp on Unga Island, Alaska

USGS geologists' camp overlooking Unga Village on Unga Island, Alaska.

Boat on the water near a glacier
August 6, 2016

Collecting seismic data in Taan Fjord

USGS scientists collect seismic data to image the 2015 Taan Fjord landslide in southeast Alaska.

Montana River bridge
August 1, 2016

Montana River bridge

Montana River bridge

Scientists moving a complete limnocorral to McKinley Lake
July 31, 2016

Deploying of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake

Deployment of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake, near Cordova, Alaska for Elodea spp. experiment. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.
July 31, 2016

Deployment of a limnocorral in McKinley Lake

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

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 13, 1999

Providing a plan to help resource managers restore the Bering Sea and North Pacific ecosystem is a task research scientist Jim Estes of the U.S. Geological Survey will pursue during the next four years with funding help from a 1999 Pew Marine Conservation fellowship of $150,000.

USGS
June 23, 1999

Alaska is a land of great opportunity for scientific research, according to the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS
November 24, 1998

The water quality of the Fortymile River -- a beautiful, wild and scenic river in the remote part of east-central Alaska -- has not been adversely impacted by selected suction-dredge gold placer mining operations, according to an integrated study under way by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

USGS
August 31, 1998

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East are often thought of as desolate windswept outposts along the northern Pacific rim, yet this is a heavily traveled region.

USGS
August 28, 1998

Torrents of meltwater are unleashed suddenly from the margins of the great moving sheets of snow and ice, known as glaciers. In Alaska, these pulses of activity, called "outburst floods," are usually caused by the failure of ice dams that restrain the meltwater of glacial margin lakes.

USGS
May 17, 1998

A new fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey provides results of the latest assessment of petroleum resources in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including new estimates of how much petroleum may be present. The 1002 area, defined by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, includes most of the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and covers about 1.5 mil

USGS
September 19, 1997

A new, computer-generated, digital map of Alaska was presented to Gov.Tony Knowles and John Shively, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, today by Gordon Nelson, State Representative for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS
May 15, 1997

A computer-generated map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a striking portrayal of Alaska’s varied landscape.

USGS
February 13, 1997

China and Indonesia suffered the deadliest and most destructive earthquakes in 1996, while the U.S. remained relatively quiet according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. The last deadly earthquake in the U.S. was the 1994 Northridge, Calif., quake that took 60 lives.

USGS
December 13, 1996

Just in time for Christmas, Pavlof volcano in Alaska and Montserrat volcano in the Caribbean are more active but are not expected to alter or delay Santa’s trip around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
August 9, 1996

From glaciers and lava flats to white spruce woodlands and bog communities, a new U.S. Geological Survey report will aid scientists, managers and planners in organizing environmental data.

USGS
October 5, 1995

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred Thurs., Oct. 5, 1995, in Alaska, about 40 miles northwest of Fairbanks, at 9:23 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (1:23 a.m. EDT, Oct. 6), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

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