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: 2,440
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Year Published: 2018

Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli in migratory birds inhabiting remote Alaska

We explored the abundance of antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli among migratory birds at remote sites in Alaska and used a comparative approach to speculate on plausible explanations for differences in detection among species. At a remote island site, we detected antibiotic-resistant E. coli phenotypes in samples collected...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Hernandez, Jorge; Tyrlöv, Veronica; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Atterby, Clara; Järhult, Josef D.; Bonnedahl, Jonas
Ramey, A.M., Hernandez, J., Tyrlöv, V., Uher-Koch, B.D., Schmutz, J.A., Atterby, C., Järhult, J.D., Bonnedahl, J., 2017, Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli in migratory birds inhabiting remote Alaska: EcoHealth, doi: 10.1007/s10393-017-1302-5

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Year Published: 2018

Lessons learned from research and surveillance directed at highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in wild birds inhabiting North America

Following detections of highly pathogenic (HP) influenza A viruses (IAVs) in wild birds inhabiting East Asia after the turn of the millennium, the intensity of sampling of wild birds for IAVs increased throughout much of North America. The objectives for many research and surveillance efforts were directed towards detecting Eurasian origin HP IAVs...

Ramey, Andrew M.; DeLiberto, Thomas J.; Berhane, Yohannes; Swayne, David E.; Stallknecht, David E.
Ramey, A.M., DeLiberto, T.J., Berhane, Y., Swayne, D.E., and Stalknect, D.E., 2018, Lessons learned from research and surveillance directed at highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in wild birds inhabiting North America: Virology, vol. 518, p. 55-63. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2018.02.002

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Year Published: 2018

Mineral constraints on arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus): a spatial and phenological perspective

Arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus) have the longest terrestrial migration of any ungulate but little is known about the spatial and seasonal variation of minerals in summer forages and the potential impacts of mineral nutrition on the foraging behavior and nutritional condition of arctic caribou. We investigated the phenology, availability, and...

Oster, K. W.; Barboza, P.S.; Gustine, David D.; Joly, Kyle; Shively, R. D.
Oster, K. W., P. S. Barboza, D. D. Gustine, K. Joly, and R. D. Shively. 2018. Mineral constraints on arctic caribou (Rangifer tarandus): a spatial and phenological perspective. Ecosphere 9(3):e02160. 10.1002/ecs2.2160

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Year Published: 2018

Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability

Avian acoustic communication has resulted from evolutionary pressures and ecological constraints. We therefore expect that auditory detectability in birds might be predictable by species traits and phylogenetic relatedness. We evaluated the relationship between phylogeny, species traits, and field‐based estimates of the two processes that...

Solymos, Peter; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Stralberg, Diana; Barker, Nicole K. S.; Bayne, Erin M.
Sólymos, P., S. M. Matsuoka, D. Stralberg, N. K. S. Barker, and E. M. Bayne. 2018. Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability. Ecography Early View. doi:10.1111/ecog.03415

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Year Published: 2018

Avian predator buffers against variability in marine habitats with flexible foraging behavior

How well seabirds compensate for variability in prey abundance and composition near their breeding colonies influences their distribution and reproductive success. We used tufted puffins (Fratercula cirrhata) as forage fish samplers to study marine food webs from the western Aleutian Islands (53°N, 173°E) to Kodiak Island (57°N, 153°W), Alaska,...

Schoen, Sarah K.; Piatt, John F.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Heflin, Brielle; Madison, Erica N.; Drew, Gary S.; Renner, Martin; Rojek, Nora A.; Douglas, David C.; DeGange, Anthony R.
Schoen, S. K., J. F. Piatt, M. L. Arimitsu, B. Heflin, E. N. Madison, G. S. Drew, M. Renner, N. A. Rojek, D. C. Douglas, and A. R. DeGange. 2018. Avian predator buffers against variability in marine habitats with flexible foraging behavior. Marine Biology 165:47. doi:10.1007/s00227-018-3304-4

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Year Published: 2018

Energetic solutions of Rock Sandpipers to harsh winter conditions rely on prey quality

Rock Sandpipers Calidris ptilocnemis have the most northerly non-breeding distribution of any shorebird in the Pacific Basin (upper Cook Inlet, Alaska; 61°N, 151°W). In terms of freezing temperatures, persistent winds and pervasive ice, this site is the harshest used by shorebirds during winter. We integrated physiological, metabolic,...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Dekinga, Anne; Gill, Robert E.; Piersma, Theunis
Ruthrauff, D. R., A. A. Dekinga, R. E. Gill, Jr, and T. Piersma. 2017. Energetic solutions of Rock Sandpipers to harsh winter conditions rely on prey quality. Ibis Early View. doi:10.1111/ibi.12534

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Year Published: 2018

Volcanic ash deposition, eelgrass beds, and inshore habitat loss from the 1920s to the 1990s at Chignik, Alaska

We quantified the shallowing of the seafloor in five of six bays examined in the Chignik region of the Alaska Peninsula, confirming National Ocean Service observations that 1990s hydrographic surveys were shallower than previous surveys from the 1920s. Castle Bay, Chignik Lagoon, Hook Bay, Kujulik Bay and Mud Bay lost volume as...

Zimmermann, Mark; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.; Kinsman, Nicole; Ward, David H.; Hogrefe, Kyle R.

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Year Published: 2018

Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans

The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals’ movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the...

Sequeira, A. M. M.; Rodríguez, J.P.; Eguíluz, V. M.; Harcourt, R.; Hindell, M.; Sims, D.W.; Duarte, C.M.; Costa, D.P.; Fernandez-Gracia, J.; Ferreira, L.C.; Hays, G.C.; Heupel, M. R.; Meekan, M.G.; Aven, A.; Bailleul, F.; Baylis, A. M. M.; Berumen, M. L.; Braun, C. D.; Burns, J.; Caley, M.J.; Campbell, R.; Carmichael, R.H.; Clua, E.; Einoder, L. D.; Friedlaender, Ari; Goebel, M. E.; Goldsworthy, S.D.; Guinet, C.; Gunn, J.; Hamer, D.; Hammerschlag, N.; Hammill, M.; Hückstädt, L.A.; Humphries, N.E.; Lea, M.-A.; Lowther, A.; Mackay, A.; McHuron, E.; Mckenzie, J.; McLeay, L.; McMahon, C.R.; Mengersen, K.; Muelbert, M. M. C.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Page, B.; Queiroz, N.; Robinson, P. W.; Shaffer, S.A.; Shivji, M.; Skomal, G. B.; Thorrold, S.; Villegas-Amtmann, S.; Weise, M.; Wells, R.; Wetherbee, B.; Wiebkin, A.; Wienecke, B.; Thums, M.
Sequeira, A.M.M., J.P. Rodríguez, V.M. Eguíluz, R. Harcourt, M. Hindell, D.W. Sims, C.M. Duarte, D.P. Costa, J. Fernández-Gracia, L.C. Ferreira, G.C. Hays, M.R. Heupel, M.G. Meekan, A. Aven, F. Bailleul, A.M.M. Baylis, M.L. Berumen, C.D. Braun, J. Burns, M.J. Caley, R. Campbell, R.H. Carmichael, E. Clua, L.D. Einoder, A. Friedlaender, M.E. Goebel, S.D. Goldsworthy, C. Guinet, J. Gunn, D. Hamer, N. Hammerschlag, M. Hammill, L.A. Hückstädt, N.E. Humphries, M.-A. Lea, A. Lowther, A. Mackay, E. McHuron, J. McKenzie, L. McLeay, C.R. McMahon, K. Mengersen, M.M.C. Muelbert, A. M. Pagano, B. Page, N. Queiroz, P.W. Robinson, S.A. Shaffer, M. Shivji, G.B. Skomal, S.R. Thorrold, S. Villegas-Amtmann, M. Weise, R. Wells, B. Wetherbee, A. Wiebkin, B. Wienecke, and M. Thums. 2018. Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:3072-3077.

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Year Published: 2018

Neoproterozoic–early Paleozoic provenance evolution of sedimentary rocks in and adjacent to the Farewell terrane (interior Alaska)

New detrital zircon U-Pb data from the Farewell terrane of interior Alaska illuminate its early provenance evolution and connections with other Alaskan terranes. Five samples come from Neoproterozoic units in the central Farewell terrane. Basal “ferruginous beds” and the overlying Windy Fork Formation have prominent detrital zircon age populations...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Jones, James V.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Till, Alison B.; Box, Stephen E.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.
Dumoulin, J.A., Jones, J.V., III, Bradley, D.C., Till, A.B., Box, S.E., and O'Sullivan, P., 2018, Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic Provenance Evolution of Sedimentary Rocks in and Adjacent to the Farewell Terrane (Interior Alaska): Geosphere, v. 14, no. 2, doi:10.1130/GES01470.1

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Year Published: 2018

Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning

Behavioral differences within a population can allow use of a greater range of resources among individuals. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generalist omnivore that occupies diverse habitats and displays considerable plasticity in food use. We evaluated whether brown bear foraging that resulted in deviations from a proposed optimal diet...

Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Gustine, David D.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.
Mangipane, L.S., J.L. Belant, D.J.R. Lafferty, D.D. Gustine, T.L. Hiller, M.E. Colvin, B.A. Mangipane, and G.V. Hilderbrand. 2017. Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning. Polar Biology https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-017-2237-6

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Year Published: 2018

High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear

Regional declines in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations have been attributed to changing sea ice conditions, but with limited information on the causative mechanisms. By simultaneously measuring field metabolic rates, daily activity patterns, body condition, and foraging success of polar bears moving on the spring sea ice, we found that high...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Durner, George M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Costa, Daniel P.; Owen, Megan A.; Williams, Terrie M.
Pagano, A.M., G.M. Durner, K.D. Rode, T.C. Atwood, S.N. Atkinson, E. Peacock, D.P. Costa, M.A. Owen, and T.M. Williams. 2018. High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear. Science 359:568-572.

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Year Published: 2018

Life‐history tradeoffs revealed by seasonal declines in reproductive traits of Arctic‐breeding shorebirds

Seasonal declines in breeding performance are widespread in wild animals, resulting from temporal changes in environmental conditions or from individual variation. Seasonal declines might drive selection for early breeding, with implications for other stages of the annual cycle. Alternatively, selection on the phenology of nonbreeding stages could...

Weiser, Emily L.; Brown, Stephen C.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Gates, H. River; Abraham, Kenneth F.; Bentzen, Rebecca L.; Bety, Joel; Boldenow, Megan L.; Brook, Rodney W.; Donnelly, Tyrone F.; English, Willow B.; Flemming, Scott A.; Franks, Samantha E.; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Giroux, Marie-Andree; Johnson, Andrew; Kennedy, Lisa V.; Koloski, Laura; Kwon, Eunbi; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Lank, David B.; Lecomte, Nicolas; Liebezeit, Joseph R.; McKinnon, Laura; Nol, Erica; Perz, Johanna; Rausch, Jennie; Robards, Martin D.; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senner, Nathan R.; Smith, Paul A.; Soloviev, Mikhail; Solovyeva, Diana V.; Ward, David H.; Woodard, Paul F.; Sandercock, Brett K.
Weiser, E. L., Brown, S. C., Lanctot, R. B., Gates, H. R., Abraham, K. F., Bentzen, R. L., Bêty, J. , Boldenow, M. L., Brook, R. W., Donnelly, T. F., English, W. B., Flemming, S. A., Franks, S. E., Gilchrist, H. G., Giroux, M. , Johnson, A. , Kennedy, L. V., Koloski, L. , Kwon, E. , Lamarre, J. , Lank, D. B., Lecomte, N. , Liebezeit, J. R., McKinnon, L. , Nol, E. , Perz, J. , Rausch, J. , Robards, M. , Saalfeld, S. T., Senner, N. R., Smith, P. A., Soloviev, M. , Solovyeva, D. , Ward, D. H., Woodard, P. F. and Sandercock, B. K. (2018), Life‐history tradeoffs revealed by seasonal declines in reproductive traits of Arctic‐breeding shorebirds . J Avian Biol, 49: jav-01531. doi:10.1111/jav.01531

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: 974
A male longspur songbird in short grass
July 18, 2016

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

A bucket of the trawl catch of forage fish
July 17, 2016

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Trawling was part of an assessment of abundance, distribution and species composition of forage fish in marine waters in lower Cook Inlet.

Copper River bridge
July 14, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying

A Horned Puffin flying

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark
July 14, 2016

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
July 14, 2016

Horned Puffin, near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park
July 9, 2016

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Erin Todd (right) discuss the "big picture" geology in their project area in and around Lake Clark National Park. Redoubt volcano in background left; baseball-sized cobbles on ground at researchers feet are pumice cobbles from the 2009(?) eruption of Redoubt volcano. 

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark
July 9, 2016

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark

Jamey Jones collects a sample of Talkeenta Formation volcaniclastic sandstone for detrital zircon geochronology. 

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound
July 7, 2016

Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in the water in Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log floating in the water in Prince William Sound.

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Schools of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

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.