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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,613
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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

Multi-scale geophysical mapping of deep permafrost change after disturbance in interior Alaska, USA

Disturbance related to fire or hydrologic processes can cause degradation of deep (greater than 1 m) permafrost. These changes in deep permafrost have the potential to impact landscapes and infrastructure, alter the routing and distribution of surface water or groundwater, and may contribute to the flux of carbon to terrestrial and aquatic...

Minsley, Burke J.; Bloss, Benjamin R.; Ebel, Brian A.; Rey, David Matthew; Walvoord, Michelle A.; Brown, Dana R.N.; Daanen, Ronald; Emond, Abraham M.; Kass, M. Andy; Pastick, Neal J.; Wylie, Bruce

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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.

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: 984
An owl perched on an old log
July 1, 2016

Short-eared Owl on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Short-eared Owl.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Black-legged Kittiwake captured Pacific sand lance above the water
July 1, 2016

Black-legged Kittiwake foraging on Pacific sand lance

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on Pacific sand lance.

Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon.
June 30, 2016

Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon.

Gulls using beach at the mouth of Kenai River during the personal use dipnet fishery for sockeye salmon; photo taken during sampling trip in July 2016.

John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016
June 30, 2016

A gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill

John Reed (USGS scientist) holding a gull marked with a satellite transmitter at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.

A close up of a male Willow Ptarmigan
June 30, 2016

A male Willow Ptarmigan

A closeup of a male Willow Ptarmigan.

Person in a trench
June 26, 2016

Investigating a trench across the Fairweather Fault

USGS Research Geologist Chris DuRoss investigates earthquake-faulted stratigraphy exposed in a hand-dug trench across the Fairweather Fault scarp. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

Two men walking on the edge of a thin forest
June 22, 2016

Walking along the Fairweather Fault scarp

USGS scientists Adrian Bender and Peter Haeussler walk along the base of a ~10 m tall escarpment formed during past ground-rupturing earthquakes on the Fairweather Fault. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

A person in a forest of tall trees
June 20, 2016

Surveying the Fairweather Fault trace

USGS Geologist Adrian Bender surveys a trace of the 1958 Fairweather Fault earthquake surface rupture. The trace forms a linear, uphill-facing, 1-2 m tall escarpment flanked by trees that were likely tilted during the 1958 earthquake. Location: Crillon Lake, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska.

A nest of a warbler in a bush
June 17, 2016

Yellow Warbler nest in a tall shrub thicket habitat

Yellow Warbler nest in a tall shrub thicket habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Small bird in a tree
June 16, 2016

Male Arctic Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Arctic 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.

Scientists setting a trap for gulls at the landfill
June 9, 2016

Setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016

Scientists Andrew Ramey, Bjorn Olsen, and Jonas Bonnedahl (L to R) setting a trap for gulls at the Soldotna landfill in June 2016.

Alaska field team revisit Tocher's 1958  site
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team revisit Tocher's 1958 site

The field team revisited many of the same locations geologists  Don Tocher and Don Miller studied in 1958.

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.