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: 2,440
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Year Published: 2017

Lithium

Lithium, the lightest of all metals, is used in air treatment, batteries, ceramics, glass, metallurgy, pharmaceuticals, and polymers. Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are particularly important in efforts to reduce global warming because they make it possible to power cars and trucks from renewable sources of energy (for example, hydroelectric,...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Stillings, Lisa L.; Jaskula, Brian W.; Munk, LeeAnn; McCauley, Andrew D.
Bradley, D.C., Stillings, L.L., Jaskula, B.W., Munk, LeeAnn, and McCauley, A.D., 2017, Lithium, chap. K of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. K1–K21, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802K.

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Year Published: 2017

Zirconium and hafnium

Zirconium and hafnium are corrosion-resistant metals that are widely used in the chemical and nuclear industries. Most zirconium is consumed in the form of the main ore mineral zircon (ZrSiO4, or as zirconium oxide or other zirconium chemicals. Zirconium and hafnium are both refractory lithophile elements that have nearly identical charge, ionic...

Schulz, Klaus J.; DeYoung,, John H.; Seal, Robert R. ; Bradley, Dwight C.; Jones, James V.; Piatak, Nadine M.; Bedinger, George M.
Jones, J.V., III, Piatak, N.M., and Bedinger, G.M., 2017, Zirconium and hafnium, chap. V of Schulz, K.J., DeYoung, J.H., Jr., Seal, R.R., II, and Bradley, D.C., eds., Critical mineral resources of the United States—Economic and environmental geology and prospects for future supply: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1802, p. V1–V26, https://doi.org/10.3133/pp1802V.

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Year Published: 2017

Evaluating methods to assess the body condition of female polar bears

An animal's body condition provides insight into its health, foraging success, and overall fitness. Measures of body composition including proportional fat content are useful indicators of condition. Isotopic dilution is a reliable non-destructive method for estimating the body composition of live mammals, but can require prolonged handling times...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Atkinson, Stephen N.
Pagano, A.M., K.D. Rode, and S.N. Atkinson. 2017. Evaluating methods to assess the body condition of female polar bears. Ursus 28:171-181.

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Year Published: 2017

Tectonic evolution of the Central Andean Plateau and implications for the growth of plateaus

Current end-member models for the geodynamic evolution of orogenic plateaus predict (a) slow and steady rise during crustal shortening and ablative subduction (i.e., continuous removal) of the lower lithosphere or (b) rapid surface uplift following shortening, which is associated with punctuated removal of dense lower lithosphere and/or lower...

Garzione, Carmala N.; McQuarrie, Nadine; Perez, Nicholas D.; Ehlers, Todd A.; Beck, Susan L.; Kar, Nandini; Eichelberger, Nathan; Chapman, Alan D.; Ward, Kevin M.; Ducea, Mihai N.; Lease, Richard O.; Poulsen, Christopher J.; Wagner, Lara S.; Saylor, Joel E.; Zandt, George; Horton, Brian K.
Garzione, Carmala N., McQuarrie, Nadine Perez, Nicholas D., Ehlers, Todd. A., Beck, Susan L., Kar, Nandini Eichelberger, Nathan Chapman, Alan D., Ward, Kevin M., Ducea, Mihai N., Lease, Richard O., Poulsen, Christopher J., Wagner, Lara S., Saylor, Joel E., Zandt, George and Horton, Brian K., 2017, The Tectonic Evolution of the Central Andean Plateau and Geodynamic Implications for the Growth of Plateaus: Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences

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Year Published: 2017

Attaching transmitters to waterbirds using one versus two subcutaneous anchors: Retention and survival trade-offs

A major challenge of wildlife telemetry is choosing an attachment technique that maximizes transmitter retention while minimizing negative side effects. For waterbirds, attachment of transmitters with subcutaneous anchors has been an effective and well-established technique, having been used on >40 species. This method was recently modified to...

Lewis, Tyler; Esler, Daniel N.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Dickson, Rian D.; Anderson, Eric M.; Evenson, Joseph R.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Flint, Paul L.

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Year Published: 2017

Forecasting consequences of changing sea ice availability for Pacific walruses

The accelerating rate of anthropogenic alteration and disturbance of environments has increased the need for forecasting effects of environmental change on fish and wildlife populations. Models linking projections of environmental change with behavioral responses and bioenergetic effects can provide a basis for these forecasts. There is particular...

Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Beatty, William S.; Noren, Shawn R.
Udevitz, M.S., Jay, C.V., Taylor, R.L., Fischbach, A.S., Beatty, W.S., Noren, S.R., 2017, Forecasting consequences of changing sea ice availability for Pacific walruses: Ecosphere, vol. 8, no. 11 p. e02014. doi:10.1002/ecs2.2014

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Year Published: 2017

Genetic implications of bottleneck effects of differing severities on genetic diversity in naturally recovering populations: An example from Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian gallinule

The evolutionary trajectory of populations through time is influenced by the interplay of forces (biological, evolutionary, and anthropogenic) acting on the standing genetic variation. We used microsatellite and mitochondrial loci to examine the influence of population declines, of varying severity, on genetic diversity within two Hawaiian endemic...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.
Sonsthagen, S.A., Wilson, R.E., and Underwood, J.G., 2017, Genetic implications of bottleneck effects of differing severities on genetic diversity in naturally recovering populations: An example from Hawaiian coot and Hawaiian gallinule: Ecology and Evolution, doi: 10.1002/ece3.3530

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Year Published: 2017

Genomics of Arctic cod

The Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) is an abundant marine fish that plays a vital role in the marine food web. To better understand the population genetic structure and the role of natural selection acting on the maternally-inherited mitochondrial genome (mitogenome), a molecule often associated with adaptations to temperature, we analyzed genetic...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Megan C.; Menning, Damian M.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E, G.K. Sage, S.A. Sonsthagen, M.C. Gravley, D.M. Menning, and S.L. Talbot. 2017. Genomics of Arctic Cod. Anchorage, AK: US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Alaska OCS Region. OCS Study BOEM 2017-066. 92pp. https://www.boem.gov/Alaska-Reports-2017/

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Year Published: 2017

Normalized difference vegetation index as an estimator for abundance and quality of avian herbivore forage in arctic Alaska

Tools that can monitor biomass and nutritional quality of forage plants are needed to understand how arctic herbivores may respond to the rapidly changing environment at high latitudes. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) has been widely used to assess changes in abundance and distribution of terrestrial vegetative communities....

Hogrefe, Kyle R.; Patil, Vijay P.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Budde, Michael E.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.
Hogrefe, K. R., V. P. Patil, D. R. Ruthrauff, B. W. Meixell, M. E. Budde, J. W. Hupp, and D. H. Ward. 2017. Normalized difference vegetation index as an estimator for abundance and quality of avian herbivore forage in arctic Alaska. Remote Sensing 9(12):1234. doi:10.3390/rs9121234

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Year Published: 2017

Possible behavioural, energetic and demographic effects of displacement of red-throated divers

This report comprises the main points of discussion and agreement during a workshop, held in Edinburgh in May 2017, to discuss how displacement might affect individuals and the Red-throated diver population; with additional information added by the scientists following the workshop.

Dierschke, Volker; Furness, Robert W.; Gray, Carrie E.; Petersen, Ib Krag; Schmutz, Joel A.; Zydelis, Ramunas; Daunt, Francis
Dierschke, V., Furness, R.W., Gray, C.E., Petersen, I.K., Schmutz, J., Zydelis, R & Daunt, F., (2017), Possible Behavioural, Energetic and Demographic Effects of Displacement of Red-throated Divers, JNCC Report 605, ISSN 0963-8901

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Year Published: 2017

Vectors, hosts, and control measures for Zika virus in the Americas

We examine Zika virus (ZIKV) from an ecological perspective and with a focus on the Americas. We assess (1) the role of wildlife in ZIKV disease ecology, (2) how mosquito behavior and biology influence disease dynamics, and (3) how nontarget species and ecosystems may be impacted by vector control programs. Our review suggests that free-ranging,...

Thompson, Sarah J.; Pearce, John M.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Thompson, S. J., J. M. Pearce, and A. M. Ramey. 2017. Vectors, hosts, and control measures for Zika virus in the Americas. EcoHealth. 14(4):821-839 doi:10.1007/s10393-017-1277-2

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Year Published: 2017

Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of...

Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin S.; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James
Atwood, T.C., Simac, K., Breck, S.W., York, G., and Wilder, J., 2017, Human–polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns: p. 397-418 in Marine Mammal Welfare: Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare, A. Butterworth (ed.), vol. 17, Springer, Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2

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
Alaska field team
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team

The field team included USGS geologists Rob Witter, Adrian Bender, Chris DuRoss, Peter Haeussler, Richard Lease and Kate Scharer

Scientist inspecting permafrost
June 1, 2016

Inspecting Permafrost

USGS scientist Neal Pastick inspects a permafrost plot in North Slope of Alaska near Galbraith Lake.

Scientist laying cable in a field
June 1, 2016

Laying Ground Cable to Measure Permafrost

USGS scientist Burke Minsley and project partners from the U. Alaska Fairbanks lay ground cable to measure permafrost depth at Nome Creek site north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

A bird nest camouflaged in the grass
May 31, 2016

American Golden-Plover nest in dwarf shrub mat habitat

American Golden-Plover nest 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.

May 20, 2016

Shaking of Frontier Building — Anchorage, Alaska, During Mw7.1 Earthquake, January 24, 2016

This video presents a visualization of shaking that was recorded in the Frontier Building in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Mw7.1 earthquake, January 24, 2016, Iniskin, Alaska. It exhibits how a tall building behaves and performs during strong earthquake shaking. Note that relative to the height of the building, the motions are magnified by a factor of 300 to show

Scientist on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars
May 18, 2016

Scientist conducting marine bird and mammal survey

Scientists on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars

Salcha River debris near Salchaket
May 18, 2016

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre
May 18, 2016

Erica Madison bringing in the mid-water trawl on the R/V Alaskan Gyre

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch
May 18, 2016

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

An ice worm on the tip of a finger
May 12, 2016

A True Ice Worm on La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park

A true ice worm (Mesenchytraeus solifugus) on the La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park. 

View of the deck from the mast of the boat
May 11, 2016

Coring earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake

USGS scientists work with academic collaborators from the University of Ghent (Belgium) to core earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake, Alaska.

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg
May 3, 2016

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg

A Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg following a die-off in 2015/2016.  West of Cape Grieg, Alaska Peninsula.

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.