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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,613
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Year Published: 2018

Trends and traditions: Overview and synthesis

This paper provides an overview by the editors of a collection of 25 papers for the Studies of Western Birds, to be published in a single volume by Western Field Ornithologists. The title of the volume is: "Trends and traditions: Avifaunal change in western North America."

Shuford, W David; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2018

A decade of remotely sensed observations highlight complex processes linked to coastal permafrost bluff erosion in the Arctic

Eroding permafrost coasts are indicators and integrators of changes in the Arctic System as they are susceptible to the combined effects of declining sea ice extent, increases in open water duration, more frequent and impactful storms, sea-level rise, and warming permafrost. However, few observation sites in the Arctic have yet to link decadal-...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Farquharson, Louise M.; Baughman, Carson; Buzard, Richard M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Grosse, Guido; Bull, Diana L.; Günther, Frank; Nitze, Ingmar; Urban, Frank; Kasper, Jeremy L.; Frederick, Jennifer M.; Thomas, Matthew A.; Jones, Craig; Mota, Alejandro; Dallimore, Scott; Tweedie, Craig E.; Maio, Christopher V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Richmond, Bruce M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Xiao, Ming; Sachs, Torsten; Iwahana, Go; Kanevskiy, Mikhail Z.; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.
Benjamin M. Jones et al 2018 Environ. Res. Lett. in press https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aae471

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Year Published: 2018

Unusual foraging observations associated with seabird die-offs in Alaska

We report the first documentation of off-water foraging by the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel Oceanodroma furcata and Short-tailed Shearwater Ardenna tenuirostris, a behavior not previously documented in any member of the families Hydrobatidae or Procellariidae. Over a two-week period in September 2016, we regularly observed individuals of these species...

Robinson, Bryce; DeCicco, Lucas H.; Johnson, James A.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.

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Year Published: 2018

Shorebirds adjust spring arrival schedules with variable environmental conditions: Four decades of assessment on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Arctic summers are brief, and there has been strong selection for migratory birds to arrive in Arctic nesting areas as early as possible to time breeding with peak food availability and complete reproduction. The timing of emergence of nesting habitat in spring is, however, extremely variable in the Arctic, and few long-term studies have examined...

Shuford, W. David; Gill, Robert E.; Handel, Colleen M.; Ely, Craig R.; McCaffery, Brian; Gill, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2018

Submarine deposition of a subaerial landslide in Taan Fiord, Alaska

A large subaerial landslide entered Taan Fiord, Alaska, on 17 October 2015 producing a tsunami with runup to 193 m. We use LiDAR data to show the slide volume to be 76 + 3/−4 million cubic meters and that 51,000,000 m3 entered Taan Fiord. In 2016, we mapped the fjord with multibeam bathymetry and high‐resolution seismic...

Haeussler, Peter; Gulick, S.P.S; McCall, N.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; Reece, R.; Larson, C.; Shugar, D.H.; Geertsema, M.; Venditti, J.G.; Labay, Keith A.

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Year Published: 2018

Survey-based assessment of the frequency and potential impacts of recreation on polar bears

Conservation plans for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) typically cannot prescribe management actions to address their primary threat: sea ice loss associated with climate warming. However, there may be other stressors that compound the negative effects of sea ice loss which can be mitigated. For example, Arctic tourism has...

Rode, Karyn D.; Fortin, Jennifer K.; Garshelis, Dave; Dyck, Markus; Sahanatien, Vicki; Atwood, Todd C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Laidre, Kristin L.; Miller, Susanne; Obbard, Martyn E.; Vongraven, Dag; Ware, Jasmine V.; Wilder, James
Rode, K. D., J. K. Fortin-Noreus, D. L. Garshelis, M. Dyck, V. Sahanatien, T. C. Atwood, S. E. Belikov, K. L. Laidre, S. Miller, M. E. Obbard, D. Vongraven, J. V. Ware, and J. Wilder. 2018. Survey-based assessment of the frequency and potential impacts of recreation on polar bears. Biological Conservation 227:121-132. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2018.09.008

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Year Published: 2018

Use of landscape simulation modeling to quantify resilience for ecological applications

Goals of fostering ecological resilience are increasingly used to guide U.S. public land management in the context of anthropogenic climate change and increasing landscape disturbances. There are, however, few operational means of assessing the resilience of a landscape or ecosystem. We present a method to evaluate resilience using simulation...

Keane, Robert; Loehman, Rachel A.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Falk, Donald A.; Higuera, Phil E; Hood, Sharon; Hessburg, Paul F.

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Year Published: 2018

Movements and dive patterns of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) released in the Gulf of Mexico following rehabilitation

The habits and habitats of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) are poorly known outside of strandings and line-transect surveys. Two adult male pygmy killer whales were found live-stranded in the state of Mississippi (USA) on 1 September 2015 and were subsequently rehabilitated and returned to the offshore waters of...

Pulis, Eric; Wells, Randall S.; Schorr, Gregory S.; Douglas, David C.; Samuelson, Mystera M.; Solangi, Moby
Pulis, E.E., Wells, R.S., Schorr, G.S., Douglas, D.C., Samuelson, M.M., and Solangi, M., 2018, Movements and dive patterns of pygmy killer whales (Feresa attenuata) released in the Gulf of Mexico following rehabilitation: Aquatic Mammals vol. 44, no. 5 p. 555-567. doi: 10.1578/AM.44.5.2018.555

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Year Published: 2018

Spring temperature, migration chronology, and nutrient allocation to eggs in three species of arctic‐nesting geese: Implications for resilience to climate warming

The macronutrients that Arctic herbivores invest in their offspring are derived from endogenous reserves of fat and protein (capital) that females build prior to the period of investment or from foods they consume concurrently with investment (income). The relative contribution from each source can be influenced by temporal and environmental...

Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Soto, David X.; Hobson, Keith A.
Hupp, J.W., Ward, D.H., Soto, D.X.and Hobson, K. A., 2018, Spring temperature, migration chronology, and nutrient allocation to eggs in three species of arctic‐nesting geese: Implications for resilience to climate warming: Global Change Biology. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14418

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Year Published: 2018

Genetic evidence supports sporadic and independent introductions of subtype H5 low pathogenic avian influenza A viruses from wild birds to domestic poultry in North America

Wild bird–origin influenza A viruses (IAVs or avian influenza) have led to sporadic outbreaks among domestic poultry in the United States (US) and Canada, resulting in economic losses through the implementation of costly containment practices and destruction of birds. We used evolutionary analyses of virus sequence data to determine that 78 H5 low...

Li, Lei; Bowman, Andrew S.; DeLiberto, Thomas J.; Killian, Mary L.; Krauss, Scott; Nolting, Jacqueline M.; Torchetti, Mia Kim; Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Stallknecht, David E.; Webby, Richard J.; Wan, Xiu-Feng

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Year Published: 2018

Introduction of Eurasian-origin H8N4 influenza A virus into North America via migratory birds

We identified a Eurasian-origin influenza A(H8N4) virus in North America by sampling wild birds in western Alaska, USA. Evidence for repeated introductions of influenza A viruses into North America by migratory birds suggests that intercontinental dispersal might not be exceedingly rare and that our understanding of viral establishment is...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Reeves, Andrew B.; Donnelly, Tyrone F.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.
Ramey, A. M., Reeves, A. B., Donnelly, T., Poulson, R. L., and Stallknecht, D. E., 2018, Introduction of Eurasian-origin H8N4 influenza A virus into North America via migratory birds: Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 24, no. 10, p. . doi:10.3201/eid2410.180447.

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Year Published: 2018

The 2015 landslide and tsunami in Taan Fiord, Alaska

Glacial retreat in recent decades has exposed unstable slopes and allowed deep water to extend beneath some of those slopes. Slope failure at the terminus of Tyndall Glacier on 17 October 2015 sent 180 million tons of rock into Taan Fiord, Alaska. The resulting tsunami reached elevations as high as 193 m, one of the highest tsunami runups ever...

Higman, Brentwood; Shugar, Dan H.; Stark, Colin P.; Ekstrom, Goran; Koppes, Michele N; Lynett, Patrick; Dufresne, Anja; Haeussler, Peter; Geertsema, Marten; Gulick, Sean PS; Mattox, Andrew; Venditti, Jeremy G.; Walton, Maureen A. L.; McCall, Naoma; Mckittrick, Erin; MacInnes, Breanyn; Bilderback, Eric L.; Tang, Hui; Willis, Micheal; Richmond, Bruce; Reece, Bobby; Larsen, Christopher F.; Olson, Bjorn; Capra, James; Ayca, Aykut; Bloom, Colin K; Williams, Haley; Bonno, Doug; Weiss, Robert; Keen, Adam; Skanavis, Vassilios; Loso, Micheal

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
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

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

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

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.

Scientist leaning over side of R/V Alaskan Gyre adjusting the multibeam arm
May 3, 2016

Tom Parsons preparing the multibeam arm on the R/V Alaskan Gyre

Scientist leaning over side of R/V Alaskan Gyre adjusting the multibeam arm

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.

Dead birds on the beach
May 2, 2016

Dead Common Murres found on the beach along the Alaska Peninsula

Dead Common Murres found on the beach along the Alaska Peninsula May 2, 2016. This bird was part of the large die-off of Common Murres across the Gulf of Alaska in 2015-2016.

Scientists search for beachcast Common Murres
May 2, 2016

Scientists search for beachcast Common Murres

Sarah Schoen and pilot Chris Klosterman search for beachcast Common Murres along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses
May 2, 2016

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses

Retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Puale Bay, 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.