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: 2,679
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Year Published: 2014

Identifying polar bear resource selection patterns to inform offshore development in a dynamic and changing Arctic

Although sea ice loss is the primary threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus), little can be done to mitigate its effects without global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors, however, could exacerbate the impacts of sea ice loss on polar bears, such as exposure to increased industrial activity. The Arctic Ocean has enormous oil...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Horne, Jon S.; Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Durner, George M.

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Year Published: 2014

Establishing a baseline for regional scale monitoring of eelgrass (Zostera marina) habitat on the lower Alaska Peninsula

Seagrass meadows, one of the world’s most widespread and productive ecosystems, provide a wide range of services with real economic value. Worldwide declines in the distribution and abundance of seagrasses and increased threats to coastal ecosystems from climate change have prompted a need to acquire baseline data for monitoring and...

Hogrefe, Kyle R.; Ward, David H.; Donnelly, Tyrone F.; Dau, Niels
Hogrefe, K. R., D. H. Ward, T. F. Donnelly, and N. Dau. 2014. Establishing a Baseline for Regional Scale Monitoring of Eelgrass (Zostera marina) Habitat on the Lower Alaska Peninsula. Remote Sensing 6(12):12447-12477. doi:10.3390/rs61212447

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Year Published: 2014

Morphology-dependent water budgets and nutrient fluxes in arctic thaw ponds

Thaw ponds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska are productive ecosystems, providing habitat and food resources for many fish and bird species. Permafrost in this region creates unique pond morphologies: deep troughs, shallow low-centred polygons (LCPs) and larger coalescent ponds. By monitoring seasonal trends in pond volume and chemistry, we...

Koch, Joshua C.; Gurney, Kirsty; Wipfli, Mark S.
Koch, J. C., K. Gurney, and M. S. Wipfli. 2014. Morphology-dependent water budgets and nutrient fluxes in Arctic thaw ponds. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes 25(2):79-93. doi:10.1002/ppp.1804

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Year Published: 2014

Storm-surge flooding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Coastal regions of Alaska are regularly affected by intense storms of ocean origin, the frequency and intensity of which are expected to increase as a result of global climate change. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD), situated in western Alaska on the eastern edge of the Bering Sea, is one of the largest deltaic systems in North America. Its low...

Terenzi, John; Ely, Craig R.; Jorgenson, M. Torre
Terenzi, J., M. T. Jorgenson, and C. R. Ely. 2014. Storm-surge flooding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Arctic 67(3). doi:dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4403

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Year Published: 2014

Occupancy of yellow-billed and Pacific loons: evidence for interspecific competition and habitat mediated co-occurrence

Interspecific competition is an important process structuring ecological communities, however, it is difficult to observe in nature. We used an occupancy modelling approach to evaluate evidence of competition between yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) and Pacific (G. pacifica) loons for nesting lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska. With multiple...

Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.
Haynes, T.B., J.A. Schmutz, M.S. Lindberg, K.G. Wright, B.D. Uher-Koch, and A.E. Rosenberger. 2014. Occupancy of yellow-billed and Pacific loons: evidence for interspecific competition and habitat mediated co-occurrence. Journal of Avian Biology 45(3):296-304. doi:10.1111/jav.00394

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Year Published: 2014

Size and retention of breeding territories of yellow-billed loons in Alaska and Canada

Yellow-billed Loons (Gavia adamsii) breed in lakes in the treeless Arctic and are globally rare. Like their sister taxa, the well-documented Common Loon (G. immer) of the boreal forest, Yellow-billed Loons exhibit strong territorial behavior during the breeding season. Little is known about what size territories are required, however, or how...

Schmutz, Joel A.; Wright, Kenneth G.; DeSorbo, Christopher R.; Fair, Jeff; Evers, David C.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.
Schmutz, J. A., K. G. Wright, C. R. DeSorbo, J. S. Fair, D. C. Evers, B. D. Uher-Koch, and D. M. Mulcahy. 2014. Size and retention of breeding territories of yellow-billed loons in Alaska and Canada. Waterbirds 37(sp1):53-63. doi:10.1675/063.037.sp108

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Year Published: 2014

Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to yellow-billed loons (Gavia adamsii) breeding in Alaska and Canada

The Yellow-billed Loon (Gavia adamsii) is one of the rarest breeding birds in North America. Because of the small population size and patchy distribution, any stressor to its population is of concern. To determine risks posed by environmental mercury (Hg) loads, we captured 115 Yellow-billed Loons between 2002 and 2012 in the North American Arctic...

Evers, David C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Basu, Niladri; DeSorbo, Christopher R.; Fair, Jeff; Gray, Carrie E.; Paruk, James D.; Perkins, Marie; Regan, Kevin; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Wright, Kenneth G.
Evers, D. C., J. A. Schmutz, N. Basu, C. R. DeSorbo, J. S. Fair, C. E. Gray, J. Paruk, M. Perkins, K. Regan, B. D. Uher-Koch, and K. G. Wright. 2014. Historic and contemporary mercury exposure and potential risk to Yellow-billed Loons breeding in Alaska and Canada. Waterbirds 37(sp1):147-159. doi:10.1675/063.037.sp117

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Year Published: 2014

Use of glacier river-fed estuary channels by juvenile coho salmon: transitional or rearing habitats?

Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems in the world and provide important rearing environments for a variety of fish species. Though generally considered important transitional habitats for smolting salmon, little is known about the role that estuaries serve for rearing and the environmental conditions important for salmon. We...

Hoem Neher, Tammy D.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Walker, Coowe M.; Baird, Steven J.
Hoem Neher, T. D., A. E. Rosenberger, C. E. Zimmerman, C. M. Walker, and S. J. Baird. 2013. Use of glacier river-fed estuary channels by juvenile coho salmon: Transitional or rearing habitats. Environmental Biology of Fishes. doi:10.1007/s10641-013-0183-x

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Year Published: 2014

Factors influencing immediate post-release survival of spectacled eiders following surgical implantation of transmitters with percutaneous antennae

Surgically implanted transmitters are a common method for tracking animal movements. Immediately following surgical implantation, animals pass through a critical recovery phase when behaviors may deviate from normal and the likelihood of individual survival may be reduced. Therefore, data collected during this period may be censored to minimize...

Sexson, Matthew G.; Mulcahy, Daniel M.; Spriggs, Maria; Myers, Gwen E.
Sexson, M. G., D. M. Mulcahy, M. Spriggs, and G. E. Myers. 2014. Factors influencing immediate post-release survival of Spectacled Eiders following surgical implantation of transmitters with percutaneous antennae. Journal of Wildlife Management 78(3):550-560. doi:10.1002/jwmg.690

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Year Published: 2014

Temporal patterns in the foraging behavior of sea otters in Alaska

Activity time budgets in apex predators have been proposed as indicators of population status relative to resource limitation or carrying capacity. We used archival time-depth recorders implanted in 15 adult female and 4 male sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from the northernmost population of the species, Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, to examine...

Esslinger, George G.; Bodkin, James L.; Breton, André R.; Burns, Jennifer M.; Monson, Daniel H.
Esslinger, G. G., J. L. Bodkin, A. R. Breton, J. M. Burns, and D. H. Monson. 2014. Temporal patterns in the foraging behavior of sea otters in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 78(4):689-700. doi:10.1002/jwmg.701

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Year Published: 2014

Focused rock uplift above the subduction décollement at Montague and Hinchinbrook Islands, Prince William Sound, Alaska

Megathrust splay fault systems in accretionary prisms have been identified as conduits for long-term plate motion and significant coseismic slip during subduction earthquakes. These fault systems are important because of their role in generating tsunamis, but rarely are emergent above sea level where their long-term (million year) history can be...

Ferguson, Kelly M; Armstrong, Phillip A; Arkle Jeanette C; Haeussler, Peter J.
Geosphere, February 2015, v. 11, p. 144-159, first published on December 22, 2014, doi:10.1130/GES01036.1

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Year Published: 2014

Drivers of waterfowl population dynamics: from teal to swans

Waterfowl are among the best studied and most extensively monitored species in the world. Given their global importance for sport and subsistence hunting, viewing and ecosystem functioning, great effort has been devoted since the middle part of the 20th century to understanding both the environmental and...

Koons, David N.; Gunnarsson, Gunnar; Schmutz, Joel A.; Rotella, Jay J.
Koons, D.N., G. Gunnarsson, J.A. Schmutz, and J.J. Rotella. 2014. Drivers of waterfowl population dynamics: from teal to swans. Wildfowl Special Issue 4:169-191.

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: 976
Juvenile salmon trapping on the Nome River, Alaska
May 30, 2007

Juvenile salmon trapping on the Nome River, Alaska

Biologists checking a fyke net as part of a fish project for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation.  Otoliths were extracted and read for ages from the fish captured in this fyke net.

Checking a fyke net from a boat in the Nome River
May 30, 2007

Checking a fyke net in the Nome River

Biologists checking a fyke net as part of a fish project for the Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation.  Otoliths were extracted and read for ages from the fish captured in this fyke net.

An inclined plane trap used to catch salmon smolt
May 14, 2007

An inclined plane trap used to catch salmon smolt

An inclined plane trap on the Kwethluk River. Biologists are capturing chum salmon juvenile smolt.

A shorebird walking through the grasses in southwestern Alaska
May 7, 2007

Marbled Godwit on a nest near Ugashik, Alaska

Marbled Godwit on a nest near Ugashik, Alaska.

A Matanuska River side channel
April 23, 2007

A Matanuska River side channel

A side channel of the Matanuska River. Results from this study were published in Curran, J.H., McTeague, M.L., Burril, S.E., and Zimmerman, C.E., 2011, Distribution, persistence, and hydrologic characteristics of salmon spawning habitats in clearwater side channels of the Matanuska River, southcentral Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–

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Winter phase Arctic fox on the northern coast of Alaska
April 14, 2007

Winter phase Arctic fox on the northern coast of Alaska

An arctic fox in it's white winter phase. Taken during polar bear studies on the northern coast of Alaska.

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice
April 5, 2007

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice

A bearded seal on the edge of the sea ice

An anesthetized polar bear lying on the snow while a scientist is measuring the neck area where hair is missing due to alopecia
April 5, 2007

A polar bear with hair loss (alopecia) along its neck

A polar bear with hair loss (alopecia) along its neck. The bear was captured by USGS scientists using the immobilizing drug Telazol

Small bird in the brush with a long upper beak
February 19, 2007

Black-capped Chickadee with a long upper beak in the brush

Black-capped Chickadee with a long upper beak in the brush.

Chickadee with a deformed beak in a bush
February 19, 2007

Black-capped Chickadee with elongated upper beak

Black-capped Chickadee with elongated upper beak.

Shoreline is crumbling into the water, and the land itself is interlocking polygons with brackish water in the centers.
August 31, 2006

Cape Halkett, Beaufort Sea, Alaska

This photograph shows ice-wedge polygons and an eroding shoreline at Cape Halkett on the Beaufort Sea coast of Alaska. Coastal erosion along the Arctic coast is chronic, widespread, and potentially accelerating, posing threats to infrastructure important for defense and energy purposes, natural shoreline habitats, and nearby Native communities. To help address these

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A flock of shorebirds flying near the upper Alaskan Peninsula, Alaska
August 26, 2006

Dunlin flock near Egegik, Alaska

Dunlin flock near Egegik, Alaska.

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.