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

Waterfowl habitat use and selection during the remigial moult period in the northern hemisphere

This paper reviews factors affecting site selection amongst waterfowl (Anatidae) during the flightless remigial moult, emphasising the roles of predation and food supply (especially protein and energy). The current literature suggests survival during flightless moult is at least as high as at other times of the annual cycle, but...

Fox, Anthony D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hohman, William L.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.
Fox, A. D., P. L. Flint, and J-P. L. Savard. 2014. Waterfowl habitat use and selection during the remigial moult period in the northern hemisphere. Wildfowl Special Issue 4:131-168.

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Year Published: 2014

The effects of spilled oil on coastal ecosystems: Lessons from the Exxon Valdez spill

Oil spilled from ships or other sources into the marine environment often occurs in close proximity to coastlines, and oil frequently accumulates in coastal habitats. As a consequence, a rich, albeit occasionally controversial, body of literature describes a broad range of effects of spilled oil across several habitats, communities, and species in...

Bodkin, James L.; Esler, Daniel N.; Rice, Stanley D.; Matkin, Craig O.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Maslo, Brooke; Lockwood, Julie L.

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Year Published: 2014

Termini of calving glaciers as self-organized critical systems

Over the next century, one of the largest contributions to sea level rise will come from ice sheets and glaciers calving ice into the ocean1. Factors controlling the rapid and nonlinear variations in calving fluxes are poorly understood, and therefore difficult to include in prognostic climate-forced land-ice models. Here we analyse globally...

Astrom, J.; Vallot, D.; Schafer, M.; Welty, E.; O'Neel, Shad; Bartholomaus, T.C.; Liu, Y.; Riikila, T.; Zwinger, T.; Timonen, J.; Moore, Johnnie N.

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Year Published: 2014

Mapping traditional place names along the Koyukuk River: Koyukuk, Huslia, and Hughes, Western Interior Alaska

Koyukon Athabascan peoples have settled along the Koyukuk River in Western Interior Alaska for thousands of years using the surrounding landscape for subsistence and cultural resources. However, recent changes in climate, technology, resource availability, and way of life have affected land-use patterns in the region, as well as use of the Denaakk...

McCloskey, Sarah E.; Jones, Benjamin M.
McCloskey, Sarah, Jones, Eliza, Paskvan, Susan, Moncrieff, Catherine, Bodony, Karin, Toohey, Ryan, and Jones, B.M., 2014, Mapping traditional place names along the Koyukuk River—Koyukuk, Huslia, and Hughes, Western Interior Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2014-3105, 2 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20143105.

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Year Published: 2014

Quantifying fall migration of Ross's gulls (Rhodostethia rosea) past Point Barrow, Alaska

The Ross’s gull (Rhodostethia rosea) is a poorly known seabird of the circumpolar Arctic. The only place in the world where Ross’s gulls are known to congregate is in the near-shore waters around Point Barrow, Alaska, where they undertake an annual passage in late fall. Ross’s gulls seen at Point Barrow are presumed to originate from nesting...

Maftei, Mark; Davis, Shanti E.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Gesmundo, Callie; Suydam, R.S.; Mallory, Mark L.

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Year Published: 2014

Energy demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens)

Decreases in sea ice have altered habitat use and activity patterns of female Pacific walruses Odobenus rosmarus divergens and could affect their energetic demands, reproductive success, and population status. However, a lack of physiological data from walruses has hampered efforts to develop the bioenergetics models required for fully...

Noren, Shawn R.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.
Noren, S. R., M . S. Udevitz, and C. V. Jay. 2014. Energy Demands for maintenance, growth, pregnancy, and lactation of female Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 87(6):837-854.

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Year Published: 2014

Evaluating potential effects of an industrial road on winter habitat of caribou in North-Central Alaska

Worldwide, some caribou (Rangifer tarandus) populations are experiencing declines due partially to the expansion of industrial development. Caribou can exhibit behavioral avoidance of development, leading to indirect habitat loss, even if the actual footprint is small. Thus, it is important to understand before construction begins how much habitat...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Gustine, David D.; Joly, Kyle
Wilson, R. R., D. D. Gustine, and K. Joly. 2014. Evaluating potential effects of an industrial road on winter habitat of caribou in North-Central Alaska. Arctic 67(4):472-482. doi:10.14430/arctic4421

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Year Published: 2014

Factors influencing nest survival and productivity of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) in Alaska

Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) numbers in Alaska have fluctuated dramatically over the past 3 decades; however, the demographic processes contributing to these population dynamics are poorly understood. To examine spatial and temporal variation in productivity, we estimated breeding parameters at 5 sites in Alaska: at Cape Espenberg and the...

Rizzolo, Daniel; Schmutz, Joel A.; McCloskey, Sarah E.; Fondell, Thomas F.
Rizzolo, D. J., J. A. Schmutz, S. E. McCloskey, and T. F. Fondell. 2014. Factors influencing nest survival and productivity of red-throated loons (Gavia stellata) in Alaska. Condor 116(4):574-587. doi:10.1650/CONDOR-14-25.1

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Year Published: 2014

Lessons from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: A biological perspective

On March 24, 1989, the tanker vessel Exxon Valdez altered its course to avoid floating ice, and ran aground on Bligh Reef in northeastern Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska (Figure 1). The tanker was carrying about 53 million gallons of Prudhoe Bay crude, a heavy oil, and an estimated 11 million gallons spilled (264,000 barrels or about 42 million...

Ballachey, Brenda E.; Bodkin, James L.; Esler, Daniel N.; Rice, Stanley D.
Ballachey, B.E., J.L. Bodkin, D. Esler and S.D. Rice. 2014. Lessons from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill: a biological perspective. In: J.B. Alford, M.S. Peterson and C.C. Green, Eds. Impacts of Oil Spill Disasters on Marine Habitats and Fisheries in North America. CRC Marine Biology Series. Pp. 181-198.

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Year Published: 2014

Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Changing Arctic Ecosystems (CAE) initiative strives to inform key resource management decisions for Arctic Alaska by providing scientific information and forecasts for current and future ecosystem response to a warming climate. Over the past 5 years, a focal area for the USGS CAE initiative has been the North...

Gustine, David D.; Adams, Layne G.; Whalen, Mary E.; Pearce, John M.
Changing Arctic ecosystems: resilience of caribou to climatic shifts in the Arctic; 2014; FS; 2014-3103; Gustine, David; Adams, Layne; Whalen, Mary; Pearce, John

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Year Published: 2014

Evidence for seasonal patterns in the relative abundance of avian influenza virus subtypes in blue-winged teal (Anas discors)

Seasonal dynamics of influenza A viruses (IAVs) are driven by host density and population immunity. Through an analysis of subtypic data for IAVs isolated from Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors), we present evidence for seasonal patterns in the relative abundance of viral subtypes in spring and summer/autumn.

Ramey, Andrew M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; González-Reiche, Ana S.; Wilcox, Benjamin R.; Walther, Patrick; Link, Paul; Carter, Deborah L.; Newsome, George M.; Müller, Maria L.; Berghaus, Roy D.; Perez, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Stallknecht, David E.
Evidence for seasonal patterns in the relative abundance of avian influenza virus subtypes in blue-winged teal (Anas discors); 2014; Article; Journal; Journal of Wildlife Diseases; Ramey, Andrew M.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; González-Reiche, Ana S.; Wilcox, Benjamin R.; Walther, Patrick; Link, Paul; Carter, Deborah L.; Newsome, George M.; Müller, Maria L.; Berghaus, Roy D.; Perez, Daniel R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2014

Radiocarbon age-offsets in an arctic lake reveal the long-term response of permafrost carbon to climate change

Continued warming of the Arctic may cause permafrost to thaw and speed the decomposition of large stores of soil organic carbon (OC), thereby accentuating global warming. However, it is unclear if recent warming has raised the current rates of permafrost OC release to anomalous levels or to what extent soil carbon release is sensitive to climate...

Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Pohlman, John W.; Kunz, Michael L.; Wooller, Matthew J.
Radiocarbon age-offsets in an arctic lake reveal the long-term response of permafrost carbon to climate change; 2014; Article; Journal; Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences; Gaglioti, Benjamin V.; Mann, Daniel H.; Jones, Benjamin M.; Pohlman, John W.; Kunz, Michael L.; Wooller, Matthew J.

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
Aerial photograph looking at an eroding bluff on an arctic island with ponded water, green grass, and dying grass.
August 9, 2006

Pingok Island, Alaska

Photograph of Pingok Island, Alaska, reveals physical features of a changing Arctic: collapsing bluffs, salt-killed tundra (lighter brown near the bluff edge), and drained thermokarst lakes (rust-colored depressions).

Image: Scientists Explore Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Scientists Explore Alaska's Coast

This oblique aerial photograph is of Flaxman Island off the Alaska coast and shows a tapped thermokarst lakes, caribou tracks and ice-rich bluffs that are eroding. 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

...
Image: Caribou Tracks Along Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Caribou Tracks Along Alaska's Coast

This photograph shows caribou tracks on ice-wedge polygons near Garry Creek in 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 concerns, the USGS is collecting

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Image: Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast

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

...
Image: Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast
August 8, 2006

Eroding Shoreline Along Alaska's Coast

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 concerns

...
Image: Polar Bear Along Alaska's Coast
August 7, 2006

Polar Bear Along Alaska's Coast

A polar bear stands on a low-lying barrier shoal near the Huluhula River 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 concerns,

...
Unuk River
June 30, 2006

Unuk River in Southeast Alaska

Unuk River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

A lot of sand lance in a bucket from a beach seine in the Aleutian Islands
June 14, 2006

Sand lance catch from a beach seine in the Aleutian Islands

Pacific sand lance catch from a beach seine in the Aleutian Islands.

Taku River
June 13, 2006

Taku River in Southeast Alaska

Taku River is one of the transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska.

Eric Reghr and Kristin Simac working on an anesthetized polar bear
April 3, 2006

Eric Reghr and Kristin Simac working on an anesthetized polar bear

Eric Reghr and Kristin Simac working on an anesthetized polar bear

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
January 24, 2006

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06. This photo was taken during  a FLIR/maintenance flight on January 24, 2006.

A small bird on a deck bird feeder
November 5, 2005

Deformed beak Black-capped Chickadee next to peanut butter on a feeder

Deformed beak Black-capped Chickadee next to peanut butter on a feeder

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.