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

Biological legacies: Direct early ecosystem recovery and food web reorganization after a volcanic eruption in Alaska

Attempts to understand how communities assemble following a disturbance are challenged by the difficulty of determining the relative importance of stochastic and deterministic processes. Biological legacies, which result from organisms that survive a disturbance, can favour deterministic processes in community assembly and improve predictions of...

Walker, Lawrence R.; Sikes, Derek S.; DeGange, Anthony R.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Michaelson, Gary; Talbot, Sandra L.; Talbot, Stephen S.; Wang, Bronwen; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Biological legacies: direct early ecosystem recovery and food web reorganization after a volcanic eruption in Alaska; 2014; Article; Journal; Ecoscience; Walker, Lawrence R.; Sikes, Derek S.; DeGange, Anthony R.; Jewett, Stephen C.; Michaelson, Gary; Talbot, Sandra L.; Talbot, Stephen S.; Wang, Bronwen; Williams, Jeffrey C.

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Year Published: 2014

Predicting the effects of climate change on ecosystems and wildlife habitat in northwest Alaska: results from the WildCast project

We used a modeling framework and a recent ecological land classification and land cover map to predict how ecosystems and wildlife habitat in northwest Alaska might change in response to increasing temperature. Our results suggest modest increases in forest and tall shrub ecotypes in Northwest Alaska by the end of this century thereby...

DeGange, Anthony R.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Lawler, James; Jorgenson, Torre; Winfree, Robert
Attribution: , Region 11: Alaska
Predicting the effects of climate change on ecosystems and wildlife habitat in northwest Alaska: results from the WildCast project; 2014; Article; Journal; Alaska Park Science; DeGange, Anthony R.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Lawler, James; Jorgenson, Torre; Winfree, Robert

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Year Published: 2014

Hemispheric-scale wind selection facilitates bar-tailed godwit circum-migration of the Pacific

The annual 29 000 km long migration of the bar-tailed godwit, Limosa lapponica baueri, around the Pacific Ocean traverses what is arguably the most complex and seasonally structured atmospheric setting on Earth. Faced with marked variation in wind regimes and storm conditions across oceanic migration corridors, individuals must make critical...

Gill, Robert E.; Douglas, David C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Hufford, Gary; Piersma, Theunis
Hemispheric-scale wind selection facilitates bar-tailed godwit circum-migration of the Pacific; 2014; Article; Journal; Animal Behaviour; Gill, Robert E.; Douglas, David C.; Handel, Colleen M.; Tibbitts, T. Lee; Hufford, Gary; Piersma, Theunis

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Year Published: 2014

High fidelity does not preclude colonization: range expansion of molting Black Brant on the Arctic coast of Alaska

High rates of site fidelity have been assumed to infer static distributions of molting geese in some cases. To test this assumption, we examined movements of individually marked birds to understand the underlying mechanisms of range expansion of molting Black Brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) on the Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP) of Alaska. The...

Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Mallek, Edward J.
High fidelity does not preclude colonization: range expansion of molting Black Brant on the Arctic coast of Alaska; 2014; Article; Journal; Journal of Field Ornithology; Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Mallek, Edward J.

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Year Published: 2014

Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea

The Pacific walrus is a large benthivore with an annual range extending across the continental shelves of the Bering and Chukchi Seas. We used a discrete choice model to estimate site selection by adult radio-tagged walruses relative to the availability of the caloric biomass of benthic infauna and sea ice concentration in a prominent walrus...

Jay, Chadwick V.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; McDonald, Trent L.; Cooper, Lee W.; Hornsby, Fawn
Jay, C. V., J. M. Grebmeier, A. S. Fischbach, T. L. McDonald, L. W. Cooper, and F. Hornsby. 2014. Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) resource selection in the northern Bering Sea. PLoS One 9(4):e93035. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0093035

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Year Published: 2014

Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry

Tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) like many waterfowl species are susceptible to lead (Pb) poisoning, and Pb-induced mortality has been reported from many areas of their wintering range. Little is known however about Pb levels throughout the annual cycle of tundra swans, especially during summer when birds are on remote northern breeding areas...

Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian
Blood lead concentrations in Alaskan tundra swans: linking breeding and wintering areas with satellite telemetry; 2014; Article; Journal; Ecotoxicology; Ely, Craig R.; Franson, Christian

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Year Published: 2014

Identifying marine Important Bird Areas using at-sea survey data

Effective marine bird conservation requires identification of at-sea locations used by populations for foraging, staging, and migration. Using an extensive database of at-sea survey data spanning over 30 years, we developed a standardized and data-driven spatial method for identifying globally significant marine Important Bird Areas in Alaska. To...

Smith, Melanie A.; Walker, Nathan J.; Free, Christopher M.; Kirchhoff, Matthew J.; Drew, Gary S.; Warnock, Nils; Stenhouse, Iain J.
Identifying marine Important Bird Areas using at-sea survey data; 2014; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Smith, Melanie A.; Walker, Nathan J.; Free, Christopher M.; Kirchhoff, Matthew J.; Drew, Gary S.; Warnock, Nils; Stenhouse, Iain J.

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Year Published: 2014

Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats

Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (G. adamsii) loons nest sympatrically in Arctic regions. These related species likely face similar constraints and requirements for nesting success; therefore, use of similar habitats and direct competition for nesting habitat is likely. Both of these loon species must select a breeding lake that provides...

Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.
Risk of predation and weather events affect nest site selection by sympatric Pacific (Gavia pacifica) and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons in Arctic habitats; 2014; Article; Journal; Waterbirds; Haynes, Trevor B.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.

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Year Published: 2014

The global age distribution of granitic pegmatites

An updated global compilation of 377 new and previously published ages indicates that granitic pegmatites range in age from Mesoarchean to Neogene and have a semi-periodic age distribution. Undivided granitic pegmatites show twelve age maxima: 2913, 2687, 2501, 1853, 1379, 1174, 988, 525, 483, 391, 319, and 72 Ma. These peaks correspond broadly...

McCauley, Andrew; Bradley, Dwight C.
The global age distribution of granitic pegmatites; 2014; Article; Journal; The Canadian Mineralogist; McCauley, Andrew; Bradley, Dwight C.

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Year Published: 2014

Spatial variation and low diversity in the major histocompatibility complex in walrus (Odobenus rosmarus)

Increased global temperature and associated changes to Arctic habitats will likely result in the northward advance of species, including an influx of pathogens novel to the Arctic. How species respond to these immunological challenges will depend in part on the adaptive potential of their immune response system. We compared levels of genetic...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Fales, Krystal R.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2014

Why the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake matters 50 years later

Spring was returning to Alaska on Friday 27 March 1964. A two‐week cold snap had just ended, and people were getting ready for the Easter weekend. At 5:36 p.m., an earthquake initiated 12 km beneath Prince William Sound, near the eastern end of what is now recognized as the Alaska‐Aleutian subduction zone. No one was expecting this...

West, Michael E.; Haeussler, Peter J.; Ruppert, Natalia A.; Freymueller, Jeffrey T.
West, M. E., P. J. Haeussler, N. A. Ruppert, J. T. Freymueller, and Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission. 2014. Why the 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake matters 50 years later. Seismological Research Letters 85(2):245-251. doi:10.1785/0220140020

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Year Published: 2014

Little late Holocene strain accumulation and release on the Aleutian megathrust below the Shumagin Islands, Alaska

Can a predominantly creeping segment of a subduction zone generate a great (M > 8) earthquake? Despite Russian accounts of strong shaking and high tsunamis in 1788, geodetic observations above the Aleutian megathrust indicate creeping subduction across the Shumagin Islands segment, a well-known seismic gap. Seeking evidence for...

Witter, Robert C.; Briggs, Richard W.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; Koehler, Richard D.; Barnhart, William D.
Witter, R. C., R. W. Briggs, S. E. Engelhart, G. Gelfenbaum, R. D. Koehler, and W. D. Barnhart. 2014. Little late Holocene strain accumulation and release on the Aleutian megathrust below the Shumagin Islands, Alaska. Geophysical Research Letters 41(7):2359-2367. doi:10.1002/2014GL059393

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
Looking upstream from mid channel of the John Wild River. Near Anaktuvuk, Alaska
April 18, 2000

John Wild River, near Anaktuvuk

Looking upstream from mid channel of the John Wild River. Near Anaktuvuk, Alaska.

A polar bear den
April 3, 2000

A polar bear den

A polar bear den

Image: Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Alaska
June 9, 1991

Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, Alaska

View southeast from Overlook Cabin looking over the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The pyroclastic and ash deposits that fill the valley remain nearly vegetation-free more than 100 years after the 1912 Novarupta-Katmai eruption.

Tule white-fronted goose in the Kahiltna Valley, Alaska, in 1984
December 31, 1984

Tule white-fronted goose in the Kahiltna Valley, Alaska, in 1984

Tule white-fronted goose in the Kahiltna Valley, Alaska, in 1984.

Remnants of a spruce forest
December 31, 1969

Remnants of a spruce forest

Remnants of a spruce forest complex following a severe wildfire in the Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska. Wildfires are the dominant landscape-scale disturbance operating at annual time scales in Alaska, and fires play a major role in the rate and extent of vegetation growth and productivity of a site. Wildland fires typically result in the reduction of

...
Erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik
December 31, 1969

Erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik

Neal Pastick – lead author of the study – investigating erosion along Alaska’s Arctic coastline near the village of Kaktovik. Permafrost-dominated coasts of Alaska have drastically changed as the result of coastal transgression and storm-surge flooding which can result in the loss of cultural sites and damage to infrastructure.  Photo by M. Torre Jorgenson

Fish drying at a subsistence fish camp along the Yukon River
December 31, 1969

Fish drying at a subsistence fish camp along the Yukon River

Fish drying at a subsistence fish camp along the Yukon River.

Fourhorn sculpin captured near Kaktovik, Alaska
December 31, 1969

Fourhorn sculpin captured near Kaktovik, Alaska

Fourhorn sculpin (Myoxocephalus quadricornis) captured near Kaktovik, Alaska

A small yellow bird being held in a hand
December 31, 1969

Yellow Warbler in Alaska

Scientist holding an Yellow Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska.  This photo is part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystems Boreal-Arctic Transition program.

Fourhorn sculpin on a measuring board captured near Kaktovik, Alaska
December 31, 1969

Fourhorn sculpin on a measuring board captured near Kaktovik, Alaska

Fourhorn sculpin on a measuring board captured near Kaktovik, Alaska.

Fyke net set in Kaktovik Lagoon with the town of Kaktovik, Alaska in the background
December 31, 1969

Fyke net set in Kaktovik Lagoon with Kaktovik, AK in the background

Fyke net set in Kaktovik Lagoon with the town of Kaktovik, Alaska in the background

Young of year Arctic cisco
December 31, 1969

Young of year Arctic cisco

Young of year Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis).

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.