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: 2,604
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Year Published: 2013

Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska

Remains of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) harvested by Iñupiat whalers are deposited in bone piles along the coast of Alaska and have become persistent and reliable food sources for polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The importance of bone piles to individuals and the population, the patterns of use, and the number, sex, and age of bears...

Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Herreman, Jason
Herreman, J. and E. Peacock. 2013. Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: Insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska. Ursus 24(2):148-163. doi:10.2192/URSUS-D-12-00030.1

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Year Published: 2013

Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins

Schroder, John F.; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, C.

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Year Published: 2013

Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems

High-latitude ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to long-term climate change, yet continuous, multidecadal indicators by which to gauge effects on biology are scarce, especially in freshwater environments. To address this issue, dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques were applied to growth-increment widths in otoliths from lake...

Black, B.A.; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Brown, Randy J.
Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; Black, B. A.; von Biela, V. R.; Zimmerman, C. E.; Brown, R. J.

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Year Published: 2013

Temporal, spatial and ecological dynamics of speciation among amphi-Beringian small mammals

Quaternary climate cycles played an important role in promoting diversification across the Northern Hemisphere, although details of the mechanisms driving evolutionary change are still poorly resolved. In a comparative phylogeographical framework, we investigate temporal, spatial and ecological components of evolution within a suite of Holarctic...

Hope, Andrew G.; Takebayashi, Naoki; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.
Temporal, spatial and ecological dynamics of speciation among amphi-Beringian small mammals; 2013; Article; Journal; Journal of Biogeography; Hope, Andrew G.; Takebayashi, Naoki; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2013

Changes in size and trends of North American sea duck populations associated with North Pacific oceanic regime shifts

Broad-scale multi-species declines in populations of North American sea ducks for unknown reasons is cause for management concern. Oceanic regime shifts have been associated with rapid changes in ecosystem structure of the North Pacific and Bering Sea. However, relatively little is known about potential effects of these changes in oceanic...

Flint, Paul L.
Changes in size and trends of North American sea duck populations associated with North Pacific oceanic regime shifts; 2013; Article; Journal; Marine Biology; Flint, Paul L.

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Year Published: 2013

Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish

River discharge supplies nearshore communities with a terrestrial carbon source that is often reflected in invertebrate and fish consumers. Recent studies in the Beaufort Sea have documented widespread terrestrial carbon use among invertebrates, but only limited use among nearshore fish consumers. Here, we examine the carbon source and diet of...

von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Cohn, Brian R.; Welker, Jeffrey M.
Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Cohn, Brian R.; Welker, Jeffrey M.

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Year Published: 2013

Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins

Thermokarst lakes and drained lake basins are widespread in Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost lowlands with ice-rich sediments. Thermokarst lake formation is a dominant mode of permafrost degradation and is linked to surface disturbance, subsequent melting of ground ice, surface subsidence, water impoundment, and positive feedbacks between lake...

Shroder, John F.; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.
Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins; 2013; Book chapter; Book; Treatise on Geomorphology; Grosse, G.; Jones, B.; Arp, C.

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Year Published: 2013

New insights into the diets of harbor seals in the Salish Sea revealed by quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are an abundant predator along the west coast of North America, and there is considerable interest in their diet composition, especially in regard to predation on valued fish stocks. Available information on harbor seal diets, primarily derived from scat analysis, suggests that adult salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.),...

Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Lance, Monique M.; Elliott, Elizabeth W.; Jeffries, Steven J.; Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro; Kennish, John M.
New insights into the diets of harbor seals in the Salish Sea revealed by quantitative fatty acid signature analysis; 2012; Federal Government Series; Journal; Fishery Bulletin; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Lance, Monique M.; Elliott, Elizabeth W.; Jeffries, Steven J.; Acevedo-Gutiérrez; Alejandro; Kennish, John M.

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Year Published: 2012

Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) depend on sea ice for catching marine mammal prey. Recent sea-ice declines have been linked to reductions in body condition, survival, and population size. Reduced foraging opportunity is hypothesized to be the primary cause of sea-ice-linked declines, but the costs of travel through a deteriorated sea-...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; York, G.S.; Amstrup, Steven C.
Pagano, A. M., G. M. Durner, S. C. Amstrup, K. S. Simac, and G. S. York. 2012. Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water. Canadian Journal of Zoology 90(5):663-676. doi:10.1139/z2012-033

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Year Published: 2012

Testing the effect of water in crevasses on a physically based calving model

A new implementation of a calving model, using the finite-element code Elmer, is presented and used to investigate the effects of surface water within crevasses on calving rate. For this work, we use a two-dimensional flowline model of Columbia Glacier, Alaska. Using the glacier's 1993 geometry as a starting point, we apply a crevasse-depth...

Cook, S.; Zwinger, T.; Rutt, I.C.; O'Neel, Shad; Murray, T.
Testing the effect of water in crevasses on a physically based calving model; 2012; Article; Journal; Annals of Glaciology; Cook, S.; Zwinger, T.; Rutt, I. C.; O’Neel, S.; Murray, T.

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Year Published: 2012

Geology of the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula region, Alaska

The Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula region includes a significant part of one of the world’s largest accretionary complexes and a small part of the classic magmatic arc geology of the Alaska Peninsula. Physiographically, the map area ranges from the high glaciated mountains of the Alaska and Aleutian Ranges and the Chugach Mountains to...

Wilson, Frederic H.; Hults, Chad P.
Geology of the Prince William Sound and Kenai Peninsula region, Alaska; 2012; SIM; 3110; Wilson, Frederic H.; Hults, Chad P.

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Year Published: 2012

Stable isotopes identify dietary changes associated with beak deformities in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

A large number of beak deformities of unknown etiology have recently been reported in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) and other resident avian species in Alaska. We investigated the potential association between diet and beak deformities. We analyzed carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotopes in whole blood of Black-capped...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Brien, Diane M.
Stable isotopes identify dietary changes associated with beak deformities in Black-Capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus); 2012; Article; Journal; The Auk; Van Hemert, Caroline; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Brien, Diane M.

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: 983
Image: Alaska Coastal Marsh

Alaska Coastal Marsh

Coastal Marsh along Cook Inlet across from Anchorage Alaska.

Clear day view of Peulik volcano

Peulik Volcano

Camera is located at Whale Mountain, showing a flank of Peulik, Becharof Lake, the Gas Rocks, and Chiginagak in the distance. Current image interval is 60 minutes. This camera lens is often covered by snow and ice. 

View of a beach that's mostly mud with some dried grasses and rocks, shown at low tide with birds and ice in the water.

Unalakleet video camera 2 snapshot

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent image from camera 2 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once they are collected by

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Clear day view of Redoubt CI

Redoubt - CI

Camera installation and maintenance are courtesy of Hilcorp. The camera is located on Platform Anna, approximately 38 miles SE of Mt. Spurr; it was originally pointed at Mt. Spurr. This camera is NE of Redoubt, and has been repositioned (mid-March, 2012) to show both Redoubt (right) and Iliamna (left) in its view.

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download file
August 1, 2017

Movements and Habitat Use of White-fronted Geese

Flint, P. L. and B. W. Meixell. 2017. Movements and habitat use of White-fronted geese during the remigial molt in Arctic Alaska, USA. Waterbirds 40(3):272-281. doi:10.1675/063.040.0308

View of a beach that's mostly mud with some dried grasses and rocks, shown at low tide with birds and ice in the water.

Unalakleet video camera 1 time exposure

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent time-exposure (timex) image from camera 1 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once

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Clear day view of Redoubt DFR

Redoubt - DFR

Camera is co-located with seismic station DFR, approximately 7.6 miles (12.2 km) NE of Redoubt. Read more details about Redoubt volcano.

View of a beach that's mostly mud with some dried grasses and rocks, shown at low tide with birds and ice in the water.

Unalakleet video camera 2 time exposure

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent time-exposure (timex) image from camera 2 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once

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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.