Unified Interior Regions

Region 11: Alaska

Alaska Science Center

Alaska Science Center

4210 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7000

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Volcano Science Center

Volcano Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-7497

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Climate Adaptation Science Center

Climate Adaptation Science Center

4230 University Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: 907-301-7830

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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: 2012

Studying ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) partnership with the U.S. Coast Guard Ice Breaker Healey and its United Nations Convention Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) cruises has produced new synoptic data from samples collected in the Arctic Ocean and insights into the patterns and extent of ocean acidification. This framework of foundational geochemical...

Robbins, Lisa
Studying ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean; 2012; FS; 2012-3058; Robbins, Lisa

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Year Published: 2012

Estimating survival rates with time series of standing age‐structure data

It has long been recognized that age‐structure data contain useful information for assessing the status and dynamics of wildlife populations. For example, age‐specific survival rates can be estimated with just a single sample from the age distribution of a stable, stationary population. For a population that is not stable, age‐specific survival...

Udevitz, Mark S.; Gogan, Peter J.
Udevitz, M. S. and P. J. P. Gogan. 2012. Estimating survival rates with time series of standing age-structure data. Ecology 93(4):726-732. doi:10.1890/11-1766.1

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Year Published: 2012

Identification of metapopulation dynamics among Northern Goshawks of the Alexander Archipelago, Alaska, and Coastal British Columbia

Northern Goshawks occupying the Alexander Archipelago, Alaska, and coastal British Columbia nest primarily in old-growth and mature forest, which results in spatial heterogeneity in the distribution of individuals across the landscape. We used microsatellite and mitochondrial data to infer genetic structure, gene flow, and fluctuations in...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; McClaren, Erica L.; Doyle, Frank I.; Titus, K.; Sage, George K.; Wilson, Robert E.; Gust, Judy R.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Sonsthagen, S. A., E. L. McClaren, F. I. Doyle, K. Titus, G. K. Sage, R. E. Wilson, J. R. Gust, and S. L. Talbot. 2012. Identification of metapopulation dynamics in Northern Goshawk of the Alexander Archipelago and coastal British Columbia. Conservation Genetics 13(4):1045-1057. doi:10.1007/s10592-012-0352-z

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Year Published: 2012

Surface Mass Balance of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1978 and 2010 Balance Years

Although Columbia Glacier is one of the largest sources of glacier mass loss in Alaska, surface mass balance measurements are sparse, with only a single data set available from 1978. The dearth of surface mass-balance data prohibits partitioning of the total mass losses between dynamics and surface forcing; however, the accurate inclusion of...

O'Neel, Shad
Surface Mass Balance of the Columbia Glacier, Alaska, 1978 and 2010 Balance Years; 2012; DS; 676; O'Neel, Shad

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Year Published: 2012

Oceanographic gradients and seabird prey community dynamics in glacial fjords

Glacial fjord habitats are undergoing rapid change as a result of contemporary global warming, yet little is known about how glaciers influence marine ecosystems. These ecosystems provide important feeding, breeding and rearing grounds for a wide variety of marine organisms, including seabirds of management concern. To characterize ocean...

Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Madison, Erica N.; Conaway, Jeffrey S.; Hillgruber, N.
Arimitsu, M. L., J. F. Piatt, E. N. Madison, J. S. Conaway, and N. Hillgruber. 2012. Oceanographic gradients and seabird prey community dynamics in glacial fjords. Fisheries Oceanography 21(2-3):148-169. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2012.00616.x

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Year Published: 2012

First description of autumn migration of Sooty Falcon Falco concolor from the United Arab Emirates to Madagascar using satellite telemetry

The movement and migration pattern of the 'Near Threatened' Sooty Falcon Falco concolor is poorly known. Sooty Falcons breed on the islands of the Arabian Gulf after arriving from their non-breeding areas that are mainly in Madagascar. In the first satellite tracking of the species we fitted a 9.5 g Argos solar powered transmitter on an adult...

Javed, Sàlim; Douglas, David C.; Khan, Shahid Noor; Nazeer Shah, Junid; Ali Al Hammadi, Abdullah
Javed, S., D. C. Douglas, S. Khan, J. N. Shah, and A. A. Al Hammadi. 2011. First description of autumn migration of Sooty Falcon Falco concolor from the United Arab Emirates to Madagascar using satellite telemetry. Bird Conservation International 22 (1): 106-119. doi:10.1017/S0959270911000189

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Year Published: 2012

Genetic diversity of a newly established population of golden eagles on the Channel Islands, California

Gene flow can have profound effects on the genetic diversity of a founding population depending on the number and relationship among colonizers and the duration of the colonization event. Here we used data from nuclear microsatellite and mitochondrial DNA control region loci to assess genetic diversity in golden eagles of the recently colonized...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Coonan, Timothy J.; Latta, Brian C.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Genetic diversity of a newly established population of golden eagles on the Channel Islands, California; 2012; Article; Journal; Biological Conservation; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Coonan, Timothy J.; Latta, Brian C.; Sage, George K.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2012

Microanatomy of passerine hard-cornified tissues: Beak and claw structure of the black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus)

The microanatomy of healthy beaks and claws in passerine birds has not been well described in the literature, despite the importance of these structures in avian life. Histological processing of hard‐cornified tissues is notoriously challenging and only a few reports on effective techniques have been published. An emerging epizootic of beak...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; Blake, John E.; Swor, Rhonda; O'Hara, Todd M.
Van Hemert, C. R., C. M. Handel, J. E. Blake, R. M. Swor, and T. M. O'Hara. 2012. Microanatomy of Passerine hard-cornified tissues: beak and claw structure of the Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapillus). Journal of Morphology 273(2):226-240. doi:10.1002/jmor.11023

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Year Published: 2012

Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic

Ecosystems and their wildlife communities are not static; they change and evolve over time due to numerous intrinsic and extrinsic factors. A period of rapid change is occurring in the Arctic for which our current understanding of potential ecosystem and wildlife responses is limited. Changes to the physical environment include warming...

Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Anthony R.; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk V.; Whalen, Mary E.
Changing Arctic ecosystems--research to understand and project changes in marine and terrestrial ecosystems of the Arctic; 2012; FS; 2011-3136; Geiselman, Joy; DeGange, Tony; Oakley, Karen; Derksen, Dirk; Whalen, Mary

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Year Published: 2012

Cross-species amplification of microsatellite markers in the Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus, Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus and Snowy Owl B. scandiacus for use in population genetics, individual identification and parentage studies

Using DNA from blood and feathers, we screened twenty-four microsatellite primer pairs initially developed for six strigid owls, and four primer pairs shown to be polymorphic across avian taxa, for their utility in Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus), Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus), and Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus). Eight of these primers reliably...

Dial, Cody R.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Seidensticker, Mathew T.; Holt, Denver W.
Dial, C. R., S. L. Talbot, G. K. Sage, M. Seidensticker, and D. W. Holt. 2012. Cross-species amplification of microsatellite markers in the Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus, Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus and Snowy Owl B. scandiacus for use in population genetics, individual identification and parentage studies. Yamashina Institute for Ornithology 44:1-12.

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Year Published: 2012

Long-term effects of the 'Exxon Valdez' oil spill: Sea otter foraging in the intertidal as a pathway of exposure to lingering oil

The protracted recovery of some bird and mammal populations in western Prince William Sound (WPWS), Alaska, and the persistence of spilled 'Exxon Valdez' oil in intertidal sediments, suggests a pathway of exposure to consumers that occupy nearshore habitats. To evaluate the hypothesis that sea otter (Enhydra lutris) foraging allows access to...

Bodkin, James L.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Coletti, Heather A.; Esslinger, George G.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.; Rice, Stanley D.; Reed, John A.; Monson, Daniel H.
Bodkin, J. L., B. E. Ballachey, H. A. Coletti, G. G. Esslinger, K. A. Kloecker, S. D. Rice, J. A. Reed, and D. H. Monson. 2012. Long-term effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill: Sea otter foraging in the intertidal as a pathway of exposure to lingering oil. Marine Ecology Progress Series 447:273-287. doi:10.3354/meps09523

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Year Published: 2012

A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) occupy remote regions that are characterized by harsh weather and limited access. Polar bear populations can only persist where temporal and spatial availability of sea ice provides adequate access to their marine mammal prey. Observed declines in sea ice availability will continue as long as greenhouse gas...

Vongraven, Dag; Aars, Jon; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; DeBruyn, T.D.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Gill, Michael J.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Omelak, Jack; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Richardson, E.E.; Sahanatien, Vicki; Stirling, Ian; Wiig, Øystein
Vongraven, D., J. Aars, S. C. Amstrup, S. N. Atkinson, S. E. Belikov, E. W. Born, T. D. DeBruyn, A. E. Derocher, G. M. Durner, N. J. Lunn, M. E. Obbard, J. Omelak, N. Ovsyanikov, E. Peacock, E. S. Richardson, V. Sahanatien, I. Stirling, and Ø. Wiig. 2012. A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears. Ursus 23(sp2):1-66. doi:10.2192/URSUS-D-11-00026.1

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