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 in Alaska engages approximately 400 scientists and support staff working across 3 major centers with a combined annual science budget of about $65 million. In just the last 5 years, USGS in Alaska has produced scientific benefits resulting from over 1000 publications and about 250 Technical Reports.

USGS publications for Alaska

Alaska Science Portal

AK CASC Projects

Alaska Volcano Observatory  

Filter Total Items: 174
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Unuk River Super Gage

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Stikine River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Taku River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: December 7, 2017
Status: Active

Salmon River

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

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 29, 2017
Status: Active

USGS Transboundary River Monitoring in Southeast Alaska

The quantity and quality of streamflow in transboundary watersheds of Southeast Alaska are important to many stakeholders. Development and operation of several mines in Canada have increased the interest in current and future conditions in these watersheds. The USGS Alaska Science Center operates streamflow information stations on the Alsek, Chilkat, Taku, Stikine, and Unuk Rivers. Real-time...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Completed

Geologic Map of Alaska

In January 2016, the U.S. Geological Survey released the first ever digital geologic map of Alaska. This map reflects more than a century of work and provides a visual context for the abundant mineral and energy resources found throughout the state. The map also is available to use in three different formats: a professional GIS database, a public interactive version via a web browser, and an...

Date published: October 30, 2017
Status: Active

Pacific Nearshore Project

Sea otters are crucial indicators of the health of our nearshore waters and coastal resources, from kelp forests to fisheries. What clues does the sea otter's decline hold for our knowledge of ecosystem and global change? WERC's sea otter team and U.S. and Canadian researchers have teamed together to investigate. 

Relevance to USGS Missions:

This research project has direct...

Date published: September 5, 2017
Status: Active

Alaska Science Center Data Policy

The Data Policy for ASC staff and contractors requires that research data, computational models, software and scripts, web-based tools, and information products (collectively “data”) adhere to the following policy statements.

Date published: August 22, 2017
Status: Active

Beak Deformities in Landbirds

Over the past 20 years, Alaskans have witnessed a startling increase of beak deformities among Black-capped Chickadees and other species of resident birds. This disease, called avian keratin disorder (AKD), is characterized by debilitating beak overgrowth and other abnormalities of keratinized tissues. Affected birds have difficulty feeding and preening, and may suffer high rates of mortality...

Date published: August 10, 2017
Status: Active

Publication Briefs by the Alaska Science Center

These publication briefs feature research that informs partners and resource managers to make decisions relative to species habitat and status, natural resources, ecosystems, and human activities.

Contacts: Yvette Gillies
Date published: August 4, 2017
Status: Active

North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) includes more than 460,000 survey transects that were designed and conducted by numerous partners primarily to census seabirds at sea.

Date published: July 27, 2017
Status: Active

Goose Research

The USGS Alaska Science Center has had a focus on addressing science questions related to geese in Alaska for decades.  Information on these species is critical because all are important resources for subsistence and sport hunters in the state and outside of Alaska where these birds spend the winter.  The large majority of goose populations in Alaska breed on national wildlife refuges (managed...

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,433
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Year Published: 2019

Shorebird subsistence harvest and indigenous knowledge in Alaska: Informing harvest assessment and management, and engaging users in shorebird conservation

Limited data on harvest and population parameters are major impediments to assess shorebird harvest sustainability. Because of sharp declines in shorebird populations, timely conservation efforts require approaches that account for uncertainty in harvest sustainability. We combined harvest assessment and ethnographic research to better understand...

Naves. Liliana; Keating, Jacqueline; Tibbitts, Lee; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Liliana C Naves, Jacqueline M Keating, T Lee Tibbitts, Daniel R Ruthrauff, Shorebird subsistence harvest and indigenous knowledge in Alaska: Informing harvest management and engaging users in shorebird conservation, The Condor: Ornithological Applications, Volume 121, Issue 2, 1 May 2019, duz023, https://doi.org/10.1093/condor/duz023

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Year Published: 2019

Early emergence of mcr-1-positive Enterobacteriaceae in gulls from Spain and Portugal

We tested extended‐spectrum β‐lactamase producing bacteria from wild gulls (Larusspp.) sampled in 2009 for the presence of mcr‐1. We report the detection of mcr‐1 and describe genome characteristics of four Escherichia coli and one Klebsiella pneumoniaeisolate from Spain and Portugal that also exhibited colistin resistance...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Ramey, Andrew M.; Woksepp, Hanna; Bonnedahl, Jonas

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Year Published: 2019

Repeated detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in gulls inhabiting Alaska, USA

We report the first detection of carbapenemase-producing Escherichia coli in Alaska and in wildlife in the United States. Wild bird (gull) feces sampled at three locations in Southcentral Alaska yielded isolates that harbored plasmid-encoded blaKPC-2 or chromosomally-encoded blaOXA-48, and genes associated with...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Ramey, Andrew M.; Woksepp, Hanna; Bonnedahl, Jonas

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Year Published: 2019

Technical comment on “Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds”

Kubelka et al. (Report, 9 November 2018, p. 680-683) claim that climate change has disrupted patterns of nest predation in shorebirds. They report that predation rates have increased since the 1950s, especially in the Arctic. We describe methodological problems with their analyses and argue that there is no solid statistical support for their...

Bulla, Martin; Reneerkens, Jeroen; Weiser, Emily L.; Sokolov, Aleksandr; Taylor, Audrey R.; Sittler, Benoit; McCaffery, Brian J; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Payer, David C.; Ward, David H.; Solovyeva, Diana V; Santos, Eduardo SA; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Nol, Erica; Kwon, Eunbi; Brown, Glen S.; Hevia, Glenda D; Gates, H. River; Johnson, James A.; van Gils, Jan A.; Hansen, Jannik; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Rausch, Jennie; Conklin, Jesse R.; Liebezeit, Joe; Bety, Joel; Lang, Johannes; Alves, Jose A; Fernandez-Elipe, Juan; Exo, Klaus-Michael; Bollache, Loic; Bertellotti, Marcelo; Giroux, Marie-Andree; van de Pol, Martijn; Johnson, Matthew D.; Boldenow, Megan L.; Valcu, Mihai; Soloviev, Mikhail; Sokolova, Natalya; Senner, Nathan R.; Lecomte, Nicholas; Meyer, Nicolas; Schmidt, Niels Martin; Gilg, Olivier; Smith, Paul A; Machin, Paula; McGuire, Rebecca L; Cerboncini, Ricardo AS; Ottvall, Richard; van Bemmelen, Rob SA; Swift, Rose J; Saalfeld, Sara T; Jamieson, Sara E; Brown, Stephen C.; Piersma, Theunis; Albrecht, Tomas; D'Amico, Veronica L; Lanctot, Richard B.; Kempenaers, Bart

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Year Published: 2019

Ecosystem scale loss of grazing habitat impacted by abundance of dominant herbivores

Grazing lawns, patches of grazing tolerant plants with high nutrient value, provide important habitat for herbivores, and changes in abundance can impact herbivore populations. Grazing lawns are maintained in quality and quantity by repeated grazing and are a result of a positive feedback since the availability of grazing lawn can increase...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wilson, Heather M.; Anthony, R Michael; Day, Thomas L; Fondell, Thomas F; Person, Brian T.; Sedinger, James S.

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Year Published: 2019

Prevalence and diversity of avian blood parasites in a resident northern passerine

Background: Climate-related changes are expected to influence the prevalence and distribution of vector-borne haemosporidian parasites at northern latitudes, although baseline information about resident birds is still lacking. In this study, we investigated prevalence and genetic diversity of Plasmodium, Haemoproteus, and Leucocytozoon parasites...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Smith, Matthew M.; Handel, Colleen M.

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Year Published: 2019

Geographic variation in the intensity of warming and phenological mismatch between Arctic shorebirds and invertebrates

Responses to climate change can vary across functional groups and trophic levels, leading to a temporal decoupling of trophic interactions or ‘phenological mismatches.’ Despite a growing number of single-species studies that identified phenological mismatches as a nearly universal consequence of climate change, we have a limited understanding of...

Kwon, Enubi; Weiser, Emily L.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Brown, Stephen C.; Gates, H. River; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Kendall, Steve J.; David B. Lank; Joseph R. Liebezeit; McKinnon, Laura; Erica Nol; Payer, David C.; Jennie Rausch; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Rinella, Daniel J.; Senner, Nathan R.; Ward, David; Smith, Paul A.; Wissman, Robert C.; Sandercock, Brett K.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy depletion and stress levels of Sockeye Salmon migrating at the northern edge of their distribution

The physiological challenge for anadromous fish to migrate upriver is influenced by river temperature, but the impacts of river temperature can be difficult to predict due to an incomplete understanding of how temperature influences migration costs, especially in high‐latitude (>60°N) ecosystems. To assess temperature influences on migrating...

Carey, Michael P.; Keith, Kevin D.; Schelske, Merlyn; Lean, Charlie; McCormick, Stephen D.; Regish, Amy M.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Coast to coast: High genomic connectivity in North American scoters

Dispersal shapes demographic processes and therefore is fundamental to understanding biological, ecological, and evolutionary processes acting within populations. However, assessing population connectivity in scoters (Melanitta sp.) is challenging as these species have large spatial distributions that span remote landscapes, have varying...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Wilson, Robert E.; Lavretsky, Philip; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatio-temporal population change of Arctic-breeding waterbirds on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

Rapid physical changes that are occurring in the Arctic are primary drivers of landscape change and thus may drive population dynamics of Arctic-breeding birds. Despite the importance of this region to breeding and molting waterbirds, lack of a comprehensive analysis of historic data has hindered quantifying avian population change. We estimated...

Amundson, Courtney L.; Flint, Paul L.; Stehn, Robert A; Platte, Robert; Wilson, Heather M.; Larned, William W.; Fischer, Julian B.

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Year Published: 2019

Handbook to the partners in flight population estimates database, version 3.0

This document describes the content of Version 3.0 of the Partners in Flight (PIF) Population Estimates Database, which provides population estimates for breeding USA/Canada landbirds at several geographic scales following the Partners in Flight approach described initially in Rich et al. (2004) and by Rosenberg and Blancher (2005) and most...

Will, Tom; Stanton, J.C.; Rosenberg, Kenneth V.; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Camfield, Alaine; Shaw, Allison; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Blancher, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2019

The influence of body size, condition, and age on recruitment of four Alaskan brown bear populations

Recruitment of brown bear (Ursus arctos) offspring into a population is the product of initial cub production and subsequent survival and is a critical component of overall population status and trend. We investigated the relationship between maternal body size, body condition, and age (as a surrogate for gained experience) and recruitment of...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Joly, Kyle; Mangipane, Buck; Leacock, William; Cameron, Matthew; Sorum, Mathew; Mangipane, Lindsey; Erlenbach, Joy

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: 974
Fog on Yukon River
May 29, 2018

Fog on Yukon River

Fog along the Yukon River showing a Black Spruce dominated forest in the foreground, which is prone to wildfire.  Photo by Bruce Wylie, USGS

Large instruments waiting to loaded on a boat
May 7, 2018

Loading ocean bottom seismometers for deployment in the Gulf of Alaska

Ocean bottom seismometers being loaded onto the R/V Sikuliaq to be deployed on the sea floor in the Gulf of Alaska.

Man pointing to ground
May 2, 2018

Stratigraphic contact marking 1964 uplift of Montague Island, Alaska

Stratigraphic contact marking uplift of Montague Island, caused by slip on the Patton Bay fault system during the 1964 M9.2 Great ALaska Earthquake. 

Hot springs and hot muddy pools (Alaska) caused by geothermal activity underground.
March 8, 2018

Hot springs (Alaska) caused by geothermal activity underground.

Hot springs can occur in many parts of the world. The water is hot not due to climate, but rather due to geothermal activity underground, such as volcanic activity or active hydrothermal heating from hot material in the ground. Hot springs result from water heated by underground geothermal activity finding its way to the land surface. 

This hot spring is located in

...
Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
March 5, 2018

Polar Bear Collar Cam B-Roll 2014, 2015, 2016

Exciting polar bear cam b-roll footage from the bear’s perspective from 2014, 2015, and 2016. The USGS Alaska Science Center Polar Bear Research Project conducts long-term research on polar bears to inform, local, state, national and international policy makers regarding conservation and management of the species and its habitat. The USGS’s studies are primarily focused on

Four people around a table
February 19, 2018

Sampling sea floor sediment cores from along the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS and Geological Survey of Canada scientists sample sediment cores collected from the sea floor along the Queen Charlotte Fault. This was taken while they were working with (or in) the Geological Survey of Canada. The researchers are, from left to right: Amy East, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal Marine Science Center (PCMSC); Tom Lorenson, Physical Scientist,

...
A repeating animated GIF showing a walrus scratching it's side.
February 14, 2018

Walrus Itch

An animated GIF showing a Pacific Walrus scratching/rubbing themselves on their side with their "eye" rolling. The animation repeats in a reverse-motion.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 31, 2017

Fish Creek Watershed in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Fish Creek wanders through the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.

Image shows squares of permafrost
December 31, 2017

Permafrost in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. These assessments can be found here.

Map of coastline showing lines that ships followed, collecting data along the way, near labeled sites of earthquakes.
December 31, 2017

Research vessel tracklines offshore of southeast Alaska

Tracklines along which R/V Ocean Starr (2017, red lines) and R/V Norseman (2016, black lines) conducted seismic-reflection surveys, overlaid on high-resolution bathymetry (color background). Yellow stars represent earthquakes of magnitude (M) 7 and greater since 1900. Short yellow lines are locations of seismic-reflection profiles (shown below) along 

...
Emperor geese standing near the shoreline on Kodiak Island
December 31, 2017

Emperor geese near Kodiak.

Emperor geese gathered near the shoreline on Kodiak Island.

Glacier off Sargent Icefield
December 31, 2017

Glacier off Sargent Icefield

Landscape view of an un-named glacier off the Sargent Icefield, directly across from Wolverine Glacier, above the Nellie Juan River, in Alaska. Taken during a visit to a wolverine glacier field site as part of a study to examine how alpine areas are changing as temperatures rise in Alaska. 

Browse a collection of stories about prominent USGS scientists and projects in Alaska news.

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 250
Uplifted sea floor at Cape Cleare on Montague Island in Prince William Sound.
March 18, 2014

To commemorate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the largest earthquake ever recorded in the United States, the U.S. Geological Survey has reissued a series of landmark reports covering the results of investigations of the Great Alaska Earthquake of March 27, 1964.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 11, 2014

A recent U.S. Geological Survey-led study of the bar-tailed godwit, a shorebird known famously as the ultimate marathon champion of bird flight, suggests that these birds can sense broad weather patterns and optimally time their long, nonstop, transoceanic migrations to destinations thousands of miles away. 

Sea otter in kelp
February 28, 2014

Nearly 25 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill injured wildlife off the coast of Alaska, a new report issued today by the U.S. Geological Survey indicates that sea otters have returned to pre-spill numbers within the most heavily oiled areas of Prince William Sound.

1964 Great Alaska Earthquake flyer thumbnail
February 24, 2014

On March 27th, 1964, the second largest instrumentally recorded earthquake worldwide rocked southern Alaska for 4 to 5 minutes. In addition to the earthquake, the event triggered a major tsunami that caused casualties and damage from the Kodiak Islands to northern California.

USGS science for a changing world logo
February 20, 2014

It's 1964 in Alaska. Imagine 4.5 minutes of powerful ground shaking underneath you from a magnitude 9.2 earthquake. You and your loved ones are then faced with resulting landslides and a devastating tsunami. You just experienced the largest earthquake ever recorded in North America. 

Photo of Santa Fe, New Mexico 2013 United States Topo map
January 22, 2014

The USGS, in cooperation with other Federal agencies, has posted new Idaho US Topo quadrangles (1,193) and New Mexico quads (1,980 maps) which include Public Land Survey System (PLSS). These are added to the growing list of states west of the Mississippi River to have PLSS data added to US Topo maps.

Image: Black Brant Geese
January 21, 2014

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey report that warming temperatures are leading to the creation of high quality habitats for geese along the Arctic coast of Alaska. This scientific finding is contrary to the deleterious effects that warming global temperatures are having on habitats of sea ice-dependent animals, such as polar bear and walrus.

A view of snow-covered Akutan Volcano.
January 9, 2014

Akutan Island, in Alaska’s east-central Aleutian Islands, hosts the City of Akutan and is home to the largest seafood production facility in North America. It also hosts Akutan Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the U.S.

Image: Banding Together to Learn and Preserve
November 21, 2013

25 Years of Goose Banding and Conservation through Federal and Tribal Partnership on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Western Alaska

USGS
July 1, 2013

Wilderness pilots, hikers, boaters and people in Alaskan communities can now report online to authorities if they witness falling ash or an ash cloud from an erupting volcano. The  Alaska Volcano Observatory has developed a new online tool for reporting visible volcanic ash. 

USGS
May 30, 2013

Multiple sources of Alaskan geochemical information have united into one online resource. 

USGS
May 27, 2013

USGS releases more than 400 updated US Topo maps of 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.