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

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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: 171
Date published: July 26, 2016
Status: Active

National Park Service Visitor Spending Effects

The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS...

Date published: July 21, 2016
Status: Active

North American Waterfowl Management Plan

The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management...

Date published: May 9, 2016
Status: Completed

Wildlife Potential Habitat Forecasting Framework (WildCast)

WildCast (WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Project) is a completed project led by USGS, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. WildCast was devised to provide models for projecting future land cover and wildlife habitat conditions in northwest Alaska under potential scenarios of climate change, and to provide an...

Contacts: Bruce Marcot
Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

Conservation of native salmonids in South-Central Alaska

The proliferation of introduced northern pike in Southcentral Alaska is an urgent fishery management concern because pike are voracious predators that prey heavily on juvenile salmonids. Eradication of pike is not possible in connected freshwater networks, so managers must develop control methods that reduce pike populations to less destructive numbers. We are using field and bioenergetics...

Contacts: Adam Sepulveda
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Critical Minerals Cooperative

The project developed means to use several large legacy digital databases together in GIS to identify areas with mineral resource potential for critical minerals in Alaska.

Contacts: Timothy Hayes
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Geophysical Survey Interpretation

Available geophysical data for Alaska have not been fully exploited. Project objectives were to conduct systematic analysis of existing gravity, aeromagnetic and airborne electromagnetic data to map geologic trends, structural geologic and tectonic patterns, and identify key lithologies for direct integration with geologic framework and mineral potential studies.

Contacts: Bruce D Smith, Richard Saltus
Date published: June 1, 2015
Status: Completed

The "Snow Plow Theory"* of Early-Arriving Tsunamis

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2015

What is a splay fault, and how can they affect tsunamis?

* completely contrived term by this author, not a scientific term or theory

Date published: April 25, 2013
Status: Active

Webinar: From Icefield to Ocean: Impacts of Glacier Change in Alaska

Check out this webinar to learn more about glacial loss in the Gulf of Alaska.

Contacts: Shad O'Neel, Ph.D., Eran Hood
Date published: September 28, 2010
Status: Completed

COOK NAWQA Data Clearinghouse

This page will serve as the repository for data collected by the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA team using NAWQA sampling protocols. Data sets collected using NAWQA protocols but not collected as part of the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA program are identified with an asterisk (*). A list of ...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 20, 2003
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Statewide Coverages

Legacy Data for AK Precipitation, Hydrologic Unit Map, and Streamflow analysis regions for AK and conterminous basins in Canada.

Contacts: Janet H Curran
Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Completed

Alaska Ecoregions Mapping

Legacy Data: Ecoregions of Alaska

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: 2,440
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Year Published: 2019

Energetic costs of aquatic locomotion in a subadult polar bear

Most marine mammals rely on swimming as their primary form of locomotion. These animals have evolved specialized morphologies, physiologies, and behaviors that have enabled them to efficiently move through an aquatic environment (Williams 1999). Such adaptations include body streamlining, modified plantar surfaces for propulsion, and...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M.

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Year Published: 2019

Serologic evidence for influenza A virus exposure in three loon species (Gavia spp.) breeding in Alaska

Limited information exists about exposure to influenza A viruses (IAVs) in many wild waterbird species, including loons. We analyzed serum samples from breeding adult Pacific (Gavia pacifica), Red-throated (Gavia stellata), and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons sampled at three locations along the coast of Alaska, US from 2008 to 2017 to gain a...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Jiang, Kaijun; Wan, Xiu-Feng; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy allocation and feeding ecology of juvenile chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) during transition from freshwater to saltwater

Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) populations near their northern range extent in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Alaska have undergone major changes in population trajectory and illuminated the lack of basic information on juvenile ecology. This study fills information gaps on the early life history of chum salmon at northern latitudes....

Burril, Sean E.; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Hillbruber, Nicola; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Measurement of long-term channel change through repeated cross-section surveys at bridge crossings in Alaska

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working with Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) since 1993 to provide hydraulic assessments of scour for bridges throughout Alaska. The purpose of the program is to evaluate, monitor, and study streambed scour at bridges in Alaska; this includes surveying streambed...

Dworsky, Karenth L.; Conaway, Jeffrey S.
Dworsky, K.L., and Conaway, J.S., 2019, Measurement of long-term channel change through repeated cross-section surveys at bridge crossings in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1028, 118 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191028.

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Year Published: 2019

Extreme reduction in nutritional value of a key forage fish during the Pacific marine heatwave of 2014–2016

Pacific sand lance Ammodytes personatus are a key forage fish in the North Pacific for many species of salmon, groundfish, seabirds, and marine mammals and have historically been important to predators in relatively warm years. However, extreme declines in the nutritional value of sand lance in Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, during...

von Biela, Vanessa R.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Heflin, Brielle; Schoen, Sarah K.; Trowbridge, Jannelle; Clawson, Chelsea

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Year Published: 2019

Migratory goose arrival time plays a larger role in influencing forage quality than advancing springs in an Arctic coastal wetland

With warmer springs, herbivores migrating to Arctic breeding grounds may experience phenological mismatches between their energy demands and the availability of high quality forage. However, the timing of high quality forage relative to the timing of grazing is often unknown. In coastal western Alaska, approximately one million migratory geese...

Beard, Karen H.; Choi, Ryan T.; Leffer, A. Joshua; Carlson, Lindsay; Kelsey, Katharine C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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Year Published: 2019

Influenza A prevalence and subtype diversity in migrating teal sampled along the United States Gulf Coast

Wild birds in the order Anseriformes are important reservoirs for influenza A viruses (IAV); however, IAV prevalence and subtype diversity may vary by season, even at the same location. To better understand the ecology of IAV during waterfowl migration through the Gulf Coast of the United States (Louisiana and Texas), surveillance of blue-winged (...

Carter, Deborah; Link, Paul T.; Walther, Patrick; Ramey, Andrew M.; Stallknecht, David E.; Poulson, Rebecca L.

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Year Published: 2019

The black brant population is declining based on mark recapture

Annual survival and recruitment in black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) have declined since the 1990s, yet aerial surveys of the global population have been stable or even increasing over the past decade. We used a combination of a Lincoln estimator based on harvest information and band recoveries, and marked‐unmarked ratios in bag checks in 1...

Sedinger, James S.; Riecke, Thomas V.; Leach, Alan G.; Ward, David H.

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Year Published: 2019

Flexible timing of annual movements across consistently used sites by Marbled Godwits breeding in Alaska

The study of avian movement has detailed a spectrum of strategies for the timing and use of sites throughout the annual cycle, from near randomness to complete consistency. New tracking devices now permit the repeated tracking of individual animals throughout the annual cycle, detailing previously unappreciated levels of variation within migratory...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Tibbitts, Lee; Gill, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2019

Spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant

On average, band recovery rates of adult black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) more than doubled between the 2000s and 2010s. However, the spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant has not been reported. Our objective was to describe the spatial distribution of band recoveries of black brant since 1990. We found that Alaska,...

Leach, Alan G.; Ward, David H.; Sedinger, James S.; Riecke, Thomas V.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ritchie, Robert J.

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Year Published: 2019

Wasting disease and static environmental variables drive sea star assemblages in the northern Gulf of Alaska

Sea stars are ecologically important in rocky intertidal habitats where they can play an apex predator role, completely restructuring communities. The recent sea star die-off throughout the eastern Pacific, known as Sea Star Wasting Disease, has prompted a need to understand spatial and temporal patterns of sea star assemblages and the...

Konar, Brenda; Mitchell, Timothy J.; Iken, K.; Dean, Thomas; Esler, Daniel N.; Lindeberg, Mandy; Pister, Benjamin; Weitzman, Ben P.

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Year Published: 2019

Micro-geographic population genetic structure within Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) in Beaufort Sea of Alaska

Many marine organisms show significant levels of genetic heterogeneity on local spatial scales despite exhibiting limited genetic structure at large geographic scales which can be produced through a variety of mechanisms. The Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) is a circumpolar species and is a vital species in Arctic food webs. To examine population...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Wedemeyer, Kate; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Menning, Damian M.; Gravley, Megan C.; Nelson, R. John; Talbot, Sandra L.

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
Cross-section illustration showing structure beneath the seafloor where sediment layers are deformed by high seismic activity.
July 31, 2017

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile, QCF fault

Multichannel seismic-reflection profile showing deformed sediment layers on the Pacific plate, just seaward of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault near the south end of the study area. Location of profile shown by yellow line on trackline map, above. km, kilometer; m, meter; s, second.

An aerial view of McKinley Lake
July 31, 2017

An aerial view of McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska

McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska. This is the site of deployment of limnocorrals for an Elodea spp. experiment. 

Two scientists capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for physiology study in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

Capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for study in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Brielle Heflin and Brian Robinson capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes at the base of the colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. These birds were used in adult physiology studies.

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

A Tufted Puffin in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea near Gull Island in Lower Cook Inlet , Alaska

July 27, 2017

USGS Public Lecture: Warm Ice—Dynamics of Rapidly Changing Glaciers

  • Glacier Numerology – The how big, how long, how thick, how much, how often, of glacier science.
  • Glacier Photography – While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a collection of images may tell a complete forensic story.
  • Glacier Geophysics – How new technologies are being introduced to reexamine and refine decades old glacier analyses.
Knik River bridge
July 27, 2017

Knik River bridge

Knik River bridge

A Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's mouth
July 20, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwake with herring near Gull Island, Cook Inlet, AK

Black-legged Kittiwake with a herring in it's bill. These seabirds were foraging near Gull Island in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 20, 2017

Scientist holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, AK

Brian Robinson holding a herring dip net of forage fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Geologist Jamey Jones studying and preparing to collect samples of igneous rocks in Lake Clark National Park
July 20, 2017

Geologist collecting igneous rock samples in Lake Clark Nat'l Park

The photo was taken by Erin Todd during helicopter-supported geologic fieldwork in Lake Clark National Park this past summer. The project is funded by the USGS Mineral Resources Program that is focused on investigating the bedrock geology of the national park and surrounding areas through geologic mapping and supporting analytical work such as geochemistry and

...
Black-legged Kittiwakes diving into the water to catch small fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 19, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging for fish in Cook Inlet, Alaska.

Geologist collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark
July 17, 2017

Geologist collecting rock samples exposed in a glacial stream valley

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark.

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite, with a helicopter in the background
July 15, 2017

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones stands on a dike of granite intruding darker granodiorite, with helicopter in background.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Alaska region-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 6, 2009

When Alaska's Kasatochi Volcano erupted on Aug. 7, 2008, it virtually sterilized Kasatochi Island, covering the small Aleutian island with a layer of ash and other volcanic material several meters thick.
The eruption also provided a rare research opportunity: the chance to see how an ecosystem develops from the very first species to colonize the island.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 9, 2009

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's oceans, but relatively impoverished in many natural resources, particularly oil and gas. It is the home to a large fisheries industry that is seemingly in peril, and the place itself, a peaceful namesake, can erupt into cataclysmic disasters on a moment's notice.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 6, 2009

Alaska's Redoubt Volcano continues to emit a plume of water vapor, gas and minor ash after its 19th successive explosion this past weekend. Scientists believe the volcano has entered a new period of cyclical lava dome growth marked by small earthquakes and intermittent tremors.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 2, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Unified Command will host a news conference at 1:00PM AKDT (5:00PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.
High resolution photos are available on the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Redoubt Activity Web site.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, erupted explosively more than 10 times this week, sending ash skyrocketing as high as 65,000 feet into the air.
The eruption of Redoubt poses a threat to national and international aviation as volcanic ash is sent into the busy North Pacific flight paths between North America and Asia.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano and yesterday's (March 26) overflight of the volcano.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 26, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory will host a news conference at 1:30PM AKDT (5:30PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.

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.