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 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: 2020

Conservation genomics in a changing arctic

Although logistically challenging to study, the Arctic is a bellwether for global change and is becoming a model for questions pertinent to the persistence of biodiversity. Disruption of Arctic ecosystems is accelerating, with impacts ranging from mixing of biotic communities to individual behavioral responses. Understanding these changes is...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Brochmann, Christian; Taylor, Eric B.; Hoberg, Eric P.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2020

Extending seasonal discharge records for streamgage sites on the North Fork Fortymile and Middle Fork Fortymile Rivers, Alaska, through water year 2019

Daily mean discharge values were estimated for May 20–September 30 for 1976–82 and 2006–18 for the U.S. Geological Survey North Fork Fortymile River and Middle Fork Fortymile River streamgage sites in Alaska. A relation between study streamgage discharge and discharge for an index streamgage on the main-stem Fortymile River for a concurrent period...

Curran, Janet H.
Curran, J.H., 2020, Extending seasonal discharge records for streamgage sites on the North Fork Fortymile and Middle Fork Fortymile Rivers, Alaska, through water year 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2020–5003, 11 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20205003.

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Year Published: 2020

Infrasound generated by the 2016-2017 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

The 2016–2017 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano produced numerous infrasound signals over 9 months that were recorded on six Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) arrays at ranges of 59 to over 800 km from the volcano. The lack of geophysical monitoring near Bogoslof and the repeated production of volcanic clouds to flight levels...

Lyons, John J.; Iezzi, Alexandra M.; Fee, David; Schwaiger, Hans; Wech, Aaron; Haney, Matthew M.

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Year Published: 2020

Multi-decadal patterns of vegetation succession after tundra fire on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) is one of the warmest parts of the Arctic tundra biome and tundra fires are common in its upland areas. Here we combine field measurements, Landsat observations, and quantitative cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs) to characterize multi-decadal succession and landscape change after fire in...

Frost, Gerald; Loehman, Rachel A.; Saperstein, Lisa; Macander, Matthew J.; Nelson, Peter; Paradis, David; Natali, Sue M.

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Year Published: 2020

Simulation modeling of complex climate, wildfire, and vegetation dynamics to address wicked problems in land management

Complex, reciprocal interactions among climate, disturbance, and vegetation dramatically alter spatial landscape patterns and influence ecosystem dynamics. As climate and disturbance regimes shift, historical analogs and past empirical studies may not be entirely appropriate as templates for future management. The need for a better understanding...

Loehman, Rachel A.; Keane, Robert E.; Holsinger, Lisa M.

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Year Published: 2020

Fatty acid-based diet estimates suggest ringed seal remain the main prey of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears despite recent use of onshore food resources

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation have traditionally fed predominantly upon ice‐seals; however, as the proportion of the subpopulation using onshore habitat has recently increased, foraging on land‐based resources, including remains of subsistence‐harvested bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and...

Bourque, Jennifer; Atwood, Todd C.; Divoky, George J.; Stewart, Connie; McKinney, Melissa A.

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Year Published: 2020

Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018

This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 530 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens observed in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and neighboring areas from 1910 to 2018, and archived partly by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, and partly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine...

Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David C.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Olson, Jay W.; Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.
Durner, G.M., Amstrup, S.C., Atwood, T.C., Douglas, D.C., Fischbach, A.S., Olson, J.W., Rode, K.D., and Wilson, R.R., 2020, Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1121, 12 p., including appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1121. [Supersedes USGS Data Series 568.]

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Year Published: 2020

The clock keeps ticking: Circadian rhythms of free-ranging polar bears

Life in the Arctic presents organisms with multiple challenges, including extreme photic conditions, cold temperatures, and annual loss and daily movement of sea ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) evolved under these unique conditions, where they rely on ice to hunt their main prey, seals. However, very little is known about the dynamics of their...

Ware, Jasmine V.; Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Leise, T.; Weil, C.R.; Jansen, Heiko T.

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Year Published: 2020

Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Central North Slope of Alaska, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (associated and nonassociated) in conventional accumulations in Mississippian through Paleogene strata in the central North Slope...

Houseknecht, David W.; Whidden, Katherine J.; Connors, Christopher D.; Lease, Richard O.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Rouse, William A.; Botterell, Palma J.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Sanders, Margaret M.; Craddock, William H.; DeVera, Christina A.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Buursink, Marc L.; Karacan, C. Özgen; Heller, Samuel J.; Moore, Thomas E.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; French, Katherine L.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Drake, Ronald M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Kinney, Scott A.; Shorten, Chilisa M.
Houseknecht, D.W., Whidden, K.J., Connors, C.D., Lease, R.O., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Rouse, W.A., Botterell, P.J., Smith, R.A., Sanders, M.M., Craddock, W.H., DeVera, C.A., Garrity, C.P., Buursink, M.L., Karacan, C.O., Heller, S.J., Moore, T.E., Dumoulin, J.A., Tennyson, M.E., French, K.L., Woodall, C.A., Drake, R.M., II, Marra, K.R., Finn, T.M., Kinney, S.A., and Shorten, C.M., 2020, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the central North Slope of Alaska, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3001, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203001.

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Year Published: 2020

Genetic confirmation of a natural hybrid between a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and a Cooper’s Hawk (A. cooperii)

Although hybrids between captive Accipiter species are known, and hybrids between wild Accipiter species in North America have long been suspected, none have been confirmed to date. However, in 2014, a hatching year Accipiter captured at Cape May, New Jersey, during fall migration, appeared intermediate in size and plumage between a Northern...

Haughey, Christy; Nelson, Arthur; Napier, Paul; Rosenfield, R. N.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2020

Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific marine heatwave of 2014-2016

About 62,000 dead or dying common murres (Uria aalge), the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska. Most birds were severely emaciated and, so far, no evidence for anything other than starvation was found to explain this mass mortality....

Piatt, John F.; Parrish, Julia K.; Renner, Heather M.; Schoen, Sarah K.; Jones, Timothy; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Bodenstein, Barbara; Garcia-Reyes, Marisol; Duerr, Rebecca; Corcoran, Robin; Kaler, Robb S.A.; McChesney, Gerard J.; Golightly, Richard T.; Coletti, Heather A.; Suryan, Robert M.; Burgess, Hillary K.; Lindsey, Jackie; Lindquist, Kirsten; Warzybok, Peter; Jahncke, Jaime; Roletto, Jan; Sydeman, William J.

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Year Published: 2020

Field-based method for assessing duration of infectivity for influenza A viruses in the environment

Understanding influenza A virus (IAV) persistence in wetlands is limited by a paucity of field studies relating to the maintenance of infectivity over time. The duration of IAV infectivity in water has been assessed under variable laboratory conditions, but results are difficult to translate to more complex field conditions. We tested a field-...

Reeves, Andrew B.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Koch, Joshua C.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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
 Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 26, 2017

Collecting GPR Data in Alaska

Research Hydrologist Neil Terry (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data along an oil pipeline in Alaska. (April 2017)

Scientist tows GPR over ice
April 24, 2017

Ground-penetrating Radar

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) tows ground-penetrating radar (GPR) during field work in Alaska. (April 2017)

Helicopter with equipment strapped to side
April 24, 2017

GPR and Helicopter

Helicopters are often used to carry scientists and equipment to remote study areas in Alaska. In this photo, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) unit is securely strapped to the side of the helicopter. (April 2017)

Scientist operates equipment console while towing GPR on ice
April 24, 2017

Hydrologist and Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR)

Research Hydrologist Martin Briggs (USGS) collects ground-penetrating radar (GPR) data. He is wearing special ice cleats on his shoes to have better traction walking on the ice. (April 2017)

Scientists work on equipment in snow-covered area.
April 22, 2017

Surface nuclear magnetic resonance in Alaska

USGS Research Geophysicist Andy Kass (left, in orange) adjusts surface nuclear magnetic resonance equipment (NMR) with input from collaborators Eliot Grunewald (Vista Clara), Alex Huryn (University of Alabama), and Patrick Hendrickson (University of Colorado). NMR is being used to measure the distribution of liquid water in the subsurface. (April 2017)

Small bird with really long beak
April 14, 2017

Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated deformed beak

Female Red-breasted Nuthatch with an elongated beak. It was captured in Anchorage as part of the beak deformity research project.

March 30, 2017

2017 March Public Lecture—Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!

Brown Bears, Sea Otters, and Seals, Oh My!
Unexpected interactions on the Katmai Coast
by Grant Hilderbrand, Chief of the Marine Ecosystems Office, USGS Alaska Science Center

  • Highlights of ongoing research on brown bears on the coast of the Katmai National Park
  • Observations from video collars deployed on brown bears
A stony islet in an Icy Point pond
February 28, 2017

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point

A stony islet in one of the many ponds of Icy Point.

February 28, 2017

Assessing Soil Moisture Availability Across the Gulf of Alaska Region

The distribution of water on the landscape influences many ecological functions such as the distribution of vegetation, soil development and the cycle of chemical nutrients. All of these functions are subject to change as a result of variations in the duration of soil water saturation and flow of water through the distributed channel networks of watersheds. The landscape

Aerial photo of snow-covered mountaIns with umbrella-shaped volcanic ash plume rising in the background
February 19, 2017

Bogoslof volcano eruption plume

February 19 Bogoslof eruption plume as seen from Unalaska Island, 53 miles ESE of Bogoslof volcano. Photo taken from helicopter during fieldwork by AVO geologists at 5:22PM, approximately 14 minutes after the start of the eruption.

Scintillometer sitting on top of a rock outcropping surrounded by trees
February 17, 2017

Torrs of the Ruby Batholith

Scintillometer and torrs of the Melozitna granite in the Ruby batholith.  This granite contains abundant monazite and high levels of thorium and rare earth elements. This area is part of the Bureau of Land Management's Central Yukon Planning Area, which USGS did a mineral assessment of in 2015.

Satellite image of small crescent-shaped ocean island.
January 24, 2017

Shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano

Analysis of shoreline changes at Bogoslof volcano due to eruptive activity between January 11 and 24, 2017. The base image is a Worldview-2 satellite image collected on January 24, 2017. The approximate location of the shoreline on January 11, 2017 is shown by the dashed orange line.

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
USGS
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 7, 2006

For millennia, the boggy and cold peatlands of Alaska and northern Canada have acted as atmospheric sponges, beneficially absorbing carbon and mercury from the atmosphere. 

USGS
June 5, 2006

Today, June 5, 2006, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the third year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. 

USGS
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
January 11, 2006

Anchorage, AK – The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is currently monitoring the eruption of Augustine Volcano in Alaska that began today at approximately 4:44 a.m. Alaska Standard Time (9:44 a.m. EST) with two explosions at the summit of the volcano. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 25, 2005

 

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found.

USGS
October 25, 2005

The USGS has released an updated economic analysis that shows at least 70 percent of the undiscovered, technically recoverable oil resources assessed in the combined areas of the federal portion of the 1002 area of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Native Lands inside the boundary of the 1002 area, and the lands beneath adjacent Alaska state waters can be found, developed...

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 30, 2005

In a pioneering study, a USGS-led team has tracked a surf scoter from its coastal wintering area in San Francisco Bay to pinpoint its nest, 2000 miles away in the vast northern boreal forest of interior Canada.

USGS
June 28, 2005

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announces the recipients of the second year of the Mineral Resources External Research Program, a grant and/or cooperative agreement opportunity designed to support minerals research. The grant award is split among six topics that support the goals of the Mineral Resources Program and deliver products within one year.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS
May 11, 2005

Reston, VA -- A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the central part of the Alaska North Slope and the adjacent state offshore area finds that there is a significant amount of oil and a large amount of gas that remains to be discovered. 

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 2, 2005

A new report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) highlights the breadth of scientific studies on Native lands. American Indian and Alaska Native governments will use information from these studies in their land and resource management decisions. 

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.