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

Filter Total Items: 2,416
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Year Published: 2018

Avian keratin disorder of Alaska black-capped chickadees is associated with Poecivirus infection

BackgroundAvian keratin disorder (AKD) is an epizootic of debilitating beak deformities, first documented in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska during the late 1990s. Similar deformities have now been recorded in dozens of species of birds across multiple continents. Despite this, the etiology of AKD has remained elusive,...

Zylberberg, Maxine; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; DeRisi, Joseph L.
Zylberberg, M., Van Hemert, C., Handel, C.M., and DeRisi, J.L., 2018, Avian keratin disorder of Alaska black-capped chickadees is associated with Poecivirus infection. Virology Journal 15:100, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-018-1008-5

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Year Published: 2018

Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical?

Ursids are the largest mammals to retain a plantigrade posture. This primitive posture has been proposed to result in reduced locomotor speed and economy relative to digitigrade and unguligrade species, particularly at high speeds. Previous energetics research on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) found locomotor costs were more than double predictions...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Carnahan, Anthony M.; Robbins, Charles T.; Owen, Megan A.; Batson, Tammy; Wagner, Nate; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M.
Pagano, A.M., A.M. Carnahan, C.T. Robbins, M.A. Owen, T. Batson, N. Wagner, A. Cutting, N. Nicassio-Hiskey, A. Hash, and T.M. Williams. 2018. Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: Is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical? Journal of Experimental Biology 221 doi:10.1242/jeb.175372

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Year Published: 2018

Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential

Landsat-based fire severity datasets are an invaluable resource for monitoring and research purposes. These gridded fire severity datasets are generally produced with pre-and post-fire imagery to estimate the degree of fire-induced ecological change. Here, we introduce methods to produce three Landsat-based fire severity metrics using the Google...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Voss, Morgan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Robinson, Nathaniel P.
Parks, S.A., Holsinger, L.M., Voss, M.A., Loehman, R.A., and Robinson, N.P. 2018. Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential. Remote Sensing 10(6),879, doi:10.3390/rs10060879.

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Year Published: 2018

Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration

Annual productivity is an important parameter for the management of waterfowl populations. Fall age ratio (juveniles:total birds) is an index of productivity of the preceding breeding season. However, differences in the timing of migration between family groups and nonbreeding birds may bias age-ratio estimates. We examined temporal variation in...

Schock, Wade G.; Fischer, Julian B.; Ely, Craig R.; Stehn, Robert A.; Welker, Jeffery M.; Causey, Douglas
Schock WG, Fischer JB, Ely CR, Stehn RA, Welker JM, Causey D. 2018. Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration at a northern staging area. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9(1):xxxx; e1944-687X. https://doi.org/10.3996/112015-JFWM-117

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Year Published: 2018

A multi-species synthesis of satellite telemetry data in the Pacific Arctic (1987–2015): Overlap of marine mammal distributions and core use areas

We collated available satellite telemetry data for six species of ice-associated marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic: ringed seals (Pusa hispida; n = 118), bearded seals(Erignathus barbatus, n = 51), spotted seals (Phoca largha, n = 72), Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, n = 389); bowhead whales (...

Citta, John J.; Lowry, Lloyd F.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Kelly, Brendan P.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; London, Josh M.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Frost, Kathryn J.; Crowe, Gregory O'Corry; Crawford, Justin A.; Boveng, Peter L.; Cameron, Michael; Von Duyke, Andrew L.; Nelson, Mark; Harwood, Lois A.; Richard, Pierre; Suydam, Robert; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Hobbs, Roderick C.; Litovka, Dennis I.; Marcoux, Marianne; Whiting, Alex; Kennedy, Amy S.; George, John C.; Orr, Jack; Gray, Tom

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Year Published: 2018

Whole-genome analysis of Mustela erminea finds that pulsed hybridization impacts evolution at high latitudes

At high latitudes, climatic shifts hypothetically initiate recurrent episodes of divergence by isolating populations in glacial refugia—ice-free regions that enable terrestrial species persistence. Upon glacial recession, populations subsequently expand and often come into contact with other independently diverging populations, resulting in gene...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Lan, Tianying; Schuster, Stephen C.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

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Year Published: 2018

Remotely sensing the morphometrics and dynamics of a cold region dune field using historical aerial photography and airborne LiDAR data

This study uses an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey, historical aerial photography and historical climate data to describe the character and dynamics of the Nogahabara Sand Dunes, a sub-Arctic dune field in interior Alaska’s discontinuous permafrost zone. The Nogahabara Sand Dunes consist of a 43-km2 area of active...

Baughman, Carson; Jones, Benjamin M.; Bodony, Karin L.; Mann, Daniel H.; Larsen, Christopher F.; Himmelstoss, Emily A.; Smith, Jeremy

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Year Published: 2018

The Mystic subterrane (partly) demystified: New data from the Farewell terrane and adjacent rocks, interior Alaska

The youngest part of the Farewell terrane in interior Alaska (USA) is the enigmatic Devonian–Cretaceous Mystic subterrane. New U-Pb detrital zircon, fossil, geochemical, neodymium isotopic, and petrographic data illuminate the origin of the rocks of this subterrane. The Devonian–Permian Sheep Creek Formation yielded youngest detrital zircons of...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Jones, James V.; Box, Stephen E.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Ayuso, Robert A.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.

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Year Published: 2018

Alaska snowpack response to climate change: Statewide snowfall equivalent and snowpack water scenarios

Climatically driven changes in snow characteristics (snowfall, snowpack, and snowmelt) will affect hydrologic and ecological systems in Alaska over the coming century, yet there exist no projections of downscaled future snow pack metrics for the state of Alaska. We updated historical and projected snow day fraction (PSF, the fraction of days with...

Littell, Jeremy S.; McAfee, Stephanie A.; Hayward, Gregory D.
Littell, J.S.; McAfee, S.A.; Hayward, G.D. Alaska Snowpack Response to Climate Change: Statewide Snowfall Equivalent and Snowpack Water Scenarios. Water 2018, 10, 668.

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Year Published: 2018

Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems

Variation in body size across populations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) is largely a function of the availability and quality of nutritional resources while plasticity within populations reflects utilized niche width with implications for population resiliency. We assessed skull size, body length, and lean mass of adult female and male brown...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Joly, Kyle; Leacock, William; Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Erlenbach, Joy; Sorum, Mathew; Cameron, Matthew; Belant, Jerrold L.; Cambier, Troy
Hilderbrand, G. V., D. D. Gustine, B. Mangipane, K. Joly, W. Leacock, L. Mangipane, J. Erlenbach, M. S. Sorum, M. D. Cameron, J. L. Belant, and T. Cambier. 2018. Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems. Journal of Zoology 305:53-62. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12536.

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Year Published: 2018

Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures

Survival rate estimates are critical to understanding the dynamics and status of a population, and they are often inferred from samples of the population’s age structure. A recently developed method uses time series of standing age-structure data with information about population growth rate or fecundity to provide explicit maximum likelihood...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.
Taylor, R.L., and M.S. Udevitz. 2018. Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures. Wildlife Society Bulletin 42(1):32–39; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.858

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Year Published: 2018

Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments

Generalist feeding strategies are favoured in stressful or variable environments where flexibility in ecological traits is beneficial. Species that feed across multiple habitat types and trophic levels may impart stability on food webs through the use of readily available, alternative energy pools. In lakes, generalist fish species may take...

Laske, Sarah M.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Laske, S.M., Rosenberger, A.E., Wipfli, M.S. and Zimmerman, C.E., 2018, Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments: Ecology of Freshwater Fish, doi: 10.1111/eff.12391

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: 972
View looks out from a boat with instruments mounted on the side, over the water and in the far distance are snow-capped peaks.
December 31, 2016

Seafloor mapping in southeastern Alaska

Mount Crillon in the backdrop during a multibeam bathymetry survey of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault, offshore southeastern Alaska.

A layout diagram of the R/V Alaskan Gyre
November 30, 2016

A layout diagram of the R/V Alaskan Gyre

A layout illustration of the R/V Alaskan Gyre deck.

ASC biologists necropsy Common Murres
November 30, 2016

ASC biologists necropsy Common Murres

ASC biologists John Piatt, Sarah Schoen, Gary Drew, and Brielle Heflin necropsy Common Murres recovered in Prince William Sound following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.

Emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table
November 30, 2016

Emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table

An emaciated Common Murre lays on the laboratory table during a necropsy to determine the cause of death for a massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
November 23, 2016

Tufted Puffin, near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

Tufted Puffin, the species most affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska

November 15, 2016

Surprising Role of Trees in the Boreal Water Cycle

Approximately 25 to 50 percent of a living tree is made up of water, depending on the species and time of year. The water stored in trees has previously been considered just a minor part of the water cycle, but a study by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists with support from the DOI Alaska Climate Science Center shows otherwise. Their research is the first to show

Salmon River
October 27, 2016

Salmon River in Southeast Alaska

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

Glacier Creek bridge
October 27, 2016

Glacier Creek bridge

Glacier Creek bridge

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge
October 10, 2016

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Kashwitna River sonar on a bridge

Many Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling underwater in the Agashashok River
September 30, 2016

Dolly Varden and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River

Underwater photo of a large school of Dolly Varden char and Arctic grayling in the Agashashok River.  These fish were part of the Hydro-Ecology of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

Polar bear appears to walk on top of rippled gray water. Just behind it are very large breaking waves below a gray-blue sky.
September 18, 2016

Polar bear walks across flooded barrier island during Arctic storm

Adult polar bear walking across a recently overwashed barrier island during a large Arctic storm in September 2016. The barrier island is offshore of Barter Island on Alaska’s north coast. Polar bears typically rest on the barrier islands during the day and transit to the "bone pile" on Barter Island in the evenings to feast on whale carcass remnants supplied by local

...
Two people stand on a coastal bluff wearing heavy coats and hoods to keep warm, with waves crashing in the distance.
September 18, 2016

Coastal bluff study site prep

Two scientists on the Arctic coastal bluff preparing a study location with cameras that they hope will run continuously, collecting images.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 248
USGS science for a changing world logo
September 22, 2003

The rapid depletion of at least a half million great whales from the North Pacific Ocean by intensive industrial whaling over 50 years ago may have unleashed a complex ecological chain reaction that has since rippled resoundingly from ocean to coastal ecosystems, according to a team of eight scientists, including Dr. Jim Estes, a U.S. Geological Survey research ecologist.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 8, 2003

Wesley Ward has been named Regional Executive for Geology for the Western Region of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The announcement of Ward’s new appointment was made by John D. Buffington, Western Regional Director, effective Aug. 11, 2003.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 2, 2003

On July 9, 1953, at 6 a.m., flying out of Anchorage International Airport, a Northwest Airlines pilot noticed a rapidly growing ash cloud erupting from Mount Spurr volcano on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, about 80 miles west of Anchorage.

USGS
July 2, 2003

On July 9, 1953, at 6 a.m., flying out of Anchorage International Airport, a Northwest Airlines pilot noticed a rapidly growing ash cloud erupting from Mount Spurr volcano on the northwest side of Cook Inlet, about 80 miles west of Anchorage.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA). 

USGS
June 11, 2003

Glaciers: Alaska’s Rivers of Ice, a 90-minute, broadcast quality, educational DVD, produced by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Alpha DVD of Crofton, Md., has been awarded the Duane Marquis Government DVD Excellence Award by the DVD Association (DVDA).

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS
May 15, 2003

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and their partners studying the largest on-land earthquake in North America in almost 150 years report new information that will help further safety-planning efforts for future large quakes, according to an article published in the May 16, 2003, edition of the journal Science.

USGS science for a changing world logo
December 6, 2002

Standard fare in geology textbooks and school classrooms across the world is that the hot springs, geysers and volcanoes of Yellowstone National Park, Hawaii, Iceland, and many other volcanic regions were "created" by plumes of hot rock that rise from near the Earth’s core. New results from recently published U.S. Geological Survey research hint, astonishingly, that such plumes may not exist.

USGS science for a changing world logo
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

USGS
November 8, 2002

A ShakeMap portraying the variations in shaking intensity from the Nov. 3, 2002, 7.9-magnitude earthquake was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The map is the first ShakeMap produced for the state of Alaska and is considered a prototype.

USGS
November 7, 2002

Sunday’s magnitude 7.9 earthquake in central Alaska created a scar across the landscape for more than 145 miles, according to surveys conducted the past two days by geologists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Survey.

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.