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: 2,396
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Year Published: 2018

Nutrient dynamics in partially drained arctic thaw lakes

Thaw lakes are ubiquitous on arctic coastal plains (ACPs). While many thaw lakes have steep banks, stable water levels, and static surface areas, others only partially fill their basins and vary in area over the summer. These partially drained lakes (PDLs) are hydrologically connected to the wetlands immediately surrounding them. Heat and nutrient...

Koch, Joshua C.; Fondell, Tom F.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Laske, Sarah M.

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of environmental conditions on reproductive effort and nest success of Arctic‐breeding shorebirds

The Arctic is experiencing rapidly warming conditions, increasing predator abundance, and diminishing population cycles of keystone species such as lemmings. However, it is still not known how many Arctic animals will respond to a changing climate with altered trophic interactions. We studied clutch size, incubation duration and nest survival of...

Weiser, Emily L.; Brown, Stephen C.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Gates, H. River; Abraham, Kenneth F.; Bentzen, Rebecca L.; Bety, Joel; Boldenow, Megan L.; Brook, Rodney W.; Donnelly, Tyrone F.; English, Willow B.; Flemming, Scott A.; Franks, Samantha E.; Gilchrist, H. Grant; Giroux, Marie-Andree; Johnson, Andrew; Kendall, Steve; Kennedy, Lisa V.; Koloski, Laura; Kwon, Eunbi; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Lank, David B.; Latty, Christopher J.; Lecomte, Nicolas; Liebezeit, Joseph R.; McKinnon, Laura; Nol, Erica; Perz, Johanna; Rausch, Jennie; Robards, Martin D.; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senner, Nathan R.; Smith, Paul A.; Soloviev, Mikhail; Solovyeva, Diana V.; Ward, David H.; Woodard, Paul F.; Sandercock, Brett K.

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Year Published: 2018

Demography of the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) in a changing Arctic

The Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) is a candidate to be listed as an endangered species under United States law, in part, because of climate change‐related concerns. While the population was known to be declining in the 1980s and 1990s, its recent status has not been determined. We developed Bayesian models of walrus population...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Citta, John J.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Lemons, Patrick R.; Snyder, Jonathan A.
Taylor, R.L., and Udevitz, M.S. 2015. Marine Mammal Science, vol. 31, no. 1, p. 231-254. doi: 10.1111/mms.12156

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Year Published: 2018

Environmental and ecological conditions at Arctic breeding sites have limited effects on true survival rates of adult shorebirds

Many Arctic shorebird populations are declining, and quantifying adult survival and the effects of anthropogenic factors is a crucial step toward a better understanding of population dynamics. We used a recently developed, spatially explicit Cormack–Jolly–Seber model in a Bayesian framework to obtain broad-scale estimates of true annual survival...

Weiser, Emily L.; Lanctot, Richard B.; Brown, Stephen C.; Gates, H. River; Bentzen, Rebecca L.; Bêty, Joël; Boldenow, Megan L.; English, Willow B.; Franks, Samantha E.; Koloski, Laura; Kwon, Eunbi; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Lank, David B.; Liebezeit, Joseph R.; McKinnon, Laura; Nol, Erica; Rausch, Jennie; Saalfeld, Sarah T.; Senner, Nathan R.; Ward, David H.; Woodard, Paul F.; Sandercock, Brett K.
Weiser, E. L., R. B. Lanctot, S. C. Brown, H. R. Gates, R. L. Bentzen, J. Bêty, M. L. Boldenow, W. B. English, S. E. Franks, L. Koloski, E. Kwon, J-F. Lamarre, D. B. Lank, J. R. Liebezeit, L. McKinnon, E. Nol, J. Rausch, S. T. Saalfeld, N. R. Senner, D. H. Ward, P. F. Woodard, and B. K. Sandercock. 2018. Environmental and ecological conditions at Arctic breeding sites have limited effects on true survival rates of adult shorebirds. The Auk 135(1):29-43. doi:10.1642/AUK-17-107.1

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Year Published: 2018

Patterns and controls of mercury accumulation in sediments from three thermokarst lakes on the Arctic Coastal Plain of Alaska

The biogeochemical cycle of mercury will be influenced by climate change, particularly at higher latitudes. Investigations of historical mercury accumulation in lake sediments inform future predictions as to how climate change might affect mercury biogeochemistry; however, in regions with a paucity of data, such as the thermokarst-rich Arctic...

Burke, Samantha M.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Branfireun, Brian A.; Koch, Joshua C.; Swanson, Heidi K.

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Year Published: 2018

The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus)

Terrestrial plants are often limited by nitrogen (N) in arctic systems, but constraints of N supply on herbivores are typically considered secondary to those of energy. We tested the hypothesis that forage N is more limiting than energy for arctic caribou by collecting key forages (three species of graminoids, three species of woody browse, and...

Barboza, Perry S.; Van Someren, Lindsay L.; Gustine, David D.; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia
Barboza, P. S., L. L. Van Someren, D. D. Gustine, and M. S. Bret‐Harte. 2018. The nitrogen window for arctic herbivores: plant phenology and protein gain of migratory caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Ecosphere 9(1):e02073. 10.1002/ecs2.2073

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on ecological disturbance in the northern Rockies

Disturbances alter ecosystem, community, or population structure and change elements of the biological and/or physical environment. Climate changes can alter the timing, magnitude, frequency, and duration of disturbance events, as well as the interactions of disturbances on a landscape, and climate change may already be affecting disturbance...

Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Bentz, Barbara J.; DeNitto, Gregg A.; Keane, Robert E.; Manning, Mary E.; Duncan, Jacob P.; Egan, Joel M.; Jackson, Marcus B.; Kegley, Sandra; Lockman, I. Blakey; Pearson, Dean E.; Powell, James A.; Shelly, Steve; Steed, Brytten E.; Zambino, Paul J.
Loehman, R.A., Bentz, B.J., DeNitto, G.A., Keane, R.E., Manning, M.E., Duncan, J.P., Egan, J.M., Jackson, M.B., Kegley, S., Lockman, I.B., Pearson, D.E., Powell, J.A., Shelly, S., Steed, B.E., and Zambino, P.J., 2017, Effects of climate change on ecological disturbance in the Northern Rockies, pages 115-141 in Halofsky, J.E. and Peterson, D.L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems; A Regional Assessment: Springer, Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 63. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56928-4_7

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Year Published: 2018

Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the northern Rockies

Increasing air temperature, through its influence on soil moisture, is expected to cause gradual changes in the abundance and distribution of tree, shrub, and grass species throughout the Northern Rockies, with drought tolerant species becoming more competitive. The earliest changes will be at ecotones between lifeforms (e.g., upper and lower...

Halofsky, Jessica E.; Peterson, David L.; Keane, Robert E.; Mahalovich, Mary Frances; Bollenbacher, Barry L.; Manning, Mary E.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Jain, Terrie B.; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Larson, Andrew J.
Keane, R.E., Mahalovich, M.F., Bollenbacher, B.L., Manning, M.E., Loehman, R.A., Jain, T.B., Holsinger, L.M., and Larson, A.J., 2017, Effects of climate change on forest vegetation in the Northern Rockies, pages 115-141 in Halofsky, J.E. and Peterson, D.L., eds. Climate Change and Rocky Mountain Ecosystems; A Regional Assessment: Springer, Advances in Global Change Research, vol. 63. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-56928-4_7

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Year Published: 2018

Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity

The effects of declining Arctic sea ice on local ecosystem productivity are not well understood but have been shown to vary inter-specifically, spatially, and temporally. Because marine mammals occupy upper trophic levels in Arctic food webs, they may be useful indicators for understanding variation in ecosystem productivity. Polar bears (Ursus...

Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Douglas, David C.; Muhlenbruch, Vanessa L; Atwood, Todd C.; Regehr, Eric V.; Richardson, Evan; Pilfold, Nicholas; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Stirling, Ian; Amstrup, Steven C.; St Martin, Michelle; Pagano, Anthony M.; Simac, Kristin S.
Rode KD, Wilson RR, Douglas DC, et al. Spring fasting behavior in a marine apex predator provides an index of ecosystem productivity. Glob Change Biol. 2017;00:1–14. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.13933

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Year Published: 2018

Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears

Animal space use is influenced by many factors and can affect individual survival and fitness. Under optimal foraging theory, individuals use landscapes to optimize high-quality resources while minimizing the amount of energy used to acquire them. The spatial resource variability hypothesis states that as patchiness of resources increases,...

Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.
Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears: Mammalian Biology, In Press,. doi: 10.1016/j.mambio.2017.09.002

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Year Published: 2018

Small-scale genetic structure in an endangered wetland specialist: possible effects of landscape change and population recovery

The effects of anthropogenic landscape change on genetic population structure are well studied, but the temporal and spatial scales at which genetic structure can develop, especially in taxa with high dispersal capabilities like birds, are less well understood. We investigated population structure in the Hawaiian gallinule (Gallinula galeata...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.
van Rees, C.B., Reed, J.M., Wilson, R.E., Underwood, J.G., and Sonsthagen, S.A., 2017, Small-scale genetic structure in an endangered wetland specialist: possible effects of landscape change and population recovery: Conservation Genetics, doi: 10.1007/s10592-017-1020-0

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Year Published: 2018

Timelines and mechanisms of wildlife population recovery following the Exxon Valdez oil spill

Research and monitoring activities over the 28 years since the T/V Exxon Valdez ran aground and spilled oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska have led to an improved understanding of how wildlife populations were damaged, as well as the mechanisms and timelines of recovery. A key finding was that for some species, such as harlequin ducks...

Esler, Daniel N.; Ballachey, Brenda E.; Matkin, Craig O.; Cushing, Daniel; Kaler, Robert; Bodkin, James L.; Monson, Daniel; Esslinger, George G.; Kloecker, Kimberly A.
Esler, D., Ballachey, B.E., Matkin, C., Cushing, D., Kaler, R., Bodkin, J., Monson, D., Esslinger, G., and Kloecker, K. 2017 .Timelines and mechanisms of wildlife population recovery following the Exxon Valdez oil spill: Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography. vol. , no. , p. . doi: 10.1016/j.dsr2.2017.04.007

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: 986
A stream in the Agashashok River drainage
August 31, 2016

A stream in the Agashashok River watershed

A stream type at the Boreal-Arctic transition of the Brooks Range, Noatak National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park. This stream is in the Agashashok River watershed. This is part of the Hydro-Ecoloy of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

Scientist walking up a stream in the Agashashok River drainage
August 31, 2016

Scientist sampling a stream in the drainage of the Agashashok River

Chris Zimmerman sampling a stream in the drainage of the Agashashok River which is in the Boreal-Arctic transition of the Brooks Range in Noatak National Park and Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park. This is part of the Hydro-Ecoloy of Arctic Thawing (HEAT) project.

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water
August 26, 2016

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water

A Horned Puffin taking off from the water

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
August 26, 2016

Horned Puffin, near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK. Near Chisik Island in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

The north fork of the Agashashok River
August 20, 2016

The north fork of the Agashashok River

The north fork of the Agashashok River

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed
August 20, 2016

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed

Bedrock peaks in the Agashashok River Watershed

Copper River bridge longer view
August 18, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge longer view

A tributary of the Agashashok River
August 16, 2016

Tributary of the Agashashok River

A tributary of the Agashashok River.

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River
August 15, 2016

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

The Agashashok River Watershed
August 15, 2016

The Agashashok River Watershed

The Agashashok River Watershed

Kasilof River bridge during high water
August 11, 2016

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Four people looking a flattened trees
August 9, 2016

Surveying the Taan Fjord tsunami runup

USGS scientists investigate trees knocked over by the tsunami at the mouth of Taan Fjord. Flow depth here was likely 5 m based on the height of branches stripped off trees in the background. This event had the 4th highest tsunami runup ever recorded.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 247
USGS science for a changing world logo
September 20, 2001

Dr.William Seitz has assumed his duties as the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Deputy Regional Director for Alaska and the director of the Alaska Science Center.

USGS
September 20, 2001

Dr.William Seitz has assumed his duties as the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Deputy Regional Director for Alaska and the director of the Alaska Science Center.

USGS science for a changing world logo
June 6, 2001

The third largest spring snowpack in 36 years on Gulkana Glacier won’t necessarily reverse the current slow retreat of the glacier and usher in a new growth cycle, according to U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists who measured the glacier’s snowpack in late April.

USGS
June 6, 2001

The third largest spring snowpack in 36 years on Gulkana Glacier won’t necessarily reverse the current slow retreat of the glacier and usher in a new growth cycle, according to U.S. Geological Survey hydrologists who measured the glacier’s snowpack in late April.

USGS
July 26, 2000

As of 7:30 a.m. today, July 26, the Taku River near Juneau, Alaska, was flowing at approximately 81,000 cubic feet per second, which is about 50,000 cubic feet per second higher than normal for the time of year, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
September 29, 1999

Elevated levels of organochlorine pesticides such as DDE have been associated with low reproduction of nesting bald eagles on remote islands in the seemingly pristine Aleutian Archipelago in Alaska, according to recent research published in the September issue of the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

USGS
July 13, 1999

Providing a plan to help resource managers restore the Bering Sea and North Pacific ecosystem is a task research scientist Jim Estes of the U.S. Geological Survey will pursue during the next four years with funding help from a 1999 Pew Marine Conservation fellowship of $150,000.

USGS
June 23, 1999

Alaska is a land of great opportunity for scientific research, according to the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS
November 24, 1998

The water quality of the Fortymile River -- a beautiful, wild and scenic river in the remote part of east-central Alaska -- has not been adversely impacted by selected suction-dredge gold placer mining operations, according to an integrated study under way by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

USGS
August 31, 1998

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East are often thought of as desolate windswept outposts along the northern Pacific rim, yet this is a heavily traveled region.

USGS
August 28, 1998

Torrents of meltwater are unleashed suddenly from the margins of the great moving sheets of snow and ice, known as glaciers. In Alaska, these pulses of activity, called "outburst floods," are usually caused by the failure of ice dams that restrain the meltwater of glacial margin lakes.

USGS
May 17, 1998

A new fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey provides results of the latest assessment of petroleum resources in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including new estimates of how much petroleum may be present. The 1002 area, defined by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, includes most of the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and covers about 1.5 mil

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.