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: 169
Date published: June 26, 2019
Status: Active

Information by Region-Alaska

  

Date published: June 19, 2019
Status: Active

Spatial and Temporal Maps of Population Change of Waterbirds on Alaska's North Slope

A main objective of the USGS Changing Arctic Research Initiative is to quantify and provide projections of the responses of wildlife species and their habitats to ecosystem change in the Arctic.  The following project provides information for Department of Interior agencies, industry, and other stakeholders related to this objective.

Date published: June 17, 2019
Status: Active

Landslide-Induced Tsunamis of Southern Alaska

Working with partners to study and inform the Nation about geohazard risks

Date published: May 6, 2019
Status: Active

Winter Habitat of Juvenile Dolly Varden in the Canning River

In the Arctic, rivers often freeze all the way to the bottom each winter leaving fish with limited habitat where they can survive. 

Date published: April 20, 2019
Status: Active

Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources

The Geophysical Analysis of Energy Resources Project (also called the Geophysical Analysis Project) meets the need within the USGS and the Energy Resources Program to conduct advanced theoretical and applied research in reflection seismology to improve the delineation and characterization of both conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources. The scientists of the project fulfill these...

Date published: March 7, 2019
Status: Active

Macrofossil and Sediment Processing Laboratory

In the Macrofossil and sediment processing lab we analyze the physical, biological, and geochemical characteristics of peat and sediment samples collected from lake, wetland, and peat cores as proxies for past changes to these depositional environments on timescales of decades to millennia. We primarily study terrestrial wetland ecosystems from subtropical to arctic regions in order to...

Date published: February 1, 2019
Status: Active

Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami Hazards

Alaska has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined. More than three-quarters of the state’s population live in an area that can experience a magnitude 7 earthquake. Our research provides objective science that helps stakeholders prepare for and mitigate the effects of future earthquakes and tsunamis, which bolsters the economic health and well-being of Alaska and the...

Date published: December 20, 2018
Status: Active

Ecosystems on the Edge: Landscape and Fire Ecology of Forests, Deserts, and Tundra

Climate changes and interacting disturbances such as wildfires, insect and disease outbreaks, and erosion and flooding can perturb and reorganize ecosystems.

Date published: December 13, 2018
Status: Active

Webinar: Aquatic Ecosystem Vulnerability to Fire and Climate Change in Alaskan Boreal Forests

View this webinar for more information about conservation efforts surrounding aquatic habitats in boreal Alaska.

Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Benchmark Glacier Project

Scientists with the USGS Benchmark Glacier Project study the process and impacts of glacier change, including sea-level rise, water resources, environmental hazards and ecosystem links. At the core of this research are mass balance measurements at five glaciers in the United States. Since the 1960s, these glaciers have been studied using direct observations of glaciers and meteorology. The...

Date published: October 31, 2018
Status: Active

Land-Sea Linkages in the Arctic

The Arctic is undergoing historically unprecedented changes in weather, sea ice, temperature and ecosystems.  These changes have led to greater coastal erosion, greater export of freshwater, and changes to marine and terrestrial ecosystems, habitats, and productivity, among other trends. Meanwhile, many believe the Arctic “amplifies” large climate changes during both warm periods and ice ages...

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: 2,661
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Year Published: 2021

Willow drives changes in arthropod communities of northwestern Alaska: Ecological implications of shrub expansion

Arthropods serve as complex linkages between plants and higher-level predators in Arctic ecosystems and provide key ecosystem services such as pollination and nutrient cycling. Arctic plant communities are changing as tall woody shrubs expand onto tundra, but potential effects on arthropod abundance and food web structure remain unclear. Changes...

Mcdermott, Molly; Doak, Patricia; Handel, Colleen M.; Breed, Greg A.; Mulder, Christa

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Year Published: 2021

GIS-based identification of areas that have resource potential for sediment-hosted Pb-Zn deposits in Alaska

A state-wide Geographic Information System analysis was conducted to assess prospectivity for lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) in sediment-hosted deposits in Alaska. The datasets that were utilized include publicly available geospatial datasets of lithologic, geochemical, and mineral occurrence data. Key characteristics of Pb-Zn deposits were identified in...

Kelley, Karen D.; Graham, Garth E.; Labay, Keith A.; Shew, Nora B.
Kelley, K.D., Graham, G.E., Labay, K.A., and Shew, N.B., 2021, GIS-based identification of areas that have resource potential for sediment-hosted Pb-Zn deposits in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020−1147, 37 p., 1 app., 2 pls., scale 1:10,500,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201147.

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Year Published: 2021

The 2008-2010 subsidence of Dallol volcano on the 2 spreading Erta Ale ridge: InSAR observations and source models

In this work, we study the subsidence of Dallol, an explosive crater and hydrothermal area along the spreading Erta Ale ridge of Afar (Ethiopia). No volcanic products exist at the surface. However, a diking episode in 2004, accompanied by dike-induced faulting, indicates that Dallol is an active volcanic area. The 2004 diking episode was followed...

Battaglia, Maurizio; Paglia, Carolina; Meuti, Stefano

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Year Published: 2021

Dissolved Fe supply to the central Gulf of Alaska is inferred to be derived from Alaskan glacial dust that is not resolved by dust transport models

Re-examination of previously published dissolved iron time-series data from Ocean Station Papa in the central Gulf of Alaska (GoA) reveals 33-70% increases in the dissolved iron inventories occurring between September and February of successive years, implying a source of Fe to this region during autumn or early winter. Because I can virtually...

Crusius, John

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Year Published: 2021

Biogeography and ecology of Ostracoda in the U.S. northern Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas

Ostracoda (bivalved Crustacea) comprise a significant part of the benthic meiofauna in the Pacific-Arctic region, including more than 50 species, many with identifiable ecological tolerances. These species hold potential as useful indicators of past and future ecosystem changes. In this study, we examined benthic ostracodes from nearly 300 surface...

Gemery, Laura; Cronin, Thomas M.; Cooper, Lee W.; Dowsett, Harry J.; Grebmeier, Jacqueline M.

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Year Published: 2021

Dynamic landscapes in northwestern North America structured populations of wolverines (Gulo gulo)

Cyclic climatic and glacial fluctuations of the Late Quaternary produced a dynamic biogeographic history for high latitudes. To refine our understanding of this history in northwestern North America, we explored geographic structure in a wide-ranging carnivore, the wolverine (Gulo gulo). We examined genetic variation in populations across mainland...

Krejsa, Dianna M; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Jung, Thomas S; Magoun, Audrey J; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2021

Using next generation sequencing of alpine plants to improve fecal metabarcoding diet analysis for Dall’s sheep

ObjectivesDall’s sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) are important herbivores in the mountainous ecosystems of northwestern North America, and recent declines in some populations have sparked concern. Our aim was to improve capabilities for fecal metabarcoding diet analysis of Dall’s sheep and other herbivores by contributing new sequence data for arctic and...

Williams, Kelly E.; Menning, Damian M.; Wald, Eric J.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Rattenbury, Kumi L.; Prugh, Laura R.

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Year Published: 2021

Measuring adrenal and reproductive hormones in hair from southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) use sea ice to access marine mammal prey. In Alaska’s Southern Beaufort Sea, the declining availability of sea ice habitat in summer and fall has reduced opportunities for polar bears to routinely hunt on the ice for seals, their primary prey. This reduced access to prey may result in physiological stress with...

Van der Walt, Marilize; Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Terletzky, Patricia; Atwood, Todd C.; Gese, Eric; French, Susannah

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Year Published: 2021

When a typical jumper skips: Itineraries and staging habitats used by Red Knots (Calidris canutus piersmai) migrating between northwest Australia and the New Siberian Islands

The ecological reasons for variation in avian migration, with some populations migrating across thousands of kilometres between breeding and non-breeding areas with one or few refuelling stops, in contrast to others that stop more often, remain to be pinned down. Red Knots Calidris canutus are a textbook example of a shorebird species...

Piersma, Theunis; Kok, Eva; Hassell, Chris J.; Verkuil, Yvonne I.; Lei, Guangchun; Peng, He-Bo; Rakhimberdiev, Eldar; Howey, Paul; Karagicheva, Julia; Chan, Ying-Chi; Tibbitts, Lee

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Year Published: 2021

Polar bear foraging behavior

Polar bears forage in the marine environment, primarily on the sea ice over the shallow waters of the continental shelf. They are solitary, ambush hunters that catch ringed and bearded seals when they surface to breathe in ice holes or haul out on the ice to rest and molt. In most parts of their range, polar bears experience dramatic seasonal...

Pagano, Anthony M.

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Year Published: 2021

Sea otter predator avoidance behavior

Predators directly affect their prey as a source of mortality, and prey respond by employing antipredator strategies. Sea otters are a keystone predator within the nearshore community, but higher trophic level avian, terrestrial, and pelagic predators (e.g., bald eagles, brown bears, wolves, white sharks, and killer whales) prey on them. Three...

Monson, Daniel

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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan defines critical, core fire science capabilities for understanding fire-related and fire-responsive earth system processes and patterns, and informing management decision making. Developed by USGS fire scientists and executive leadership, and informed by conversations with...

Steblein, Paul F.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Miller, Mark P.; Holomuzki, Joseph R.; Soileau, Suzanna C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Drane-Maury, Mia; Hamilton, Hannah M.; Kean, Jason W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Mason, Robert R.; McKerrow, Alexa J.; Meldrum, James R.; Molder, Edmund B.; Murphy, Sheila F.; Peterson, Birgit; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; York, Alison
Steblein, P.F., Loehman, R.A., Miller, M.P., Holomuzki, J.R., Soileau, S.C., Brooks, M.L., Drane-Maury, M., Hamilton, H.M., Kean, J.W., Keeley, J.E., Mason, R.R., Jr., McKerrow, A., Meldrum, J.R., Molder, E.B., Murphy, S.F., Peterson, B., Plumlee, G.S., Shinneman, D.J., van Mantgem, P.J., and York, A., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1471, 30 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1471.

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
Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses on beach in Bristol Bay, Alaska
August 26, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris on beach in Alaska

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

August 18, 2019

Time-lapse video of bluff erosion on Barter Island, Alaska

Recorded June 1, 2019 - August 18, 2019: Video shows a series of photos taken every hour during daylight hours in the summer of 2019. The camera looks westward along the coastal bluffs of Barter Island, located on Alaska’s North Slope. A pole on the bluff, visible in the first half of the video, once supported another video camera that was aimed at the

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve
August 17, 2019

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water

Measuring temperature and dissolved oxygen in impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve.

 

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek
August 17, 2019

Arctic grayling and Dolly varden from impounded water of beaver dam

Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus) and Dolly varden (Salvelinus malma)  from impounded water of beaver dam on the Wrench Creek, Noatak National Preserve. 

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve
August 16, 2019

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River

Gnawed tree from beaver activity on tributary of the Agashashok River, Noatak National Preserve

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 15, 2019

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters

Beaver dam crossing mainstem of Rabbit Creek near the headwaters, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern

Beaver swimming near dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument.
August 14, 2019

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam

 

Measuring the amount of water impounded by a beaver dam on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument. 

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument
August 14, 2019

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Beaver dams on Rabbit Creek, Cape Krusenstern National Monument

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris on beach in Bristol Bay
August 6, 2019

Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses and debris on beach in Bristol Bay

Short-tailed Shearwater die-off in the Bering Sea. Emaciated Short-tailed Shearwater carcasses littered the beaches of Bristol Bay during the summer of 2019

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 255
Image shows a river winding through a green landscape
December 22, 2017

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

Drill Rig at the Mt. Elbert Test Site
October 20, 2017

In the past decade, the development of the Barnett, Eagle Ford, Marcellus, and other shales has dominated the national consciousness regarding natural gas. But in Alaska, another form of natural gas has been the focus of research for decades—methane hydrate.

3 men leaning over big yellow metal grab bucket on the deck of a ship. Dark sediment is visible inside bucket
October 19, 2017

An international team of scientists just finished probing the depths of the Pacific Ocean offshore of Alaska and British Columbia, to better understand the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault. During the past century, the 700-mile-long fault has generated at least half a dozen major earthquakes, and future shocks threaten coastal communities in both the United States and Canada.

Dr. Barry Grand, USGS Cooperative Research Unit Supervisor
September 27, 2017

USGS scientist James “Barry” Grand, Ph.D., has been named a 2016 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Champion (Region 7) for his exemplary long-term research on two formerly threatened species, the spectacled eider and Alaska-breeding Steller’s eiders.

Alaska mapping status map showing 84% statewide IfSAR coverage available
July 24, 2017

The USGS continues to collect high resolution elevation data, contributing to greatly improved Alaska map data

A polar bear walks across rubble ice in the Alaska portion of the southern Beaufort Sea
June 6, 2017

A new study led by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wyoming found that increased westward ice drift in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas requires polar bears to expend more energy walking eastward on a faster moving “treadmill” of sea ice.  

Sea otter in kelp
May 2, 2017

Thanks to a quarter-century of research and monitoring, scientists now know how different wildlife species were injured by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and how long it took for populations to recover.

Photo of a duck floating in the water.
May 1, 2017

Ducks in North America can be carriers of avian influenza viruses similar to those found in a 2016 outbreak in Indiana that led to the losses of hundreds of thousands of chickens and turkeys, according to a recent study.

A gas plume arising from Augustine Volcano during it's eruptive phase 2005-06.
April 28, 2017

Which U.S. State or territory has more large earthquakes than the rest of the United States combined?

Hydrologic Regions of Alaska
April 14, 2017

While freshwater ecosystems cover only a small amount of the land surface in Alaska, they transport and emit a significant amount of carbon, according to new U.S. Geological Survey research. An invited feature article for Ecological Applications provides the first-ever major aquatic carbon flux assessment for the entire state. Carbon flux refers to the rate of carbon transfer between pools.

Midnight Rainbow at Atigun Gorge, Alaska
April 10, 2017

Managing 72 million acres of Federal lands in Alaska is not easy, especially when the land’s many uses need to be balanced. There are several competing interests, including the development of mineral resources that are critical to the American economy.

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.

The Regional Office provides active input to a variety of external collaborations by:

Filter Total Items: 55