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

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: 2,433
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Year Published: 2018

Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans

The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals’ movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the...

Sequeira, A. M. M.; Rodríguez, J.P.; Eguíluz, V. M.; Harcourt, R.; Hindell, M.; Sims, D.W.; Duarte, C.M.; Costa, D.P.; Fernandez-Gracia, J.; Ferreira, L.C.; Hays, G.C.; Heupel, M. R.; Meekan, M.G.; Aven, A.; Bailleul, F.; Baylis, A. M. M.; Berumen, M. L.; Braun, C. D.; Burns, J.; Caley, M.J.; Campbell, R.; Carmichael, R.H.; Clua, E.; Einoder, L. D.; Friedlaender, Ari; Goebel, M. E.; Goldsworthy, S.D.; Guinet, C.; Gunn, J.; Hamer, D.; Hammerschlag, N.; Hammill, M.; Hückstädt, L.A.; Humphries, N.E.; Lea, M.-A.; Lowther, A.; Mackay, A.; McHuron, E.; Mckenzie, J.; McLeay, L.; McMahon, C.R.; Mengersen, K.; Muelbert, M. M. C.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Page, B.; Queiroz, N.; Robinson, P. W.; Shaffer, S.A.; Shivji, M.; Skomal, G. B.; Thorrold, S.; Villegas-Amtmann, S.; Weise, M.; Wells, R.; Wetherbee, B.; Wiebkin, A.; Wienecke, B.; Thums, M.
Sequeira, A.M.M., J.P. Rodríguez, V.M. Eguíluz, R. Harcourt, M. Hindell, D.W. Sims, C.M. Duarte, D.P. Costa, J. Fernández-Gracia, L.C. Ferreira, G.C. Hays, M.R. Heupel, M.G. Meekan, A. Aven, F. Bailleul, A.M.M. Baylis, M.L. Berumen, C.D. Braun, J. Burns, M.J. Caley, R. Campbell, R.H. Carmichael, E. Clua, L.D. Einoder, A. Friedlaender, M.E. Goebel, S.D. Goldsworthy, C. Guinet, J. Gunn, D. Hamer, N. Hammerschlag, M. Hammill, L.A. Hückstädt, N.E. Humphries, M.-A. Lea, A. Lowther, A. Mackay, E. McHuron, J. McKenzie, L. McLeay, C.R. McMahon, K. Mengersen, M.M.C. Muelbert, A. M. Pagano, B. Page, N. Queiroz, P.W. Robinson, S.A. Shaffer, M. Shivji, G.B. Skomal, S.R. Thorrold, S. Villegas-Amtmann, M. Weise, R. Wells, B. Wetherbee, A. Wiebkin, B. Wienecke, and M. Thums. 2018. Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115:3072-3077.

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Year Published: 2018

Neoproterozoic–early Paleozoic provenance evolution of sedimentary rocks in and adjacent to the Farewell terrane (interior Alaska)

New detrital zircon U-Pb data from the Farewell terrane of interior Alaska illuminate its early provenance evolution and connections with other Alaskan terranes. Five samples come from Neoproterozoic units in the central Farewell terrane. Basal “ferruginous beds” and the overlying Windy Fork Formation have prominent detrital zircon age populations...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Jones, James V.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Till, Alison B.; Box, Stephen E.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.
Dumoulin, J.A., Jones, J.V., III, Bradley, D.C., Till, A.B., Box, S.E., and O'Sullivan, P., 2018, Neoproterozoic-Early Paleozoic Provenance Evolution of Sedimentary Rocks in and Adjacent to the Farewell Terrane (Interior Alaska): Geosphere, v. 14, no. 2, doi:10.1130/GES01470.1

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Year Published: 2018

Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning

Behavioral differences within a population can allow use of a greater range of resources among individuals. The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a generalist omnivore that occupies diverse habitats and displays considerable plasticity in food use. We evaluated whether brown bear foraging that resulted in deviations from a proposed optimal diet...

Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Lafferty, Diana J. R.; Gustine, David D.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant V.
Mangipane, L.S., J.L. Belant, D.J.R. Lafferty, D.D. Gustine, T.L. Hiller, M.E. Colvin, B.A. Mangipane, and G.V. Hilderbrand. 2017. Dietary plasticity in a nutrient-rich system does not influence brown bear (Ursus arctos) body condition or denning. Polar Biology https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-017-2237-6

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Year Published: 2018

High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear

Regional declines in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations have been attributed to changing sea ice conditions, but with limited information on the causative mechanisms. By simultaneously measuring field metabolic rates, daily activity patterns, body condition, and foraging success of polar bears moving on the spring sea ice, we found that high...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Durner, George M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Costa, Daniel P.; Owen, Megan A.; Williams, Terrie M.
Pagano, A.M., G.M. Durner, K.D. Rode, T.C. Atwood, S.N. Atkinson, E. Peacock, D.P. Costa, M.A. Owen, and T.M. Williams. 2018. High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear. Science 359:568-572.

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Year Published: 2018

Life‐history tradeoffs revealed by seasonal declines in reproductive traits of Arctic‐breeding shorebirds

Seasonal declines in breeding performance are widespread in wild animals, resulting from temporal changes in environmental conditions or from individual variation. Seasonal declines might drive selection for early breeding, with implications for other stages of the annual cycle. Alternatively, selection on the phenology of nonbreeding stages could...

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; Kennedy, Lisa V.; Koloski, Laura; Kwon, Eunbi; Lamarre, Jean-Francois; Lank, David B.; 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.
Weiser, E. L., Brown, S. C., Lanctot, R. B., Gates, H. R., Abraham, K. F., Bentzen, R. L., Bêty, J. , Boldenow, M. L., Brook, R. W., Donnelly, T. F., English, W. B., Flemming, S. A., Franks, S. E., Gilchrist, H. G., Giroux, M. , Johnson, A. , Kennedy, L. V., Koloski, L. , Kwon, E. , Lamarre, J. , Lank, D. B., Lecomte, N. , Liebezeit, J. R., McKinnon, L. , Nol, E. , Perz, J. , Rausch, J. , Robards, M. , Saalfeld, S. T., Senner, N. R., Smith, P. A., Soloviev, M. , Solovyeva, D. , Ward, D. H., Woodard, P. F. and Sandercock, B. K. (2018), Life‐history tradeoffs revealed by seasonal declines in reproductive traits of Arctic‐breeding shorebirds . J Avian Biol, 49: jav-01531. doi:10.1111/jav.01531

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Year Published: 2018

Den phenology and reproductive success of polar bears in a changing climate

Synchrony between reproduction and food availability is important in mammals due to the high energetic costs of gestation and lactation. Female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must accumulate sufficient energy reserves during spring through autumn to produce and nurse cubs during the winter months in snow dens. Adequate time in a den is important to...

Rode, Karyn D.; Olson, Jay; Eggett, Dennis L.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Smith, Tom; St. Martin, Michelle
Rode, K.D., J. Olson, D. Eggett, D.C. Douglas, G.M. Durner, T.C. Atwood, E.V. Regehr, R.R. Wilson, T. Smith, and M.St. Martin. 2018. Denning phenology and polar bear reproductive success in a changing climate. Journal of Mammalogy 99:16-26.

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Year Published: 2018

A global audit of the status and trends of Arctic and Northern Hemisphere goose populations

This report attempts to review the abundance, status and distribution of natural wild goose populations in the northern hemisphere. The report comprises three parts that 1) summarise key findings from the study and the methodology and analysis applied; 2) contain the individual accounts for each of the 68 populations included in this report; and 3...

Fox, Anthony D.; Leafloor, James O.; Schmutz, Joel A.
CAFF. 2018. A Global audit of the status and trends of Arctic and Northern Hemisphere goose population. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna International Secretariat, Akureyri, Iceland. ISBN 978-9935-431-66-0

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Year Published: 2018

Long‐term trends in fall age ratios of black brant

Accurate estimates of the age composition of populations can inform past reproductive success and future population trajectories. We examined fall age ratios (juveniles:total birds) of black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans; brant) staging at Izembek National Wildlife Refuge near the tip of the Alaska Peninsula, southwest Alaska, USA, 1963 to 2015...

Ward, David H.; Amundson, Courtney L.; Stehn, Robert A.; Dau, Christian P.
Ward, D. H., Amundson, C. L., Stehn, R. A. and Dau, C. P. (2018), Long‐term trends in fall age ratios of black brant. Jour. Wild. Mgmt., 82: 362-373. doi:10.1002/jwmg.21388

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Year Published: 2018

Summary of wildlife-related research on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2002–17

We summarize recent (2002–17) publicly available information from studies within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as well as terrestrial and coastal ecosystems elsewhere on the Arctic Coastal Plain that are relevant to the 1002 Area. This report provides an update on earlier research summaries on caribou (Rangifer tarandus),...

Pearce, John M.; Flint, Paul L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David C.; Adams, Layne G.; Johnson, Heather E.; Arthur, Stephen M.; Latty, Christopher J.
Pearce, J.M., Flint, P.L., Atwood, T.C., Douglas, D.C., Adams, L.G., Johnson, H.E., Arthur, S.M., and Latty, C.J., 2018, Summary of wildlife-related research on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, 2002–17: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1003, 27 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181003.

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Year Published: 2018

International migration patterns of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) from four breeding populations in Alaska

Identifying post-breeding migration and wintering distributions of migratory birds is important for understanding factors that may drive population dynamics. Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) are widely distributed across Alaska and currently have varying population trends, including some populations with recent periods of decline. To...

McCloskey, Sarah E.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Fondell, Thomas F.
McCloskey, S. E., B. D. Uher-Koch, J. A. Schmutz, and T. F. Fondell. 2017. International migration patterns of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) from four breeding populations in Alaska. PLoS One 13(1):e0189954. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0189954

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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.

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
A male longspur songbird in short grass
July 18, 2016

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat

Male Lapland Longspur in dwarf shrub mat habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

A bucket of the trawl catch of forage fish
July 17, 2016

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Catch of forage fish from a trawl in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Trawling was part of an assessment of abundance, distribution and species composition of forage fish in marine waters in lower Cook Inlet.

Copper River bridge
July 14, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying

A Horned Puffin flying

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark
July 14, 2016

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface

Molybdenite mineral coating on a fractured surface in Tertiary granite north of Lake Clark

Horned Puffin, one of the species affected by a recent seabird die-off in the Pribilof Islands, AK
July 14, 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

A Horned Puffin flying over the water
July 14, 2016

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

A Horned Puffin flying over the water

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park
July 9, 2016

Geologists discuss big picture geology of Lake Clark National Park

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Erin Todd (right) discuss the "big picture" geology in their project area in and around Lake Clark National Park. Redoubt volcano in background left; baseball-sized cobbles on ground at researchers feet are pumice cobbles from the 2009(?) eruption of Redoubt volcano. 

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark
July 9, 2016

Geologist collects sample with helicopter in background, Lake Clark

Jamey Jones collects a sample of Talkeenta Formation volcaniclastic sandstone for detrital zircon geochronology. 

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound
July 7, 2016

Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

A scenic of Cabin Bay on Naked Island in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in the water in Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log in Prince William Sound

Three Arctic Terns sitting on a log floating in the water in Prince William Sound.

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound
July 6, 2016

Schools of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

Schools (shadows along the shore) of Pacific sand lance in Cabin Bay, Prince William Sound

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.