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: 2017

Genomics of Arctic cod

The Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) is an abundant marine fish that plays a vital role in the marine food web. To better understand the population genetic structure and the role of natural selection acting on the maternally-inherited mitochondrial genome (mitogenome), a molecule often associated with adaptations to temperature, we analyzed genetic...

Wilson, Robert E.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Megan C.; Menning, Damian M.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E, G.K. Sage, S.A. Sonsthagen, M.C. Gravley, D.M. Menning, and S.L. Talbot. 2017. Genomics of Arctic Cod. Anchorage, AK: US Dept. of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Alaska OCS Region. OCS Study BOEM 2017-066. 92pp. https://www.boem.gov/Alaska-Reports-2017/

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Year Published: 2017

Normalized difference vegetation index as an estimator for abundance and quality of avian herbivore forage in arctic Alaska

Tools that can monitor biomass and nutritional quality of forage plants are needed to understand how arctic herbivores may respond to the rapidly changing environment at high latitudes. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) has been widely used to assess changes in abundance and distribution of terrestrial vegetative communities....

Hogrefe, Kyle R.; Patil, Vijay P.; Ruthrauff, Daniel R.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Budde, Michael E.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.
Hogrefe, K. R., V. P. Patil, D. R. Ruthrauff, B. W. Meixell, M. E. Budde, J. W. Hupp, and D. H. Ward. 2017. Normalized difference vegetation index as an estimator for abundance and quality of avian herbivore forage in arctic Alaska. Remote Sensing 9(12):1234. doi:10.3390/rs9121234

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Year Published: 2017

Possible behavioural, energetic and demographic effects of displacement of red-throated divers

This report comprises the main points of discussion and agreement during a workshop, held in Edinburgh in May 2017, to discuss how displacement might affect individuals and the Red-throated diver population; with additional information added by the scientists following the workshop.

Dierschke, Volker; Furness, Robert W.; Gray, Carrie E.; Petersen, Ib Krag; Schmutz, Joel A.; Zydelis, Ramunas; Daunt, Francis
Dierschke, V., Furness, R.W., Gray, C.E., Petersen, I.K., Schmutz, J., Zydelis, R & Daunt, F., (2017), Possible Behavioural, Energetic and Demographic Effects of Displacement of Red-throated Divers, JNCC Report 605, ISSN 0963-8901

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Year Published: 2017

Vectors, hosts, and control measures for Zika virus in the Americas

We examine Zika virus (ZIKV) from an ecological perspective and with a focus on the Americas. We assess (1) the role of wildlife in ZIKV disease ecology, (2) how mosquito behavior and biology influence disease dynamics, and (3) how nontarget species and ecosystems may be impacted by vector control programs. Our review suggests that free-ranging,...

Thompson, Sarah J.; Pearce, John M.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Thompson, S. J., J. M. Pearce, and A. M. Ramey. 2017. Vectors, hosts, and control measures for Zika virus in the Americas. EcoHealth. 14(4):821-839 doi:10.1007/s10393-017-1277-2

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Year Published: 2017

Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of...

Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin S.; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James
Atwood, T.C., Simac, K., Breck, S.W., York, G., and Wilder, J., 2017, Human–polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns: p. 397-418 in Marine Mammal Welfare: Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare, A. Butterworth (ed.), vol. 17, Springer, Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2

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Year Published: 2017

Implications of rapid environmental change for polar bear behavior and sociality

Historically, the Arctic sea ice has functioned as a structural barrier that has limited the nature and extent of interactions between humans and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). However, declining sea ice extent, brought about by global climate change, is increasing the potential for human-polar bear interactions. Loss of sea ice habitat is driving...

Atwood, Todd C.
Atwood, T.C., 2017, Implications of rapid environmental change for polar bear behavior and sociality: p. 445-462 in Marine Mammal Welfare: Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare, A. Butterworth (ed.). Springer, Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2

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Year Published: 2017

Monitoring the welfare of polar bear populations in a rapidly changing Arctic

Most programs for monitoring the welfare of wildlife populations support efforts aimed at reaching discrete management objectives, like mitigating conflict with humans. While such programs can be effective, their limited scope may preclude systemic evaluations needed for large-scale conservation initiatives, like the recovery of at-risk species....

Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.
Atwood, T.C., Duncan, C., Patyk, K.A., and Sonsthagen, S.A. , 2017, Monitoring the welfare of polar bear populations in a rapidly changing Arctic: Pages 503-529 in Marine Mammal Welfare: Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impacts on Marine Mammal Welfare, A. Butterworth (ed.), vol. 17, Springer, Cham, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2

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Year Published: 2017

Polar bears, Ursus maritimus

Polar bears are the largest of the eight species of bears found worldwide and are covered in a pigment-free fur giving them the appearance of being white. They are the most carnivorous of bear species consuming a high-fat diet, primarily of ice-associated seals and other marine mammals. They range throughout the circumpolar Arctic to the...

Rode, Karyn D.; Stirling, Ian
Rode, K.D., and I. Stirling. 2017. Polar bears. In: Encyclopedia of Marine Mammals, 3rd edition. B. Wursig, J.G.M. Thewissen, and K. Kovacs (eds). Academic Press.

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Year Published: 2017

A swath across the great divide: Kelp forests across the Samalga Pass biogeographic break

Biogeographic breaks are often described as locations where a large number of species reach their geographic range limits. Samalga Pass, in the eastern Aleutian Archipelago, is a known biogeographic break for the spatial distribution of several species of offshore-pelagic communities, including numerous species of cold-water corals, zooplankton,...

Konar, Brenda H.; Edwards, Matthew S.; Bland, Aaron; Metzger, Jacob; Ravelo, Alexandra; Traiger, Sarah; Weitzman, Ben P.
Konar, Brenda & S. Edwards, Matthew & Bland, Aaron & Metzger, Jacob & Ravelo, Alexandra & Traiger, Sarah & Weitzman, Benjamin. (2017). A swath across the great divide: Kelp forests across the Samalga Pass biogeographic break. Continental Shelf Research. 143. . 10.1016/j.csr.2017.06.007.

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Year Published: 2017

Regionalizing indicators for marine ecosystems: Bering Sea–Aleutian Island seabirds, climate, and competitors

Seabirds are thought to be reliable, real-time indicators of forage fish availability and the climatic and biotic factors affecting pelagic food webs in marine ecosystems. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that temporal trends and interannual variability in seabird indicators reflect simultaneously occurring bottom-up (climatic) and...

Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Piatt, John F.; García-Reyes, Marisol; Zador, Stephani; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Romano, Marc; Renner, Heather
William J. Sydeman, Sarah Ann Thompson, John F. Piatt, Marisol García-Reyes, Stephani Zador, Jeff C. Williams, Marc Romano, Heather M. Renner, Regionalizing indicators for marine ecosystems: Bering Sea–Aleutian Island seabirds, climate, and competitors, Ecological Indicators, Volume 78, July 2017, Pages 458-469.

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Year Published: 2017

Intraspecific evolutionary relationships among peregrine falcons in western North American high latitudes

Subspecies relationships within the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been long debated because of the polytypic nature of melanin-based plumage characteristics used in subspecies designations and potential differentiation of local subpopulations due to philopatry. In North America, understanding the evolutionary relationships among...

Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Gravley, Megan C.; Swem, Ted; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Longmire, Jonathan L.; Ambrose, Skip; Flamme, Melanie J.; Lewis, Stephen B.; Phillips, Laura M.; Anderson, Clifford; White, Clayton M
Talbot, S.L, Sage, G.K., Sonsthagen, S.A., Gravley, M.C., Swem, T., Williams, J.C., Longmire, J.L., Ambrose, S., Flamme, M.J., Lewis, S.B., Phillips, L., Anderson, C., and White, C.M., 2017, Intraspecific evolutionary relationships among peregrine falcons in western North American high latitudes: PLoS One, vol.12, no. 11, p. e0188185. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0188185

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Year Published: 2017

Development of microsatellite loci exhibiting reverse ascertainment bias and a sexing marker for use in Emperor Geese (Chen canagica)

The Alaskan population of Emperor Geese (Chen canagica) nests on the Yukon–Kuskokwim Delta in western Alaska. Numbers of Emperor Geese in Alaska declined from the 1960s to the mid-1980s and since then, their numbers have slowly increased. Low statistical power of microsatellite loci developed in other waterfowl species and used in previous studies...

Gravley, Megan C.; Sage, George K.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Gravley, M.C., Sage, G.K., Schmutz, J.A., and Talbot, S.L., 2017, Development of microsatellite loci exhibiting reverse ascertainment bias and a sexing marker for use in Emperor Geese (Chen canagica): Avian Biology Research, vol. 10, no. 4, p. 201-210. doi:10.3184/175815617X14969254461396

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
Alaska field team
June 5, 2016

Alaska field team

The field team included USGS geologists Rob Witter, Adrian Bender, Chris DuRoss, Peter Haeussler, Richard Lease and Kate Scharer

Scientist inspecting permafrost
June 1, 2016

Inspecting Permafrost

USGS scientist Neal Pastick inspects a permafrost plot in North Slope of Alaska near Galbraith Lake.

Scientist laying cable in a field
June 1, 2016

Laying Ground Cable to Measure Permafrost

USGS scientist Burke Minsley and project partners from the U. Alaska Fairbanks lay ground cable to measure permafrost depth at Nome Creek site north of Fairbanks, Alaska.

A bird nest camouflaged in the grass
May 31, 2016

American Golden-Plover nest in dwarf shrub mat habitat

American Golden-Plover nest 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.

May 20, 2016

Shaking of Frontier Building — Anchorage, Alaska, During Mw7.1 Earthquake, January 24, 2016

This video presents a visualization of shaking that was recorded in the Frontier Building in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Mw7.1 earthquake, January 24, 2016, Iniskin, Alaska. It exhibits how a tall building behaves and performs during strong earthquake shaking. Note that relative to the height of the building, the motions are magnified by a factor of 300 to show

Scientist on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars
May 18, 2016

Scientist conducting marine bird and mammal survey

Scientists on the bow of the R/V Alaskan Gyre looking through binoculars

Salcha River debris near Salchaket
May 18, 2016

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Salcha River debris near Salchaket

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch
May 18, 2016

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

Euphausids and a shrimp from a trawl catch

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre
May 18, 2016

Erica Madison bringing in the mid-water trawl on the R/V Alaskan Gyre

Scientist pulling in the beginning of the mid-water trawl on the  R/V Alaskan Gyre

An ice worm on the tip of a finger
May 12, 2016

A True Ice Worm on La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park

A true ice worm (Mesenchytraeus solifugus) on the La Perouse Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park. 

View of the deck from the mast of the boat
May 11, 2016

Coring earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake

USGS scientists work with academic collaborators from the University of Ghent (Belgium) to core earthquake-related submarine landslide deposits in Skilak Lake, Alaska.

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg
May 3, 2016

Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg

A Cassin’s Auklet decomposes on the beach west of Cape Grieg following a die-off in 2015/2016.  West of Cape Grieg, Alaska Peninsula.

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.