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

Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate

Understanding causes of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) attacks on humans is critical to ensuring both human safety and polar bear conservation. Although considerable attention has been focused on understanding black (U. americanus) and grizzly (U. arctos) bear conflicts with humans, there have been few attempts to systematically collect, analyze,...

Wilder, James; Vongraven, Dag; Atwood, Todd C.; Hansen, Bob; Jessen, Amalie; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; York, Geoff; Vallender, Rachel; Hedman, Daryll; Gibbons, Melissa
Wilder, J.M., Vongraven, D., Atwood, T., Hansen, B., Jessen, A., Kochnev, A., York, G., Vallender, R., Hedman, D., and Gibbons, M., 2017, Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate: Wildlife Society Bulletin, vol. 41, no. 3, p. 537-547. doi: 10.1002/wsb.783

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Year Published: 2017

Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore distribution of polar bears

Climate change is altering habitat for many species, leading to shifts in distributions that can increase levels of human-wildlife conflict. To develop effective strategies for minimizing human-wildlife conflict, we must understand the relative influences that climate change and other factors have on wildlife distributions. Polar bears (Ursus...

Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Miller, Susanne; Divoky, George J.
Wilson, R.R., Regehr, E.V., St. Martin, M., Atwood, T.C., Peacock, E., Miller, S., Divoky, G., 2017, Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore distribution of polar bears: Biological Conservation, vol. 214, p. 288-294. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.08.005

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Year Published: 2017

Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use

From 2000 to 2013, use of land as a seasonal habitat by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation substantially increased. This onshore use has been linked to reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice, as well as to the availability of subsistence‐harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) bone...

McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth L.
McKinney, M.A., Atwood, T.C., Iverson, S.J., and Peacock, E., 2017, Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use: Ecosphere. vol. 9, no. 1, e01633. doi: 10.1002/ecs2.1633

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Year Published: 2017

Movements and habitat use of White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) during the remigial molt in arctic Alaska, USA

Proposed oil and gas leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska has raised questions about possible impacts of development on molting Greater White-fronted Geese (Anser albifrons frontalis) and their habitats. We used GPS transmitters to record fine-scale location data of molting and post-molt White-fronted Geese to assess patterns of...

Flint, Paul L.; Meixell, Brandt W.
Flint, P. L. and B. W. Meixell. 2017. Movements and habitat use of White-fronted geese during the remigial molt in Arctic Alaska, USA. Waterbirds 40(3):272-281. doi:10.1675/063.040.0308

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Year Published: 2017

Best practices for assessing forage fish fisheries-seabird resource competition

Worldwide, in recent years capture fisheries targeting lower-trophic level forage fish and euphausiid crustaceans have been substantial (∼20 million metric tons [MT] annually). Landings of forage species are projected to increase in the future, and this harvest may affect marine ecosystems and predator-prey interactions by removal or...

Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Anker-Nilssen, Tycho; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Bennison, Ashley; Bertrand, Sophie; Boersch-Supan, Philipp; Boyd, Charlotte; Bransome, Nicole C.; Crawford, Robert J.M.; Daunt, Francis; Furness, Robert W.; Gianuca, Dimas; Gladics, Amanda; Koehn, Laura; Lang, Jennifer W.; Loggerwell, Elizabeth; Morris, Taryn L.; Phillips, Elizabeth M.; Provencher, Jennifer; Punt, André E..; Saraux, Claire; Shannon, Lynne; Sherley, Richard B.; Simeone, Alejandro; Wanless, Ross M.; Wanless, Sarah; Zador, Stephani
Sydeman, W. J., Thompson, S.A., Anker-Nilssen, T., Arimitsu, M.L., Bennison, A., Bertrand, S., Boersch-Supan, P., Boyd, C., Bransome, N.C., Crawford, R.J.M., Daunt, F., Furness, R.W., Gianuca, D., Gladics, A., Koehn, L., Lang, J.W., Logerwell, E., Morris, T.L., Phillips, E.M., Provencher, J., Punt, A.E., Saraux, C., Shannon, L., Sherley, R.B., Simeone, A., Wanless, R.M., Wanless, S., and Zador, S.G., 2017, Best practices for assessing forage fish fisheries-seabird resource competition: Fisheries Research vol. 194, p. 209-221. doi:10.1016/j.fishres.2017.05.018

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Year Published: 2017

Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears

The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans.We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes...

Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.; Stern, Harry
Regehr, E. V., Wilson, R. R., Rode, K. D., Runge, M. C. and Stern, H. L. (2017), Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears. J Appl Ecol.

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Year Published: 2017

Surveillance for highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in California during 2014–2015 provides insights into viral evolutionary pathways and the spatiotemporal extent of viruses in the Pacific Americas Flyway

We used surveillance data collected in California before, concurrent with, and subsequent to an outbreak of highly pathogenic (HP) clade 2.3.4.4 influenza A viruses (IAVs) in 2014–2015 to (i) evaluate IAV prevalence in waterfowl, (ii) assess the evidence for spill-over infections in marine mammals and (iii) genetically characterize low-pathogenic...

Ramey, Andrew M.; Hill, Nichola J.; Cline, Troy; Plancarte, Magdalena; De La Cruz, Susan; Casazza, Michael L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Fleskes, Joseph; Vickers, T. Winston; Reeves, Andrew B.; Gulland, Frances; Fontaine, Christine; Prosser, Diann J.; Runstadler, Jonathan; Boyce, Walter M.
Ramey, A. M., N. J. Hill, T. Cline, M. Plancarte, S. W. De La Cruz, M. L. Casazza, J. T. Ackerman, J. P. Fleskes, T. W. Vickers, A. B. Reeves, F. Gulland, C. Fontaine, D. J. Prosser, J. A. Runstadler, and W. M. Boyce. 2017. Surveillance for highly pathogenic influenza A viruses in California during 2014–2015 provides insights into viral evolutionary pathways and the spatiotemporal extent of viruses in the Pacific Americas Flyway. Emerging Microbes and Infections 6:e80. doi:10.1038/emi.2017.66

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Year Published: 2017

Glacial conditioning of stream position and flooding in the braid plain of the Exit Glacier foreland, Alaska

Flow spilling out of an active braid plain often signals the onset of channel migration or avulsion to previously occupied areas. In a recently deglaciated environment, distinguishing between shifts in active braid plain location, considered reversible by fluvial processes at short timescales, and more permanent glacier-...

Curran, Janet H.; Loso, Michael G.; Williams, Haley B.

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Year Published: 2017

Effects of surgically implanted transmitters on reproduction and survival in mallards

Abdominally implanted radiotransmitters have been widely used in studies of waterbird ecology; however, the longer handling times and invasiveness of surgical implantation raise important concerns about animal welfare and potential effects on data quality. Although it is difficult to assess effects of handling and marking wild animals by comparing...

Sheppard, Jennifer; Arnold, Todd W.; Amundson, Courtney L.; Klee, David
Sheppard, J. L., Arnold, T. W., Amundson, C. L. and Klee, D. (2017), Effects of surgically implanted transmitters on reproduction and survival in mallards. Wildl. Soc. Bull., 41: 597–604. doi:10.1002/wsb.809

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Year Published: 2017

Neotectonics of interior Alaska and the late Quaternary slip rate along the Denali fault system

The neotectonics of southern Alaska (USA) are characterized by a several hundred kilometers–wide zone of dextral transpressional that spans the Alaska Range. The Denali fault system is the largest active strike-slip fault system in interior Alaska, and it produced a Mw 7.9 earthquake in 2002. To evaluate the late Quaternary slip rate on the...

Haeussler, Peter J.; Matmon, Ari; Schwartz, David P.; Seitz, Gordon G.
Haeussler, P.J., Matmon, A., Schwartz, D.P., and Seitz, G.G., 2017, Neotectonics of interior Alaska and the late Quaternary slip rate along the Denali fault system: Geosphere, v. 13, no. 5, p. 1–19, doi:10.1130/GES01447.1.

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Year Published: 2017

QFASAR: Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis with R

Knowledge of predator diets provides essential insights into their ecology, yet diet estimation is challenging and remains an active area of research.Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) is a popular method of estimating diet composition that continues to be investigated and extended. However, software to implement QFASA has only...

Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.
Bromaghin, J. F. 2017. qfasar: quantitative fatty acid signature analysis with R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 8(9):1158-1162.

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Year Published: 2017

A comment on “temporal variation in survival and recovery rates of lesser scaup”

Concerns about declines in the abundance of lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) have promoted a number of analyses to understand reasons for this decline. Unfortunately, most of these analyses, including that of Arnold et al. (2016 Journal of Wildlife Management 80: 850–861), are based on observational studies leading to weak inference. Although we...

Lindberg, Mark S.; Boomer, G. Scott; Schmutz, Joel A.; Walker, Johann A.
A comment on “temporal variation in survival and recovery rates of lesser scaup”

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
Two men looking at equipment
April 19, 2016

Field Work - Scientists and Air-Quality Monitoring

Alaska Volcano Observatory scientist Mark Hansen working with Larsen Bay Mayor David Harmes on how the AVO-4 particulate monitor operates.

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula
April 19, 2016

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula

Scour under a bridge on the Kenai Peninsula in 2002.

Geologist doing field work in Alaska
April 14, 2016

Geologist and Helicopter

Geologist doing field work in Alaska

Large, imperfect geometric shapes in shades of brown surrounded by a fine-grained matrix, all including medium-sized blobs.
April 5, 2016

Photomicrograph of rock thin section: Gabbroic inclusion

Photomicrograph of gabbroic inclusion in Ogres Brow basaltic andesite. A rock thin section is created by gluing a small piece of rock onto a glass slide, then grinding it down to a thickness of 30 microns (the average human hair is about 100 microns in diameter) so that light shines through it when examined under the microscope. In this image, euhedral reddish-brown

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1,500 walruses resting on shore
April 4, 2016

1,500 walruses resting on shore

More than 1,500 walruses resting on shore at Cape Grieg in southeastern Bristol Bay.

A Boreal Chickadee with a slightly longer upper beak than the lower beak
March 31, 2016

Boreal Chickadee with a mildly deformed beak

A Boreal Chickadee with a mildly deformed beak.

March 30, 2016

Shaking in the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska

This video presents a visualization of how the Atwood Building in Anchorage, Alaska, shook during the M7.1 January 24, 2016, Iniskin, Alaska, earthquake. The building was instrumented by U.S. Geological Survey to obtain data to study its behavior and performance during strong shaking. Such data is useful to make decisions for improving the building's performance.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Image: Imagery Provides Clues to 2005 Alaskan Landslide
March 14, 2016

Imagery Provides Clues to 2005 Alaskan Landslide

New imagery provides evidence that meltwater played a significant role in producing the Sept. 14, 2005 massive landslide that originated from just below the summit of the 10,616 feet high Mount Steller, Alaska. The slide was one of the largest, non-earthquake generated Alaskan landslides ever observed. The imagery confirms the existence of a channel system within nearby

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A Male Spectacled Eider in Alaska
March 14, 2016

A Male Spectacled Eider in Alaska

A male spectacled eider following implantation of a satellite transmitter in the Colville River delta in June 2009. After breeding numbers of spectacled eiders, a large sea duck, declined by 96 percent at a primary breeding area in Alaska, the species was listed as threatened. Potential risks to eiders include being subjected to increased exposure during storms in winter,

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Photo looking up at a man wearing safety gear and cold weather clothing holding a big drill with puffy white clouds in the sky.
January 31, 2016

Drilling into permafrost on Alaska's Arctic coast

On remote Barter Island, Alaska, Bruce Richmond (right) and Cordell Johnson drill into 500-foot-thick permafrost using a handheld drill with a 2-inch drill bit—a challenging task! It can take 3 hours to drill nearly 20 feet down. They collect samples of the frozen ground to better understand 

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Severely emaciated Common Murre carcass
January 13, 2016

Severely emaciated Common Murre carcass

A severely emaciated Common Murre carcass collected to determine the cause of death following a massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  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.