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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,613
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Year Published: 2018

Evaluating time-removal models for estimating availability of boreal birds during point count surveys: Sample size requirements and model complexity

We used conventional and finite mixture removal models with and without time-varying covariates to evaluate availability given presence for 152 bird species using data from point counts in boreal North America. We found that the choice of model had an impact on the estimability of unknown model parameters and affected the bias and variance of...

Solymos, Peter; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Cumming, Steven G.; Stralberg, Diana; Fontaine, Patricia C.; Schmiegelow, Fiona K. A.; Song, Samantha J.; Bayne, Erin M.
Sólymos, P., Matsuoka,S.M., Cumming, S.G., Stralberg, D.,Fontaine, C., Schmiegelow, F.K.A., Song, S.J., and Bayne, E.M., 2018. Evaluating time-removal models for estimating availability of boreal birds during point count surveys: Sample size requirements and model complexity: Condor vol. 120, no. 4, p. 765-786. doi:10.1650/CONDOR-18-32.1

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Year Published: 2018

Aerial surveys of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska, May, 2017

Portions of two stocks of northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) occur in Lower Cook Inlet (LCI), Alaska. Sea otters on the west side of LCI are considered part of the southwest Alaska stock; sea otters occupying eastern LCI are considered part of the southcentral Alaska stock. Information concerning the distributions and abundance of sea...

Gerlach-Miller, Joel; Esslinger, George G.; Weitzman, Ben

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Year Published: 2018

Flyway structure in the circumpolar greater white‐fronted goose

Dispersal and migratory behavior are influential factors in determining how genetic diversity is distributed across the landscape. In migratory species, genetic structure can be promoted via several mechanisms including fidelity to distinct migratory routes. Particularly within North America, waterfowl management units have been delineated...

Wilson, Robert E.; Ely, Craig R.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson RE, Ely CR, Talbot SL. Flyway structure in the circumpolar greater white‐fronted goose. Ecol Evol. 2018;00:1–18. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4345

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Year Published: 2018

A transcriptome resource for the Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida)

Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida) serve as an important link in Arctic food webs and are thus considered an important species for environmental monitoring. RNA-Seq was conducted on samples from wild-collected individuals representing various age classes and tissue types to obtain as complete a transcriptome as possible on an Illumina MiSeq, which...

Wilson, Robert E.; Menning, Damian M.; Wedemeyer, Kate; Talbot, Sandra L.
Wilson, R.E., D.M. Menning, K. Wedemeyer, S.L. Talbot. 2018. A transcriptome resource for the Arctic Cod (Boreogadus saida), Marine Genomics, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.margen.2018.03.003

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Year Published: 2018

Liverworts from Attu Island, Near Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska (USA) with comparison to the Commander Islands (Russia)

The liverwort flora of Attu Island, the westernmost Aleutian Island in the United States, was studied to assess species diversity in the hyperoceanic sector of the northern boreal subzone. The field study was undertaken in sites selected to represent a spectrum of environmental variation, primarily within the eastern part of the island. Data were...

Talbot, Stephen S.; Schofield, Wilfred B.; Váňa, Jiří; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2018

Sex-specific variation in denning by brown bears

Denning characteristics of brown bears (Ursus arctos) have been described in numerous studies; however, population specific factors (i.e., landscape characteristics and climate) can greatly influence the location and timing of denning. Our objective was to evaluate den-site characteristics and denning chronology for male and female brown...

Mangipane, Lindsey; Belant, Jerrold L.; Mangipane, Buck; Gustine, David; Hilderbrand, Grant V.

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Year Published: 2018

Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range

Pliocene–Pleistocene glaciation modified the topography and erosion of most middle- and high-latitude mountain belts, because the evolution of catchment topography controls long-term glacier mass balance and erosion. Hence, characterizing how erosion rates change during repeated glaciations can help test hypothesized glacier erosion-landscape...

Lease, Richard O.
Lease, Richard O., 2018, Pliocene erosional pulse and glacier-landscape feedbacks in the western Alaska Range: Earth and Planetary Science Letters

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Year Published: 2018

Landscape genetics identifies streams and drainage infrastructure as dispersal corridors for an endangered wetland bird

Anthropogenic alterations to landscape structure and composition can have significant impacts on biodiversity, potentially leading to species extinctions. Population‐level impacts of landscape change are mediated by animal behaviors, in particular dispersal behavior. Little is known about the dispersal habits of rails (Rallidae) due to their...

van Rees, Charles B.; Reed, J. Michael; Wilson, Robert E.; Underwood, Jared G.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

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Year Published: 2018

Climate change and future wildfire in the western USA: An ecological approach to nonstationarity

We developed ecologically based climate‐fire projections for the western United States. Using a finer ecological classification and fire‐relevant climate predictors, we created statistical models linking climate and wildfire area burned for ecosections, which are geographic delineations based on biophysical variables. The results indicate a...

Littell, Jeremy S.; McKenzie, Donald; Wan, Ho Yi; Cushman, Samuel A.
Littell, J. S., McKenzie, D., Wan, H. Y., & Cushman, S. A. (2018). Climate change and future wildfire in the western United States: An ecological approach to nonstationarity. Earth's Future, 6, 1097–1111. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018EF000878

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Year Published: 2018

Lactation and resource limitation affect stress responses, thyroid hormones, immune function, and antioxidant capacity of sea otters (Enhydra lutris)

Lactation is the most energetically demanding stage of reproduction in female mammals. Increased energetic allocation toward current reproduction may result in fitness costs, although the mechanisms underlying these trade‐offs are not well understood. Trade‐offs during lactation may include reduced energetic allocation to cellular maintenance,...

Chinn, Sarah M.; Monson, Daniel; Tinker, M. Tim; Staedler, Michelle M.; Crocker, Daniel E.

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Year Published: 2018

Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific

The tufted puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) is a generalist seabird that breeds throughout the North Pacific and eats more than 75 different prey species. Using puffins as samplers, we characterized the geographic variability in pelagic food webs across the subarctic North Pacific from the composition of ~10,000 tufted puffin meals (~56,000 prey items...

Piatt, John F.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Sydeman, William J.; Thompson, Sarah Ann; Renner, Heather; Zador, Stephani; Douglas, David C.; Hatch, Scott A.; Kettle, Arthur B.; Williams, Jeffrey C.
Piatt, J.F., Arimitsu, M.L., Sydeman, W.J., Thompson, S.A., Renner, H., Zador, S., Douglas, D., Hatch, S., Kettle, A., and Williams, J., 2018. Biogeography of pelagic food webs in the North Pacific: Fisheries Oceanography, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 366-380. doi: 10.1111/fog.12258

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Year Published: 2018

Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic

Identifying factors influencing nest survival among sympatric species is important for understanding and managing sources of variation in population dynamics of individual species. Three species of loons nest sympatrically in northern Alaska and differ in body size, life history characteristics, and population trends. We tested the effects of...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Koch, Joshua C.; Wright, Kenneth G.; Schmutz, Joel A.
Uher-Koch, BD, JC Koch, KW Wright, and JA Schmutz. 2018. Comparative nest survival of three sympatric loon species breeding in the Arctic. Journal of Avian Biology doi: 10.1111/jav.01671.

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: 983
Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide line
May 2, 2016

Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide

Retired USGS biologist Tony DeGange searches for Common Murre carcasses above the high tide line on the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses
May 2, 2016

Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses

USGS biologist Sarah Schoen identifies and counts Common Murre carcasses on the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide
May 2, 2016

Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide

A Common Murre carcass decomposes just above the high tide line along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula

Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula
May 2, 2016

Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula

A Common Murre carcass decomposes along the Alaska Peninsula following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Wide Bay, Alaska Peninsula.

Dead birds on the beach
May 2, 2016

Dead Common Murres found on the beach along the Alaska Peninsula

Dead Common Murres found on the beach along the Alaska Peninsula May 2, 2016. This bird was part of the large die-off of Common Murres across the Gulf of Alaska in 2015-2016.

April 30, 2016

Polar Bear - POV Cams (Spring 2016)

This short clip is representative of a large amount of video footage of an adult female polar bear, equipped with a point of view camera, that is used by scientists to study polar bear behavior and feeding rates. Camera were attached to 10 animals in the southern Beaufort Sea over the course of several years, and stay on the animals for about 2 weeks until it is retrieved

Alaska Surveying
April 25, 2016

Alaska Surveyors Circa 1924

Alaska surveying crew circa 1924 using alidade and plane table; transportation by dogsled. USGS photo files.

Spectacled eider male and female flying near the Colville River in 2013.
April 20, 2016

Pair of spectacled eiders flying near the Colville River in 2013

Spectacled eider male and female flying near the Colville River in 2013.

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.

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.

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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