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: 2,440
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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”

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Year Published: 2017

Comparison of acoustic recorders and field observers for monitoring tundra bird communities

Acoustic recorders can be useful for studying bird populations but their efficiency and accuracy should be assessed in pertinent ecological settings before use. We investigated the utility of an acoustic recorder for monitoring abundance of tundra‐breeding birds relative to point‐count surveys in northwestern Alaska, USA, during 2014. Our...

Vold, Skyler T.; Handel, Colleen M.; McNew, Lance B.
Vold, S. T., Handel, C. M. and McNew, L. B. (2017), Comparison of acoustic recorders and field observers for monitoring tundra bird communities. Wildl. Soc. Bull., 41: 566–576. doi:10.1002/wsb.785

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Year Published: 2017

Simultaneous estimation of diet composition and calibration coefficients with fatty acid signature data

Knowledge of animal diets provides essential insights into their life history and ecology, although diet estimation is challenging and remains an active area of research. Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) has become a popular method of estimating diet composition, especially for marine species. A primary assumption of QFASA is...

Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Budge, Suzanne M.; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Rode, Karyn D.
Bromaghin J. F., S. M. Budge, G. W. Thiemann, and K. D. Rode. 2017. Simultaneous estimation of diet composition and calibration coefficients with fatty acid signature data. Ecology and Evolution 7:6103-6113.

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Year Published: 2017

Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting...

Butterworth, Andy; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.
Durner, G.M, and T.C. Atwood. 2017. Chapter 23 Polar bears and sea ice habitat change. Pages 419-443 in A. Butterworth (ed.) Marine Mammal Welfare - Human Induced Change in the Marine Environment and its Impact on Marine Mammal Welfare. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-46994-2.

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Year Published: 2017

Polar bears experience skeletal muscle atrophy in response to food deprivation and reduced activity in winter and summer

When reducing activity and using stored energy during seasonal food shortages, animals risk degradation of skeletal muscles, although some species avoid or minimize the resulting atrophy while experiencing these conditions during hibernation. Polar bears may be food deprived and relatively inactive during winter (when pregnant females hibernate...

Whiteman, John P.; Harlow, Henry J.; Durner, George M.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rourke, Bryan C.; Robles, Manuel; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, Merav
John P. Whiteman, Henry J. Harlow, George M. Durner, Eric V. Regehr, Bryan C. Rourke, Manuel Robles, Steven C. Amstrup and Merav Ben-David. 2017. Polar bears experience skeletal muscle atrophy in response to food deprivation and reduced activity in winter and summer. Conservation Physiology. Vol 5. doi:10.1093/conphys/cox049.

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Year Published: 2017

Maintenance of influenza A viruses and antibody response in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) sampled during the non-breeding season in Alaska

Prevalence of influenza A virus (IAV) infections in northern-breeding waterfowl has previously been reported to reach an annual peak during late summer or autumn; however, little is known about IAV infection dynamics in waterfowl populations persisting at high-latitude regions such as Alaska, during winter. We captured mallards (Anas platyrhynchos...

Spivey, Timothy J.; Lindberg, Mark S.; Meixell, Brandt W.; Smith, Kyle R.; Puryear, Wendy Blay; Davis, Kimberly R.; Runstadler, Jonathan A.; Stallknecht, David E.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Spivey, T. J., M. S. Lindberg, B. W. Meixell, K. R. Smith, W. B. Puryear, K. R. Davis, J. A. Runstadler, D. E. Stallknecht, and A. M. Ramey. 2017. Maintenance of influenza A viruses and antibody response in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) sampled during the non-breeding season in Alaska. PLoS One 12(8):e0183505. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0183505

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
Biologists walk the beach counting Common Murre carcasses
January 12, 2016

Biologists walk the beach counting Common Murre carcasses

Biologists walk the beach counting Common Murre carcasses following a massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Prince William Sound.

Four dead birds washed up on the beach
January 10, 2016

Dead Common Murres found on the beach in Cochrane Bay, Prince William

Dead Common Murres found on the beach in Cochrane Bay, Prince William Sound on Jan 10, 2016. These birds were part of the large die-off of Common Murres across the Gulf of Alaska in 2015-2016.

Freshly deceased Common Murre carcass
January 10, 2016

Freshly deceased Common Murre carcass

A freshly deceased Common Murre carcass recovered following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016. Cochrane Bay, Prince William Sound

Freshly deceased Common Murre carcass recovered
January 10, 2016

Freshly deceased Common Murre carcass recovered

A freshly deceased Common Murre carcass recovered following the massive die-off of murres in 2015/2016.  Cochrane Bay, Prince William Sound.

A dead bird on the beach
January 7, 2016

A dead Common Murre found on the beach in Prince William Sound

A dead Common Murre found on the beach in Prince William Sound on Jan 7, 2016. This bird was part of the large die-off of Common Murres across the Gulf of Alaska in 2015-2016. 

Collecting permafrost information on the Tahana River
December 31, 2015

Collecting permafrost information on the Tahana River

David Pelunis-Messier and Milton Roberts navigating on the Tanana River, a main tributary of the Yukon River. The two are taking part in the Yukon River permafrost study. 

Researcher takes winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River
December 31, 2015

Researcher takes winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River

Researcher Carol Hasburgh taking winter water chemistry samples on the Yukon River for a permafrost loss study. 

USGS researcher gets ready to take water samples in the Yukon River Basin
December 31, 2015

USGS researcher gets ready to take water samples in the Yukon River Ba

Charles Couvillion (USGS Alaska Science Center) at Pilot Station, AK, getting ready to take water samples and discharge measurements for a permafrost study in the Yukon River Basin.   

Computer-generated illustration of colored, high-resolution seafloor map clearly shows a fault and where the seafloor is offset.
December 31, 2015

Seafloor trace of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault

Seafloor trace of the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather fault (from top left to bottom right) offsets the edge of the Yakobi Sea Valley off southeast Alaska. This 700-mile-long fault has generated large earthquakes in the past. Future shocks—and tsunamis—could threaten coastal communities in the U.S. and Canada. (Color-coded depths, in meters, were mapped in 2015.)

December 31, 2015

Permafrost Study in the Yukon River Basin

Jay Hootch, former employee of Yupitt of Andreafski, drills to take winter chemistry samples to be used in a permafrost loss study in the Yukon River Basin. 
 

December 31, 2015

Permafrost Study in the Yukon River Basin

Heading out to take water chemistry samples for a study on permafrost in the Yukon River Basin. The study examined the chemical and hydrological changes occurring in the basin due to permafrost loss. 
 

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.