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

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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: 2,487
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Year Published: 2017

Historical biogeography sets the foundation for contemporary conservation of martens (genus Martes) in northwestern North America

Effective conservation of insular populations requires careful consideration of biogeography, including colonization histories and patterns of endemism. Across the Pacific Northwest of North America, Pacific martens (Martes caurina) and American pine martens (Martes americana) are parapatric sister species with distinctive postglacial histories....

Dawson, Natalie G.; Colella, Jocelyn P.; Small, Maurine P.; Stone, Karen D.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.
Dawson, N. G., J. P. Colella, M. P. Small, K. D. Stone, S. L. Talbot, and J. A. Cook. 2017. Historical biogeography sets the foundation for contemporary conservation of martens (genus Martes) in northwestern North America. Journal of Mammalogy 98(3):715-730. doi:10.1093/jmammal/gyx047

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Year Published: 2017

Spatial variation in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in Barrow's goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) in coastal British Columbia

Barrow's goldeneyes are sea ducks that winter throughout coastal British Columbia (BC). Their diet consists primarily of intertidal blue mussels, which can accumulate PAHs; accordingly, goldeneyes may be susceptible to exposure through contaminated prey. In 2014/15, we examined total PAH concentrations in mussels from undeveloped and developed...

Willie, Megan; Esler, Daniel N.; Boyd, W. Sean; Molloy, Philip; Ydenberg, Ronald C.
Willie, M., Esler, D., Boyd, W.S., Molloy, P., and Ydenberg, P.C., 2017, Spatial variation in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon exposure in Barrow's goldeneye (Bucephala islandica) in coastal British Columbia: Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 118, no. 1-2, p. 167-179. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.02.010

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Year Published: 2017

Potential effects of permafrost thaw on arctic river ecosystems

No abstract available.

O'Donnell, Jonathan A.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Carey, Michael P.; Koch, Joshua C.
O'Donnel, J.A., C.E. Zimmerman, M.P. Carey, and J.C. Koch. 2017. Potential Effects of Permafrost Thaw on Arctic River Ecosystems. Alaska Park Science. 16:47-49.

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Year Published: 2017

A lake-centric geospatial database to guide research and inform management decisions in an Arctic watershed in northern Alaska experiencing climate and land-use changes

Lakes are dominant and diverse landscape features in the Arctic, but conventional land cover classification schemes typically map them as a single uniform class. Here, we present a detailed lake-centric geospatial database for an Arctic watershed in northern Alaska. We developed a GIS dataset consisting of 4362 lakes that provides information on...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.; Whitman, Matthew S.; Nigro, Debora A.; Nitze, Ingmar; Beaver, John; Gadeke, Anne; Zuck, Callie; Liljedahl, Anna K.; Daanen, Ronald; Torvinen, Eric; Fritz, Stacey; Grosse, Guido

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Year Published: 2017

Fracture propagation and stability of ice shelves governed by ice shelf heterogeneity

Tabular iceberg calving and ice shelf retreat occurs after full‐thickness fractures, known as rifts, propagate across an ice shelf. A quickly evolving rift signals a threat to the stability of Larsen C, the Antarctic Peninsula's largest ice shelf. Here we reveal the influence of ice shelf heterogeneity on the growth of this rift, with implications...

Borstad, Chris; Mcgrath, Daniel; Allen Pope

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Year Published: 2017

Low-pathogenic influenza A viruses in North American diving ducks contribute to the emergence of a novel highly pathogenic influenza A(H7N8) virus

Introductions of low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) viruses of subtypes H5 and H7 into poultry from wild birds have the potential to mutate to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses, but such viruses' origins are often unclear. In January 2016, a novel H7N8 HPAI virus caused an outbreak in turkeys in Indiana, USA. To determine the...

Xu, Yifei; Ramey, Andrew M.; Bowman, Andrew S.; DeLiberto, Thomas J.; Killian, Mary L.; Krauss, Scott; Nolting, Jacqueline M.; Torchetti, Mia Kim; Reeves, Andrew B.; Webby, Richard J.; Stallknecht, David E.; Wan, Xiu-Feng
Xu, Y., Ramey, A.M. Bowman, A.S., DeLiberto, T.J., Killian, M.L., Krauss, S., Nolting, J.M., Torchetti, M.K., Reeves, A.B., Webby, R.J. Stallknecht, D.E., and . Wan, X.-F., 2017, Low pathogenic influenza A viruses in North American diving ducks contribute to the emergence of a novel highly pathogenic influenza A (H7N8) virus: Journal of Virology, In Press. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02208-16

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Year Published: 2017

Genetic structure among greater white-fronted goose populations of the Pacific Flyway

An understanding of the genetic structure of populations in the wild is essential for long-term conservation and stewardship in the face of environmental change. Knowledge of the present-day distribution of genetic lineages (phylogeography) of a species is especially important for organisms that are exploited or utilize habitats that may be...

Ely, Craig R.; Wilson, Robert E.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Ely, C.R., Wilson, R.E., Talbot, S.L., 2017, Genetic structure among greater white-fronted goose populations of the Pacific Flyway: Ecology and Evolution, p. 1-13. doi: 10.1002/ece3.2934

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Year Published: 2017

Growth of black brant and lesser snow goose goslings in northern Alaska

Gosling body mass can affect first year survival, recruitment, adult body size, and future fecundity of geese, and can serve as an indicator of forage availability and quality on brood-rearing areas. From 2012–2014 we measured body mass of 76 black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) and 268 lesser snow goose (Chen caerulescens caerulescens)...

Hupp, Jerry W.; Ward, David H.; Hogrefe, Kyle R.; Sedinger, James S.; Martin, Philip D.; Stickney, Alice A; Obritschkewitsch, Tim
Hupp, J.W., Ward, D.H., Hogrefe, K.R., Sedinger, J.S., Martin, P.D., Stickney, A.A., and Obritschkewitsch, T., 2017, Growth of black brant and lesser snow goose goslings in northern Alaska: Journal of Wildlife Management,

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Year Published: 2017

The Beringian coevolution project: Holistic collections of mammals and associated parasites reveal novel perspectives on evolutionary and environmental change in the North

The Beringian Coevolution Project (BCP), a field program underway in the high northern latitudes since 1999, has focused on building key scientific infrastructure for integrated specimen-based studies on mammals and their associated parasites. BCP has contributed new insights across temporal and spatial scales into how ancient climate and...

Cook, Joseph A.; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Campbell, Mariel; Carrière, Susanne; Colella, Jocelyn P.; Dawson, Natalie G.; Dunnum, Jonathan L.; Eckerlin, Ralph P.; Greiman, Stephen E.; Fedorov, Vadim B.; Haas, Genevieve M. S.; Haukisalmi, Voitto; Henttonen, Heikki; Hope, Andrew G.; Jackson, Donavan; Jung, Tom; Koehler, Anson V.; Kinsella, John M.; Krejsa, Dianna; Kutz, Susan J.; Liphardt, Schuyler; MacDonald, Stephen O.; Malaney, Jason L.; Makarikov, Arseny; Martin, Jon; McLean, Bryan S.; Mulders, Robert; Nyamsuren, Batsaikhan; Talbot, Sandra L.; Tkach, Vasyl V.; Tsvetkova, Albina; Toman, Heather M.; Waltari, Eric C.; Whitman, Jackson S.; Hoberg, Eric P.
Cook, J., Galbreath, K., Bell, K., Campbell, M., Carrière, S., Colella, J.P., Dawson, N.G., Dunnum, J.L., Eckerlin, R.P., Greiman, S.e., Fedorov, V., Haas, G.M.S., Haukisalmi, V., Henttonen, H., Hope, A.G., Jackson, D., Jung, T., Koehler, A.V., Kinsella, J.M., Kresja, D., Kutz, S.J., Liphardt, S., MacDonald, S.O., Malaney, J.L., Makarikov, A., Martin, J., McLean, B.S., Mulders, R., Nyamsuren, B., Talbot, S.L., Tkach, V., Tsvetkova, A., Toman, H., Waltari, E.C., Whitman, J.S., and Hoberg, E.P., 2016, Arctic Museum Collections--Special Issue The Beringian Coevolution Project: Holistic Collections of Mammals and Associated Parasites Reveal Novel Perspectives on Evolutionary and Environmental Change in the North: Arctic Science, v. 0, no. ja, 56 p. doi: 10.1139/AS-2016-0042

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Year Published: 2017

Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska

We compared total mercury (Hg) concentrations in whole blood of harlequin ducks (Histrionicus histrionicus) sampled within and among two geographically distinct locations and across three years in southwest Alaska. Blue mussels were collected to assess correlation between Hg concentrations in locally available forage and birds. Mercury...

Savoy, Lucas; Flint, Paul L.; Zwiefelhofer, Denny; Brant, Heather; Perkins, Christopher R.; Taylor, Robert J.; Lane, Oksana P.; Hall, Jefferson S.; Evers, David C.; Schamber, Jason
Savoy, L., Flint, P., Zwiefelhofer, D., Brant, H., Perkins, C., Taylor, R., Lane, O., Hall, J., Evers, D., and Schamber, J., 2017, Geographic and temporal patterns of variation in total mercury concentrations in blood of harlequin ducks and blue mussels from Alaska, vol. 117, no. 1-2, p. 178-183. Doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.01.084

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Year Published: 2017

Geometry, mass balance and thinning at Eklutna Glacier, Alaska: an altitude-mass-balance feedback with implications for water resources

We analyzed glacier surface elevations (1957, 2010 and 2015) and surface mass-balance measurements (2008–2015) on the 30 km2 Eklutna Glacier, in the Chugach Mountains of southcentral Alaska. The geodetic mass balances from 1957 to 2010 and 2010 to 2015 are −0.52 ± 0.46 and −0.74 ± 0.10 m w.e. a−1, respectively. The glaciological mass balance...

Sass, Louis C.; Loso, Michael G.; Geck, Jason; Thoms, Evan; Mcgrath, Daniel
SASS, L., LOSO, M., GECK, J., THOMS, E., & MCGRATH, D. (2017). Geometry, mass balance and thinning at Eklutna Glacier, Alaska: An altitude-mass-balance feedback with implications for water resources. Journal of Glaciology, 63(238), 343-354.

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Year Published: 2017

Reassortment of influenza A viruses in wild birds in Alaska before H5 Clade 2.3.4.4 Outbreaks

Sampling of mallards in Alaska during September 2014–April 2015 identified low pathogenic avian influenza A virus (subtypes H5N2 and H1N1) that shared ancestry with highly pathogenic reassortant H5N2 and H5N1 viruses. Molecular dating indicated reassortment soon after interhemispheric movement of H5N8 clade 2.3.4.4, suggesting genetic exchange in...

Hill, Nichola J.; Hussein, Islam T. M.; Davis, Kimberly R.; Ma, Eric J.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Puryear, Wendy Blay; Das, Suman R.; Halpin, Rebecca A.; Lin, Xudong; Federova, Nadia B.; Suarez, David L.; Boyce, Walter M.; Runstadler, Jonathan A.
Hill, N.J., Hussein, I.T.M., Davis, K.R., Ma, E.J., Spivey, T.J., Ramey, A.M., Puryear, W.B., Das, S.R., Halpin, R.A., Lin, X., Fedorova, N.B., Suarez, D.L., Boyce, W.M., and J.A. Runstadler, 2017, Reassortment of Influenza A Viruses in Wild Birds in Alaska before H5 Clade 2.3.4.4 Outbreaks: Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 23, no. 4, p. 654-657. doi: 10.3201/eid2304.161668

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
Panoramic view of entrance to Chakachamma Lake (near Lake Clark, Alaska).
July 15, 2015

Panoramic view of Chakachamma Lake near Lake Clark, Alaska

Panoramic view of entrance to Chakachamma Lake (near Lake Clark, Alaska).

Pacific walrus hauled out on sea ice in the Chukchi Sea
July 14, 2015

Pacific walrus hauled out on sea ice in the Chukchi Sea

Pacific walrus hauled out on sea ice in the Chukchi Sea.

An Alaska Native village on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, western AK
July 13, 2015

An Alaska Native village on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, western AK

An Alaska Native village on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, western AK

Small bird singing in a tree
July 13, 2015

Male Arctic Warbler singing on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Arctic Warbler singing on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska. This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Eelgrass Survey in Alaska
July 13, 2015

Eelgrass Survey in Alaska

Carol Damberg (USFWS) conducting survey of eelgrass (Zostera marina) in Izembek Lagoon, Alaska, 2015.

USGS researcher Jonathan Caine measures vein orientation at an outcrop of late Cretaceous pluton in Lake Clark National Park.
July 11, 2015

Scientist taking measurements on cliff outcrop

USGS researcher Jonathan Caine measures vein orientation at an outcrop of late Cretaceous pluton in Lake Clark National Park.

Scientists wait for a helicopter pickup at a geologic mapping and sampling station high in the Neacola Mountains, Alaska
July 11, 2015

Scientists wait for a helicopter pickup in the Neacola Mountains

USGS scientists Erin Todd and Jonathan Caine wait for a helicopter pickup at a geologic mapping and sampling station high in the Neacola Mountains, Alaska.

Cross-cutting relationships of at least 4 different phases of rock and high-temperature silicate fluids
July 10, 2015

Four different phases of rock and high-temperature silicate fluids

Cross-cutting relationships of at least 4 different phases of rock and high-temperature silicate fluids in a sample from the Lake Clark area.

A sparrow in a bush
July 10, 2015

American Tree Sparrow in low to medium shrub thicket habitat

American Tree Sparrow in low to medium shrub thicket habitat.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

A Red-throated Loon swimming in a small lake
July 2, 2015

Red-throated Loon swimming near the Colville River, Alaska

A Red-throated Loon swimming in a small lake on the Colville River Delta.

A fire burns in the distance. Looking over muskeg and small previously burned forest.
June 30, 2015

Reburns are becoming more common in many parts of Alaska

Reburns, or fires that burn more frequently than expected, are becoming more common in Alaska and can cause major changes in vegetation composition, wildlife habitat, and landscape resilience

A scenic view of Tusuk Channel on the Pilgrim River
June 30, 2015

The top of Tusuk Channel on the Pilgrim River

Near the top of the Tusuk Channel of the Pilgrim River.

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