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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report
Filter Total Items: 2,679
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Year Published: 2013

Effects of currents and tides on fine-scale use of marine bird habitats in a Southeast Alaska hotspot

Areas with high species richness have become focal points in the establishment of marine protected areas, but an understanding of the factors that support this diversity is still incomplete. In coastal areas, tidal currents—modulated by bathymetry and manifested in variable speeds—are a dominant physical feature of the environment. However,...

Drew, Gary S.; Piatt, John F.; Hill, David J.
Effects of currents and tides on fine-scale use of marine bird habitats in a Southeast Alaska hotspot; 2013; Article; Journal; MEPS; Drew, Gary S.; Piatt, John F.; Hill, David J.

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Year Published: 2013

Controls on variations in MODIS fire radiative power in Alaskan boreal forests: implications for fire severity conditions

Fire activity in the Alaskan boreal forest, though episodic at annual and intra-annual time scales, has experienced an increase over the last several decades. Increases in burned area and fire severity are not only releasing more carbon to the atmosphere, but likely shifting vegetation composition in the region towards greater deciduous dominance...

Barrett, Kirsten; Kasischke, Eric S.
Controls on variations in MODIS fire radiative power in Alaskan boreal forests: implications for fire severity conditions; 2013; Article; Journal; Remote Sensing and the Environment; Barrett, Kirsten ; Kasischke, Eric S.

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Year Published: 2013

Population ecology of polar bears in Davis Strait, Canada and Greenland

Until recently, the sea ice habitat of polar bears was understood to be variable, but environmental variability was considered to be cyclic or random, rather than progressive. Harvested populations were believed to be at levels where density effects were considered not significant. However, because we now understand that polar bear demography can...

Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Laake, Jeffrey L.; Stirling, Ian
Peacock, E., M. K. Taylor, J. L. Laake, and I. Stirling. 2013. Population ecology of polar bears in Davis Strait, Canada and Greenland. Journal of Wildlife Management 77(3):463-476. doi:10.1002/jwmg.489

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Year Published: 2013

Shallow groundwater in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska—Conceptualization and simulation of flow

The Matanuska-Susitna Valley is in the Upper Cook Inlet Basin and is currently undergoing rapid population growth outside of municipal water and sewer service areas. In response to concerns about the effects of increasing water use on future groundwater availability, a study was initiated between the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and the...

Kikuchi, Colin P.
Shallow groundwater in the Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Alaska—Conceptualization and simulation of flow; 2013; SIR; 2013-5049; Kikuchi, Colin P.

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Year Published: 2013

Water quality of streams draining abandoned and reclaimed mined lands in the Kantishna Hills area, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, 2008–11

The Kantishna Hills are an area of low elevation mountains in the northwest part of Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Streams draining the Kantishna Hills are clearwater streams that support several species of fish and are derived from rain, snowmelt, and subsurface aquifers. However, the water quality of many of these streams has been...

Brabets, Timothy P.; Ourso, Robert T.
Water quality of streams draining abandoned and reclaimed mined lands in the Kantishna Hills area, Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska, 2008–11; 2013; SIR; 2013-5048; Brabets, Timothy P.; Ourso, Robert T.

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Year Published: 2013

Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea

Icebreaker-based sampling in the northern Bering Sea south of St. Lawrence Island in March of 2008, 2009, and 2010 has provided new data on overall ecosystem function early in the annual productive cycle. While water-column chlorophyll concentrations (<25 mg m−2 integrated over the whole water column) are two orders of magnitude lower than...

Cooper, L. W.; Sexson, Matthew G.; Grebmeier, J.M.; Gradinger, R.; Mordy, C.W.; Lovvorn, J.R.
Linkages between sea-ice coverage, pelagic-benthic coupling, and the distribution of spectacled eiders: observations in March 2008, 2009 and 2010, northern Bering Sea; 2013; Article; Journal; Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography; Cooper, L. W.; Sexson, M. G.; Grebmeier, J. M.; Gradinger, R. ; Mordy, C. W.; Lovvorn, J. R.

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Year Published: 2013

Macroscopic, histologic, and ultrastructural lesions associated with avian keratin disorder in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus)

An epizootic of beak abnormalities (avian keratin disorder) was recently detected among wild birds in Alaska. Here we describe the gross, histologic, and ultrastructural features of the disease in 30 affected adult black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus). Grossly, there was elongation of the rhamphotheca, with varying degrees of lateral...

Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Armién, A. G.; Blake, J.E.; Handel, Colleen M.; O'Hara, T. M.
Macroscopic, histologic, and ultrastructural lesions associated with avian keratin disorder in Black-capped Chickadees (Poecile atricapillus); 2013; Article; Journal; Veterinary Pathology; Van Hemert, C. ; Armién, A. G.; Blake, J. E.; Handel, C. M.; O'Hara, T. M.

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Year Published: 2013

Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus

We used next generation shotgun sequencing to develop 21 novel microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew (Sorex ugyunak), which were polymorphic among individuals from northern Alaska. The loci displayed moderate allelic diversity (averaging 6.81 alleles per locus) and heterozygosity (averaging 70 %). Two loci deviated from Hardy–...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sage, G. Kevin; Fowler, Megan C.; Hope, Andrew G.; Cook, J.A.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Development and characterization of 21 polymorphic microsatellite markers for the barren-ground shrew, Sorex ugyunak (Mammalia: Sorcidae), through next-generation sequencing, and cross-species amplification in the masked shrew, S. cinereus; 2013; Article; Journal; Conservation Genetics Resources; Sonsthagen, S. A.; Sage, G. K.; Fowler, M. ; Hope, A. G.; Cook, J. A.; Talbot, S. L.

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Year Published: 2013

Evidence that life history characteristics of wild birds influence infection rates and exposure to influenza A viruses

We report on life history characteristics, temporal, and age-related effects influencing the frequency of occurrence of avian influenza (AI) viruses in four species of migratory geese breeding on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska. Emperor geese (Chen canagica), cackling geese (Branta hutchinsii), greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons), and...

Ely, Craig R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Terenzi, John; Sedinger, James S.; Ip, Hon S.
Evidence that life history characteristics of wild birds influence infection rates and exposure to influenza A viruses; 2013; Article; Journal; PLoS ONE; Ely, Craig R.; Hall, Jeffrey S.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Pearce, John M.; Terenzi, John ; Sedinger, James S.; Ip, Hon S.

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Year Published: 2013

Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves

Availability of summer sea ice has been decreasing in the Chukchi Sea during recent decades, and increasing numbers of Pacific walruses have begun using coastal haulouts in late summer during years when sea ice retreats beyond the continental shelf. Calves and yearlings are particularly susceptible to being crushed during disturbance events that...

Udevitz, Mark S.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Garlich-Miller, Joel L.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Snyder, Jonathan A.
Potential population-level effects of increased haulout-related mortality of Pacific walrus calves; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; Udevitz, Mark S.; Taylor, Rebecca L.; Garlich-Miler, Joel L.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Snyder, Jonathan A.

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Year Published: 2013

Movements and dive patterns of short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) released from a mass stranding in the Florida Keys

Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) are among the most common cetaceans to engage in mass strandings in the southeastern United States. Because these are primarily pelagic, continental shelf-edge animals, much of what is known about this species has derived from mass stranding events. Post-release monitoring via satellite-linked...

Wells, Randall S.; Fougeres, Erin M.; Cooper, Arthur G.; Stevens, Robert O.; Brodsky, Micah; Lingenfelser, Robert; Dold, Chris; Douglas, David C.
Movements, dive patterns, and social associations of short-finned pilot whales, Globicephala macrorhynchus, released from a mass stranding in the Florida keys; 2013; Article; Journal; Aquatic Mammals; Wells, Randall S.; Fougeres, Erin M.; Cooper, Arthur G.; Stevens, Robert O.; Brodsky, Micah ; Lingenfelser, Robert ; Dold, Chris ; Douglas, David C.

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Year Published: 2013

Patterns of social association in the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei

Little is known from living animals about the social patterns of the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei, a small dolphin inhabiting a narrow strip of coastal waters off Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. These dolphins tend to be found in small groups, typically composed of two or three individuals (Bordino et al. 1999). Throughout much of the...

Wells, Randall S.; Bordino, Pablo; Douglas, David C.
Patterns of social association in the franciscana, Pontoporia blainvillei; 2013; Article; Journal; Marine Mammal Science; Wells, Randall S.; Bordino, Pablo ; Douglas, David C.

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