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: 2,678
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Year Published: 2013

Making the case for the Picuris orogeny: Evidence for a 1500 to 1400 Ma orogenic event in the southwestern United States

The early Mesoproterozoic (ca. 1400 Ma) is an enigmatic time in the tectonic evolution of southern Laurentia. Circa 1400 Ma granites within Laurentia and multiple other continents have distinctive geochemistry consistent with crustal extension or mantle upwelling. In the southwestern United States, these granites are commonly foliated and are...

Abbott, Lon D.; Hancock, Gregory S.; Daniel, Christopher G.; Jones, James V.; Andronicos, Christopher L.; Gray, Mary Beth
Daniel, C. G., J. V. Jones, III, C. L. Andronicos, and M. Gray. 2013. Making the case for the Picuris orogeny: Evidence for a 1500 to 1400 Ma orogenic event in the southwestern United States. Pages 205-235 in Classic Concepts and New Directions: Exploring 125 Years of GSA Discoveries in the Rocky Mountain Region. Geological Society of America Field Guides 33

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Year Published: 2013

Migration patterns of Western High Arctic (Grey-belly) Brant Branta bernicla

This study describes the seasonal migration patterns of Western High Arctic Brant (WHA, or Grey-belly Brent Geese), Branta bernicla, an admixed population that breeds in the Canadian High Arctic and winters along the Pacific coast of North America. Adult WHA Brant were captured in family groups on Melville Island (75°23’N, 110°50’W) in 2002...

Boyd, W. Sean; Ward, David H.; Kraege, Donald K.; Gerick, Alyssa A.
Boyd, W. S., D. H. Ward, D. K. Kraege, and A. A. Gerick. 2013. Migration patterns of Western High Arctic (Grey-belly) Brant Branta bernicla. Wildfowl Special Issue 3:3-25.

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Year Published: 2013

Modern salt-marsh and tidal-flat foraminifera from Sitkinak and Simeonof Islands, southwestern Alaska

We describe the modern distribution of salt-marsh and tidal-flat foraminifera from Sitkinak Island (Trinity Islands) and Simeonof Island (Shumagin Islands), Alaska, to begin development of a dataset for later use in reconstructing relative sea-level changes caused by great earthquakes along the Alaska-Aleutian subduction zone. Dead foraminifera...

Kemp, Andrew C.; Engelhart, Simon E.; Culver, Stephen J.; Nelson, Alan R.; Briggs, Richard W.; Haeussler, Peter J.

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Year Published: 2013

Phylogeography, post-glacial gene flow, and population history of North American goshawks (Accipeter gentilis)

Climate cycling during the Quaternary played a critical role in the diversification of avian lineages in North America, greatly influencing the genetic characteristics of contemporary populations. To test the hypothesis that North American Northern Goshawks (Accipitergentilis) were historically isolated within multiple Late Pleistocene refugia, we...

Bayard De Volo, Shelley; Reynolds, Richard T.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Antolin, Michael F.
Bayard del Volo, S., R. T. Reynolds, S. A. Sonsthagen, S. L. Talbot, and M. F. Antolin. 2013. Phylogeography, post-glacial gene flow and population history of North American goshawks. The Auk 130(2):342-354. doi:10.1525/auk.2013.12120

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Year Published: 2013

Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska

Remains of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) harvested by Iñupiat whalers are deposited in bone piles along the coast of Alaska and have become persistent and reliable food sources for polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The importance of bone piles to individuals and the population, the patterns of use, and the number, sex, and age of bears...

Peacock, Elizabeth L.; Herreman, Jason
Herreman, J. and E. Peacock. 2013. Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: Insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska. Ursus 24(2):148-163. doi:10.2192/URSUS-D-12-00030.1

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Year Published: 2013

Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins

Schroder, John F.; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, C.

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Year Published: 2013

Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems

High-latitude ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to long-term climate change, yet continuous, multidecadal indicators by which to gauge effects on biology are scarce, especially in freshwater environments. To address this issue, dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis) techniques were applied to growth-increment widths in otoliths from lake...

Black, B.A.; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Brown, Randy J.
Lake trout otolith chronologies as multidecadal indicators of high-latitude freshwater ecosystems; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; Black, B. A.; von Biela, V. R.; Zimmerman, C. E.; Brown, R. J.

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Year Published: 2013

Temporal, spatial and ecological dynamics of speciation among amphi-Beringian small mammals

Quaternary climate cycles played an important role in promoting diversification across the Northern Hemisphere, although details of the mechanisms driving evolutionary change are still poorly resolved. In a comparative phylogeographical framework, we investigate temporal, spatial and ecological components of evolution within a suite of Holarctic...

Hope, Andrew G.; Takebayashi, Naoki; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.
Temporal, spatial and ecological dynamics of speciation among amphi-Beringian small mammals; 2013; Article; Journal; Journal of Biogeography; Hope, Andrew G.; Takebayashi, Naoki; Galbreath, Kurt E.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.

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Year Published: 2013

Changes in size and trends of North American sea duck populations associated with North Pacific oceanic regime shifts

Broad-scale multi-species declines in populations of North American sea ducks for unknown reasons is cause for management concern. Oceanic regime shifts have been associated with rapid changes in ecosystem structure of the North Pacific and Bering Sea. However, relatively little is known about potential effects of these changes in oceanic...

Flint, Paul L.
Changes in size and trends of North American sea duck populations associated with North Pacific oceanic regime shifts; 2013; Article; Journal; Marine Biology; Flint, Paul L.

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Year Published: 2013

Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish

River discharge supplies nearshore communities with a terrestrial carbon source that is often reflected in invertebrate and fish consumers. Recent studies in the Beaufort Sea have documented widespread terrestrial carbon use among invertebrates, but only limited use among nearshore fish consumers. Here, we examine the carbon source and diet of...

von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Cohn, Brian R.; Welker, Jeffrey M.
Terrestrial and marine trophic pathways support young-of-year growth in a nearshore Arctic fish; 2013; Article; Journal; Polar Biology; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Zimmerman, Christian E.; Cohn, Brian R.; Welker, Jeffrey M.

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Year Published: 2013

Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins

Thermokarst lakes and drained lake basins are widespread in Arctic and sub-Arctic permafrost lowlands with ice-rich sediments. Thermokarst lake formation is a dominant mode of permafrost degradation and is linked to surface disturbance, subsequent melting of ground ice, surface subsidence, water impoundment, and positive feedbacks between lake...

Shroder, John F.; Grosse, Guido; Jones, Benjamin M.; Arp, Christopher D.
Thermokarst lakes, drainage, and drained basins; 2013; Book chapter; Book; Treatise on Geomorphology; Grosse, G.; Jones, B.; Arp, C.

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Year Published: 2013

New insights into the diets of harbor seals in the Salish Sea revealed by quantitative fatty acid signature analysis

Harbor seals (Phoca vitulina) are an abundant predator along the west coast of North America, and there is considerable interest in their diet composition, especially in regard to predation on valued fish stocks. Available information on harbor seal diets, primarily derived from scat analysis, suggests that adult salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.),...

Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Lance, Monique M.; Elliott, Elizabeth W.; Jeffries, Steven J.; Acevedo-Gutiérrez, Alejandro; Kennish, John M.
New insights into the diets of harbor seals in the Salish Sea revealed by quantitative fatty acid signature analysis; 2012; Federal Government Series; Journal; Fishery Bulletin; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Lance, Monique M.; Elliott, Elizabeth W.; Jeffries, Steven J.; Acevedo-Gutiérrez; Alejandro; Kennish, John M.

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