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 in Alaska engages approximately 400 scientists and support staff working across 3 major centers with a combined annual science budget of about $65 million. In just the last 5 years, USGS in Alaska has produced scientific benefits resulting from over 1000 publications and about 250 Technical Reports.

USGS publications for Alaska

Alaska Science Portal

AK CASC Projects

Alaska Volcano Observatory  

Filter Total Items: 169
Date published: May 9, 2016
Status: Completed

Wildlife Potential Habitat Forecasting Framework (WildCast)

WildCast (WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Project) is a completed project led by USGS, in collaboration with the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. WildCast was devised to provide models for projecting future land cover and wildlife habitat conditions in northwest Alaska under potential scenarios of climate change, and to provide an...

Contacts: Bruce Marcot
Date published: March 18, 2016
Status: Active

Conservation of native salmonids in South-Central Alaska

The proliferation of introduced northern pike in Southcentral Alaska is an urgent fishery management concern because pike are voracious predators that prey heavily on juvenile salmonids. Eradication of pike is not possible in connected freshwater networks, so managers must develop control methods that reduce pike populations to less destructive numbers. We are using field and bioenergetics...

Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Critical Minerals Cooperative

The project developed means to use several large legacy digital databases together in GIS to identify areas with mineral resource potential for critical minerals in Alaska.

Contacts: Timothy Hayes
Date published: September 30, 2015
Status: Completed

Alaska Geophysical Survey Interpretation

Available geophysical data for Alaska have not been fully exploited. Project objectives were to conduct systematic analysis of existing gravity, aeromagnetic and airborne electromagnetic data to map geologic trends, structural geologic and tectonic patterns, and identify key lithologies for direct integration with geologic framework and mineral potential studies.

Contacts: Bruce D Smith, Richard Saltus
Date published: June 1, 2015
Status: Completed

The "Snow Plow Theory"* of Early-Arriving Tsunamis

Release Date: JUNE 1, 2015

What is a splay fault, and how can they affect tsunamis?

* completely contrived term by this author, not a scientific term or theory

Date published: April 25, 2013
Status: Active

Webinar: From Icefield to Ocean: Impacts of Glacier Change in Alaska

Check out this webinar to learn more about glacial loss in the Gulf of Alaska.

Contacts: Shad O'Neel, Ph.D., Eran Hood
Date published: September 28, 2010
Status: Completed

COOK NAWQA Data Clearinghouse

Repository for data collected by the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA team.

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 20, 2003
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Statewide Coverages

Legacy Data for AK Precipitation, Hydrologic Unit Map, and Streamflow analysis regions for AK and conterminous basins in Canada.

Contacts: Janet H Curran
Date published: November 15, 2001
Status: Completed

Alaska Ecoregions Mapping

Legacy Data: Ecoregions of Alaska

Date published: November 20, 2000
Status: Completed

Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Legacy Data for Water Resources for Alaska GIS datasets Regional Coverages

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Date published: November 19, 1997
Status: Completed

High-Latitude Climate Transects

Legacy Data: High-Latitude Climate Transects

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: 2,629
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Year Published: 2020

Infrasound generated by the 2016-2017 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano, Alaska

The 2016–2017 shallow submarine eruption of Bogoslof volcano produced numerous infrasound signals over 9 months that were recorded on six Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) arrays at ranges of 59 to over 800 km from the volcano. The lack of geophysical monitoring near Bogoslof and the repeated production of volcanic clouds to flight levels...

Lyons, John J.; Iezzi, Alexandra M.; Fee, David; Schwaiger, Hans; Wech, Aaron; Haney, Matthew M.

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Year Published: 2020

Multi-decadal patterns of vegetation succession after tundra fire on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska

Alaska’s Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) is one of the warmest parts of the Arctic tundra biome and tundra fires are common in its upland areas. Here we combine field measurements, Landsat observations, and quantitative cover maps for tundra plant functional types (PFTs) to characterize multi-decadal succession and landscape change after fire in...

Frost, Gerald; Loehman, Rachel A.; Saperstein, Lisa; Macander, Matthew J.; Nelson, Peter; Paradis, David; Natali, Sue M.

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Year Published: 2020

Simulation modeling of complex climate, wildfire, and vegetation dynamics to address wicked problems in land management

Complex, reciprocal interactions among climate, disturbance, and vegetation dramatically alter spatial landscape patterns and influence ecosystem dynamics. As climate and disturbance regimes shift, historical analogs and past empirical studies may not be entirely appropriate as templates for future management. The need for a better understanding...

Loehman, Rachel A.; Keane, Robert E.; Holsinger, Lisa M.

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Year Published: 2020

Fatty acid-based diet estimates suggest ringed seal remain the main prey of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears despite recent use of onshore food resources

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation have traditionally fed predominantly upon ice‐seals; however, as the proportion of the subpopulation using onshore habitat has recently increased, foraging on land‐based resources, including remains of subsistence‐harvested bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) and...

Bourque, Jennifer; Atwood, Todd C.; Divoky, George J.; Stewart, Connie; McKinney, Melissa A.

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Year Published: 2020

Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018

This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 530 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens observed in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and neighboring areas from 1910 to 2018, and archived partly by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, and partly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine...

Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David C.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Olson, Jay W.; Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.
Durner, G.M., Amstrup, S.C., Atwood, T.C., Douglas, D.C., Fischbach, A.S., Olson, J.W., Rode, K.D., and Wilson, R.R., 2020, Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1121, 12 p., including appendixes, https://doi.org/10.3133/ds1121. [Supersedes USGS Data Series 568.]

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Year Published: 2020

The clock keeps ticking: Circadian rhythms of free-ranging polar bears

Life in the Arctic presents organisms with multiple challenges, including extreme photic conditions, cold temperatures, and annual loss and daily movement of sea ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) evolved under these unique conditions, where they rely on ice to hunt their main prey, seals. However, very little is known about the dynamics of their...

Ware, Jasmine V.; Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Leise, T.; Weil, C.R.; Jansen, Heiko T.

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Year Published: 2020

Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Central North Slope of Alaska, 2020

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated undiscovered, technically recoverable mean resources of 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas (associated and nonassociated) in conventional accumulations in Mississippian through Paleogene strata in the central North Slope...

Houseknecht, David W.; Whidden, Katherine J.; Connors, Christopher D.; Lease, Richard O.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Rouse, William A.; Botterell, Palma J.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Sanders, Margaret M.; Craddock, William H.; DeVera, Christina A.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Buursink, Marc L.; Karacan, C. Özgen; Heller, Samuel J.; Moore, Thomas E.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Tennyson, Marilyn E.; French, Katherine L.; Woodall, Cheryl A.; Drake, Ronald M.; Marra, Kristen R.; Finn, Thomas M.; Kinney, Scott A.; Shorten, Chilisa M.
Houseknecht, D.W., Whidden, K.J., Connors, C.D., Lease, R.O., Schenk, C.J., Mercier, T.J., Rouse, W.A., Botterell, P.J., Smith, R.A., Sanders, M.M., Craddock, W.H., DeVera, C.A., Garrity, C.P., Buursink, M.L., Karacan, C.O., Heller, S.J., Moore, T.E., Dumoulin, J.A., Tennyson, M.E., French, K.L., Woodall, C.A., Drake, R.M., II, Marra, K.R., Finn, T.M., Kinney, S.A., and Shorten, C.M., 2020, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources in the central North Slope of Alaska, 2020: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2020–3001, 4 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/fs20203001.

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Year Published: 2020

Genetic confirmation of a natural hybrid between a Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and a Cooper’s Hawk (A. cooperii)

Although hybrids between captive Accipiter species are known, and hybrids between wild Accipiter species in North America have long been suspected, none have been confirmed to date. However, in 2014, a hatching year Accipiter captured at Cape May, New Jersey, during fall migration, appeared intermediate in size and plumage between a Northern...

Haughey, Christy; Nelson, Arthur; Napier, Paul; Rosenfield, R. N.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2020

Extreme mortality and reproductive failure of common murres resulting from the northeast Pacific marine heatwave of 2014-2016

About 62,000 dead or dying common murres (Uria aalge), the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska. Most birds were severely emaciated and, so far, no evidence for anything other than starvation was found to explain this mass mortality....

Piatt, John F.; Parrish, Julia K.; Renner, Heather M.; Schoen, Sarah K.; Jones, Timothy; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Kuletz, Kathy J.; Bodenstein, Barbara; Garcia-Reyes, Marisol; Duerr, Rebecca; Corcoran, Robin; Kaler, Robb S.A.; McChesney, Gerard J.; Golightly, Richard T.; Coletti, Heather A.; Suryan, Robert M.; Burgess, Hillary K.; Lindsey, Jackie; Lindquist, Kirsten; Warzybok, Peter; Jahncke, Jaime; Roletto, Jan; Sydeman, William J.

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Year Published: 2020

Field-based method for assessing duration of infectivity for influenza A viruses in the environment

Understanding influenza A virus (IAV) persistence in wetlands is limited by a paucity of field studies relating to the maintenance of infectivity over time. The duration of IAV infectivity in water has been assessed under variable laboratory conditions, but results are difficult to translate to more complex field conditions. We tested a field-...

Reeves, Andrew B.; Ramey, Andrew M.; Koch, Joshua C.; Poulson, Rebecca L.; Stallknecht, David E.

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Year Published: 2020

Turbidite stratigraphy in proglacial lakes: Deciphering trigger mechanisms using a statistical approach

Turbidites embedded in lacustrine sediment sequences are commonly used to reconstruct regional flood or earthquake histories. A critical step for this method to be successful is that turbidites and their trigger mechanisms are determined unambiguously. The latter is particularly challenging for prehistoric proglacial lake records in high‐...

Praet, Nore; Van Daele, Maarten; Collart, Tim; Moernaut, J.; Vandekerkhove, Elke; Kempf, P.; Haeussler, Peter; De Batist, M.

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Year Published: 2020

Early goose arrival increases soil nitrogen availability more than an advancing spring in coastal western Alaska

An understudied aspect of climate change-induced phenological mismatch is its effect on ecosystem functioning, such as nitrogen (N) cycling. Migratory herbivore arrival time may alter N inputs and plant–herbivore feedbacks, whereas earlier springs are predicted to increase N cycling rates through warmer temperatures. However, the relative...

Choi, Ryan T.; Beard, Karen H.; Kelsey, Katherine; Leffler, Joshua; Schmutz, Joel A.; Welker, Jeffrey

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: 984
A shorebird walking along the shore
August 25, 2017

Pacific Golden-Plover on the shore near Big Creek near Egegik, Alaska

Pacific Golden-Plover on the shore near Big Creek, Alaska.

Common Murres in their colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. Adult touching bill to chick.
August 19, 2017

Common Murres in their colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Common Murres in their colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Common Murres in a colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska in 2017
August 19, 2017

Common Murres in a colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska in 2017

Common Murres in a colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska in 2017

Black-legged Kittiwakes sitting on the side of a rock wall in Cook Inlet, Alaska
August 19, 2017

Black-legged Kittiwakes in a colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Black-legged Kittiwakes in a colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. One bird on a nest.

A lot of small fish from a fyke net set near Kaktovik, AK.  Biologists sort through them.
August 7, 2017

The catch from a fyke net set near Kaktovik, Alaska

Biologists identify species, count, measure length, and release thousands of fish each year to understand how fish use nearshore habitats.

A fish trap set in the ocean along the shore near Kaktovik, AK
August 5, 2017

A fyke net set to catch nearshore fish near Kaktovik, Alaska

A fyke net or fish trap used for continuous sampling of nearshore fish in shallow waters. Fish swimming along the beach are stopped by a small-mesh net that guides them in to one of these two underwater fish traps that are set side by side. Researchers visit nets at least once a day to identify, count, and release fish.

Underwater view of fish inside a fyke net
August 5, 2017

Underwater image of fish captured by a fyke net

An underwater image of fish captured by a fyke net near Kaktovik, Alaska, Beaufort Sea, USA. The small silver fish with dark backs are young-of-year (age-0) Arctic cisco (Coregonus autumnalis) and the flatfish are Arctic flounder (Liopsetta glacialis).

Photo of USGS biological science tech Shannon Waters holding a salmon for release
July 31, 2017

Shannon Waters Releases Chinook Salmon, Alaska

USGS biological science technician Shannon Waters releases a Chinook Salmon into an Alaskan river.

An aerial view of McKinley Lake
July 31, 2017

An aerial view of McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska

McKinley Lake, outside of Cordova, Alaska. This is the site of deployment of limnocorrals for an Elodea spp. experiment. 

Two scientists capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for physiology study in Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

Capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes for study in Cook Inlet, Alaska

Brielle Heflin and Brian Robinson capturing Black-legged Kittiwakes at the base of the colony in Cook Inlet, Alaska. These birds were used in adult physiology studies.

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska
July 29, 2017

A Tufted Puffin in the sea in Lower Cook Inlet, Alaska

A Tufted Puffin swimming in the sea near Gull Island in Lower Cook Inlet , Alaska

Browse a collection of stories about prominent USGS scientists and projects in Alaska news.

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
USGS
August 25, 2010

TACOMA, Wash. — Washington’s only “benchmark” glacier continues to lose mass as a result of changes in climate, according to a report by the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
August 25, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska — A secluded island in the Aleutian chain is revealing secrets of how land and marine ecosystems react to and recover from a catastrophic volcanic eruption that appeared at first glance to destroy all life on the island.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 24, 2009

USGS will Grant Universities $5 Million to Beef Up Public Safety Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 16, 2009

Levels of chloride, a component of salt, are elevated in many urban streams and groundwater across the northern U.S., according to a new government study. Chloride levels above the recommended federal criteria set to protect aquatic life were found in more than 40 percent of urban streams tested. The study was released today by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS science for a changing world logo
September 9, 2009

The winter distribution of Pacific brant, a small, dark sea goose, has shifted northward from low-temperate areas such as Mexico to sub-Arctic areas as Alaska's climate has warmed over the last four decades, according to a just-released article in Arctic.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 13, 2009

Residents and critical infrastructure in the nation's six highest-risk volcanic areas—including the Alaska region-- will benefit from increased monitoring and analysis as a result of Recovery Act funds being channeled into volcano monitoring, Secretary Salazar announced today.

USGS science for a changing world logo
August 6, 2009

When Alaska's Kasatochi Volcano erupted on Aug. 7, 2008, it virtually sterilized Kasatochi Island, covering the small Aleutian island with a layer of ash and other volcanic material several meters thick.
The eruption also provided a rare research opportunity: the chance to see how an ecosystem develops from the very first species to colonize the island.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 9, 2009

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's oceans, but relatively impoverished in many natural resources, particularly oil and gas. It is the home to a large fisheries industry that is seemingly in peril, and the place itself, a peaceful namesake, can erupt into cataclysmic disasters on a moment's notice.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 6, 2009

Alaska's Redoubt Volcano continues to emit a plume of water vapor, gas and minor ash after its 19th successive explosion this past weekend. Scientists believe the volcano has entered a new period of cyclical lava dome growth marked by small earthquakes and intermittent tremors.

USGS science for a changing world logo
April 2, 2009

Scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the Unified Command will host a news conference at 1:00PM AKDT (5:00PM EASTERN TIME) at the USGS Alaska Science Center in the Glenn Olds Hall Conference Room, Anchorage, AK, to discuss the continuing eruption of Mount Redoubt Volcano.
High resolution photos are available on the Alaska Volcano Observatory, Redoubt Activity Web site.

USGS science for a changing world logo
March 27, 2009

Mount Redoubt Volcano, 106 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, erupted explosively more than 10 times this week, sending ash skyrocketing as high as 65,000 feet into the air.
The eruption of Redoubt poses a threat to national and international aviation as volcanic ash is sent into the busy North Pacific flight paths between North America and Asia.

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.