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: 178
AK aeromagnetic anomaly map
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
The tsunami created by the 2004 M9.1 Sumatra earthquake.
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

Image: Alaskan Glacier
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
Image: Cook Inlet
Date Published: September 28, 2010
Status: Completed

COOK NAWQA Data Clearinghouse

This page will serve as the repository for data collected by the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA team using NAWQA sampling protocols. Data sets collected using NAWQA protocols but not collected as part of the Cook Inlet Basin NAWQA program are identified with an asterisk (*). A list of ...

Contacts: Jeff Conaway
Illustration shows study area was divided into seven streamflow analysis regions in Alaska
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
placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 15, 2001
Status: Completed

Alaska Ecoregions Mapping

Legacy Data: Ecoregions of Alaska

Illustration shows study area was divided into seven streamflow analysis regions in 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
placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 19, 1997
Status: Completed

High-Latitude Climate Transects

Legacy Data: High-Latitude Climate Transects

placeholder for data files
Date Published: November 19, 1996
Status: Completed

Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Legacy Data: Statewide Geologic Maps for Alaska

Filter Total Items: 2,376
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Year Published: 2018

Avian keratin disorder of Alaska black-capped chickadees is associated with Poecivirus infection

BackgroundAvian keratin disorder (AKD) is an epizootic of debilitating beak deformities, first documented in black-capped chickadees (Poecile atricapillus) in Alaska during the late 1990s. Similar deformities have now been recorded in dozens of species of birds across multiple continents. Despite this, the etiology of AKD has remained elusive,...

Zylberberg, Maxine; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Handel, Colleen M.; DeRisi, Joseph L.
Zylberberg, M., Van Hemert, C., Handel, C.M., and DeRisi, J.L., 2018, Avian keratin disorder of Alaska black-capped chickadees is associated with Poecivirus infection. Virology Journal 15:100, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12985-018-1008-5

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Year Published: 2018

Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical?

Ursids are the largest mammals to retain a plantigrade posture. This primitive posture has been proposed to result in reduced locomotor speed and economy relative to digitigrade and unguligrade species, particularly at high speeds. Previous energetics research on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) found locomotor costs were more than double predictions...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Carnahan, Anthony M.; Robbins, Charles T.; Owen, Megan A.; Batson, Tammy; Wagner, Nate; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M.
Pagano, A.M., A.M. Carnahan, C.T. Robbins, M.A. Owen, T. Batson, N. Wagner, A. Cutting, N. Nicassio-Hiskey, A. Hash, and T.M. Williams. 2018. Energetic costs of locomotion in bears: Is plantigrade locomotion energetically economical? Journal of Experimental Biology 221 doi:10.1242/jeb.175372

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Year Published: 2018

Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential

Landsat-based fire severity datasets are an invaluable resource for monitoring and research purposes. These gridded fire severity datasets are generally produced with pre-and post-fire imagery to estimate the degree of fire-induced ecological change. Here, we introduce methods to produce three Landsat-based fire severity metrics using the Google...

Parks, Sean; Holsinger, Lisa M.; Voss, Morgan; Loehman, Rachel A.; Robinson, Nathaniel P.
Parks, S.A., Holsinger, L.M., Voss, M.A., Loehman, R.A., and Robinson, N.P. 2018. Mean composite fire severity metrics computed with Google Earth Engine offer improved accuracy and expanded mapping potential. Remote Sensing 10(6),879, doi:10.3390/rs10060879.

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Year Published: 2018

Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration

Annual productivity is an important parameter for the management of waterfowl populations. Fall age ratio (juveniles:total birds) is an index of productivity of the preceding breeding season. However, differences in the timing of migration between family groups and nonbreeding birds may bias age-ratio estimates. We examined temporal variation in...

Schock, Wade G.; Fischer, Julian B.; Ely, Craig R.; Stehn, Robert A.; Welker, Jeffery M.; Causey, Douglas
Schock WG, Fischer JB, Ely CR, Stehn RA, Welker JM, Causey D. 2018. Variation in age ratio of midcontinent greater white-fronted geese during fall migration at a northern staging area. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 9(1):xxxx; e1944-687X. https://doi.org/10.3996/112015-JFWM-117

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Year Published: 2018

A multi-species synthesis of satellite telemetry data in the Pacific Arctic (1987–2015): Overlap of marine mammal distributions and core use areas

We collated available satellite telemetry data for six species of ice-associated marine mammals in the Pacific Arctic: ringed seals (Pusa hispida; n = 118), bearded seals(Erignathus barbatus, n = 51), spotted seals (Phoca largha, n = 72), Pacific walruses (Odobenus rosmarus divergens, n = 389); bowhead whales (...

Citta, John J.; Lowry, Lloyd F.; Quakenbush, Lori T.; Kelly, Brendan P.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; London, Josh M.; Jay, Chadwick V.; Frost, Kathryn J.; Crowe, Gregory O'Corry; Crawford, Justin A.; Boveng, Peter L.; Cameron, Michael; Von Duyke, Andrew L.; Nelson, Mark; Harwood, Lois A.; Richard, Pierre; Suydam, Robert; Heide-Jørgensen, Mads Peter; Hobbs, Roderick C.; Litovka, Dennis I.; Marcoux, Marianne; Whiting, Alex; Kennedy, Amy S.; George, John C.; Orr, Jack; Gray, Tom

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Year Published: 2018

Whole-genome analysis of Mustela erminea finds that pulsed hybridization impacts evolution at high latitudes

At high latitudes, climatic shifts hypothetically initiate recurrent episodes of divergence by isolating populations in glacial refugia—ice-free regions that enable terrestrial species persistence. Upon glacial recession, populations subsequently expand and often come into contact with other independently diverging populations, resulting in gene...

Colella, Jocelyn P.; Lan, Tianying; Schuster, Stephen C.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Cook, Joseph A.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

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Year Published: 2018

Remotely sensing the morphometrics and dynamics of a cold region dune field using historical aerial photography and airborne LiDAR data

This study uses an airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey, historical aerial photography and historical climate data to describe the character and dynamics of the Nogahabara Sand Dunes, a sub-Arctic dune field in interior Alaska’s discontinuous permafrost zone. The Nogahabara Sand Dunes consist of a 43-km2 area of active...

Baughman, Carson; Jones, Benjamin M.; Bodony, Karin L.; Mann, Daniel H.; Larsen, Christopher F.; Himmelstoss, Emily A.; Smith, Jeremy

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Year Published: 2018

The Mystic subterrane (partly) demystified: New data from the Farewell terrane and adjacent rocks, interior Alaska

The youngest part of the Farewell terrane in interior Alaska (USA) is the enigmatic Devonian–Cretaceous Mystic subterrane. New U-Pb detrital zircon, fossil, geochemical, neodymium isotopic, and petrographic data illuminate the origin of the rocks of this subterrane. The Devonian–Permian Sheep Creek Formation yielded youngest detrital zircons of...

Dumoulin, Julie A.; Jones, James V.; Box, Stephen E.; Bradley, Dwight C.; Ayuso, Robert A.; O'Sullivan, Paul B.

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Year Published: 2018

Alaska snowpack response to climate change: Statewide snowfall equivalent and snowpack water scenarios

Climatically driven changes in snow characteristics (snowfall, snowpack, and snowmelt) will affect hydrologic and ecological systems in Alaska over the coming century, yet there exist no projections of downscaled future snow pack metrics for the state of Alaska. We updated historical and projected snow day fraction (PSF, the fraction of days with...

Littell, Jeremy S.; McAfee, Stephanie A.; Hayward, Gregory D.
Littell, J.S.; McAfee, S.A.; Hayward, G.D. Alaska Snowpack Response to Climate Change: Statewide Snowfall Equivalent and Snowpack Water Scenarios. Water 2018, 10, 668.

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Year Published: 2018

Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems

Variation in body size across populations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) is largely a function of the availability and quality of nutritional resources while plasticity within populations reflects utilized niche width with implications for population resiliency. We assessed skull size, body length, and lean mass of adult female and male brown...

Hilderbrand, Grant V.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Joly, Kyle; Leacock, William; Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Erlenbach, Joy; Sorum, Mathew; Cameron, Matthew; Belant, Jerrold L.; Cambier, Troy
Hilderbrand, G. V., D. D. Gustine, B. Mangipane, K. Joly, W. Leacock, L. Mangipane, J. Erlenbach, M. S. Sorum, M. D. Cameron, J. L. Belant, and T. Cambier. 2018. Body size and lean mass of brown bears across and within four diverse ecosystems. Journal of Zoology 305:53-62. DOI: 10.1111/jzo.12536.

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Year Published: 2018

Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures

Survival rate estimates are critical to understanding the dynamics and status of a population, and they are often inferred from samples of the population’s age structure. A recently developed method uses time series of standing age-structure data with information about population growth rate or fecundity to provide explicit maximum likelihood...

Taylor, Rebecca L.; Udevitz, Mark S.
Taylor, R.L., and M.S. Udevitz. 2018. Design considerations for estimating survival rates with standing age structures. Wildlife Society Bulletin 42(1):32–39; DOI: 10.1002/wsb.858

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Year Published: 2018

Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments

Generalist feeding strategies are favoured in stressful or variable environments where flexibility in ecological traits is beneficial. Species that feed across multiple habitat types and trophic levels may impart stability on food webs through the use of readily available, alternative energy pools. In lakes, generalist fish species may take...

Laske, Sarah M.; Rosenberger, Amanda E.; Wipfli, Mark S.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Laske, S.M., Rosenberger, A.E., Wipfli, M.S. and Zimmerman, C.E., 2018, Generalist feeding strategies in Arctic freshwater fish: A mechanism for dealing with extreme environments: Ecology of Freshwater Fish, doi: 10.1111/eff.12391

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: 989
Geologist collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark
July 17, 2017

Geologist collecting rock samples exposed in a glacial stream valley

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones collects multiple samples of rocks exposed in a glacial stream valley near Lake Clark.

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite, with a helicopter in the background
July 15, 2017

Geologist stands on granite dike intruding darker granodiorite

USGS research geologist Jamey Jones stands on a dike of granite intruding darker granodiorite, with helicopter in background.

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark
July 14, 2017

Geologists collect samples and take notes near Lake Clark

USGS research geologists Richard Lease (left) and Jamey Jones (right) take notes and collect samples of fine-grained metamorphic rock hosted as an inclusion in coarser-grained granodiorite. 

Geologists make observations above glacial valley
July 14, 2017

Geologists make observations above glacial valley

USGS research geologists Jamey Jones (left) and Richard Lease (right) make observations of rock units revealed by the glacier below.

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK
July 12, 2017

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts

Fire ecologists discuss wildfire impacts at a repeat fire site in Wrangells-St. Elias National Park, AK

Small yellow bird with black on top of it's head at the end of branch
July 3, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler 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.

Two birds in the rocks, one with fish in it's mouth
July 3, 2017

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony

A Common Murre holding a juvenile Pacific Herring at its colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 3, 2017.

A male Wilson's Warbler songbird in a shrub
July 2, 2017

Male Wilson's Warbler in a shrub on the Seward Peninsula, Alaska

Male Wilson's Warbler.  This photo was taken on the Seward Peninsula as part of the Changing Arctic Ecosystem Boreal-Arctic Transition Zone program.

Many people on a boat putting a cable in the water
July 1, 2017

Seismic survey of the Queen Charlotte Fault

USGS scientists deploy a seismic streamer aboard the R/V David Starr offshore of southeast Alaska to study the Queen Charlotte Fault.

Satellite image showing a picture of northeastern Alaska.
June 27, 2017

7 Million Landsat Scenes and Counting!

The Landsat archive, the world's longest continuously acquired collection of space-based, moderate-resolution land remote sensing data, has now surpassed 7 million scenes since Landsat 1 first began collecting data in July 1972. This Landsat 8 image acquired on June 27, 2017, represents one of those millions of scenes

...
Scientist examining geologic outcrop
June 25, 2017

Geologist examines rocks at Darby Pluton, AK

USGS Geologist George Case examines granitic rocks in preparation for collecting samples for geochemistry and geochronology near the Boulder Creek prospect at the north end of the Darby pluton on the eastern Seward Peninsula.

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 246
USGS science for a changing world logo
December 18, 2008

Dr. Julio Betancourt, a U.S. Geological Survey senior scientist, was recently awarded a prestigious 2008 Presidential Rank Award. Betancourt, who has conducted groundbreaking research in how climate variability affects ecosystems, is also an adjunct professor at the University of Arizona, where he received his graduate degrees.

 

USGS
October 23, 2008

Anchorage --  The brown bear killed by biologists from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game (ADFG) in August is, by DNA analysis, the same bear that mauled an Anchorage woman earlier that month.

USGS
October 6, 2008

Most glaciers in every mountain range and island group in Alaska are experiencing significant retreat, thinning or stagnation, especially glaciers at lower elevations, according to a new book published by the U.S. Geological Survey. In places, these changes began as early as the middle of the 18th century.

USGS
August 8, 2008

Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted explosively Aug. 7, sending an ash plume more than 35,000 feet into the air and forcing two biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to evacuate the island.

USGS
July 23, 2008

The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum.

USGS
July 18, 2008

Anchorage, AK - Okmok Volcano in Alaska continues to produce explosions and ash plumes through a newly created vent and poses hazards to air travel in the area.

USGS
May 8, 2008

After a long and distinguished career with the U. S. Geological Survey, George Gryc, 88, passed away on April 27 in Sunnyvale, California. Well known from the smallest bush settlement on the Yukon to Capital Hill in Washington, Gryc was the preeminent Alaskan geologist of his day. His work bore directly on the outcome of all the major issues of consequence to Alaska in the 20th century.

USGS
April 3, 2008

Alaska is one of the most volcanically active regions on Earth, located at the far northern border of the Pacific Ocean, a vast, rugged area of critical importance to global commerce and national security.

USGS
March 19, 2008

Alaska has dozens of active volcanoes, some which erupt explosively multiple times a year. Learn how the scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), which turns 20 in April, help prevent these hazards from becoming disasters.

USGS
July 12, 2007

A 20-year U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study documents that recent changes in the quality and availability of sea ice in northern Alaska are the most likely explanation for a decrease in maternal polar bear denning on sea ice and an increase of denning on land. The results of the peer-reviewed study by the USGS Alaska Science Center in Anchorage were just published online in the journal

USGS
July 2, 2007

An article by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists on documentation of coastal land loss, lake expansion and drainage in Alaska from 1955 - 2005 was recently published in the July issue of Geology, a Geological Society of America publication.

USGS
February 6, 2007

The U. S Geological Survey (USGS) was recently asked by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) to evaluate the status of Marbled Murrelets in Alaska and British Columbia.

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.