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: 2018

Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon–Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation

A new sulfur isotope stratigraphic profile has been developed for Ordovician-Silurian mudstones that host the Howards Pass Zn-Pb deposits (Canada) in an attempt to reconcile the traditional model of a stagnant euxinic basin setting with new contradictory findings. Our analyses of pyrite confirm the up-section 34S enrichment reported...

Johnson, Craig A.; Slack, John F.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Kelley, Karen Duttweiler; Falck, Hendrik
Johnson, C.A., Slack, J.F., Dumoulin, J.A., Kelley, K.D., and Falck, H., 2018, Sulfur isotopes of host strata for Howards Pass (Yukon-Northwest Territories) Zn-Pb deposits implicate anaerobic oxidation of methane, not basin stagnation: Geology, v. 46, p. 619-622.

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Year Published: 2018

Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on Glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh Rock Avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska

The use of preevent and postevent digital elevation models (DEMs) to estimate the volume of rock avalanches on glaciers is complicated by ablation of ice before and after the rock avalanche, scour of material during rock avalanche emplacement, and postevent ablation and compaction of the rock avalanche deposit. We present a model to account for...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Zhou, Wendy
Bessette-Kirton, E. K., Coe, J. A., & Zhou, W. (2018). Using stereo satellite imagery to account for ablation, entrainment, and compaction in volume calculations for rock avalanches on glaciers: Application to the 2016 Lamplugh rock avalanche in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface,123, 622–641.

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Year Published: 2018

Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season

We assessed hematozoa infection in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) at two areas in Alaska. No Haemoproteus or Plasmodium species were detected. Leucocytozoon prevalence was 6.5% for adults across sites and 41.9% for juveniles sampled in the Arctic, providing evidence for local transmission. All ...

Reed, John A.; Sexson, Matthew G.; Smith, Matthew M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Ramey, Andrew M.
Reed, J.A., M.G. Sexson, M.M. Smith, J.A. Schmutz, Ramey, A.M. 2018. Evidence for haemosporidian parasite infections in Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fischeri) sampled in Alaska during the breeding season. Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 54(4): https://doi.org/10.7589/2018-01-012

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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

Evolving environmental and geometric controls on Columbia Glacier’s continued retreat

Geometry strongly controls the dynamic behavior of marine‐terminating (tidewater) glaciers, significantly influencing advance and retreat cycles independent of climate. Yet the recent, nearly ubiquitous retreat of tidewater glaciers suggests that changes in atmospheric and oceanic forcing may also drive dynamic change. To isolate the influence of...

Enderlin, Ellyn; O'Neel, Shad; Bartholomaus, Timothy C.; Joughin, Ian

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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.

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
Boat on the water near a glacier
August 6, 2016

Collecting seismic data in Taan Fjord

USGS scientists collect seismic data to image the 2015 Taan Fjord landslide in southeast Alaska.

Montana River bridge
August 1, 2016

Montana River bridge

Montana River bridge

Putting together a yellow polygonal floating structure with netting that will hang from the sides to do limnological studies
July 31, 2016

Constructing a limnocorral at McKinley Lake

Constructing a limnocorral at McKinley Lake for Elodea spp. experiment. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

Scientists moving a complete limnocorral to McKinley Lake
July 31, 2016

Deploying of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake

Deployment of a limnocorral at McKinley Lake, near Cordova, Alaska for Elodea spp. experiment. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.
July 31, 2016

Deployment of a limnocorral in McKinley Lake

A completed limnocorral positioned over a bed of Elodea spp.. This experiment is studying the effect of the invasive species Elodea spp. on aquatic ecosystems.

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska
July 31, 2016

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska

Resource-2 AWiFS image over Norton Bay, Alaska.

Attribution: Region 11: Alaska
Three scientists sorting through samples for invertebrates
July 29, 2016

Sorting aquatic macroinvertebrates in the field

Three researchers from the University of Waterloo hunt for aquatic insects among the detritus scooped from the lake’s nearshore zone.

Fyke net contents from a lake near Atqasuk, Alaska mainly sticklebacks
July 26, 2016

Fyke net contents from a lake near Atqasuk, Alaska

Contents of the fyke net that was set in the lake near Atqasuk in 2016.  All sticklebacks.

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on small fish in the water
July 23, 2016

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging on small fish in the water

A flock of Black-legged Kittiwakes foraging.

Common Murres in the water
July 23, 2016

Common Murres in the water

Large amount of Common Murres in the water 

Four birds standing on a ledge of rock
July 23, 2016

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island

Common Murres stand at the edge of their colony on Gull Island, Cook Inlet on July 23, 2016.

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges
July 20, 2016

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

Eklutna River traveling under two bridges

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

2019 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 252
USGS
June 23, 1999

Alaska is a land of great opportunity for scientific research, according to the director of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

USGS
November 24, 1998

The water quality of the Fortymile River -- a beautiful, wild and scenic river in the remote part of east-central Alaska -- has not been adversely impacted by selected suction-dredge gold placer mining operations, according to an integrated study under way by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.

USGS
August 31, 1998

The Aleutian Islands of Alaska and the Kamchatka Peninsula of the Russian Far East are often thought of as desolate windswept outposts along the northern Pacific rim, yet this is a heavily traveled region.

USGS
August 28, 1998

Torrents of meltwater are unleashed suddenly from the margins of the great moving sheets of snow and ice, known as glaciers. In Alaska, these pulses of activity, called "outburst floods," are usually caused by the failure of ice dams that restrain the meltwater of glacial margin lakes.

USGS
May 17, 1998

A new fact sheet from the U.S. Geological Survey provides results of the latest assessment of petroleum resources in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including new estimates of how much petroleum may be present. The 1002 area, defined by the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act of 1980, includes most of the coastal plain of the Arctic Refuge and covers about 1.5 mil

USGS
September 19, 1997

A new, computer-generated, digital map of Alaska was presented to Gov.Tony Knowles and John Shively, Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, today by Gordon Nelson, State Representative for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

USGS
May 15, 1997

A computer-generated map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides a striking portrayal of Alaska’s varied landscape.

USGS
February 13, 1997

China and Indonesia suffered the deadliest and most destructive earthquakes in 1996, while the U.S. remained relatively quiet according to scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior. The last deadly earthquake in the U.S. was the 1994 Northridge, Calif., quake that took 60 lives.

USGS
December 13, 1996

Just in time for Christmas, Pavlof volcano in Alaska and Montserrat volcano in the Caribbean are more active but are not expected to alter or delay Santa’s trip around the world, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
August 9, 1996

From glaciers and lava flats to white spruce woodlands and bog communities, a new U.S. Geological Survey report will aid scientists, managers and planners in organizing environmental data.

USGS
October 5, 1995

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake occurred Thurs., Oct. 5, 1995, in Alaska, about 40 miles northwest of Fairbanks, at 9:23 p.m. Alaska Daylight Time (1:23 a.m. EDT, Oct. 6), according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

USGS
October 2, 1995

"After seven months of near-stagnation, Alaska’s Bering Glacier resumed surging. Between May 19th and June 1, part of the glacier advanced almost half a mile (about 2,500 ft). As of mid-September, the surge was continuing," said Bruce F. Molnia, leader of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Bering Glacier Research Project.

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.