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: 2,611
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Year Published: 2019

Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan, Version III

In recognition of declines among perhaps half of Alaska’s breeding shorebirds, ongoing or emerging threats to shorebirds and their habitats, and considerable knowledge of Alaska’s shorebirds acquired over the past decade, the Alaska Shorebird Group decided that the Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan was due for updates. Similar to Version II (2008...

Ruthrauff, Daniel R.
Alaska Shorebird Group. 2019. Alaska Shorebird Conservation Plan. Version III. Alaska Shorebird Group, Anchorage, AK, https://www.fws.gov/alaska/mbsp/mbm/shorebirds/plans.htm

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Year Published: 2019

Satellite tracking of gulls and genomic characterization of fecal bacteria reveals environmentally mediated acquisition and dispersal of antimicrobial resistant Escherichia coli on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

Gulls (Larus spp.) have frequently been reported to carry Escherichia coli exhibiting antimicrobial resistance (AMR E. coli); however, the pathways governing the acquisition and dispersal of such bacteria are not well-described. We equipped 17 landfill-foraging gulls with satellite transmitters and collected gull fecal samples longitudinally from...

Ahlstrom, Christina; Bonnedahl, Jonas; Woksepp, Hanna; Hernandez, Jorge; Reed, John; Tibbitts, Lee; Olsen, Björn; Douglas, David C.; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2019

The rise of an apex predator following deglaciation

AimSea otters (Enhydra lutris) are an apex predator of the nearshore marine community and nearly went extinct at the turn of the 20th century. Reintroductions and legal protection allowed sea otters to re‐colonize much of their former range. Our objective was to chronicle the colonization of this apex predator in Glacier Bay, Alaska, to help...

Hooten, Mevin; Esslinger, George G.

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Year Published: 2019

Changes in behavior are unable to disrupt a trophic cascade involving a specialist herbivore and its food plant

Changes in ecological conditions can induce changes in behavior and demography of wild organisms, which in turn may influence population dynamics. Pacific black brant (Branta bernicla nigricans) nesting in colonies on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) in western Alaska have declined substantially (~50%) since the turn of the century. Pacific black...

Lohman, Madeleine G; Riecke, Thomas V.; Acevedo, Cheyenne R; Person, Brian T.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Sedinger, James S.

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Year Published: 2019

Energetic costs of aquatic locomotion in a subadult polar bear

Most marine mammals rely on swimming as their primary form of locomotion. These animals have evolved specialized morphologies, physiologies, and behaviors that have enabled them to efficiently move through an aquatic environment (Williams 1999). Such adaptations include body streamlining, modified plantar surfaces for propulsion, and...

Pagano, Anthony M.; Cutting, Amy; Nicassio-Hiskey, Nicole; Hash, Amy; Williams, Terrie M.

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Year Published: 2019

Serologic evidence for influenza A virus exposure in three loon species (Gavia spp.) breeding in Alaska

Limited information exists about exposure to influenza A viruses (IAVs) in many wild waterbird species, including loons. We analyzed serum samples from breeding adult Pacific (Gavia pacifica), Red-throated (Gavia stellata), and Yellow-billed (Gavia adamsii) loons sampled at three locations along the coast of Alaska, US from 2008 to 2017 to gain a...

Uher-Koch, Brian D.; Spivey, Timothy J.; Van Hemert, Caroline R.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Jiang, Kaijun; Wan, Xiu-Feng; Ramey, Andrew M.

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Year Published: 2019

Energy allocation and feeding ecology of juvenile chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) during transition from freshwater to saltwater

Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) populations near their northern range extent in the Arctic-Yukon-Kuskokwim region of Alaska have undergone major changes in population trajectory and illuminated the lack of basic information on juvenile ecology. This study fills information gaps on the early life history of chum salmon at northern latitudes....

Burril, Sean E.; von Biela, Vanessa R.; Hillbruber, Nicola; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2019

Measurement of long-term channel change through repeated cross-section surveys at bridge crossings in Alaska

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has been working with Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) since 1993 to provide hydraulic assessments of scour for bridges throughout Alaska. The purpose of the program is to evaluate, monitor, and study streambed scour at bridges in Alaska; this includes surveying streambed...

Dworsky, Karenth L.; Conaway, Jeffrey S.
Dworsky, K.L., and Conaway, J.S., 2019, Measurement of long-term channel change through repeated cross-section surveys at bridge crossings in Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019-1028, 118 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20191028.

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Year Published: 2019

Tsunamigenic splay faults imply a long-term asperity in southern Prince William Sound, Alaska

Coseismic slip partitioning and uplift over multiple earthquake cycles is critical to understanding upper‐plate fault development. Bathymetric and seismic reflection data from the 1964 Mw9.2 Great Alaska earthquake rupture area reveal sea floor scarps along the tsunamigenic Patton Bay/Cape Cleare/Middleton Island fault system. The faults splay...

Liberty, Lee; Brothers, Daniel; Haeussler, Peter

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Year Published: 2019

Extreme reduction in nutritional value of a key forage fish during the Pacific marine heatwave of 2014–2016

Pacific sand lance Ammodytes personatus are a key forage fish in the North Pacific for many species of salmon, groundfish, seabirds, and marine mammals and have historically been important to predators in relatively warm years. However, extreme declines in the nutritional value of sand lance in Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA, during...

von Biela, Vanessa R.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Piatt, John F.; Heflin, Brielle; Schoen, Sarah K.; Trowbridge, Jannelle; Clawson, Chelsea

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Year Published: 2019

Estimating the energy expenditure of free‐ranging polar bears using tri‐axial accelerometers: A validation with doubly labeled water

Measures of energy expenditure can be used to inform animal conservation and management, but methods for measuring the energy expenditure of free‐ranging animals have a variety of limitations. Advancements in biologging technologies have enabled the use of dynamic body acceleration derived from accelerometers as a proxy for energy expenditure....

Pagano, Anthony M.; Williams, Terrie M.

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Year Published: 2019

Migratory goose arrival time plays a larger role in influencing forage quality than advancing springs in an Arctic coastal wetland

With warmer springs, herbivores migrating to Arctic breeding grounds may experience phenological mismatches between their energy demands and the availability of high quality forage. However, the timing of high quality forage relative to the timing of grazing is often unknown. In coastal western Alaska, approximately one million migratory geese...

Beard, Karen H.; Choi, Ryan T.; Leffer, A. Joshua; Carlson, Lindsay; Kelsey, Katharine C.; 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: 983
Copper River bridge longer view
August 18, 2016

Copper River bridge

Copper River bridge longer view

A tributary of the Agashashok River
August 16, 2016

Tributary of the Agashashok River

A tributary of the Agashashok River.

The Agashashok River Watershed
August 15, 2016

The Agashashok River Watershed

The Agashashok River Watershed

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River
August 15, 2016

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

Periphyton in a tributary of the Agashashok River

Kasilof River bridge during high water
August 11, 2016

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Kasilof River bridge during high water

Four people looking a flattened trees
August 9, 2016

Surveying the Taan Fjord tsunami runup

USGS scientists investigate trees knocked over by the tsunami at the mouth of Taan Fjord. Flow depth here was likely 5 m based on the height of branches stripped off trees in the background. This event had the 4th highest tsunami runup ever recorded.

Landsat image showing the landslide in Glacier Bay
August 7, 2016

Landslide Spreads 6 Miles Across Glacier Bay National Park

On June 28, 2016, a 4,000-foot-high mountainside in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve collapsed, sending rocky debris equivalent to 60 million mid-size SUVs tumbling onto nearby Lamplugh Glacier.  Almost 6 weeks later, on August 7, the Operational Land Imager sensor aboard Landsat 8 captured the black stain of the landslide in the image on the right. No such

...
People with tents in the grass by a bay
August 7, 2016

Geologists' camp on Unga Island, Alaska

USGS geologists' camp overlooking Unga Village on Unga Island, Alaska.

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

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.

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

2020 USGS Alaska Annual Science Report

Filter Total Items: 251
USGS
July 13, 1999

Providing a plan to help resource managers restore the Bering Sea and North Pacific ecosystem is a task research scientist Jim Estes of the U.S. Geological Survey will pursue during the next four years with funding help from a 1999 Pew Marine Conservation fellowship of $150,000.

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.

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.