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

Regions L2 Landing Page Tabs

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: 2,578
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Year Published: 2013

Water-quality and flow data, Chulitna River basin, Southwest Alaska, October 2009-June 2012

The Chulitna River basin in southwest Alaska drains an area of about 1,160 square miles, with the lower 158 square miles of the basin in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Water from this basin influences Lake Clark ecosystems that support salmon that, in part, sustain the Bristol Bay fishery. An area of about 391 square miles in the upper...

Brabets, Timothy P.
Water-quality and flow data, Chulitna River basin, Southwest Alaska, October 2009-June 2012; 2013; OFR; 2013-1009; Brabets, Timothy P.

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Year Published: 2013

Testing the use of microfossils to reconstruct great earthquakes at Cascadia

Coastal stratigraphy from the Pacific Northwest of the United States contains evidence of sudden subsidence during ruptures of the Cascadia subduction zone. Transfer functions (empirical relationships between assemblages and elevation) can convert microfossil data into coastal subsidence estimates. Coseismic deformation models use the subsidence...

Engelhart, S. E.; Horton, B. P; Nelson, Alan R.; Hawkes, A. D.; Witter, Robert C.; Wang, K.; Wang, P.-L.; Vane, C. H.
Engelhart, S. E., Horton, B. P., Nelson, A. R., Hawkes, A. D., Witter, R. C., Wang, K., … Vane, C. H. (2013). Testing the use of microfossils to reconstruct great earthquakes at Cascadia. Geology, 41(10), 1067–1070.

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Year Published: 2013

Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR

Increases in air, permafrost, and sea surface temperature, loss of sea ice, the potential for increased wave energy, and higher river discharge may all be interacting to escalate erosion of arctic coastal lowland landscapes. Here we use airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data acquired in 2006 and 2010 to detect landscape change in a 100...

Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.
Quantifying landscape change in an arctic coastal lowland using repeat airborne LiDAR; 2013; Article; Journal; Environmental Research Letters; Jones, Benjamin M.; Stoker, Jason M.; Gibbs, Ann E.; Grosse, Guido; Romanovsky, Vladimir E.; Douglas, Thomas A.; Kinsman, Nichole E.M.; Richmond, Bruce M.

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Year Published: 2013

Residency times and patterns of movement of postbreeding dunlin on a subarctic staging area in Alaska

Understanding how individuals use key resources is critical for effective conservation of a population. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta (YKD) in western Alaska is the most important postbreeding staging area for shorebirds in the subarctic North Pacific, yet little is known about movements of shorebirds there during the postbreeding period. To address...

Warnock, Nils; Handel, Colleen M.; Gill, Robert E.; McCaffery, Brian J.
Residency times and patterns of movement of postbreeding dunlin on a subarctic staging area in Alaska; 2013; Article; Journal; Arctic; Warnock, Nils.; Handel, Colleen M.; Gill, Robert E., Jr.; McCaffery, Brian J.

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Year Published: 2013

Genetic relationships among some subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus L.), inferred from mitochondrial DNA control-region sequences

The ability to successfully colonize and persist in diverse environments likely requires broad morphological and behavioral plasticity and adaptability, and this may partly explain why the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) exhibits a large range of morphological characteristics across their global distribution. Regional and local differences...

White, Clayton M.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sage, George K.; Anderson, Clifford; Talbot, Sandra L.
Genetic relationships among some subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus L.), inferred from mitochondrial DNA control-region sequences; 2013; Article; Journal; The Auk; White, Clayton M.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Sage, George K.; Anderson, Clifford; Talbot, Sandra L.

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Year Published: 2013

The environmental-data automated track annotation (Env-DATA) system: linking animal tracks with environmental data

The movement of animals is strongly influenced by external factors in their surrounding environment such as weather, habitat types, and human land use. With advances in positioning and sensor technologies, it is now possible to capture animal locations at high spatial and temporal granularities. Likewise, scientists have an increasing access to...

Dodge, Somayeh; Bohrer, Gil; Weinzierl, Rolf P.; Davidson, Sarah C.; Kays, Roland; Douglas, David C.; Cruz, Sebastian; Han, J.; Brandes, David; Wikelski, Martin
Dodge, S., G. Bohrer, R. Weinzierl, S. C. Davidson, R. Kays, D. C. Douglas, S. Cruz, J. Han, D. Brandes, and M. Wikelski. 2013. The Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) System: Linking animal tracks with environmental data. Movement Ecology 1:3. doi:10.1186/2051-3933-1-3

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Year Published: 2013

Abundance: Population size and density estimation

Estimates of population size (total number of individuals) or density (number of individuals per unit area) are some of the most basic requirements for wildlife research and management. This article provides a brief overview of approaches for wildlife population estimation. These include habitat‐based approaches such as quadrat, line intercept,...

El-Shaarawi, Abdel H.; Piegorsch, Walter W.; Udevitz, Mark S.; Gould, William R.

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Year Published: 2013

Adaptive strategies and life history characteristics in a warming climate: salmon in the Arctic?

In the warming Arctic, aquatic habitats are in flux and salmon are exploring their options. Adult Pacific salmon, including sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka), coho (O. kisutch), Chinook (O. tshawytscha), pink (O. gorbuscha) and chum (O. keta) have been captured throughout the Arctic. Pink and chum salmon are the most common species found in the Arctic...

Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Zimmerman, Christian E.
Adaptive strategies and life history characteristics in a warming climate: salmon in the Arctic?; 2013; Article; Journal; Environmental Biology of Fishes; Nielsen, Jennifer L.; Ruggerone, Gregory T.; Zimmerman, Christian E.

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Year Published: 2013

Estimating abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation using aerial surveys, 2011 and 2012

The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) polar bear subpopulation occurs at the southern extent of the species’ range. Although capture-recapture studies indicate that abundance remained stable between 1986 and 2005, declines in body condition and survival were documented during the period, possibly foreshadowing a future decrease in abundance. To...

Obbard, Martyn E.; Middel, Kevin R.; Stapleton, Seth P.; Thibault, Isabelle; Brodeur, Vincent; Jutras, Charles

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Year Published: 2013

Future distribution of tundra refugia in northern Alaska

Climate change in the Arctic is a growing concern for natural resource conservation and management as a result of accelerated warming and associated shifts in the distribution and abundance of northern species. We introduce a predictive framework for assessing the future extent of Arctic tundra and boreal biomes in northern Alaska. We use geo-...

Hope, Andrew G.; Waltari, Eric; Payer, David C.; Cook, Joseph A.; Talbot, Sandra L.
Hope, A. G., E. Waltari, D. C. Payer, J. A. Cook, and S. L. Talbot. 2013. Future distribution of tundra refugia in northern Alaska. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/nclimate1926

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Year Published: 2013

Genetic structure of the Common Eider in the western Aleutian Islands prior to fox eradication

Since the late 18th century bird populations residing in the Aleutian Archipelago have been greatly reduced by introduced arctic foxes (Alopex lagopus). We analyzed data from microsatellite, nuclear intron, and mitochondrial (mtDNA) loci to examine the spatial genetic structure, demography, and gene flow among four Aleutian Island populations...

Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Wilson, Robert E.; Petersen, Margaret R.; Williams, Jeffrey C.; Byrd, G. Vernon; McCracken, Kevin G.
Sonsthagen, S. A., S. L. Talbot, R. E. Wilson, M. R. Petersen, G. V. Byrd, J. C. Williams, and K. G. McCracken. 2013. Genetic structure of the Common Eider in the Western Aleutian Islands prior to fox eradication. Condor 115(1):28-39. doi:10.1525/cond.2012.110054

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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

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
Image: Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1950
August 4, 1950

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1950

This, the first of two repeat photographs, documents significant changes that have occurred during the nine years between photographs A and B. Although Muir Glacier has retreated more than 3 kilometers and thinned more than 100 meters, exposing Muir Inlet, it remains connected with tributary Riggs Glacier. White Thunder Ridge remains devoid of vegetation. In places,

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Image: Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1941
August 13, 1941

Muir and Riggs Glaciers, Muir Inlet, Alaska - 1941

This northeast-looking photograph, on the southeastern side of White Thunder Ridge ,shows the lower reaches of Muir Glacier, then a large tidewater calving valley glacier, and its tributary Riggs Glacier. The séracs in the lower right-hand corner of the photograph mark Muir Glacier’s terminus. The ice thickness is more than 700 meters. Muir Glacier had been retreating

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Image: Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska
August 13, 1912

Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

Volcanic ash drifts around houses at Katmai after the June 1912 eruption of Novarupta Volcano. Church in the distant background. August 13, 1912.

Image: Exit Glacier, Alaska (In Full Retreat)

Exit Glacier, Alaska (In Full Retreat)

USGS ecologist Kevin Lafferty visits the Exit Glacier in Alaska.

Clear day view of Augustine volcano - Lagoon

Augustine - Lagoon

The camera is located at the University of Alaska Geophysical Institute Augustine camp on the west side of the island. Images are transmitted to Anchorage via Homer using the Plate Boundary Observatory radio network. Current image interval is 120 minutes. Read more about Augustine volcano.

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This image shows the brightest pixel values captured during 10 minutes of video.

Unalakleet video camera 2 bright image

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent image from camera 2 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once they are collected by

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Image: The Ivotuk Hills, Alaska North Slope, Viewed From Ivotuk Camp

The Ivotuk Hills, Alaska North Slope, Viewed From Ivotuk Camp

Exposures of sedimentary rocks in the western Brooks Range, Alaska were evaluated for their contents of metals and phosphate and for their petroleum maturation histories to determine the potential for undiscovered resources in the southern National Petroleum Reserve Alaska.

Clear night image of Augustine - low light

Augustine - Low Light

This low-light camera is co-located with the daylight camera in Homer. It is extremely sensitive to light and has a range that extends to the Near Infrared (NIR). The image from this camera will often be light-saturated during daylight hours and will display only as a white featureless screen. Read

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This image shows the darkest pixel values captured during 10 minutes of video.

Unalakleet video camera 1 dark image

Two video cameras overlook the coast from atop a windmill tower in Unalakleet, Alaska where they look westward over Norton Sound. Every half hour during daylight hours, the cameras collect snapshots and video for 10 minutes. Today’s most recent image from camera 1 is shown here. Please note that it takes 10 minutes for the images to be posted, once they are collected by

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Image: Fireweed and Beaver Creek, Alaska

Fireweed and Beaver Creek, Alaska

Fireweed gains a foothold in a burn area of the White Mountains in Alaska.

Clear day view of Cleveland volcano

Cleveland CLCO

This camera is located near Concord Point, Chuginadak Island, and looks west-northwest to Cleveland in the mid-center. On nice days, Carlisle is visible to the far right, beyond Cleveland. The slopes of Tana are in the near-right. To conserve battery power, this camera intermittently captures images.

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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.