Alaska Science Center


Our Alaska Science Center priority is to continue the important work of the Department of the Interior and the USGS, while also maintaining the health and safety of our employees and community.  Based on guidance from the White House, the CDC, and state and local authorities, we are shifting our operations to a virtual mode and have minimal staffing within our offices. If you need additional assistance, please contact Chris Zimmerman.

Learn more about our science

In the Spotlight

In the Spotlight

A new USGS fact sheet describes assessments on focal species and important topic areas in the Arctic. The USGS and collaborators provide information about Arctic ecosystems that are used by Arctic residents, management agencies, and industry.

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Current Water Conditions

Current Water Conditions

Explore real-time Alaska streamflow, groundwater, and water-quality conditions and access data with our new interactive map application.

Current Conditions


Date published: April 7, 2021

National Park Service Feature Story on Pacific Marine Heatwave

Marine heatwaves are global phenomena that can have major impacts on the structure and function of coastal ecosystems. The 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska was the longest lasting heatwave globally over the past decade.   

Date published: March 25, 2021

Publication on Ecosystem Response to an Unprecedented Marine Heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska

The 2014-2016 northeast Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska was the longest lasting heatwave globally over the past decade. A new study led by NOAA Fisheries scientists and partners, including four USGS Alaska Science Center scientists, provides an ecosystem-wide look at immediate and lingering effects of the eastern Pacific marine heatwave in the Gulf of Alaska.

Date published: February 23, 2021

Video on USGS Pacific Seabird Research

This video features an overview of USGS and Ecosystems research with a focus on Pacific seabirds. Our scientists at the USGS Alaska Science Center, Western Ecological Research Center and National Wildlife Health Center work on Pacific seabird research topics in collaboration with partner agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and rehabilitation centers.


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Year Published: 2021

U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wildland Fire Science Strategic Plan defines critical, core fire science capabilities for understanding fire-related and fire-responsive earth system processes and patterns, and informing management decision making. Developed by USGS fire scientists and executive leadership, and informed by conversations with...

Steblein, Paul F.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Miller, Mark P.; Holomuzki, Joseph R.; Soileau, Suzanna C.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Drane-Maury, Mia; Hamilton, Hannah M.; Kean, Jason W.; Keeley, Jon E.; Mason, Robert R.; McKerrow, Alexa J.; Meldrum, James R.; Molder, Edmund B.; Murphy, Sheila F.; Peterson, Birgit; Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Shinneman, Douglas J.; van Mantgem, Phillip J.; York, Alison
Steblein, P.F., Loehman, R.A., Miller, M.P., Holomuzki, J.R., Soileau, S.C., Brooks, M.L., Drane-Maury, M., Hamilton, H.M., Kean, J.W., Keeley, J.E., Mason, R.R., Jr., McKerrow, A., Meldrum, J.R., Molder, E.B., Murphy, S.F., Peterson, B., Plumlee, G.S., Shinneman, D.J., van Mantgem, P.J., and York, A., 2021, U.S. Geological Survey wildland fire science strategic plan, 2021–26: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1471, 30 p.,

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Year Published: 2021

Arctic insect emergence timing and composition differs across thaw ponds of varying morphology

Freshwater ponds provide habitats for aquatic insects that emerge and subsidize consumers in terrestrial ecosystems. In the Arctic, insects provide an important seasonal source of energy to birds that breed and rear young on the tundra. The abundance and timing of insect emergence from arctic thaw ponds is poorly understood, but understanding...

Laske, Sarah M.; Gurney, Kirsty E. B.; Koch, Joshua C.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Wipfli, Mark S.

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Year Published: 2021

Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean of 1,407 billion (1.4 trillion) cubic feet of gas in conventional accumulations in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska.

Houseknecht, David W.; Mercier, Tracey J.; Schenk, Christopher J.; Moore, Thomas E.; Rouse, William A.; Dumoulin, Julie A.; Craddock, William H.; Lease, Richard O.; Botterell, Palma J.; Sanders, Margaret M.; Smith, Rebecca A.; Connors, Christopher D.; Garrity, Christopher P.; Whidden, Katherine J.; Gooley, Jared T.; Counts, John W.; Long, Joshua H.; DeVera, Christina A.
Houseknecht, D.W., Mercier, T.J., Schenk, C.J., Moore, T.E., Rouse, W.A., Dumoulin, J.A., Craddock, W.H., Lease, R.O., Botterell, P.J., Sanders, M.M., Smith, R.A., Connors, C.D., Garrity, C.P., Whidden, K.J., Gooley, J.T., Counts, J.W., Long, J.H., and DeVera, C.A., 2021, Assessment of undiscovered gas resources in Upper Devonian to Lower Cretaceous strata of the western North Slope, Alaska, 2021: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2021-3003, 4 p.,