Alaska Science Center
|Cold Regions Lake and Landscape Research at the Alaska Science Center focuses on the study of the Arctic and Subarctic landscape, with an emphasis on Alaska. The primary objective of this research program is to gain an understanding of landscape change in the recent (last 50 years) and distant (last 20,000 years) past. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques that include remote sensing, GIS, field surveys, laboratory analyses, and model development. Ultimately, these studies provide information that land and resource managers can use to better inform their decision making process.
Benjamin Jones is the lead investigator at the ASC. He is involved with several interdisciplinary, collaborative research projects in Alaska with a number of Federal, State, and Local agencies as well as researchers in academia. Carson Baughman is a geographer hired in May 2015 and he is conducting field research and remote sensing studies on cryosphere influenced components of the Alaska landscape. Callie Zuck is an intern hired in July 2015 and she is building GIS databases that describe important habitat characteristics to help the BLM and NPS better manage their lands and resources.
Project funding is largely provided by the Land Change Science program (LCS) and the Land Remote Sensing (LRS) programs of the U.S. Geological Survey. Funding is also provided by the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
An Anchorage Daily News article on March 28, 2015, "Watching a lake disappear on the North Slope"" by Ned Rozell, discusses research by Benjamin Jones and Chris Arp who placed instruments around a 900-mile loop of the North Slope by snowmachine to monitor changes of northern lakes that have formed, filled and emptied for thousands of years.
An article,"Arctic lakes getting a closer look by scientists", by Ned Rozell about Alaska's "thermokarst" lakes was published in the Anchorage Daily News on May 26. The article describes how USGS Alaska Science Center scientists Benjamin Jones and Benjamin Gaglioti traveled over 800 miles on snow machines installing instruments that will collect data for years to help gain an understanding of change over time on the Arctic landscape.
A manuscript in the May issue of the Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering combines the use of field surveys, remote sensing, and model development and validation to better understand patterns and rates of erosion along Alaska's northern coastline.
Benjamin Gaglioti, STEP employee at the ASC and member of the Cold Regions Lake and Landscape Research, was featured in a recent article in the journal Nature highlighting his ground-breaking research that utilized fossil ground squirrel caches to reconstruct the flora and environmental conditions for the Arctic during the last ice age. The Nature News article can be found at http://www.nature.com/news/wild-flower-blooms-again-after-30-000-years-on-ice-1.10069.
Photo of the Week
Gallery of images
Lake and Landscape Oblique Aerial Photos
Oblique aerial photographs are useful for a number of applications such as ground-truthing remotely sensed landcover mapping efforts, developing baseline information for future change detection studies, and better understanding landscape-scale patterns and processes. Since 2006 we have been capturing oblique photos as we have traveled around Alaska conducting fieldwork from fixed wing float planes and helicopters. At the same time we have utilized global positioning system units to track our location and allow each photo to be "geotagged". Here we are providing kmz files with linked geotagged photos as well as a report for each image set.
|Alaska Coastal Studies
Studying patterns and rates of erosion along permafrost dominated coastlines in northern Alaska.
|Alaska Permafrost Studies
Quantifying changes occurring to near surface permafrost and periglacial landscapes.
|Alaska Lake Dynamic Studies
Assessing the spatial and temporal patterns of lake change in Alaska using remotely sensed imagery, insitu field data collection, and laboratory analyses.
|Teshekpuk Lake Observatory
Developing a long-term observation network for the largest lake in Arctic Alaska.
|Alaska Landscape Studies
Studying the factors that help shape the Alaskan landscape.
|Alaska Paleoecological Studies
Gathering information from the distant past to help better plan for the future.
Land Cover Status and Trends for Cook Inlet Region of Alaska