Alaska: projects/activities

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Directory entires that have specified Alaska as one of the geographic regions for the project/activity and are included in the AMAP, ENVINET, SAON and SEARCH directories. Note that the list of regions is not hierarchical, and there is no relation between regions (e.g. a record tagged with Nunavut may not be tagged with Canada). To see the full list of regions, see the regions list. To browse the catalog based on the originating country (leady party), see the list of countries.

It is also possible to browse and query the full list of projects.

Displaying: 1 - 20 of 23 Next
1. Alaska Soil Survey

The USDA also manages the Alaska Soil Survey, a scientific inventory of soil resources in 31 different regions of the state. The data are used for making maps, identifying physical and chemical properties of soils, and supplying current information on potential uses and limitations of soils. The Soil Survey contributes to the Natural Resources Inven-tory that involves monitoring of the changes and trends in natural resource use and condition.

2. NASA Hydrology

NASA satellites (Figure 13) support an extensive Global Water Cycle science focus area and contribute to high accuracy, stable, sustained observations and associated modeling for terrestrial hydrology and cryosphere studies. Derived geophysical products for terrestrial hydrology and cryosphere are available from the NSIDC’s Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC). They include: soil moisture and snow water equivalent from AMSR-E; Greenland ice sheet altimetry and global land surface altimetry from ICESat/GLAS; snow cover extent/area from MODIS; surface albedo and temperature from AVHRR Pathfinder. SAR data obtained from a variety of foreign satellites since 1991 are archived at the ASF DAAC. SAR data provide opportunities for change detection, including interferometric SAR (InSAR) studies of glacier and ice sheet surface elevation and dynamics (ice velocity maps), land surface elevation, and soil moisture. GRACE has been used to determine the mass loss from the Greenland ice sheet and from glaciers in southeast Alaska. The surface elevation of the Greenland ice sheet is mapped using ICESat, and the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflec¬tion Radiometer (ASTER) is used to acquire imagery and topography of the ice sheet.

3. EPA National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS)

The EPA National Aquatic Resource Survey (NARS) assesses the condition of the Nation’s aquatic resources, including those in Alaska. NARS is an integrated and comprehensive program that monitors five different categories of aquatic resources: coasts, streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Each of the five aquatic resource categories sample specific indicators to provide information on the physical, chemical and biological condition of the resource. Examples include: coasts (water chemistry, sediment quality, benthic condition, fish tissue contaminants, habitat condition); streams (benthic condition, nutrients, sedimentation, fish habitat, riparian vegetation); rivers (fish, benthos, periphyton, nutrients, sedi-mentation, recreational indicators); lakes, including ponds and reservoirs (zooplankton, phytoplankton, sediment diatoms, sediment mercury, nutrients, microcystin, enterococcus, fish tissue chemistry); wetlands (to be determined). Sampling was conducted for the National Coastal Assessment in south central Alaska in 2002, in southeast Alaska in 2004, and the Aleutians in 2006-2007. Pilot surveys were conducted for the National Wadeable Streams Survey in the Tanana basin in 2004-2005, and for the National Wadeable Lakes Survey in the Kenai region in 2007-2008.

4. NSSI Climate Change/Vegetation Change and Fire Regime in Tundra Ecosystems

In tundra areas of Alaska, we need to be able to ascertain that enough old-growth lichen-rich habitats remain for our caribou herds and that habitat diversity is maintained. Examination of long-term range monitoring transects previously deployed in remote tundra areas of Alaska on BLM lands show significant declines in available caribou forage lichens (which are highly sensitive to disturbance and slow-growing) for caribou and reindeer. Post-fire recovery of lichens may be prolonged or questionable under current climate conditions. The principal objective is to determine the magnitude of climate change impacts to tundra and boreal forest fire regime.

5. NSSI Stream Gaging Stations – Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

One station on the Tamayariak River measures tundra water flow. Another station on the Canning River measures flow from mountain discharge. Member of US Geological Survey National Water Information System. Tamayariak River, North Slope Borough, Alaska Hydrologic Unit Code 19060501 Latitude 69°51'55", Longitude 145°35'34" NAD27 Drainage area 149 square miles Gage datum 325 feet above sea level NGVD29 Location: Canning River, North Slope Borough, Alaska Hydrologic Unit Code 19060501 Latitude 69°52'55", Longitude 146°23'09" NAD27 Drainage area 1,930 square miles Gage datum 338 feet above sea level NGVD29

6. National Current Observation Program (NCOP)

The NCOP collects, analyzes, and disseminates observations and predictions of tidal currents for over 2,700 locations throughout the United States. The NCOP conducts annual tidal current surveys in various locations which deploy current meters for 30-90 days to acquire enough data to generate accurate tidal current predictions. Main gaps: NOAA maintains tidal current predictions at approximately 2,750 locations. However, there are little historical data north of the Aleutian chain, and those data are very old.  

Oceanography Human health Ecosystems
7. National Water Level Observation Network (NWLON) (NWLON)

The NWLON is a network of long term stations whose fundamental purpose is to provide vertical control (tidal datums) that support a host of national requirements. In addition, the NWLON collects continuous water level data and provides observations and derived data products that support: marine transportation and navigation ( hydrographic charting surveys, shoreline mapping surveys, tide predictions, forecast water levels, real time observations, dredging projects, hazardous material spill response); global sea level rise studies, storm surge and tsunami detection and warnings, marine boundary determination (federal/state, state/private, state/state), coastal zone management activities, ecosystem restoration, and effective marine spatial planning. Main gaps: Gap analysis report completed in FY2008 identifying gaps based primarily on providing vertical (tidal datum) control. Largest gaps in Arctic region – gaps in data and information in Bristol Bay, Bering Sea, Bering Strait, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea areas.

Oceanography Human health Ecosystems
8. Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS)

To develop a coastal and ocean observing system in the Alaska region that meets the needs of multiple stakeholders by (1) serving as a regional data center providing data integration and coordination; (2) identifying stakeholder and user priorities for ocean and coastal information; (4) working with federal, state and academic partners to fill those gaps, including by AOOS where appropriate. Main gaps: AOOS and the data center are statewide activities, but thus far, available funding has limited observations and models primarily the Gulf of Alaska.

Climate Oceanography Atmosphere Human health Ecosystems
9. USGS Benchmark Glaciers

USGS operates a long-term “benchmark” glacier program to monitor climate, glacier geometry, glacier mass balance, glacier motion and stream runoff.

10. National Streamflow Information Program (NSIP) (NSIP)

The mission of the NSIP is to provide the streamflow information and understanding required to meet local, State, regional and national needs. For additional information about USGS water resources programs and data, go to: • Program Description: • Contact: Steven Frenzel, • Surface water data availability: • Water quality data availability: • Groundwater data availability: Main gaps: Extremely sparse coverage in Alaska in general.

11. NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program, Alaska Region

To determine status and trend in the condition of selected natural resources in national park units in Alaska. There are four networks, each encompassing activities in a set of national parks, preserves and other park lands: • Arctic Network (ARCN): Gates of the Arctic, Noatak, Kobuk Valley, Cape Krusenstern, Bering Land Bridge. • Central Alaska Network (CAKN): Yukon-Charley Rivers, Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias. • Southwest Alaska Network (SWAN): Kenai Fjords, Lake Clark, Katmai, Alagnak Wild River, Aniakchak. • Southeast Alaska Network (SEAN): Glacier Bay, Klondike Gold Rush, Sitka. Main gaps: Not all data are currently available but we are working toward that goal. Funding limitations do not allow monitoring at detailed levels.

Atmosphere Ecosystems
12. US Arctic Program for Regional and International Shorebird Monitoring (PRISM) (PRISM)

To collect contemporary data on the distribution, abundance and trends in abundance of Arctic-breeding shorebirds. Main gaps: No long term funding available to continue to conduct these surveys.

13. Alaska Pelagic Seabird Observer Program

Place seabird/marine mammal observers on ships of opportunity – focusing on research vessels and programs such as NOAA stock assessment surveys and NFS-funded programs. To obtain data on seabird/marine mammal distribution and abundance throughout Alaska waters, with corresponding oceanographic and biological data from other projects on the same cruises. Data to be included in syntheses as part of Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP, NPRB), and will be added to the N. Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD).

14. Koyukuk National Wildlife Refuge (KNNWR) (KNNWR)

Protect wildlife and habitat for future generations; fulfill international treaty obligations related to fish and waterfowl; provide opportunity for subsistence use by residents Main gaps: Few data prior to 1981.

15. Kanuti National Wildlife Refuge (Kanuti NWR) (Kanuti NWR)

1) Annual monitoring of molting Greater White-fronted Geese (Interior refuges) 2) Waterfowl (primarily) breeding pair survey (MBM- done 1997, 2008-09) 3) Breeding Bird Survey (2 routes; annual, though not in 2009) 4) Alaska Landbird Monitoring Survey (2 plots; biennial) 5) Refuge moose population survey (annual) 6) Refuge wolf survey (annual as conditions allow; minimum census) 7) Henshaw Creek fish weir (annual; TCC = operator) 8) Stream gages (operational Oct 2009; will operate at least 6 years) 9) Snow markers (6 on refuge; checked monthly in winter; statewide??)

Climate Human health Ecosystems
16. Yukon Flats National Wildlife Refuge

To inventory and monitor resources of the Yukon Flats Basin to achieve refuge purposes.

Climate Human health Ecosystems
17. Marine Mammals Management: Marking Tagging & Reporting Program (MMM-MTRP) (MMM-MTRP)

(1) Monitor the subsistence and handicraft harvest of polar bears, sea otters and walrus; (2) Obtain essential biological data needed to manage; and (3) Help prevent the illegal take, trade and transport of specified raw marine mammal parts. The Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 allows Alaska Natives to harvest marine mammals for subsistence uses. The Marine Mammal Protection Act (pdf) requires that all sea otter and polar bear hides and skulls, and all walrus tusks be tagged by a representative of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This program is implemented through resident MTRP taggers located in coastal villages and communities throughout Alaska. There are more than 150 taggers located in about 100 villages. The information collected by the MTRP will help ensure the long-term survival of these species by monitoring the Native harvest and controlling the illegal take, trade, and transport of marine mammal parts. To find out how to contact taggers, call John Trent at 1-907-786-3815 or 1-800-362-5148. Main gaps: The MTRP harvest data are for 3 stocks of northern sea otter and, with data provided by Russian authorities, for the one stock of Pacific walrus. Polar bear harvest for the Chukchi Sea and southern Beaufort Sea polar bear stocks are for US communities only. Additional harvest occurs in Canada but is accounted for by the Inuvialuit-Inupiat Agreement of 1988. In the largest Alaska walrus harvesting communities, MTRP data are supplemented and independently assessed by a Walrus Harvest Monitoring Program (WHMP) that has existed, more or less continuously since 1960. This program also collects biological specimens. The contact for WHMP is Mr. Snyder is also in the Office of Marine Mammals Management, Region 7, USFWS MS 341 1011 East Tudor Road, Anchorage AK, 99503. Network type: Subsistence harvest data on polar bears and northern sea otters are collected from hunters in Alaska coastal communities.

Ecosystems Human health
18. Alaska Soil Survey

More information about the following long-term observing activity will be available in due course. • Soil survey program description: • Soil climate survey program description: • For information and data, contact: Rick McClure,

Soils Ecosystems
19. U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service SNOTEL (SNOwpack TELemetry) (SNOTEL)

Collect snow data and related environmental parameters for streamflow forecasting. Locations: Sixty one (61), see Main gaps: Lack of resources for equipment and staff. Access to potential observing sites is limited, and disallowed in some cases, due to land status or their location in public lands designated and/or proposed as wilderness areas.

20. Greenland permafrost monitoring

The purpose of the project is to combine the Danish Meteorological Institute’ HIRHAM climate model and permafrost research. This collaboration between the two fields is expected to result in a prognosis of changes in the permafrost distribution in Western Greenland (maritime Arctic climate) and Alaska (continental Arctic climate) to the year 2050. Network type: permafrost

Soils Ecosystems