Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5047

Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5047

Proceedings of the Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium

Sponsored by: U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center,
National Park Service Alaska Regional Office, and Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Edited by John F. Piatt and Scott M. Gende


Glacier Bay was established as a National Monument in 1925, in part to protect its unique character and natural beauty, but also to create a natural laboratory to examine evolution of the glacial landscape. Today, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve is still a place of profound natural beauty and dynamic landscapes. It also remains a focal point for scientific research and includes continuing observations begun decades ago of glacial processes and terrestrial ecosystems. In recent years, research has focused on glacial-marine interactions and ecosystem processes that occur below the surface of the bay. In October 2004, Glacier Bay National Park convened the fourth in a series of science symposiums to provide an opportunity for researchers, managers, interpreters, educators, students and the general public to share knowledge about Glacier Bay. The Fourth Glacier Bay Science Symposium was held in Juneau, Alaska, rather than at the Park, reflecting a desire to maximize attendance and communication among a growing and diverse number of stakeholders interested in science in the park.

More than 400 people attended the symposium. Participants provided 46 oral presentations and 41 posters covering a wide array of disciplines including geology, glaciology, oceanography, wildlife and fisheries biology, terrestrial and marine ecology, socio-cultural research and management issues. A panel discussion focused on the importance of connectivity in Glacier Bay research, and keynote speakers (Gary Davis and Terry Chapin) spoke of long-term monitoring and ecological processes. These proceedings include 56 papers from the symposium. A summary of the Glacier Bay Science Plan— itself a subject of a meeting during the symposium and the result of ongoing discussions between scientists and resource managers—also is provided.

We hope these proceedings illustrate the diversity of completed and ongoing scientific studies, conducted within the Park. To this end, we invited all presenters to submit brief technical summaries of their work, to capture the gist of their study and its main findings without an overload of details and methodology. We also asked authors to include a few words on the management implications of their work to help bridge the gap between scientists and managers in understanding how specific research questions may translate to management practice. Papers in this volume are laid out by subject matter, from terrestrial and freshwater subjects to glacial-marine geology, to the ecology of marine animals and ending with risk assessment, human impacts and science-management considerations. In summary, we hope the proceedings will serve as a useful reference to completed and ongoing studies in Glacier Bay National Park, and thereby provide park enthusiasts, scientists, and managers with a road map of scientific progress.

John Piatt and Scott Gende





Agents of Change in Freshwater and Terrestrial Environments

Ecological Development of the Wolf Point Creek Watershed; A 25-Year Colonization Record from 1977 to 2001, Alexander M. Milner, Kieran Monaghan, Elizabeth A. Flory, Amanda J. Veal, and Anne Robertson

Coupling Between Primary Terrestrial Succession and the Trophic Development of Lakes at Glacier Bay, D.R. Engstrom and S.C. Fritz

Spruce Beetle Epidemic and Successional Aftermath in Glacier Bay, Mark Schultz and Paul Hennon

Preliminary Assessment of Breeding-Site Occurrence, Microhabitat, and Sampling of Western Toads in Glacier Bay, Sanjay Pyare, Robert E. Christensen III, and Michael J. Adams

Effects of Moose Foraging on Soil Nutrient Dynamics in the Gustavus Forelands, Alaska, Eran Hood, Amy Miller, and Kevin White

Ecology of Moose on the Gustavus Forelands: Population Irruption, Nutritional Limitation, and Conservation Implications, Kevin S. White, Neil Barten, and John Crouse

The Cultural Ecology of Berries in Glacier Bay, Thomas F. Thornton

Glacial-Marine Geology and Climate Change

Geologic Characteristics of Benthic Habitats in Glacier Bay, Alaska, Derived from Geophysical Data, Videography, and Sediment Sampling, Jodi Harney, Guy Cochrane, Lisa Etherington, Pete Dartnell, and Hank Chezar

Assessing Contemporary and Holocene Glacial and Glacial-Marine Environments, David C. Finnegan, Daniel E. Lawson, and Sarah E. Kopczynski

High Frequency Climate Signals in Fjord Sediments of Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Ellen A. Cowan and Ross D. Powell

Geology and Oral History—Complementary Views of a Former Glacier Bay Landscape, Daniel Monteith, Cathy Connor, Gregory Streveler, and Wayne Howell

Early to Mid-Holocene Glacier Fluctuations in Glacier Bay, Alaska, Daniel E. Lawson, David C. Finnegan, Sarah E. Kopczynski, and Susan R. Bigl

Post Little Ice Age Rebound in the Glacier Bay Region, Roman J. Motyka, Christopher F. Larsen, Jeffrey T. Freymueller, and Keith A. Echelmeyer

Documenting More than a Century of Glacier Bay Landscape Evolution with Historical Photography, Bruce F. Molnia, Ronald D. Karpilo, Jr., and Harold S. Pranger

Animating Repeat Glacier Photography—A Tool for Science and Education, Ronald D. Karpilo, Jr., Bruce F. Molina, and Harold S. Pranger

Physical and Biological Patterns in the Marine Environment

Glacier Bay Seafloor Habitat Mapping and Classification—First Look at Linkages with Biological Patterns, Lisa Etherington, Guy Cochrane, Jodi Harney, Jim Taggart, Jennifer Mondragon, Alex Andrews, Erica Madison, Hank Chezar, and Jim de la Bruere

Physical and Biological Oceanographic Patterns in Glacier Bay, Lisa L. Etherington, Philip N. Hooge, and Elizabeth R. Hooge

A Transect of Glacier Bay Ocean Currents Measured by Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP), Edward D. Cokelet, Antonio J. Jenkins, and Lisa L. Etherington

Spatial Distribution and Abundance of Tanner and Red King Crab Inside and Outside of Marine Reserves in Glacier Bay, Alaska, Jennifer Mondragon, Spencer J. Taggart, Alexander G. Andrews, Julie K. Nielsen, and Jim De Le Bruere

Testing the Effectiveness of a High Latitude Marine Reserve Network: a Multi-Species Movement Study, Alex G. Andrews, S. James Taggart, Jennifer Mondragon, and Julie K. Nielsen

Glacial Fjords in Glacier Bay National Park: Nursery Areas for Tanner Crabs?, Julie K. Nielsen, S. James Taggart, Thomas C. Shirley, Jennifer Mondragon, and Alexander G. Andrews

Ecdysteroid Levels in Glacier Bay Tanner Crab: Evidence for a Terminal Molt, Sherry L. Tamone, S. James Taggart, Alexander G. Andrews, Jennifer Mondragon, and Julie K. Nielsen

Geochemical Signatures as Natural Fingerprints to Aid in Determining Tanner Crab Movement in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Bronwen Wang, Robert R. Seal, S. James Taggart, Jennifer Mondragon, Alex Andrews, Julie Nielsen, James G. Crock, and Gregory A. Wandless

Distribution of Forage Fishes in Relation to the Oceanography of Glacier Bay, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, John F. Piatt, Marc D. Romano, and David C. Douglas

The Distribution and Abundance of Pacific Halibut in a Recently Deglaciated Fjord: Implications for Marine Reserve Design, Jennifer Mondragon, Lisa L. Etherington, S. James Taggart, and Philip N. Hooge

Preliminary Analysis of Sockeye Salmon Colonization in Glacier Bay Inferred from Genetic Methods, Christine Kondzela and A. J. Gharrett

Populations and Marine Ecology of Birds and Mammals

Temporal and Spatial Variability in Distribution of Kittlitz’s Murrelet in Glacier Bay, Marc D. Romano, John F. Piatt, Gary S. Drew, and James L. Bodkin

First Successful Radio-Telemetry Study of Kittlitz’s Murrelet: Problems and Potential, Marc D. Romano, John F. Piatt, and Harry R. Carter

Distribution and Abundance of Kittlitz’s Murrelets Along the Outer Coast of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Michelle Kissling, Kathy Kuletz, and Steve Brockmann

Population Status and Trends of Marine Birds and Mammals in Glacier Bay National Park, Gary S. Drew, John F. Piatt, and James Bodkin

Perspectives on an Invading Predator: Sea Otters in Glacier Bay, James L. Bodkin, B.E. Ballachey, G.G. Esslinger, K.A. Kloecker, D.H. Monson, and H.A. Coletti

Declines in a Harbor Seal Population in a Marine Reserve, Glacier Bay, Alaska, 1992–2002, Elizabeth A. Mathews and Grey W. Pendleton

Harbor Seal Research in Glacier Bay National Park, Gail M. Blundell, Scott M. Gende, and Jamie N. Womble

Population Trends, Diet, Genetics, and Observations of Steller Sea Lions in Glacier Bay National Park, Tom Gelatt, Andrew W. Trites, Kelly Hastings, Lauri Jemison, Ken Pitcher, and Greg O’Corry-Crowe

Ecosystem Models of the Aleutian Islands and Southeast Alaska Show that Steller Sea Lions are Impacted by Killer Whale Predation when Sea Lion Numbers are Low, Sylvie Guénette, Sheila J.J. Heymans, Villy Christensen, and Andrew W. Trites

Killer Whale Feeding Ecology and Non-Predatory Interactions with other Marine Mammals in the Glacier Bay Region of Alaska, Dena R. Matkin, Janice M. Straley, and Christine M. Gabriele

Age at First Calving of Female Humpback Whales in Southeastern Alaska, Christine M. Gabriele, Janice M. Straley, and Janet L. Neilson

Risk Assessment and Human Impacts

Landslide-Induced Wave Hazard Assessment: Tidal Inlet, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, Gerald F. Wieczorek, Eric L. Geist, Matthias Jakob, Sandy L. Zirnheld, Ellie Boyce, Roman J. Motyka, and Patricia Burns

Glacier Bay Underwater Soundscape, Blair Kipple and Chris Gabriele

Underwater Noise from Skiffs to Ships, Blair Kipple and Chris Gabriele

Vessel Use and Activity in Glacier Bay National Park’s Outer Waters, C. Soiseth, J. Kroese, R. Libermann, and S. Bookless

Causes and Costs of Injury in Trapped Dungeness Crabs, Julie S. Barber and Katie E. Lotterhos

The Diffusion of Fishery Information in a Charter Boat Fishery: Guide-Client Interactions in Gustavus, Alaska, Jason R. Gasper, Marc L. Miller, Vincent F. Gallucci, and Chad Soiseth

Simulating the Effects of Predation and Egg-harvest at a Gull Colony, Stephani Zador and John F. Piatt

Huna Tlingit Gull Egg Harvests in Glacier Bay National Park, Eugene S. Hunn, Darryll R. Johnson, Priscilla N. Russell, and Thomas F. Thornton

Ground-Nesting Marine Bird Distribution and Potential for Human Impacts in Glacier Bay, Mayumi L. Arimitsu, Marc D. Romano, and John F. Piatt

Bear-Human Conflict Risk Assessment at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Tom Smith, Terry D. Debruyn, Tania Lewis, Rusty Yerxa, and Steven T. Partridge

Humpback Whale Entanglement in Fishing Gear in Northern Southeastern Alaska, Janet L. Neilson, Christine M. Gabriele, and Janice M. Straley

Distribution and Numbers of Back Country Visitors in Glacier Bay National Park, 1996-2003, Mary L. Kralovec, Allison H. Banks, and Hank Lentfer

Wilderness Camp Impacts: Assessment of Human Effects on the Shoreline of Glacier Bay, Tania M. Lewis, Nathanial K. Drumheller, and Allison H. Banks

Science and Management

1,500 Kilometers of Shoreline Resource Information: Glacier Bay’s Coastal Resources Inventory and Mapping Program, Lewis C. Sharman, Bill Eichenlaub, Phoebe B.S. Vanselow, Jennifer C. Burr, and Whitney Rapp

Conceptual Ecosystem Models for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Christopher L. Fastie and Chiska C. Derr

Toward an Integrated Science Plan for Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve: Results from a Workshop, 2004, J.L. Bodkin and S.L. Boudreau

Peripheral Vision as an Adjunct to Rigor, Greg Steveler


The Legacy of W.O. Field in Glacier Bay, C. Suzanne Brown

A Tribute to Don Lawrence, Greg Streveler

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Send questions or comments about this report to the editor, John F. Piatt, (360) 774-0516.

For more information about USGS activities in Alaska, visit the USGS USGS Alaska Water Science Center home page.

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