Since Alaska lacks stable political units equivalent to counties, it has become necessary to develop an alternative for a standardized system of site designation. This system utilizes the 1:250,000 USGS topographic quadrangle as an areal base equivalent to the county. Alaska is completely covered at this scale. The quadrangle names may be abbreviated and joined with the prefix "49" to form a trinomial paralleling the Smithsonian system. A list of these quadrangles and abbreviations is appended.