The Burke Museum will mark the 30th anniversary of the biggest geological event in the Pacific Northwest of our lifetime – the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens – with an evening of talks, displays, food and drink. View displays of plants and animals collected from the blast zone for research, hear what scientists learned from the eruption itself, and learn about the stunning return of life to the blast zone. The presentations take place at the Burke on May 18, Thursday, from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
- 6:15 pm: “The Catastrophic Eruption of Mt St Helens,” with Olivier Bachmann, UW Earth and Space Sciences. The May 18th, 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens is one of the best studied volcanic eruptions of the past 100 years. Olivier Bachmann, Assistant Professor UW Department of Earth and Space Sciences, will offer his insights as a volcanologist on the eruption of 1980, and his research on volcanic activity around the world.
- 7 pm: “Into the Blast Zone,” Scott Shane, National Park Service. In 1982, Scott Shane was the first interpretive naturalist to lead a talk in the devastated area of Mt. St. Helens and was the first to publish a book about the eruption. Scott will share his memories, stories, and photographs of the mountain from 1980-1984.
- 7:30 pm: “It’s Raining Spiders,” Rod Crawford, Burke Museum. Burke Museum curator of arachnids, Rod Crawford, will discuss his work as a member of a large UW team studying the general problems of “survival and revival” at Mt. St. Helens from 1981-86. Rod will share slides about his field work documenting the long distance arrival by air of spiders to the “blank slate” left by the eruption, which astonished him both in number of individuals and of species.
- 8:15 pm: “How Mt. St. Helens Changed Our Understanding of Primary Succession,” Dr. Roger del Moral, UW Biology. Primary succession is the gradual growth of an ecosystem over a long period of time. Professor Roger del Moral will discuss what scientists have learned about how ecosystems resemble in the aftermath of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.