Since the eruption of Mt. St. Helens four decades ago, the area around the volcano in SW Washington has become a living lab for scientists around the world studying ecosystem recovery in the aftermath of catastrophic disaster.
“Mt Saint Helens has gained such a notoriety. Now when eruptions occur in many places around the world, we’re contacted and say hey, what can you offer us in terms of information,” said U.S. Forest Service Researcher, Charlie Crusafulli. “So we serve as an extension arm of the forest service going down to places like Chile, where I am working on three contemporary eruption sites down there.”
Retiree researcher, Fred Swanson, added that likewise, many from around the globe visit Mt. St. Helens annually for both observation and education.
“Those of us in the science community, we spend a lot effort hosting visitors from around the world who are vising St. Helens. In the field of volcano ecology. That field of science has itself erupted especially over the past 40 years,” Swanson added.
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