Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Come see us at IAVCEI2017!

- Janine and Alison

Conferences mean many things. We get to see our co-blogger in person, go on field trips where we learn about new volcanoes from the people who have studied them, attend workshops and panels, make new friends, and race from talk to poster sessions to take in as much volcano science as we can.

The International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior (IAVCEI) 2017 conference is being held in Portland Oregon this August. The theme is 'Fostering Integrative Studies of Volcanism'. The conference will be attended by more than 1,000 volcanologists from around the world and many will be sharing their experience on Twitter using the hashtag #IAVCEI2017. This year we are both going on field trips and presenting some of our recent research at this conference so there will be a lot of conference to share.

Janine will be presenting her work on the Shiveluch dome collapse events and block-and-ash flow (BAF) deposits, and how the link together. These BAFs are some of the largest historical events on Earth! Shiveluch has been producing BAFs since 2001 (in the current eruption cycle), after a Mount St. Helens-style flank collapse (minus the lateral blast) removed a portion of the volcano in 1964. This talk will be discussing the distributions of the dome collapse events (it's a big dome!) and the deposits that result from them. This gives insight into how deposits are distributed through a long-lived dome-building eruption.

Presentation time: Friday 2:30 - 2:45
Room: A107-109
Session: PE52A: III.9 Understanding pyroclastic density currents through analysis of their deposits II, 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Alison will be giving both a talk and a poster. Monday morning Alison is giving an invited talk in a session called "Volcanism and Magmatism under Water or Ice.” The presentation will focus on Askja volcano, in central Iceland, which is just north of the Vatnajokull ice sheet (and just north of the Holuhraun eruption site from 2014-2015). Askja is of interest because it grew during the last glacial period when the ice sheet was much larger and produced a large volume of explosive and effusive deposits that interacted with the the ice. We can learn about the mechanisms of these glaciovolcanic eruptions and the thickness /  location of the ice by mapping these deposits. 

Presentation time: Monday 12:15-12:30
Room: A105
Session: ME11A: 11.6 Volcanism and magmatism under water or ice I, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

Alison is also giving a poster that relates her experimental work and natural volcanic deposits. The transport and deposition of material out of a crater by discrete explosions produced by magma and water interacting underground results in distinctive depositional textures and sequences. The poster looks at two type examples and then expands the observations to previously published deposit descriptions.
Presentation time: Thursday August 17, 4:00-6:00
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Session VH43B: V.4 Just add water: hazards variation in lava flows, steam-driving and hydromagmatic explosive eruptions, Posters, 4:00 PM -6:00 PM

Also Alison's masters student Cody Nichols will be giving a talk on his work looking at the relationship between the shape of maar craters (produced by those subsurface explosions mentioned above) and the regional stress regime. 

Presentation time: Monday 2:45-3:00 pm 
Room: A106
Session: PE12A: III.5 Processes leading to monogenetic volcanism II, 2:30 PM-4:30 PM

We will both do our best to tweet some of the conference, including our field trips to Mount St. Helen's, Mount Hood, the Sand Mountain volcanic field, Mount Bachelor, and Crater Lake. Conferences are a combination of a lot of work, not enough time, and awesome.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Learning to map while also respecting the land


The scale of geologic history is not just spread over a larger time span than many of us are used to thinking about, but also a larger physical scale. To help train future geologists to be comfortable with these large scales, and three dimensional challenges of our planet's history, we take students out into the field and make them map, the old fashioned way, by hand. I went with the UMKC field camp this June to learn about the places and projects that we use to train our geology majors as I will likely take over leading the camp in the future.

UMKC field camp students putting boots on rocks and pencils to paper to gain experience making geologic maps in South Dakota.

For many people the idea of making a map seems outdated. People hear words like map and geography and assume that it is all done, and they only have to worry about changing country boundaries. Maps, however, are a means of conveying information in a spatial way, that doesn't just include geopolitical boundaries and bodies of water. For a geologist mapping is still a critical step in unraveling any geologic problem. It is important to understand the types and distribution of different rock types, how they change with distance and contact each other. Maps are one of the first steps to figuring out how to get more of a resource such as oil, metals, or coal. We can map what is exposed on the surface, and what is underground. We can map what is on Earth and other planets. While there are many amazing maps already in existence around the world, we frequently find new questions that are at a different scale of interest, or need data that the previous maps didn't include. 

Geology is wonderfully messy and one of the best ways to start thinking about how the Earth changes over time is to go visit some messy rocks, like these tilted strata near Buffalo Wyoming.

This simplified geologic map of the state of Missouri shows the major rock types. The county lines are drawn to help the reader figure out where they are, but the important information is all in the colors. The red and blue spots in the south east are where all the cool volcanic rocks are. From Wikimedia Commons with data from the Missouri Spatial Data Information Service.

We can also use maps to identify and measure change in an area or to show what change has happened in the past. If you want to understand a hazard in a given area you must know when and how often an event happened. The state of California has what is called a landslide inventory which was produced using data from decades of mapping. Geologists can also reconstruct the rocks as they were before the event (landslide, earthquake etc.) and then figure out what changed, by how much and when.

Earthquake Lake Montana was formed in 1959 when an earthquake produced a landslide that dammed the Madison River. The drowned trees still stand as a testament to the changing landscape. We visited to help the students identify the evidence for the event in the geology and vegetation. We also got to see bald eagles and beavers making their homes here.
Maps are also a means of communicating information, not just recording information. For volcanoes we frequently map the extent of deposits from past eruptions. For instance, how far did ash travel away from the vent. We can also make a map that shows thickness of that ash, or where the largest blocks from that same eruption landed. One of the most distinctive maps for volcanoes are hazard maps, which exist to show what areas are likely to be affected by different hazards during a future eruption. This is also done for floods, landslides and tsunamis.

This hazard map of Mt. Hood from the USGS was made to communicate where the main hazards from a future eruption are likely to affect the area surrounding Mt. Hood. Note how the lahars follow valleys and go well beyond the slopes of the mountain. The amount and type of information on the map will vary depending on the purpose of the map.

Students at field camp learn to find themselves on the map using topography (not as easy as it sounds when you first start), how to recognize different rock layers (even when they get messed up by faults, erosion, and volcanic events), and how to communicate what they observed. All these skills are introduced during course work, but it is really out in the field, with real messy rocks, that students finally get a chance to test and hone their skills.
Several of my undergraduate research students at field camp looking epic with Bear Butte in the background, June 2017. This shot was only 1/3 posed.
There is also another less obvious lesson that students get in field camp, they learn about the land in more human terms. Field geologists get to travel to many awesome places. One of the aspects of that field work is getting permission to access land, to climb fences, collect samples and take photographs. Geologist in the USA work on federal land, state land, private land, and American Indian Reservations. Many times this land changes designation over time. Respecting modern and historic designations is important for the preservation of the land and respect of the residents and other users of that land. Land is important to many people for different reasons and it is important to not forget that in light of our own immediate motives, even in the name of education.

National parks, like the Badlands featured here, are an important resource to experience the diverse geology of the US and other countries. It is important to pay attention to the expectations for visitors when enjoying these spaces so that they are preserved for future visitors.

This means leaving your hammer behind if necessary, sticking to trails in designated areas, and carrying permits with you all depending on the regulations of the location where you are working. It is also important to acknowledge the ancestral lands that geologist get to work on. They may now have federal or private designations, but these beautiful places that I revere for their geologic wonders have significance beyond as a spot for training future geologists.

Our field camp spends a significant amount of time working the traditional territories of the Lakota Nation. The Lakota are one of seven related Sioux Tribes that have ancestral territories across the Great Plains of the United States and Canada. We visited several important sites around the Black Hills including Wind Cave, Devil's Tower, and Bear Butte.
Devil's Tower South Dakota. Lakota, Arapahoe, Chyenne, Crow, Shoshone, and Kiowa people still visit and leave tobacco pouches and prayer offerings on the mountain honoring the spiritual significance of this site.
There are many peoples who value natural landmarks and it is important to remember that they are significant beyond our own appreciation. This plaque in the National Monument Visitor's center shows many of the names for Devil's Tower.

Devil's Tower significance to me is in its excellent columnar cooling cracks (when hot rock cools it contracts and if cooled slowly will form regular cracks) and it is a place I've wanted to see since I was a child (and first tried to make it out of mashed potatoes ala Richard Dreyfus). There are many Native oral histories explaining these marks, but they typically involve a bear (see names) scratching the side of the rock to produce its distinctive shape. In some narratives the bear wandered east to lie down and form Bear Butte near Rapid City. These landmarks are part of a larger landscape and a larger history than we see day to day. It is the job of geologists to look at how the landscape connects geologically, but I am glad we get the opportunity to see it from many other important perspectives as well.
Bear Butte in Western South Dakota. The Butte viewed from the south doesn't resemble a bear so much, but since that is where we mapped I never got a photo from the west to illustrate it.
Wind cave is also important to the Lakota and Cheyenne as it is a key location in the creation story of the people of the plains. It is home to most of the world's box work, and was the first cave ever to be preserved as a national park. That is a lot of things for something as fragile as a cave to be.
Box work is unlike stalactites and stalagmites that most people associate with caves because it forms in the dissolution of the limestone, rather than growing with time. This means these features, once damaged, are gone. The bulk of the world's discovered box work occurs in this one cave system! The beauty and fragility makes preserving these features a challenge.
I'm likely to take over field camp next year, and the prospect is daunting, but exciting (oh the logistics...). Field camp is an important opportunity for students to really become immersed in geology and grow as scientists and as people. It can be challenging, uncomfortable (heat, learning to avoid snakes, high elevations), and fun. I still remember my own field camp and the confident realization that I wanted to do this, learn about our planet, for the rest of my life. I look forward to continuing to work with students in amazing places like these and learning more about the geology, and the human history of these landscapes each year.

Want to see some awesome maps?
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a lot of maps available online, including Geologic Maps. Same with the British Geological Survey (BGS). Make sure to check out your local geological survey at national and state / province level for what is available on the area you live in.
Want to recognize the ancestral history of the land you are living / working on? 
While I don't have just one weblink to provide for this, a bit of internet research usually reveals what you are looking for. If you don't know where to start, look by region or for nearby major landmarks. There are usually multiple resources to track down the ancestral and historical claims on your field area.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Family 'or' career?? Doing both in the geosciences

- Janine

How many times are women told 'family or career'? How many times have we heard about women being treated differently because they have, or want to have, a family? We have heard that it's even a career killer. If we have kids - your career will suffer. Your kids will suffer. You will basically fail at everything. This is the message I have seen over and over again. I have a couple of issues with this. Firstly - I see women succeed at both. Secondly - I see plenty of Dads raising kids and having a career too! The old saying is that 'it takes a village to raise a child', so why do we have the stigma that women are the only ones affected by raising kids, and that it poorly affects their work?

When I started discussing putting this post together I got the reply: "I know :(  I have a brilliant chemist friend & she was in tears when she told me she won't pursue a future in academia as she wants children". We need to start shining a light on the other side of parenting - the side that would allow this chemist to believe that she has a choice. One of the things that surprised me was that a side effect of parenting can be an increase in productivity - they are forced to be more focused. Where are the stories like that? Would parents (especially women) be viewed as less successful if we all shared this side too?

I don't have kids. I see the articles out there about how hard it is. I hear parents saying that it's tough, but I also hear them saying how great it is, in fact, face-to-face, these outnumber the tough stories. Here, I hope to shine a positive and empowering light on parents and caregivers, both to show that they can manage both quite well (thank you!), and to give those who do not yet have a family hope using the words of the parents who have made it work.

I don't pretend here that it isn't hard - having just completed my Ph.D., I want to sarcastically ask 'what isn't??'. We come across challenges in life all the time, and we can overcome them. This is certainly a different kind of challenge, a long-term challenge that isn't just about you. If you want to learn more about how hard it is - go to Google. If you want to help change this stigma around parents in science/academia/careers - keep reading.

This blog is for the parents out there making it work, the parents out there who are struggling, the people out there who want to have kids one day, and all of you who judge anyone who has a family (or has even thought about it) as no longer good enough. There are always two sides to a story, and I am over hearing about the limiting side. Let's empower each other to take on these challenges.

Susan Hough

Mom, grandma; geophysicist with USGS; occasional science writer
From: USA (we moved around a lot when I was a kid)
Current home base: Pasadena, California

I have three great adult children, now 26-33, and three amazing grandsons, the eldest of whom is now 5. I've been at the USGS for 25 years now. My work focuses on research on earthquakes and earthquake hazard, and in recent years on international capacity-building projects. The work-life balance thing was, of course, harder when my children were small. My husband and I chose to start a family early in our careers, when we were both still in grad school. My husband is a biochemist who started grad school at the same time I did. So the balance issues affected us both. Our daughter was born at the end of my 2nd year of a PhD program at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and our first son was born a few months before I defended my PhD. For any parents with outside jobs, there are never enough hours in the day. You make the best with what you've got. The big challenge, apart from having so much on our plates, was financial: facing expensive childcare costs when we were living on graduate stipends. But there were up-sides as well. Flexibility was one huge plus: as grad students we were able to shift our hours so that we only needed halftime childcare for the first 2-3 years. As grad students we were also part of a student community, with quality home-based childcare available nearby. The faculty at Scripps were terrific; I was fortunate in this regard, especially back in the 1980s. The second up-side was something I didn't appreciate until later: having children earlier meant being freed up from the intense early parenting demands earlier. So travel was difficult early in my career, but by the time I started to have more mid-career opportunities to attend international meetings and lead international programs, I was more free to pursue them. A finally up-side was revealed to me 5 years ago: grandchildren! Being a grandparent is the best role a person can have: all of the joys of parenting without the overwhelming responsibilities. Being a young parent means I get to be a young grandparent for (hopefully!) a lot of years. It's actually still a struggle: I wish I could spend even more time with them. But I relish having the energy, time, and resources to be an important influence in their lives. I also love the place that I'm at professionally, being heavily involved with both research and international capacity building projects.

It's disheartening, that there hasn't been more progress with work/life balance issues over the past 30 years. Maybe awareness/acceptance is better, but if anything the demands of a science career have gotten worse. There are only so many hours in a day; taking on two full-time jobs is tough. I came of age during the "women can have it all" era. I think it was true then and is still true today. But nobody ever said it would be easy.

Dr. Wendy Bohon
Mom, science communicator and educator at Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology  

I have a PhD in Geology (I study earthquakes) and I now work as a science communicator and educator at the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. I also run a small, independent social media business and have a blog about parenting twins. My husband and I have 3 kids – a 12-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twin boys. Having a full time job and a full time family can be difficult but I work for a great company that gives me flexible working hours and allows me to telework a few days a week. These small allowances on their part vastly improve my life and allow me to be a better scientist, employee and mother. I’m thankful that I work for an organization that values and supports a healthy work/life balance, and I believe that I’m proof that these types of family friendly policies work, and help parents to be happier, healthier and more productive. I want to advocate for more organizations to adopt policies that give their employees the flexibility to be successful at their careers and to manage their family lives – that shouldn’t be an either/or situation. We need the best and the brightest minds in geoscience working on hard science problems AND raising the next generation of innovators, creators and problem solvers.

Cara Burberry
Mom, Assistant Professor

I'm Cara Burberry, tweet as @DeformationRox. I'm a mum and an assistant professor who just went up for tenure (eek). I live in Odell, NE and work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 65 miles away. I have a long commute!

I’m a mum of two boys, aged 6 and 3. I’m also an assistant professor at UNL in geology, looking specifically at the processes that affect mountain belt formation. I spend a lot of time in my laboratory building mountain belts out of sand in order to investigate this. The best part of my day, despite the commute, is getting home and being tackled by two flying little boys yelling “Mama! Mama! Mama!” It’s become a kind of game – how far can I get into the house before the babies hear me? As soon as they notice that Mama is home, they race to me to get a snuggle. There’s nothing quite like little arms around your neck, usually the owner of those arms is still squeaking “Mama! Mama! Mama!” The next request is either “what’s for dinner” or “can we do a pwoject [sic]?” A “pwoject” is a science experiment – a ring of skittles around a pool of water and watching the colors bleed off… the red cabbage indicator experiment… you name it. Both boys have come with me in the field; 3 has collected fracture data across KS and 6 has collected fracture data in MT. Fieldwork with littles worked for me when they were small and stayed in the carrier. I’ve got a few colleagues who also have littles and we cover for each other when one of us has a sick kid and needs to remain at home. Maternity leave isn’t great, but I was able to stop the tenure clock for a year each time I was pregnant, so I’m going up for tenure now, with a much stronger portfolio than I would have had without the stoppage. I had to ask for it, it wasn’t offered; parents: Know Your Rights and ask for them!

Shari Gallop 
Mum of two and Lecturer in coastal geoscience and oceanography 
Shari's Webpage
Country of origin: New Zealand
Current location: Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

My husband and I are parents to two wonderful kids (3 years and 2 months) and live in Sydney, Australia. I am a lecturer in coastal geoscience and oceanography at Macquarie University, where I spend half of my time on research and half teaching. I focus on how coastal morphology responds to drivers on multiple scales, such as during storms and to climate change. Some lessons I have learned so far about having my career in academia and kids:

(1) ‘Success’ is defined differently by different people. It’s easy to get pulled into the trap of comparison and judgement. But, we can define our own career success. For me, it’s no longer ‘doing the most stuff’. Mine is defined by enjoying my work; publishing high quality science with people I enjoy; encouraging others; and still having lots of time for life outside of work.

(2) Longer hours doesn’t mean more output. I choose to work no more than 38 hour weeks. This decision has driven me to find ways to be more efficient with my time. I am getting better at saying no, prioritizing, and focusing my time and energy.

(3) Choose your own career path. At least in academia, we actually have a large amount of freedom (even though it might not feel like it at times) in that we can largely choose how we spend our days; what we work on; how we do it and who with. Get creative! Choose your path or others will choose it for you.

For me, becoming a mother has actually made me enjoy my career even more, in that it gives me perspective on what’s important, and has forced me to make some positive decisions about my approach to how I spend my time and energy.

Ryan Watkins
New mother, lunar scientist
Country of origin: United States
Current work place: Washington University in St. Louis (St. Louis, MO), and Planetary Science Institute

I am a postdoc at Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) and an associate research scientist with the Planetary Science Institute (PSI). I research the reflectance properties of the surface of the Moon and I conduct various landing site safety studies future missions. I have one daughter, who is 2 months old and who has a nursery decorated in rocket ships, stars, and moons.

My advisor at WashU has been supportive of my decision to be a working mom from the minute he learned I was pregnant. He has encouraged me to enjoy every minute with her and has given me the flexibility to work from home when I need to. I attended a conference at 8 months pregnant, and everyone there was very supportive.

I chose to work at PSI largely because of the opportunity to work remotely and because they highly value family. PSI is incredibly supportive of working mothers, enough so that they've asked me to bring my baby to our annual company retreat! They even pay for childcare for employees who bring their children to the retreat. A group of employees started up a "Family Chat" group, where we hold telecons every other week or so and discuss a topic relevant to raising children and/or balancing work and family. My position at PSI allows me to work from home, so I am able to spend time with my baby girl but still do research. Our plan is to have her in a daycare 3 days a week so I can work in my office at WashU, and then I will work from home with her the other 2 days.

I don't identify solely as a mom, a wife, or a scientist, and I have always known I would go back to work after having children because my work is a large part of who I am. Being able to do both, and having the support from my company and my colleagues to do both, is truly rewarding.

Adam Kent
Professor: ICP Lab director, Dad, Husband, sometime reluctant dog walker  
Home: Corvallis, Oregon USA (Oregon State University)

 I have been at Oregon State University since 2002, as has my wife, and in October 2003 my son was born. My wife is also a Professor (and an associate Dean for the last few years too). We have both had to work hard at raising a family and being successful as academics. This means things like a clearly defined kind riding and pickup and drop off schedule, flexibility with each others travel schedules, and above all making time for family first. We have also had a great support network of friends - mostly other academics - with kids who periodically get together and let the kids go wild while we eat fancy cheese and have erudite conversations. Corvallis is a great town for a family, beach and mountains are nearby, and there is a plethora of parks and bike paths etc. I personally would not have had it any other way than to have a family. Can you have a career and a family? In my experience I’d say yes, but it helps to have supportive partners, a supportive group of colleagues and a strong friend network.

Natasha Dowey
Mum and Lead Geoscientist in oil and gas industry 

I’m geologist in the oil and gas industry with a love of volcanoes, and my husband is a post-doctoral researcher in mudstones. We’re parents to a crazy toddler who loves pebbles.

Mixing science careers and parenting is a daunting prospect- frankly, I was terrified. And yes, it can be very challenging; your life is turned on its head and you have to find a new normal (that involves being exhausted 99.96% of the time!)

Aside from the obvious rewards of parenthood (e.g having a person genetically programmed to laugh at your jokes), there are a few really positive things about continuing with science as a parent.

  • Perspective- I am incredibly passionate about my work, and easily get caught up in it. Clichéd as it is, having a kid has given a new significance to my personal life, and I feel more balanced.
  • Drive- I have become more ambitious, but in a different way to before; I want to do great things in science, for her- to inspire her, and to make her proud of my achievements. I’ve become more passionate about outreach and encouraging women into STEM.
  • Efficiency- I've become an expert juggler, and am more efficient at work than before- working late is simply no longer an option, so it’s full steam ahead during work hours!
  • Bravery- Negotiating new contracts with employers can be worrying- what will happen to my career if I cut my hours? But we don’t have parents nearby to help with childcare, so we had to take that chance and reduce our working hours. It’s the best decision we ever made- I get a lot achieved at work in 4 days (see Efficiency above!) and also get extra time with my daughter. 

Patrick Dowey

I’m a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Manchester, UK. My research is primarily looking at how mudstones form and what their properties are.

Trying to develop an academic career and juggle an 18 month old toddler can be challenging. My wife and I both work, so the baby is in nursery three days a week and we each spend one day a week with her. I worked full-time during my wife’s maternity leave, and I did feel like I was missing out on some really important times with the baby during this period. When my wife went back to work, moving to four days a week seemed like an excellent opportunity for me to spend more time with my daughter. I have a very good relationship with my line-manager and the University supports flexible working for its employees. When I approached my line-manager he was very supportive, and the administrative staff within my School have also been very good.

It’s great having an extra day a week with my daughter. I feel like we have a much stronger bond than we otherwise would have, and I am less worried about not spending time with her on other days as I know we have quality time together. It has also given me much more focus on my days in work. I have plenty of time in the lab, undertake teaching and administrative responsibilities and I am still getting papers published. So although at times it is hard, having childcare responsibilities and being a researcher seems to be possible! 

Christopher Jackson   
Dad, geologist, and university professor. In that order, more-or-less...
Imperial College, London, England, UK
Christophers website
I have been married for nine years and have three daughters (Olive, 5, Hazel, 4, and Nora, 10 months). People think I’m blessed. Or cursed. I am a ‘Full Professor’ (to use US tenure-track parlance) at Imperial College, London, UK where I work as a geologist as part of the Basins Research Group (BRG). I am interested in how sedimentary basins work in terms of their structure and stratigraphy; I have much to learn.

Managing family and work is challenging, but hugely rewarding, although at times you have to accept that you might not being doing both as well as you can. We had all three of our daughters whilst I was at employed at Imperial College. This gave my family and I a degree of stability, financial and otherwise; however, I am a firm believer there is no optimal time to have children. Even though we may crave it as scientists, I don’t think are any equations to help guide this decision. The head, heart, and chance work in strange ways.

Having a family allows you to switch-off from work. Often forcibly so. Kids don’t care about grant deadlines, tenure packets, or conference talk preparation. Having said that, switching-off from work doesn’t require children; I run and cycle a lot, and both give me a massive escape from work. And the family, at times.

I’m typing this from a café in Chiswick, west London. Personally, if handled in the correct way, flexibility is great. For example, I took last Friday off to go camping, meaning I had to work a few late nights this last week. My superiors help by being relaxed and treating my colleagues and me like we’re self-employed. Obviously, such flexibility can have major drawback in terms of its impact of mental and physical health, principally related to a clear separation between work and home. My wife, Vicki, and my three kids also hugely understand my work- and family-related pressures; without their understanding, a lot of things I want to do wouldn’t get done. Balancing work and like is sometimes hard, as mental and physical time away from family isn’t nice for anyone. However, I love it and it makes me happy, which means I’m happy at home...

People seem to think I have accomplished quite a bit in my career...but that rather depends on how you define ‘accomplish’ and ‘career’...

Anything else you think would help to spread a better message about this topic? Stay awesome. Be nice.


We all have choices. We choose how we view other people, we choose the stories we share, and we choose the stigmas we propagate. I have made a choice to try to shift this - remember, I am not a parent - for the sake of people everywhere. When our colleagues suffer, we all suffer. 

Join me. 

Let's choose empowerment, support, and encouragement.

- If you also have an empowering story to share get in touch with me through this blog -

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Back in time to Mount St. Helens: News coverage of the 1980 eruption

- Janine

Today marks another anniversary of the deadly eruption of Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington, USA. This eruption was one of those events where most remember where they were around the world when they heard the news. It changed the lives of those around the volcano - those who lost friends or family, their homes, their view of the local landscape, and their belief that 'it won't happen to me'.

Thirty-seven years ago the world watched as the eruption took place, so what did they see? Two years ago I posted a list of resources on the eruption. This year I look back again asking what it was like for those who experienced the eruption firsthand? What did the rest of the country see through they experiences of reporters and those who were there?

When the next continental-US volcano erupts some of us will be there. Some of us will have to clean up ash or mud (depending on the eruption type). The rest of us will watch the news and social media. This is how most of us are fortunate enough to experience natural disasters, and how many remember them.

This collection of videos includes footage leading up to, during, and after the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens.

Footage of Mount St. Helens on 11 May 1980. Reporters from Channel 2 News visit the summit of the volcano, heavily coated with ash. Includes footage of the crater and the fractures on the summit.

The 6 pm and 11 pm KATU 2 news including USGS Bob Christenson, and U.S. Forest Service Jim Unterwanger. Includes interviews with people coming out of the eruption area, and footage of the lahars down the Toutle River.

KOMO News 4 evening report on the eruption. "Mount St. Helens will never be the same again, perhaps all of us will quite be the same, never so smug about our ability to control mother nature..." - Bob Throndsen.

KEZI 9 News looks back to when they were called 'Eyewitness News'. They interviewed people giving accounts of running from the erupting volcano.

CBS News reports on the eruption three days later, including the now-famous photos taken by Gary Rosenquist. They talk to Keith and Dorothy Stoffel, geologists who got footage of the eruption.

Komo 4 News interviews Dave Crockett who was caught under the ash plume on May 18. He recorded his experience that day as the ash plume moved over him.

KGW-TV reports on the eruption, looking back to earlier explosions as the eruption progressed.

ABC news looks back at news reports from April, 1980 showing footage of the earlier ash plumes, interviews with Harry Truman, and the aftermath of the eruption. Footage of the cleanup efforts around the volcano, showing how hard it can be to clean up a few inches of ash.

CBS News (WBBM Channel 2) news including President Carter visiting the disaster zone, and the the effects of the eruption. Aired on 21 May 1980.

KCTS9 report including interviews with people living in the nearby Ritzville and Cougar telling how this eruption affected them. Footage shows lahars flooding the Toutle river and the reactions of those who saw it.

An ABC News Bulletin interrupts Charlie's Angels to report the largest eruption since May 25th.

Good Morning America thinks back to the eruption four years later. Shows the dome that grew and lahar deposits.

Former Lewis County Sheriff Bill Wiester talks about his experiences searching through the devastated area, 30 years later. Includes photographs of the recovery efforts.

It will happen again. It happens around the world more frequently than you might realize. It is important that we remember what happened, how lives were taken and how those who remained were changed. We need to shake our 'it won't happen to me' beliefs and realize that these people were just like us now. Safe and unaffected, until Mount St. Helens woke up.