US Forest Service

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens National Monument

Mount St. Helens
Pacific Northwest Research Station
1220 SW 3rd Ave.
Portland, OR 97204

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service

1980-2015: Thirty Five Years of Science and Learning at Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens steams. Photo by Charlie Crisafulli.On May 18, 1980, after weeks of tremors, Mount St. Helens erupted spectacularly and profoundly changed a vast area surrounding the volcano. In the three-and-a-half decades since the catastrophic eruption, scientists from the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, along with their colleagues from around the country, have used the volcano as a living laboratory for ecological research.

This year, 2015, marks the 35th, anniversary of the 1980 eruption and represents a key moment in the volcano’s history. It is a time for scientists—several of whom have dedicated their entire careers to studying the ecological responses at Mount St. Helens—to synthesize and showcase over three decades of productive research and to plot the course for the future.

Browse this site to learn more about the ecological responses to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens and how you can take part in the 35th-anniversary commemoration.

Making Science Connections, Worldwide

Mount St. Helens is the most studied volcano in the world. Research into the ecological responses to its 1980 eruption has fundamentally transformed not only understanding of volcanoes, but our ability to live alongside them. Station scientists' key research findings and expertise are now in demand in other volcanically active regions of the world, including Chile and Alaska, proving that lessons learned from Mount St. Helens are applicable outside of the Pacific Northwest. >>More


Featured Publications

Volcano Ecology: Disturbance Characteristics and Assembly of Biological Communities


Mount St. Helens: Still Erupting Lessons 31 Years Later


Mount St. Helens 30 Years Later: A Landscape Reconfigured.

Mount St. Helens 30 Years Later: A Landscape Reconfigured


Publication entitled Ecological responses to the 1980 eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

Ecological Responses to the 1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens


Mount St. Helens Poster
(PDF - 1.09 MB)

Order a copy


Mount St. Helens Brochure
(PDF - 2.02 MB)


Birds of Mount St. Helens checklist.

Birds of Mount St. Helens
(PDF - 199 KB)





Mount St. Helens Research Bibliography






Mt. St. Helens Streaming Video

Mt. St. Helens Streaming Video

Just two months after Mount St. Helens’ May 18, 1980 eruption, then-22-year-old Charlie Crisafulli was on the ground, conducting research. Now, a research ecologist with the station, he reflects on the ecological research program at the volcano.

bullet Windows Media: 56K | 300K

bullet QuickTime: 56K | 300K



News release: Schedule a Field Interview at Mount St. Helens


Yasmeen Sands:

Phone: (503) 808-2137


US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Thursday,14May2015 at13:58:16CDT

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