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

Home > Contact us

“Who’s Who?” at Mount St. Helens

Station scientists Charlie Crisafulli and Fred Swanson, along with colleagues from the U.S. Geological Survey and other agencies, were on the ground at Mount St. Helens within weeks of the May 1980 eruption.

Charlie Crisafulli at plot 4

Charlie Crisafulli
Research Ecologist


Within 2 months of Mount St. Helens’ catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, Charlie Crisafulli was on the ground conducting research. Crisafulli has been at the volcano ever since, leading studies that are providing insights into the initial and long-term responses of ecosystems to large, infrequent disturbance.

As a research ecologist and the station’s lead scientist at the volcano, Crisafulli conducts research on the ecology of the volcano’s plants, animals, and fungi. His findings continue to enhance understanding of how ecosystems respond to major environmental disturbances.

Although he has witnessed ecological responses at Mount St. Helens for more than 30 years, Crisafulli never ceases to be amazed by the lessons the volcano teaches. To him, there is no better living laboratory for conducting ecological research than the dynamic volcanic landscape.

Ask him about: Ecological responses to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens; volcanic disturbance; succession; disturbance ecology; Pacific Northwest amphibians, small mammals, birds, and vegetation.

Contact Charlie at, (360)449-7834.


fred swanson

Fred Swanson
Research Geologist

Given that many of the region’s forests can easily live for centuries, it is probably no surprise that a landscape’s past can offer fascinating insight into its future. Fred Swanson is a research geologist who often finds himself taking a historical perspective in his studies.

Much of Swanson’s work looks at the effects of potentially major disturbances—such as floods, fires, landslides, and volcanic eruptions—on a landscape scale. He was one of the first researchers on the ground after the catastrophic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. In the three decades since, he and his colleagues have made major discoveries that demonstrate the resilience of landscapes and that have been applied to other landscapes facing change.


Ask him about: Forest land erosion, forest and watershed disturbances, ecology and geology of Mount St. Helens.

Contact Fred at, (541)750-7355.


US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Thursday,14May2015 at12:42:09CDT

US logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.