USDA Forest Service

Pacific Northwest Research Station

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

(503) 808-2100

US Forest Service


News Releases: 2018

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Leading Mount St. Helens ecologist available at volcano for media interviews on May 16


USDA Forest Service
Pacific Northwest, Research Station
Portland, OR: May 11, 2018

Media assistance: Yasmeen Sands,, (503) 808-2137



PORTLAND, Ore., May 11, 2018—On Wednesday, May 16, research ecologist Charlie Crisafulli will be available for field-based media interviews at Mount St. Helens, the volcano that erupted catastrophically 38 years ago this month.


Crisafulli, with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station, was one of the first researchers on the ground in the wake of the May 18, 1980 eruption—arriving just weeks after the eruption—and has been conducting research on the volcano’s ecological recovery ever since.


Crisafulli will be on the Hummocks Trail to address questions about animal and plant responses across all volcanically disturbed areas at the volcano. More specifically, he can describe lessons learned from almost 40 years of research on amphibians, aquatic insects, and their habitat in the nearly 100 ponds and wetlands that were created during the 1980 eruption.


Crisafulli also will be available at Johnston Ridge Observatory, which opens for the 2018 season on May 16. From there, he can discuss several of his studies that have documented the creation of biological communities on the Pumice Plain just north of the crater. He also can describe results of his research on Spirit Lake, which was grossly transformed during the 1980 eruption events, or compare his findings to other volcanic sites around the world, including Chile’s Chaitén, Cordón Caulle, and Calbuco volcanoes, where he conducts invited research.


Media are invited to interview Crisafulli in the field on the Hummocks Trail or at Johnston Ridge Observatory. Interview spaces are available throughout the day on May 16.


On May 18, 1980, after weeks of tremors, Mount St. Helens erupted spectacularly, profoundly changing a vast area surrounding the volcano. In the nearly four decades since the catastrophic eruption, scientists from PNW Research Station, along with their colleagues from around the country, have used the volcano as a living laboratory for ecological research.







The Pacific Northwest Research Station—headquartered in Portland, Ore.—generates and communicates scientific knowledge that helps people make informed choices about natural resources and the environment. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and about 300 employees. Learn more online at


US Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station
Last Modified: Monday,21May2018 at11:04:41CDT

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