Cascades Volcano Observatory Open House: Come Meet Volcano Scientists

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Have you ever wondered what scientists do at a volcano observatory when a volcano is not erupting? There is plenty to accomplish—probably more than you can imagine.

Every two to three years, scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey–Cascades Volcano Observatory take a break from their day-to-day work to set up volcano displays and prepare science demonstrations to share with the public. This time, the USGS–CVO opens its doors to the public on May 12, for a free, family-friendly, one-day open house.

The open house offers something for everyone who has an interest in volcanoes. You can talk with scientists, tour labs, and test your knowledge of volcano hazard zones and volcano safety. Continuing a USGS–CVO open house tradition, you are invited to bring your favorite mystery rock to be identified by a geologist. Displays and demonstrations offer a sampling of work that happens daily at USGS–CVO, including identification of earthquakes and interpretation of data arriving from monitoring stations on Cascade Range volcanoes. You can make your own quake that will be detected by a volcano monitoring “spider.” Scientists will demonstrate monitoring instruments, including thermal imaging, volcanic gas collection, and a robotic arm that processes sediment samples. Watch computer simulations that show the ash path of a future eruption or forecast how far debris flows will travel downstream. Kids will enjoy hands-on science activities and demonstrations including an exploding TrashCano and rock displays from Mount St. Helens.

The eruptions of Mount St. Helens during the 1980s and again between 2004 and 2008, were defining moments for volcano science and crisis response. They demonstrated the value of scientists, public officials and the general public working together to be informed and prepared for the next eruption of a Cascade volcano. Learn more about the volcanoes in your backyard, volcano monitoring equipment, and the scientists who keep watch, at the USGS–CVO open house.

What:           Open House at the USGS–Cascades Volcano Observatory (USGS–CVO)

When:        Saturday May 12, 2018, between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM

Where:         1300 SE Cardinal Ct., Building 10, Suite 100, Vancouver, WA 98683

(located on the east side of Vancouver, WA, in the Columbia Tech Park)

poster/flier advertizing open house at USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, May 12, 2018

USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory Open House, May 12, 2018, 10:00 a.m - 5:00 p.m. Vancouver, Washington. (Public domain.)