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August 4, 2016


Twenty middle-school girls from Washington and Oregon are participating in the second annual “GeoGirls” outdoor volcano science program at Mount St. Helens, jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

During August 7–11, female scientists from the USGS, the Mount St. Helens Institute, UNAVCO, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, University of Washington, Western Washington University and Oregon State University will participate as leaders, teachers, and role models. The GeoGirls will spend five days conducting hands-on research and interacting with scientists, educators, and older students, learning about volcanoes, natural hazards, and modern scientific monitoring technologies. They will camp, hike to field sites, work on research projects with scientists, and learn how to document and share their scientific findings by building a public webpage.

The goal of the program is for GeoGirls participants to emerge with a stronger understanding and connection to Earth systems and feel confident in choosing careers in science, technology, engineering, math or other STEM-related fields.


Members of the news media are invited to observe hands-on research activities with GeoGirls program participants, and conduct interviews with students and program leaders.

During the hours of media availability, GeoGirls participants will analyze earthquake data from seismometers deployed earlier in the week, measure changes in gravity due to Earth tides, learn about lidar and landslides, and explore the interaction of water and volcanoes on the landscape.


USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory research scientists

Mount St. Helens Institute staff

Additional scientist-leaders from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, UNAVCO, Univ. of Washington, and Oregon State Univ.

GeoGirls student participants


Wednesday, August 10, 2016, by appointment between 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Coldwater Science and Learning Center

19000 Spirit Lake Hwy, Milepost 43.3, State Route 504 Toutle, Washington.


No later than August 9, 12:00 p.m. PDT, with your expected arrival time and to receive schedule updates. See contacts above.

The GeoGirls program is offered through the Mount St. Helens Institute and is free to student participants through the generosity of numerous volunteers and private donors, along with grant funding from National Science Foundation, the American Association of University Women, Chevron, and the Association for Women Geoscientists. This is the second summer of the GeoGirls program, which is expected to continue in 2017.

More information is available online.

Female scientist and young girls looking at scientific equipment
USGS research geophysicist Kate Allstadt assists GeoGirls in deploying seismometers at Mount St. Helens. The girls collected the seismometers two days later and analyzed the earthquake information recorded by the instruments.Public domain
Woman and girls next to a lake, seiving sediment
Led by USGS scientist Cynthia Gardner, GeoGirls collect and sort sediments from the shore of Coldwater Lake, near Mount St. Helens, examining evidence of the May 18, 1980 landslide that dammed Coldwater Creek to create the lake.Public domain