Virtual OMSI Science Pub: Mt St Helens Eruption 40th Anniversary

MAY 18, 2020 | 6:30-8:30PM | Facebook Live

How to watch the event via Facebook: Join us at 6:15pm by visiting either OMSI's Facebook Live page or OMSI's main Facebook page and scrolling down. You DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to watch the live stream. OMSI will NOT ask you to sign up for anything or require your credit card information to watch the event.


How to watch the event via YouTube: Join us at 6:15pm by visiting OMSI's YouTube Channel and clicking on the live event.


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Put the “pub” back in Science Pub! 

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Each event will begin with our 10 question trivia game. Grab a pencil and paper and compete against your family! We will also host Q&A after the lecture. In order to ask a question, all you have to do is comment on Facebook or YouTube. If you would like to request an ASL Interpreter for our event, please email


Thanks to our video partner, Selestream for providing live-streaming of Science Pub.


Mount St. Helens Rocked our World! What We've Learned Since 1980

With Heather Wright, PhD, Volcanologist with the USGS Volcano Disaster Assistance Program

May 18, 2020 | Virtual Edition | 6:30-8:30PM | $5 suggested donation


Please note: This event is on Monday, May 18 the 40th Anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens.


Forty years ago, Mount St. Helens experienced a cataclysmic eruption. On May 18, 1980, the northern side of the volcano collapsed, triggering a forceful blast that raced across the landscape, an explosive eruption column that rose vertically in the air, pyroclastic flows that swept down the mountain, and a series of large mudflows that raced down river valleys toward the Columbia River. What did this eruption teach us about volcanic processes and management of volcanic crises?  And most importantly, where do we go from here?


As a research geologist, Heather Wright spends a lot of time traversing the flanks of volcanoes around the globe, studying ash and pumice deposits to reconstruct eruptive histories and to provide clues about the inner workings of active volcanoes. Her research focuses on understanding what controls the style of eruption produced during volcanic crises and how to forecast activity prior to an eruption. Mount St. Helens is one of her favorite volcanoes, with its numerous explosive eruptions, outpourings of lava, and dome-building phases that have both constructed and destroyed its snow-clad edifice over a 270,000-year history. Of particular interest are the multiple eruptions in 1980 and the conditions under which magma is currently stored beneath the volcano.


Heather works for the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) in Vancouver, Washington, a cooperative partnership between the USGS and USAID's Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance. Her job involves many functions, including conducting international training courses, participating in volcanic crisis response efforts, and performing fundamental scientific research on volcanic processes.

Science Pub Portland - Virtual Edition is a weekly event that is open to anyone and everyone – no scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for knowledge! If you enjoy the program, please consider making a donation.


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Did you miss the other virtual Science Pub events? Go to OMSI's Facebook Video page to watch them!