Events will commemorate anniversary of eruption

The Mount St. Helens Institute has scheduled a number of events to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the May 18, 1980, eruption.

The eruption, which lasted for nine hours, altered 230 square miles of forest and killed 57 people, is still one of the seminal moments in modern history in the Northwest.

Some of the events that are planned include:

Now through May 19: Follow the institute on Twitter and find out what occurred daily at Mount St. Helens 30 years ago before the May 18 eruption. To sign up, go to mshinstitute.

April 15: Premiere of “Mount St. Helens: From Zero to Life.” Austrian filmmaker Jorg Daniel Hissen, ecologist Charlie Crisafulli and geologist Jon Major will discuss the making of the film as well as the science it presents. Suggested donation of $10 at the door; 7 p.m., Hollywood Theater, Portland. There will be additional Screenings in Seattle and Battle Ground, with the dates and times to be announced.

May 4: Volcano Views and Brews. This is part of a regular series of public gatherings. The topic for this date is “Remembering Spirit Lake: A Community Remembrance,” with Susan Saul, Darryl Lloyd and Christine Colasurdo. Bring your stories, memories and photographs to share; 7 p.m., Lucky Labrador, 1945 N.W. Quimby, Portland.

May 4 and May 18: Volcano Explorers program for students. An interactive video-conference program connecting fourth- to eighth-graders to volcanologists and introducing them to the science discoveries taking place at Mount St. Helens; 1 p.m.

May 15: “It’s a Blast: Volcano Science in Your Backyard.” A day of hands-on science discovery at Johnston Ridge Observatory; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Johnston Ridge Observatory.

May 16: Johnston Ridge Observatory opening day

May 18: Commemoration events and free admission. Opening ceremonies with ribbon-cutting for new exhibits and updated facility will take place from 10 to 11 a.m. From 11 a.m. to noon, photographers will present volcano images featured in an article from the May 2010 National Geographic; Johnston Ridge Observatory.

May 18: “The Power of Nature: Mount St. Helens 1980-2010.” This will be an evening with Gary Snyder, Ursula K. Le Guin and Jerry Franklin; 7:30 p.m., First Congregational Church, 1126 S.W. Park, Portland. Tickets are available online at:

More information about these events is available at www.msh The institute is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help people understand the natural processes and cultural heritage of the Northwest’s volcanic landscape.