When I started my career at WSU in the fall of 1969, I knew I wanted to be a biologist. My all-girl high school had an excellent science program. I spent the summer of ’69 working at the WSU Extension Center in Puyallup raising house flies and counting bark beetles in entomology.
My assigned advisor was in the zoology department. Apparently, he was pretty famous. His first question to me was, “Are you going into this professionally, or do you plan to get married?” Although I was a pretty timid 18-year-old, I stared at him and … » More …
The angry-looking ash cloud billowing above Mount St. Helens is one of the most iconic images in state history.
And is etched in our collective memory.
Those living in the state of Washington at the time of the May 18, 1980, eruption all have a where-were-you-when-it-blew moment. Here are some of them.
Volcanologist Don Swanson (’60 Geology) agreed to man the mountain’s forward observation post for a few days to replace a geologist who needed to travel out of town. But Swanson himself needed a replacement for a night—that night.
David A. Johnston, a younger U.S. Geological Survey colleague, agreed to … » More …
Washington State Magazine asked readers to share their memories of the eruption of Mount St. Helens 40 years ago. Here are their recollections of that fateful day.
Long drive home
For whatever reason, we decided that May 18, 1980, was an excellent day to leave campus and go to the motocross races in Clarkia, Idaho. We were watching the races when a large, ominous thunderstorm appeared over the ridge. As we got ready to head for the cars to avoid the rain, it started to snow. Except it wasn’t snow. We hopped into the car and started the long drive back to Pullman. The … » More …