Background Information on Mount St. Helens
On May 18, 1980, a cataclysmic event occurred at Mount St. Helens as the north flank of the volcano slid off in one of the largest landslides in recorded history, unleashing a powerful eruption. This eruption buried 230 square miles of existing old-growth forest with hundreds of feet of volcanic debris. In some places closest to the crater of the volcano, almost no living organisms survived. Ash from the eruption blew across the United States and megatons of logs and volcanic debris clogged up rivers, lakes, and streams. The eruption dramatically reshaped the landscape, creating a mosaic of habitat types that are now home to a diverse suite of birds.
In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was designated to protect the land closest to the volcano as a place for research, recreation, and education. Today, home to more than 80 species of nesting birds, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument offers unique birding opportunities.
Audubon Birding Day Details
- Date: July 8, 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
- Class fee: $65 members / $85 non-members
Gina Roberti is a geologist, naturalist and educator who grew up digging quahogs and exploring the shorelines of the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island (the state with the largest coastline per capita!) amidst ancient metamorphic rocks of the Appalachian Mountains. Since graduating from Brown University with a degree in Geology-Biology, Gina spent several years working as a geoscience educator in various geologic regions in the western U.S., including the Colorado Plateau, Snake River Plain, Klamath-Siskiyou, North Cascades, and presently the active Cascade volcanic range. In each of these places she taught thousands of youth and adults about earth science in a variety of field-based and classroom settings.
Gina currently works with the Mount St. Helens Institute. She strongly believes in the power of education to inspire awareness, appreciation and stewardship for the natural world. When Gina is not working she can be found on long walks or cross country skis, often in the company of birds.
Erin fell in love with birding while working at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. After college, she studied Red-throated Loons, Common Loons and shorebird migration at Grays Harbor, Washington. Erin is passionate about the natural histories of birds, conservation, and advocating for environmental and social justice. She has traveled throughout Latin America and East Africa and loves nothing more than sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm for birds and the natural world, and for all cultures around the world.