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After the Blast: A Reading with Eric Wagner

We would like to invite you to an online reading and conversation with Eric Wagner featuring his new book After the Blast: The Ecological Recovery of Mount St. Helens on May 28 at noon.

Join via Zoom:
Free and open to everyone (no login or registration required)


The eruption of Mount St. Helens on May 18, 1980, shook and reshaped an ecosystem and left an indelible mark on the memories of people all over the world. Now, on the 40-year anniversary of this cataclysmic event, what can the mountain teach us about recovery and resilience?

When the eruption happened, hundreds of square miles of what had been lush forests and wild rivers were to all appearances destroyed. Ecologists thought they would have to wait years, or even decades, for life to return to the mountain. But when forest scientist Jerry Franklin helicoptered into the blast area a couple of weeks after the eruption, he found small plants bursting through the ash and animals skittering over the ground. Stunned, he realized he and his colleagues had been thinking of the volcano in completely the wrong way. Rather than being a dead zone, the mountain was very much alive.

Mount St. Helens has been surprising ecologists ever since, and in "After the Blast" Eric Wagner takes readers on a fascinating journey through the blast area and beyond. The mountain's story has prompted ecologists to think in new ways about how life responds in the face of seemingly total devastation.

Eric Wagner lives in Seattle with his family and has a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Washington for his research on Magellanic penguins in Argentina. He writes mostly about animals and the environment, and his other books include Penguins in the Desert and Once and Future River.

This event is co-sponsored by the Spring Creek Project, OSU's Environmental Arts and Humanities Initiative, the Corvallis Public Library, and Grass Roots Books. Grass Roots, which offers curbside pickup or free delivery by mail, has copies of the book available for purchase. We invite you to spread the word about this online event by sharing the event link with friends and colleagues.

Thursday, May 28 at 12:00pm

Virtual Event
Event Type

Lecture or Presentation


Community, Faculty and Staff, Student, Alumni, Online



Free and open to everyone

Spring Creek Project
Contact Name

Shelley Stonebrook

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