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“Surviving Mt. Saint Helens”

***This evening will feature an optional post-lecture dinner. Details below.

Join Catherine Hickson, as she takes you to ground zero of the largest explosion ever witnessed in the United States. The better part of a mountain will disappear in seconds and moments later, hundreds of square miles of picturesque landscape will be instantly transformed into a wasteland by a wall of super-heated steam and pulverized rock traveling at 300 miles per hour,destroying everything in its path.

0n May 18th, 1980, Mount Saint Helens exploded with a force estimated at 24 megatons (the power of 1600 Hiroshima bombs), permeating the public conscience like no other event. Relatively few people witnessed this awesome display of nature's fury at close range and lived to tell their stories, but Catherine Hickson was there and will share her experience and knowledge with you.

You can relive the wonder and amazement of viewing nature at its most destructive and the shear gravity of realizing your predicament as the blast approaches and escape is paramount.

Catherine, who went on to become a noted volcanologist, will also explain the geologic forces and sequence of events that caused the mountain to re-awake in a way that led to the largest explosion and landslide in the history of the United States. You will also be brought right up to date with lessons learned, the remarkable scientific legacy of the eruption and unrest, how the mountain is growing again, and how the landscape looks after 30 years.


Dr. Catherine Hickson received her Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in 1987, specializing in volcanology. Her specialization came after a firsthand encounter with the immense power of volcanoes as she witnessed the May 18th 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens from only 14 km away. She very quickly decided to make this her career path and has been studying volcanoes around the world ever since. An avid traveler, she has been to many inaccessible volcanic areas such as Surtsey off the coast of Iceland and the high Andes of South America. In fact, between 1996 and 2008 much of her career was spent managing two successive technology transfer development projects in South America one focused on hazard mitigation and the other on providing key geoscience information for sustainable development. Catherine left the Geological Survey of Canada in 2008 when she decided to put her volcanological expertise to the test developing environmentally friendly geothermal power. She is now Vice President Exploration and Chief Geologist for Magma Energy Corp. Magma is an international company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. In addition to scientific papers, she is the author of many articles for the general public, including two books. Nature Wells Gray, which she co-authored with friend and naturalist Trevor Goward, unlocks the natural world of Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. Her second book, Mt. St. Helens, Surviving the Stone Wind, vividly portrays the events of May 18, 1980, but also educates the reader on the inner workings of the volcano.


6 PM


New York City Headquarters

Member Ticket Price: No Charge

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

$5 with ID

Reservation Notes:

***The cost of the dinner portion is $30.

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