A blog highlighting undergraduate research in the LeRoy Lab at Evergreen

Category: social media

Last Day Huge Collaborative Thank YOU!!!

We have been so lucky to work with so many awesome individuals in the field and in the lab over the past five years. Our NSF-funded research at Mount St. Helens has involved collaborators from the US Forest Service, Science Museum of Minnesota, Missouri State University, UW Tacoma, and Desert Research Institute.  

We have created research opportunities for over 25 undergraduate students at The Evergreen State College. Undergraduate students work collaboratively on this research from the very beginning of experimental design all the way through the final stages of publication!  

We would like to thank the National Science Foundation for our funding, the US Forest Service for in-kind support of Shannon Claeson, and the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument for our permit to do research on the volcano. We thank The Evergreen State College for logistical support and for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program for students. We thank the Mount St. Helens Institute for coordinating opportunities for science outreach 

New Road Across the Pumice Plain at Mount St. Helens

The Truman Trail at Mount St. Helens is beautiful! Help stop the USFS from building a road here! Photo by Carri LeRoy.

Since the eruption of Mount St Helens, the landscape has turned into a living laboratory for ecological research. It’s the most studied volcano in the world. It allows scientists to track how ecosystems and species respond to major disturbances.


USFS already built this new road to access Spirit Lake in 2018. This was supposed to be the alternative to the Pumice Plain road. Photos by Carri LeRoy

Despite MSH being protected for natural recovery and research, for the past three years the USFS has been trying to build a road across the face of Mount St Helens. The creation of this road would destroy the Truman Trail and alter the ecosystem completely. Learn more about the threatened Truman Trail here: https://www.mshinstitute.org/about_us/rumblings-newsletter/romanos-rumblings-summer-2018.html

The Truman Trail provides excellent views of both Spirit Lake and the crater of Mount St Helens from the Pumice Plain. Photos by Carri LeRoy. 

Our research on newly developed streams across the Pumice Plain studies would be destroyed. Our lab and many others have been able to fight this off the last two years. To help get our voices heard, we need to actively fight this planned action: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=57259

You can find out more about the project and read several scientists’ objections to the new proposed road here: https://tdn.com/news/local/forest-service-confirms-proposal-for-spirit-lake-access-road/article_bfa7f34f-4efc-5d80-9588-bda6549a75d7.html

Approaching Mount St. Helens 40th Anniversary..

Hello Ecology Enthusiasts! 

To honor the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens eruption our team will be hosting a glimpse into the amazing work and research we’ve been able to be a part of on the beautiful landscape of MSH. Join us in our daily postings to learn more about what our team has been up to! 

The Prairie Lupine 

After the devastating event of the May 18, 1980 eruption, the mountain was laid bare. Just two years following the eruption, scientists found the first plant to colonize the Pumice Plain, the Prairie lupine (Lupinus lepidus)These beautiful purple flowers sparked excitement in the world of ecology and studies on early succession in areas following disturbance. 

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s content and dive deeper into our field work at Mount St. Helens! 

Follow us on Twitter!

See our most up-to-date posts and tweets we think are important enough to re-tweet. Follow these science-focused twitter accounts to hear from undergraduate students and faculty involved in this research:

Madeline: @mis_madeline_

Lauren: @laurenjean21_

Carri: @CarriLeRoy

Iris: @homoimaginans

Victoria: @victoriacowan13

Deb: @streambug

Angie: @angfrodmorg