As it erupted in 1980, Mount St. Helens captured the attention of the region, nation, and the world, and it continues to fascinate us today a constant reminder that we live in a volcanic landscape. In lucid prose and poetry by some of America's leading writers and ecologists, In the Blast Zone explores this story of destruction and renewal in all its human, geological, and ecological dimensions. Most popular accounts of the momentous eruption have focused on the devastation it caused. More recent scientific work on Mount St. Helens tells a story of unexpectedly rapid and varied ecological and geological change. In the Blast Zone is the first book to present a cross-pollination of literary and scientific perspectives on the mountain's history of cataclysm and renewal. Most of the contributors to this volume camped together on Mount St. Helens for four days in 2005 the 25th anniversary of the eruption hiking, learning the ecology, and sharing ideas. They asked the question: What can this radically altered landscape tell us about nature and how to live our lives? In the Blast Zone collects some of their answers.
While introducing fascinating ecological and geological insights, it also tells compelling stories about how science informs our lives and our relationship to nature. These writings will startle readers with new recognition of the matchless gift Mount St. Helens makes to our region and the world: the gifts of beauty, of scientific illumination, of hope.