|USGS geologist Don Swanson (in red) and his colleague, Jim Moore, view a car filled with ash deposits|
from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Swanson has longed worked at
Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. See story below. Photo from USGS
HERITAGE MANAGEMENT IS A NEW MASTERS DEGREE at University of Hawai`i-Hilo, with the first graduates on Saturday at the Spring commencement ceremonies. In heritage style, this year's graduates donned Hawaiian cloaks, draped over one shoulder - the red kihei, as requested by U.H. Hilo's student government.
An environmental and cultural conservationist, Tommy Esang Remengesau, Jr., the President of Palau, gave the commencement address. An internationally known campaigner for sustainability, the Palau President is winner of the Pacific Champion Award for nature conservation and environmental sustainability. He was also presented the Champion of the Earth award from the United Nations. Two of his children and his brother and sister graduated from UH-Hilo.
|U.H-Hilo students wore the Hawaiian cloak during|
graduation ceremonies on Saturday.
Photo from Big Island Video News
He suggested that "Hawai`i is the perfect example of: The environment is the economy and the economy is the environment. And that's the challenge, right there for all of us. How do we protect and sustain the mother goose that lays the golden eggs? How do we promote growth while protecting our environmental assets? And never forget the environment is not just the green island and the blue ocean. It's the people, the culture, the values, the unique experiences, the `ohana spirit that nurtures and sustains this mother goose. We are learning a lot of good things from the experiences of Hawai`i, what to do, and yes, what not to do."
Palau President Tommy Esang Remengesau gave a talk on
sustainability and similarities between Palau and Hawai`i at
U.H-Hilo's commencement on Saturday.
Photo from Big Island Video News
The Palau President said, "Together we are doing what science is telling us - that we can not continue this rate of harvesting and exploitation of the the ocean's resources without balancing our actions with marine protection areas to ensure repopulation, rehabilitation and sustainability of our resources.
"After all, conservation is in the `Ohana spirit to think of others, our children and the next generations to come. And so we must view the ocean and the land environment not as something that we inherited from our ancestors but something that we are borrowing from our future children. This is the deep bond shared by Hawai`i and Palau. Our cultures respect nature and that is why we have survived for generations," the Palau President told the graduating students.
Among the students petitioning to graduate at U.H. Hilo were 28 in Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, 40 from Ka Haka `Ula O Ke`elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, 52 in Business and Economics and 153 in Pharmacy. There were 25 other undergraduate and graduate degrees. See the entire commencement on Big Island Video News.
Aerial view of the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens as
seen from the southwest. This column of ash and volcanic gas reached
a height of about 18.2 km (60,000 ft). USGS photo
The morning of May 18, 1980, was warm and sunny in southwestern Washington. At 8:32 a.m., I was in the room with seismographs that had been established in the Forest Service building in Vancouver, 70 km (45 mi) southwest of the volcano. Suddenly, needles on the seismographs wiggled furiously.
A startled colleague and I watched in amazement as the shaking continued. We realized that something catastrophic was happening at Mount St. Helens. I ran upstairs to radio David Johnston, a friend and colleague who was at an observation post (Coldwater 2) 10 km (6 mi) north of the volcano. Receiving no answer, I raced back downstairs. Though the shaking continued, no one could see the volcano from the building.
The Forest Service ordered a fire-spotter plane to investigate. About 30 minutes later, when it left Vancouver, I was aboard. A gray columnar cloud towered above a Mount St. Helens that had lost its top, no longer rising gracefully to a peak like Mount Fuji.
The plane reached the south side of the volcano but, because of ash in the air, couldn’t go farther north. Flying east and west for the next three hours, we observed, photographed, and wondered.
We had glimpses into the deep crater, around which the upper slope of the volcano was now only a shell. Radio messages told us of mudflows down the Toutle River valley that were threatening the I-5 bridge, but we could see nothing in the valley.
|Don Swanson working within Hawai`i Volcanoes National|
Park. USGS Photo
Eerily, above the droning of the plane’s two engines, we heard nothing from the eruption—like watching a silent movie. Every so often, we saw small flows of ash overtop the crater rim and start down the south flank before stopping.
Around noon, the ash column, which had been gray, assumed a darker color. Its intensity increased and was almost frightening to us in the plane. Looking over the west crater rim, we saw pyroclastic flows moving northward onto what became known as the Pumice Plain.
Low on fuel, we returned to Vancouver around 12:45 p.m. I was replaced by another observer and returned to the Forest Service building, certain that David Johnston had perished.
Sometime in mid-afternoon, I debriefed Harry Glicken, a young geologist who had manned Coldwater 2, where Dave spent his final night. Harry had managed to get a seat on a search-and-rescue helicopter that wended its way up the North Fork Toutle valley. He noticed that the valley was floored by a hummocky debris avalanche deposit. (Harry eventually wrote his Ph.D. dissertation about the avalanche, showing that it formed when the upper north flank of the volcano slid away, opening the crater.)
|Don Swanson has studied volano details around the world,|
including this tree mold. USGS photo
Thirty-seven years ago. Fifty-seven dead. Thousands of lives altered. The volcano where I picnicked as a boy, and which I climbed as an adult, had turned nasty. The science of volcanology was changed forever, and today the risks from future eruptions anywhere in the world are lessened because of what happened on that fateful day.
Additional photos of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens are posted on the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory website: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/st_helens/st_helens_gallery_23.html
AUDITIONS FOR FINIAN'S RAINBOW, produced by Kilauea Drama & Entertainment Network, as its annual summer musical will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 16 and 17, at Kilauea Military Camp's Kilauea Theater starting at 6:30 pm. Directing the show will be Suzi Bond, withmusical direction by Walter Greenwood.
Opening on Broadway in 1947 with music by Burton Lane and lyrics by E.Y. "Yip" Harburg (who wrote the lyrics for 1939's The Wizard of Oz), Finian's Rainbow was an unexpected smash that generated one pop classic after another: How Are Things In Glocca Morra?, Old Devil Moon, and Look To The Rainbow to name but three.
Finian moves to the southern United States (the fictional state of Missitucky from Ireland with his daughter Sharon, to bury a stolen pot of gold near Fort Knox, in the mistaken belief that it will grow and will change people's lives, KCF_RackCard2.jpgincluding a struggling farmer and local citizens. A leprechaun follows them, desperate to recover his treasure before the loss of it turns him permanently human. Complications arise when a bigoted and corrupt U.S. Senator gets involved, and when wishes are made inadvertently over the hidden crock.
There are parts for all ages. There are non singing roles in this cast. Primary roles include Finian, his daughter Sharon, Og the leprechaun, Woody Mahoney, town leader and Sharon's love interest, and Susan Woody's mute sister who “talks” through her dancing. There are parts for the Senator, a gospel quartet, and townsfolk, including Henry who translates for Susan, and Maude.
For more information contact KDEN at 982-7344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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HAUNANI'S ALOHA EXPRESSIONS entertain Wednesday, May 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Kīlauea Visitor Center Auditorium. Enjoy an evening of music and hula of Haunani’s Aloha Expressions. With their handmade colorful costumes and lei, these energetic kūpuna have competed at, and won, various hula festivals. They bring to life the magic of old Hawai‘i. Part of Hawai‘i Volcanoes’ ongoing Nā Leo ManuHeavenly Voices presentations. Free.