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Central Oregon Volcanoes Winter 2019: Living on Volcanoes

Saturday, March 16 at 8:45am to 5:00pm

UO Bend Center 80 NE Bend River Mall Dr, Bend, OR 97703

Although you may not spend a lot of time thinking about volcanoes, these geologic features impact our daily lives in many ways - especially in Oregon and the rest of the Pacific Northwest. The spectacular volcanoes of the Cascades provide exceptional wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and natural resources. The high elevation of the Cascades plays a major role in determining climate differences between temperate rainforests on the west side of the range and arid high deserts on the east side.

Volcanoes can also be dangerous. Lava flows can bury roads, houses, and everything else in their path. Volcanic ash can cause severe problems for transportation, agriculture, drinking water supplies, and air quality. Volcanic gases can be deadly to breathe, and they can alter global atmospheric conditions and climate. For these reasons, it is important to study volcanoes and to be prepared for future volcanic activity.

Dr. Daniele McKay's two-day winter course offers a lecture and field trip exploring volcanic hazards and how volcanoes are monitored for signs of activity. We will meet on Friday, March 15, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the University of Oregon Bend Center to learn about the history of volcanic activity in Central Oregon, and the risks and benefits of living among active volcanoes. On Saturday, March 16, we will focus on volcanic deposits within the city of Bend and nearby areas.

Course objectives include:

  • Become familiar with volcanic products and processes.
  • Learn about the active volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains.
  • Understand the hazards posed by active volcanoes.
  • Gain an appreciation for the impact of volcanic activity on human history.
  • Understand the risks and benefits of living in close proximity to potentially active volcanoes.

This course is designed for people with little or no background in geology. We will cover the basics of how and why volcanoes erupt, and the deposits they produce. Participants with previous knowledge of geology and geologic process will broaden their understanding of the volcanic history of Central Oregon, and of volcanoes in general.

Registration is required; payment will be due at the time of registration.

[Photo of Pilot Butte thanks to By Cacophony - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,]

Event Registration Required

This event requires registration.