Careers at Mount St. Helens

By Abi Groskopf, Programs Director

Following the 1980 eruption many geoscientists, ecologists and recreation planners launched careers that were marked by the power of change, scientific curiosity and a new National Monument. Mount St. Helens – the landscape and forces at play – were the perfect training ground for young minds; minds that would go on to shape our understanding of volcanology, ecology and land management. 

Mount St. Helens continues to shape careers in interpretation, land management, geology, ecology and recreation. Every summer seasonal staff work at Mount St. Helens; they are field technicians, graduate students, interpreters, trails and recreation rangers and they are trained in an extraordinarily transformative place that builds not just lava domes but careers. Many return season after season – hooked by the mountain and continued career development.

Every summer, Mount St. Helens Institute doubles our staff with enthusiastic seasonal staff who develop their careers and fall in love a little bit with the volcano. It is our educators, our guides, our cooks and camp hosts who make magic happen on the volcano. They connect with participants - young and old - to share experiences of awe, wonder, and achievement. When our seasonal staff leave (if they leave), they go on to finish undergraduate degrees, go to graduate school, become educators for other nonprofits, and work for local, state and federal governments. Whether at the beginning of their career or the end of their career, we all know that Mount St. Helens looks good on a resume and is a starting place for a great story.