This last summer, I traveled to Alaska to research resource management in three distinct locations: Denali, Wrangell-St. Elias, and Kenai Fjords National Parks. Of course, the scenery was incredible (Denali (Mt. McKinley) is the tallest peak in the North America), the wildlife amazing (I saw about 3-4 bears per day) and the experience exhilarating– but when the research was over, I was ready to get back home.
Some background: Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are an extremely volcanic region, formed by the convergence of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. In this case, the convergence is known as a subduction zone, meaning that one plate is pushed under another, usually resulting in seismic and volcanic activity.
Cue the volcanic eruptions.