Volcanologist and author Ken McGee, who was born and raised in Mexico, Mo., visited students in the St. Joseph School District on Monday, May 18 to talk about his life studying volcanoes.
McGee told students that there are 169 volcanoes in the United States.
He shared images of Mount St. Helens, which is located about 40 miles from his home in Vancouver, Washington.
McGee was honored in 2008 by the United States Geological Society for being a volcanologist that responded to the area back in June 1980 when Mount St. Helens erupted and killed 57 people.
McGee said he did research on volcanic gasses during his entire career, which was spent with the USGS in Washington, D.C.
Some volcanic gasses include water, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, and hydrochloric acid gas.
His presentation included several photos of McGee during his career studying volcanoes and a lot of detailed information on how volcanoes are studied.
Students kept McGee on his toes with several questions, even trying to quiz him about volcanoes on other planets. McGee told students that if they want to get in the business, that they need to study Science and Math.
He recently wrote his memoirs of his 36-year career that included his work at Mount St. Helens.
The book is called “Papa’s Career as a Volcano Scientist.”
He is also the author of more than 50 scientific publications plus a book he published in 2014 on his family members who fought in the Civil War.
McGee received his Masters degree in Geology/Geochemistry at the University of Missouri.