The Masaya Volcano is persistently active—that is, it erupts constantly—but it does not spew out molten rock; instead, it releases a steady plume of gas.
When most people picture an active volcano, they probably don’t imagine one like the Masaya in Nicaragua—they picture giant ash clouds and lava flows that wipe out forests and towns. But just as a violent eruption dramatically alters the landscape around it, the Masaya’s plume powerfully shapes its environment. We know, for example, that crops often fail downwind of the volcano. But what else does this constant flow of gases do to the world around it? By joining this expedition, you’ll help researchers find out.
Come explore Nicaragua’s geology and incredibly diverse wildlife. You’ll set up high-tech scientific instruments in and around the Masaya’s crater (with safety equipment on, of course). You’ll also hike through the forest to record information on pollinating insects and to collect plant, water, and soil samples, stopping to take in the spectacular views along the way. You’ll return with the unforgettable experience of being part of a field research team and the confidence that you’ve added to what we know about how volcanoes shape life for the plants, animals, and people around them.