Information on Volcanoes around the World, and in Alaska

I just returned from a trip to the east coast.  While I was there I visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in Washington DC.  Viewing all of the information on display there can be pretty overwhelming, but a small sample of it is available on-line as well.  At this site, The Dynamic Earth at the National Museum of Natural History, you can explore volcanoes plate tectonics, volcanoes, gems and minerals, rocks and mining and the solar system.  I spent some time exploring the volcanoes section of the online museum and found that there are profiles there of volcanoes around the world. By going to the geogallery and clicking on volcanoes you can find pictures and information about volcanoes.  You can search by name, by volcano type or process or by location.  There are 19 Alaska volcanoes profiled this way – a great source of information on the volcanoes around our state, written in a way that students can understand.  One unfortunate thing about the way that the Smithsonian site is set up is that you can’t save a link to one particular part of the site – you kind of have to go in and find your way through, rather like visiting a real museum.  Like the real museum, there is a LOT of information here and looking through it can feel a little overwhelming, but also really intriguing.  Using this same link you can also find animations like “build a volcano.”  I have actually explored several “build a volcano” animations on the web.  They usually allow you to set parameters and then run an animation to build and then erupt a volcano.  The version at the Smithsonian site allows you to set volume, viscosity and volatiles (the three volcano Vs, I guess) to build six different types of volcanoes.  The animations are excellent here, but I think I might prefer the Discovery Kids Build-A-Volcano site, (although it only allows you to set “viscosity” and “gas”) because I think the explanations are a little clearer.  In any case, I’d really encourage you to explore the Smithsonian site.  There is a lot of great information here – some of it you’ll want to share with your students, some if it will just give you more background and knowledge.