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Oregon Field Guide Season Premiere: Explore Glacier Caves in Mount St. Helens

What happens when you set out to explore glacier caves in the mouth of Mount St Helens and you end up trapped by a vicious storm? Find out on the season premiere of OPB's Oregon Field Guide, Thursday Oct. 23 at 8:30pm on OPB-TV and

Oregon Field Guide is OPB’s long-running local weekly TV series covering natural resources, ecological issues, outdoor recreation and travel destinations across the Northwest region.

More from Oregon Field Guide

Crystal Springs Restoration

OPB | March 26, 2014 3:37 p.m.

In the early 2000s we visited Portland’s Reed College campus to look at what was then the beginning of an effort to bring salmon back to an urban stream. We returned this past summer to see how things have turned out. We find an urban creek that's now home to river otters, brook lamprey, steelhead and salmon.

Tsunami Anniversary

OPB | March 26, 2014 3:02 p.m.

The March 27, 1964 "Good Friday" earthquake rocked Southcentral Alaska with 5 minutes of shaking. The magnitude 9.2 earthquake left communities in ruins and triggered a tsunami that traveled south at over 500 mph towards Oregon. When the tsunami struck Oregon and California hours later, it destroyed homes, flooded communities and killed 11 people. It remains the largest tsunami in U.S history.

Wilderness Medics

OPB | March 26, 2014 11:46 a.m.

The Reach and Treat Team trains every month to take professional paramedic skills into the wild. AMR provides advanced life support in the wilderness when medics join in rescues in the snow, dangling from ropes and in rushing rivers.

Behind the Scenes: Waterfall Kayaking

OPB | March 20, 2014 1:56 p.m.

Kayakers say that the only way to see the depths of the Salmon River Gorge is to learn how to kayak over 50-80 foot waterfalls. So how did the Field Guide crew get it all on video? We share the behind-the-scenes story of bushwhacking, rappelling, waiting and chasing as we struggle to capture a rare adventure beyond the trails end.

Summer Ski Camp

OPB | March 20, 2014 1:20 p.m.

Mt Hood, Oregon has the distinction of being the only place in North America that can offer skiers the opportunity to train year-round. One camp - Mt Hood Summer Ski Camps - has been training tomorrow's stars of snow sports since the 1970s. We check in with the latest group of up-and-coming "campers" as they hone their skills on the summer slopes.

Kayaking Waterfalls: No Way Out But Down

OPB | March 19, 2014 2 p.m.

To see the Salmon River Gorge takes more than just nerve. It takes a willingness to hurl yourself in a kayak over a series of 10-60-foot waterfalls. Once you've entered, you're committed — there's no way out but to navigate a series of progressively more treacherous waterfalls downriver.

Hot Air Balloon Makers

OPB | Feb. 27, 2014 2:07 p.m.

A handful of Oregon balloonists spend hundreds of hours to save thousands of dollars by making their own hot air balloons.

Black Rock Mountain Biking

OPB | Feb. 27, 2014 1:10 p.m.

An obscure piece of Oregon Department of Forestry land has been transformed into one of Oregon's first legal bike-only trail systems on public land. It's dedicated to a specialized kind of biking called freeriding, and the area has become a destination for riders from all over.  Black Rock is chock full of ramps, banks, aerial log rides and other crazy features not typical of traditional trails.

Corn Maze

OPB | Feb. 27, 2014 12:01 p.m.

Every year a Portland graphic artist sets out to confuse people as much as possible. Peter Rockwell reveals his secrets on how he designs the annual corn maze at Kruger Farm on Sauvie Island. He does not use GPS. Rockwell prefers a low tech method that involves a pencil sketch, a scan by a computer, a massive enlargement, chalk and a tractor.

Lizard Field School

OPB | Feb. 20, 2014 11:19 a.m.

Student biologists learn the how-to's of  wildlife research by studying the life and death of lizards in Oregon's Alvord desert. For 15 years Dr. Roger Anderson has been leading students on a three-week immersion into lizard ecology and behavior. Students cope with the primitive conditions of life in a desert encampment while enduring the blazing sun and harsh desert conditions that make life difficult for humans yet ideal for lizards, snakes and scorpions. Why is the Alvord desert home to the densest concentration of these lizards in the West? Lizard field school is the place to find out.

McKenzie River Trail

OPB | Feb. 20, 2014 11:06 a.m.

26-miles of clear lakes, dramatic waterfalls and majestic old-growth forests earn this Oregon river corridor the nickname “America’s #1 Trail.” We check in with hikers and bikers, as well as forest managers and a geologist to explore all things Trail.

Butterfly Watching

OPB | Feb. 19, 2014 midnight

Nature photographer Chris Carvalho used to collect butterflies. Now he just collects images of them. Going on a hike with him often doesn't end up covering much ground as butterflies easily distract him. His macro photography reveals a world of colorful wings and complex camouflage.

First Salmon Ceremony

OPB | Feb. 12, 2014 7:09 p.m.

Centuries before we had fish biologists and resource management, the Native Americans along the Rogue River had the Stone Chair and a ceremony to honor the first salmon. Tribes have rediscovered the Stone Chair and have renewed the First Salmon Ceremony with a new purpose.

Grande Ronde Wildflowers

OPB | Feb. 12, 2014 5:42 p.m.

In 1993, former Eastern Oregon University agronomist Andy Huber began acquiring land in the Grande Ronde Valley to create a non-profit native plant reserve. Along with restoring the land and propagating native seeds, Andy’s site is also the only US site where Mountain Lady’s Slipper orchids are grown from seed. We visit along with the Oregon Orchid Society to see three native orchids in bloom.

Snow School

OPB | Feb. 10, 2014 7:43 a.m.

A dose of science sneaks into a fun field trip. While students learn to build an igloo at Mount Hood they also get a lesson in water, snow and hydrology. Educational Recreational Adventures takes students whose family roots trace to Africa and the Middle East to Snow School.

Mustangs of Oregon: Wild Horses in Crisis

OPB | Jan. 30, 2014 3:17 p.m.

Oregon Field Guide special: Mustangs of Oregon. Wild horses are in crisis as more now live in captivity than in the wild.

Oregon Land Use

OPB | Nov. 21, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Oregon’s revolutionary land use law started limiting sprawl in 1973. Despite constant challenges, it’s survived forty-plus years. The result is a vibrant farm industry.

Sea Cave Kayaking

OPB | Nov. 21, 2013 8:30 p.m.

We head to the coast to explore some of Oregon's sea caves by kayak.

Smith Rock Revisited

OPB | Nov. 21, 2013 8:30 p.m.

We team up with sport climbing pioneer Alan Watts and Oregon’s current hotshot, Ryan Palo, to revisit the ever-popular Smith Rock to see what has changed and what has stayed the same on the 30th anniversary of the invention of sport climbing. This updates our 1990 story on Alan in HD.

Ice Crawlers

OPB | Nov. 14, 2013 8:30 p.m.

Two Oregon scientists discover two new species of ice crawlers, an extremophile that lives in and under snow fields. Researchers from OSU have found them living in the Cascades near Belknap Crater and near Corvallis up high on Marys Peak. The caramel colored insects look a bit like earwigs and thrive in a very limited temperature range right around the freezing point.

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Oregon Field Guide Extras

Our videographers and producers often capture great scenes that don't make it on the air or are worth seeing in their own web shorts. Here's a chance to explore their favorite bonus videos.

Watch our web extras »

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Funding provided by

Major Support Provided By:

  • Dorothy D. Gage and Dan Stanton
  • Fred and Clara Dolen Charitable Foundation

Additional Support Provided By:

  • Kay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson-Laird
  • Christine and David Vernier
  • Coit Family Foundation
  • Beth Torry Miller Trust
  • Greenfield/Hartline Habitat Conservation Fund of the Nature Conservancy
  • The Roundhouse Foundation
  • Bonnie and Peter Reagan