he cataclysmic eruption of Mt. St. Helens in May, 1980 marked the start of a decades-long struggle over resources, land-use, and economics that would leave the Pacific Northwest forever changed. Beginning at that pivotal moment and written with the critical eye of a seasoned earth scientist, Ground Truth is an extended eulogy to a rapidly changing land and population awakening to the realities of climate change, land-use, and pollution. Part natural history, part memoir-in-essays, Ground Truth is a moving portrait of the forces and landscapes that have shaped a region and the people who live there. In McConnell’s complex, brutal, and beautiful Northwest, geology frequently comes to bear upon human lives, challenging notions of the region as a wild, untouched, and abundant landscape and forcing us to see ourselves as subject to these same processes.