Volcano observatory cancels open house due to budget cuts

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Citing federal budget cuts, the Cascades Volcano Observatory in Vancouver has canceled an open house that had been set for May 4.

The observatory, operated by the U.S. Geological Survey, has hosted a public open house every few years since moving to its east Vancouver offices in 2002. The events give the public a chance to interact with the 55 people who work at the observatory, and learn about the research and monitoring that goes on there. The last open house, in 2010, drew about 1,200 attendees.

The budget cuts, known as sequestration, have affected numerous federal agencies this year. The USGS has implemented a hiring freeze, canceled all non-mandatory, non-mission critical training, and may have to furlough employees, among other steps, according to the agency.

The Cascades Volcano Observatory primarily monitors volcanoes in Washington and Oregon. It also conducts regular research and aids foreign entities responding to volcano hot spots around the world.