Photo by @katieorlinsky // Captured #withGalaxy S9+, produced with @samsungmobileusa using Pro Mode ISO 50 at 1/1014th f 1.5 // Archeologist Laura Stelson @laura.stelson after attempting to summit Mount Mageik, a stratovolcano in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. This past June Laura led a National Geographic Society expedition through the backcountry of Katmai National Park along with a group of scientists, park rangers and photographers, including myself. We hiked along valleys, climbed up mountains, and waded through rivers for hundreds of miles, following in the footsteps of botanist Robert F. Griggs. Griggs led multiple National Geographic Society expeditions in the early twentieth century to explore the region and study the aftermath of the 1912 Katmai Volcanic eruption which decimated large swaths of land in the area, including what is now known as the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. The results and discoveries of the Griggs expedition played an important role in the early days of the United States’ conservation movement after his stories and photos published by National Geographic captivated the public. Griggs and leaders from the National Geographic Society even managed to convince then President Woodrow Wilson to create Katmai National Monument, 1,700 square miles of protected land. Today Katmai National Park consists of 6,395 square miles.