While I was attending the University of Washington, I took an anthropology class with Professor Holly Barker who has been engaged in a wide range of nuclear issues related to human and environmental health with over 20 years of research and relationship building among people in the Marshall Islands. Through Holly I was connected with Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility (WPSR) a national non-profit with a Washington chapter, whose mission is to engage the public in issues of clean energy, peace and Washington’s nuclear history at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.
I currently work for WPSR as an event coordinator for public talks we organize, where we share the history of Hanford and current clean up concerns. I also help with our This is My Hanford project which is a collection of oral histories of people who have connections to Hanford. I help with filming interviews and video editing. My role with WPSR evolves with different projects as I continue to learn more and more about Hanford and Washington’s nuclear history which is fascinating, frightful and complex. I am grateful to be here.
I get the opportunity to meet a lot of people who either work/worked at Hanford or grew up nearby; the stories of how people are connected to the area and culture are very complex and often conflicting in terms of how the Hanford Legacy is viewed. I am compelled to learn more about how people in Washington, especially near Hanford, have created lives for themselves despite the often felt tensions between place, economics, family and national pride.
I am really interested in understanding how the Hanford environment and former operations at Hanford have affected human health and that of other species both in the area and downwind of Hanford. I also am interested in learning more about the roles of women during the construction and production periods of Hanford, though I do not know a lot about that as yet.
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