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Oral History Interviews

 

Jim Matheson

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 A collection of interviews, stories and personal accounts with Downwinder victims, families and advocates.

 

Baker, Norman Jeffrey
Date: November 2, 2016
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Norman Jeffrey Baker (a second generation Downwinder) speaks about his family connection to nuclear testing while sharing his thoughts and personal stories relayed from his father and grandfather who lived within the immediate "Downwinder" region.

Booth, Craig
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Craig Booth (a Downwinder and local physicial ) shares his memories of growing up and viewing nuclear testing from the hills of St. George, UT while providing an interpretation of associated cancer studies and his political feelings towards precautions that should have been taken by the Atomic Energy Commission.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Chamberlain, Von Del
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Von Del Chamberlain shares his memories of growing up during the nuclear testing era and the inspiration that the atom had within his life while relaying a scientific approach to understanding nuclear testing and its future use.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Reading Materials: (Autobiography) (Hiroshima)

Colby, Orrin Tether, Jr.
Date: October 3, 2016
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams & Robert Nelson
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Orrin Tether Colby Jr. shares his thoughts about the generational impacts nuclear testing has had within the lives of his family as well his personal thoughts, feelings, and concerns regarding the impacts nuclear testing has had on human society.

Collins, Anne
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Anne Collins (who works with several senior residents impacted by nuclear testing) shares her thoughts about nuclear testing and the impacts it has had within the lives of individuals she knows while relaying her personal thoughts and concerns about long-term effects and continued exposure.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Deem, Bonnie
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Bonnie Deem shares her memories of growing up with nuclear testing in Cedar City, UT and the environmental / biological impacts within the lives of her family and friends as well as her feelings on how the government could have been more open with individuals downwind.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Dickson, Mary
Date: January 11, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams and Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Mary Dickson (a Downwinder and victim advocate) shares her thoughts and memories of growing up in Salt Lake City, UT and the impacts nuclear testing has had within her life as well as efforts that she has played a role in on behalf of Downwinder victims.

Eargle, Joyce Hamblin
Date: June 13, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Cedar City Public Library in Cedar City, UT, Joyce Hamblin Eargle shares the story of her father, Lemar Hamblin (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder), the impacts of nuclear testing within the lives of her family and personal thoughts regarding the government and nuclear testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Interview(s): Donna Hamblin, Jason Eargle

Esplin, Fred
Date: June 21, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Fred Esplin (a southern Utah Downwinder) shares his experiences growing up with nuclear testing in Cedar City, UT, the impacts to his family / classmates, while providing a contextual analysis of nuclear testing during that time.

Fee, Robert Chris
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Justin Sorensen
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Robert Chris Fee shares the story of his wife, Eve Evans (a Winslow, AZ Downwinder), growing up during the nuclear testing era and the health impacts to her and her family as well as his personal thoughts regarding nuclear testing and the harm experienced by many individuals.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Finicum-H, Sherre
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Sherre Finicum-H recounts her childhood memories growing up in Cedar City, UT and Fredonia, AZ including: witnessing a fallout cloud in Kanab, UT, the stories imparted to her by her parents, the impacts of nuclear testing within the lives of her ancestors and the overall impression it has made within her life.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Fjeldsted, Russell
Date: July 13, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Russell Fjeldsted (a retired lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force) recounts his experience observing an above-ground test detonation from a trench at the Nevada Test Site and his thoughts regarding the impacts of nuclear testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Reading Material: Front Row Seat to Atomic Age (PDF) - (Coming Soon)

Hacker, Ilene
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Justin Sorensen
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Ilene Hacker shares the story of her father, Orvil Wardle (a St. George, UT Downwinder) while recounting the impacts of nuclear testing within the lives of family and friends as well as her thoughts related to the government and compensation associated with the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA).
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Hamblin, Donna
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Justin Sorensen
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Donna Hamblin shares the story of her father, Lemar Hamblin (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder), the impacts of nuclear testing within the lives of her family and personal thoughts regarding the government and nuclear testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Interview(s): Joyce Hamblin Eargle, Jason Eargle

Heaton, Leonard P.
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Leonard P. Heaton (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder) shares his memories growing up and viewing early morning tests conducted at the Nevada Test Site from the Cedar City, UT area as well as the impacts of nuclear testing within the lives of his family.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Holt, Kevin Snow
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Kevin Snow Holt (an Enterprise, UT Downwinder) shares his memories growing up witnessing test detonations and associated fallout clouds, the impacts of nuclear testing on his family as well as his personal thoughts related to nuclear weapons testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Lamb, Mavoureen
Date: June 13, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Cedar City Public Library in Cedar City, UT, Mavoureen Lamb shares her and her husband (Darwin Lamb) experiences working at the Nevada Test Site, the impacts of nuclear testing within her life as well as her personal thoughts about testing and the effects it has had within the lives of many individuals.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Lister, David.
Date: June 13, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Cedar City Public Library in Cedar City, UT, David Lister (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder) recounts growing up during the nuclear weapons testing and some of the stories imparted to him while describing the impacts of testing within the lives of his family and his personal thoughts about genetic damage on future generations.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Matheson, Alva
Date: June 13, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Cedar City Public Library in Cedar City, UT, Alva Matheson (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder with a certified nuclear background from the U.S. Air Force) shares his memories observing nuclear testing from the Cedar City, UT area as well as his feelings towards weapons testing conducted at the Nevada Test Site.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Mayer, Connie Wasden
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Justin Sorensen
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Connie Wasden Mayer shares the story of her husband, Harold Leon Wasden (a Downwinder along the Arizona strip), while describing the impacts of nuclear testing within her life and the lives of the individuals working with her husband during the testing era.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Olsen, Melanie
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Melanie Olsen (a Panguitch, UT Downwinder) shares her memories growing up with nuclear testing and the impacts within the lives of her family while relaying her mother's concerns and personal thoughts regarding testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Reading Material: "Beneath the Cloud" - Family Circle (November 15, 1983)

Peterson, Claudia
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Video Capturing: Justin Sorensen
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Claudia Peterson (a Cedar City, UT Downwinder) shares her memories growing up during the nuclear testing era, the impacts of testing within her life (including the loss of a daughter, father and sister) while relaying her concerns about the "snowballing effect" nuclear testing continues to have that others need to be aware of.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Reed, Chester
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Chester Reed (a Clark County, NV Upwinder) describes his (and his father's) experience working at the Nevada Test Site while sharing memories of tests viewed from Las Vegas, NV and his personal thoughts regarding nuclear testing and the genetic sensitivity of individuals who were impacted.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Rhodes, Joyce
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Joyce Rhodes shares her (and her siblings) memories of growing up during the nuclear testing era, the worries and fears she experienced while she was attending school as well as the impacts of testing within the lives of her family and friends.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Truman, Preston J.
Date: October 3, 2016
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Preston J. Truman speaks about a booklet provided by the Government on his first day of kindergarten in 1953 and his feelings of how individuals downwind of the Nevada Test Side were viewed.

Whitehead, Richard
Date: June 12, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Washington County Library in St. George, UT, Richard Whitehead shares his memories from the nuclear testing era, the impacts of testing in the lives of his family, friends and classmates as well as his thoughts and feelings about nuclear weapons testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
      • Associated Viewing Material: ABC News "Turning Point" - Peter Jennings (February 2, 1994)

Woolery, Catana
Date: June 14, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Video Capturing: Tony Sams
Summary: In this interview conducted at the Kanab City Library in Kanab, UT, Catana Woolery shares her memories of nuclear weapons testing from Kanab, UT, the impacts of testing on her family, friends and classmates (including the filming industry) as well as her personal thoughts and feelings regarding testing and the many individuals who were affected.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

 

Anderson, Allan
Date: September 6, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Allan Anderson shares his memories of nuclear weapons testing (both Downwinder and Navy experience) as well as the impacts on his family and personal thoughts on what individuals were being told.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Bailey, Carl Stay
Date: September 6, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Carl Stay Bailey shares the impacts of various cancers found in babies around the Salt Lake City area during the nuclear weapons testing as well his thoughts on the importance of this issue.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Dalton, Juleen Burr
Date: September 11, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Juleen Burr Dalton describes the impacts nuclear weapons testing had on her family while recounting thoughts, memories and concerns she had about the impacts of nuclear testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Gordon, Janet
Date: March 9, 2012
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: In this interview conducted in St. George, UT, Janet Gordon speaks about her early memories of nuclear weapons testing, her family raising sheep and cattle along the Utah - Arizona border and the loss of her brother to pancreatic cancer.
*Audio interview donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by Rob DeBirk (HEALUtah)
*Transcribed video created by the J. Willard Marriott Library

Larsen, Darlene and Hoepfner, Chuck
Date: March 8, 2013 and November 17, 2012
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: This is a combined interview conducted in both St. George, UT and Cedar City, UT with Darlene Larsen and Chuck Hoepfner.  Darlene Larsen speaks about early memories of nuclear weapons testing while growing up in St. George, UT and her feelings towards the tests while Chuck Hoepfner speaks about his military service at the Nevada Test Site and the resulting impacts it has had on his health.
*Audio interview donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by Rob DeBirk (HEALUtah)
*Transcribed video created by the J. Willard Marriott Library

Mae, Zenna and Bridges, Eugene
Date: June 12, 2004
Interviewer(s): Mary Palevsky
Summary: In this interview conducted in Las Vegas, NV, Zenna Mae and Eugene Bridges speak about the passing of a child due to unnatural causes and their anger related to misrepresentation of nuclear testing by the Government.
*Audio interview donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by the University of Nevada - Las Vegas
*Transcribed video created by the J. Willard Marriott Library

Peterson, Claudia
Date: November 18, 2012
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: In this interview conducted in St. George, UT, Claudia Peterson speaks about her early memories of nuclear weapons testing while growing up in Cedar City, UT and the passing of her daughter caused by radiation exposure.
*Audio interview donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by Rob DeBirk (HEALUtah)
*Transcribed video created by the J. Willard Marriott Library

Stewart, Jamie Vaughn
Date: September 6, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Jamie Vaughn Stewart provides a historical perspective of nuclear weapons testing while depicting the personal impacts she experienced associated with her life as a Downwinder.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Tibbetts, Joyce Gardner
Date: September 27, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Joyce Gardner-Tibbetts shares her memories from the nuclear testing era, the impacts of weapons testing within the lives of her family as well as personal feelings regarding the impacts of nuclear testing.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Webb, George Merrill
Date: June 19, 2017
Interviewer(s): Justin Sorensen
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, George Merrill Webb (a St. George, UT Downwinder) shares his memories of nuclear weapons testing conducted at the Nevada Test Site and the impacts that associated fallout has had within the lives and his family.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)

Wilson, Yvonne Campbell
Date: September 11, 2017
Interviewer(s): Tony Sams
Audio Capturing: Robert Nelson
Summary: In this interview conducted by telephone at the J. Willard Marriott Library in Salt Lake City, UT, Yvonne Campbell Wilson shares her memories of nuclear weapons testing, the impacts to her mother and husband as well as the fear of war and devastation she experienced growing up.
      • View the Complete Interview - (Coming Soon)
      • View the Complete Interview Transcript - (Coming Soon)
Burgess, Victoria
Date: November 10, 2012
Interviewer(s): Submission by the author
Summary: An essay by Victoria Burgess (a Southern Utah Downwinder) recounting her memories of the nuclear testing and the impacts it has had within her life.
*Written narrative / account donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by the author

Penny, Sara
Date: June 1, 2017
Interviewer(s): Submission by the author
Summary: A written account by Sara Penny (a Downwinder raised in Cedar City, Utah) depicting the challenges faced as a Downwinder and the impacts of nuclear testing on her (and her family's) life.
*Written narrative / account donated to the Downwinders of Utah Archive by the author

 

Bill, Larson R. and Bill, Julie Cavanaugh
Date: August 19, 2009
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Larson Bill (b. 1948) is a Western Shoshone who was born in Ely, Nevada. He discusses his background, upbringing, and general relationship to nuclear issues. Nuclear issues are something that have always been in the background of his life because of how they had affected Western Shoshone People. He discusses how the nuclear testing and nuclear waste controversies have come up in relation to his roles in tribal government and in the Western Shoshone Defense Project. Larson discusses various aspects of the controversies over nuclear waste and nuclear testing on Western Shoshone land including the disproportionate affects on indigenous populations, who is responsible for nuclear waste, and how perceptions of the desert contribute to the placement of nuclear testing and nuclear waste in Nevada. He concludes by contrasting Western Shoshone spiritual beliefs with other religious beliefs, noting the uniqueness of land-based spirituality among Native Americans. Julie Cavanaugh-Bill (b. 1967) describes her Iowa background, role models, her to be involvement with Native American and nuclear issues. She talks about her interest in human rights, her education, and her experience as a lawyer before moving to Nevada to work full-time with the Western Shoshone Defense Project, which led her to act as a spokeswoman on nuclear issues at times.Nuclear Technology Project.

Bullcreek, Margene
Date: November 3, 2007
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Margene Bullcreek (b. 1946) is a member of the Skull Valley Band of Goshute Indians. She talks about her upbringing, family life, and her identity as a traditionalist American Indian. One of the major opponents of the plan to store nuclear waste on her reservation, she describes her activism since1992. Bullcreek also explains the concept of environmental justice, discusses the dynamics of inter-tribal decision making, and talks about the organizations of which she is a member that helped her fight against nuclear waste on the reservation. Nuclear Technology Project.

Cartwright, Donald
Date: March 3, 1988
Interviewer(s): Tim Larson
Summary: Cartwright, an engineer at KSUB Radio, discusses his education and the station experience before the affiliation with CBS. He also recalls coverage of the atomic testing in Nevada, talks about station ownership history, and remembers colleagues.

Cuch, Forrest S.
Date: December 17, 2008
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Cuch (b. 1951) was born in Roosevelt, Utah. A member of the Ute Indian Tribe, he currently serves as the director of the Division of Indian Affairs for the state of Utah. Cuch begins by discussing his upbringing and experiences crossing between the "Non-Indian world" and the "Indian world." He then moves to a discussion of the controversy over high-level nuclear waste storage on the Skull Valley Band of Goshutes Reservation. Cuch emphasizes the sovereignty rights, fairness issues, and hypocrisy in the controversy. This discussion expands to a more general discussion of the role of American Indians in Utah and the United States. Throughout the interview, Cuch discusses the importance of knowing and understanding history. Nuclear Technology Project.

Dann, Carrie
Date: August 19, 2009
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Dann was born at the homestead in Crescent Valley, Nevada in the 1930s. She discusses her background, upbringing, and ethical principles. She talks about her time as an activist, particularly with regard to nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site and the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. She states that she was more active in opposing nuclear testing, but has done some activist work to oppose nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. Carrie describes her role in the debate over nuclear waste, who is affected by nuclear waste disposal, and who is responsible. She also talks about her role in fighting for sovereignty and what it means to be a traditional indigenous person. Carrie's interview ends with her comment about traditional ways compared with Western ways. Nuclear Technology History Project.

Dickson, Mary
Date: July 16, 2009
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Dickson (b. 1955) was born in Joplin, Missouri. She moved with her family to Salt Lake City, Utah, as a child and has spent the majority of her life in the Salt Lake Valley. Dickson discusses her experiences being diagnosed with thyroid cancer before the age of 30 and losing a sister to cancer. She believes that both her and her sister's illnesses were caused by exposure to nuclear fallout while living in Salt Lake. As an activist and playwright, Dickson works to increase awareness of the harm done to human health and the environment by governmental nuclear tests and to prevent future testing that could incur more damage. Nuclear Technology Project.

Erickson, Steve
Date: Unknown
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Mr. Erickson was born on February 28, 1953 in Libertyville, Illinois. He discusses his early life including memories of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He discusses his activism as a student at Columbia during the Vietnam years and his eventual move to Salt Lake City. Describing himself as a "gunslinger for peace" he sees the most pressing issues of the world today as those surrounding war and peace. He became active in opposing the MX missile plan, founded the Citizens Education Project, and foresees future work lobbying for a test ban treaty in the Utah Legislature. Mr. Erickson has also done previous work in oral history; creating a special archive, the Steven G. Erickson Archive at the American West Center at the University of Utah, relating to the nuclear past. Project: Nuclear Technology.
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Esplin, Charles Cutler
Date: April 14 - 16, 2006
Interviewer(s): Fred Esplin
Summary: Charles Esplin (b. 1918) recalls herding sheep in the 1930s near Bunkerville, Nevada, on the Arizona Strip. He talks about the life (and sometimes death) of sheep herders, BLM permits, the canyons and general terrain, weather challenges, and the habits of sheep and cattle. The sheep were sheared in April, then were returned to North Fork for lambing in early May. He discusses counting the sheep by using markers (black sheep), and describes his daily routine, the use of dogs, the threat of coyotes, and the isolation. Details are given on the docking and shearing of lambs, the death of Jonathan Heaton, and the modernization from horses to pickups, and from pioneer trails to paved roads. Branding is also discussed.

Firmage, Carrol
Date: June 4, 2008
Interviewer(s): Robert DeBirk
Summary: Firmage camped throughout Utah as a child with her family. She married Ed Firmage whose educational pursuits took them to Berkeley, California, and then to Israel on an Albright Fellowship. When they returned to Salt Lake City, they began to take weekend trips to the Escalante-Boulder area in southern Utah. Inspired by the scenery, they became interested in landscape photography. Ed's father was an activist who opposed the MX plan to put nuclear weapons in the West Desert. Ed and Carrol followed in his footsteps and became active in the Divine Strake project when the government talked about doing more testing in the West. They were also involved in issues over water rights in Utah involving Las Vegas. Her Master's Thesis at the University of Utah studies historic farming practices in Utah and modern urban gardening in an effort to increase sustainability by growing more food locally. Utah Environmentalists Project.

Frishman, Steve
Date: November 13, 2009
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Frishman (b. 1944) was born in Washington D.C. He is a technical consultant for the law firm representing the State of Nevada in its contention of the Department of Energy's application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for a license for the Yucca Mountain repository. Prior to this, Frishman worked as a Technical-Policy Coordinator for the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. He discusses graduate school in Texas, running a local newspaper, serving as a commissioner on the Texas Coastal and Marine Council, and working for the Texas state government when a site in Texas was being considered for a high level nuclear waste repository. He first came to Nevada to work as a consultant for the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, and was involved in the fight against the Yucca Mountain repository. Fishman describes some of the technical problems with the Yucca Mountain site, and the differences between Department of Energy science and independent science on the site. He ends by taking about some of the alternatives to the Yucca Mountain site. Nuclear Technology Project.

Guzman, Tony
Date: November 2, 2007
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Tony Guzman (b. 1980) grew up in San Francisco, California. He describes his move to Las Vegas, Nevada where he first learned about the Yucca Mountain Project. He became involved in nuclear waste issues in the summer of 2004. Guzman discusses his relationship to nuclear waste and other nuclear technologies in the American West, and talks about working for a non-profit organization called Citizen Alert. He also talks about his work with the Nevada Conservation League and Think Outside the Bomb. In March 2007, he moved to Salt Lake City, where he became involved with Utah Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. He describes his role in the debate over nuclear waste, ethical considerations for nuclear waste disposal, and potential solutions for storing nuclear waste. Nuclear Technology Project.

Hadder, John Edumund
Date: July 18, 2008
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Hadder (b. 1960) was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He currently lives in Reno and works as a staff scientists for Great Basin Resource Watch. Hadder begins with a discussion of his upbringing, role models, and education. He recalls his involvement in various nuclear issues in the Great Basin region, and recounts his evolving role in nuclear activism. Hadder then discusses the nuclear waste controversy including his role in it, potential solutions, and who is responsible for nuclear waste .Nuclear Technology Project.

Knutsen, Reinhard D.
Date: January 3, 2009
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook
Summary: Knutsen (b. 1964) was born in Taiping, Malasia to Methodist missionaries. He describes his upbringing (particularly his consistent work with disenfranchised communities) and how he became involved in nuclear issues, starting with his participation in a New England Walk for Nuclear Disarmament. He went on to work on nuclear testing, nuclear power, and nuclear waste issues. Knutsen discusses his time with Shundahai Network and how he came to his current job at the American Civil Liberties Union. Other topics include the nuclear waste problem in the US, ethical issues associated with nuclear waste, who is affected by nuclear waste, and who is responsible for managing nuclear waste. Nuclear Technology Project.

Kotra, Janet
Date: Unknown
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Janet Kotra (b. 1955) of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission discusses the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste disposal site. A scientist with a PhD from the University of Maryland, Dr. Kotra was born in Tacoma Park, Maryland, and aside from living in Hawaii as a young woman and while pursuing her bachelor's degree, has lived in the DC area for much of her life. Dr. Kotra's interest in public policy and abiding sense of justice took her to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, where she spent her entire PhD career. Her husband is Indian, and his uncle was involved with the Indian independence movement, and Dr. Kotra feels particularly close to the ideals MK Gandhi espoused. Most of the interview deals with the function and history of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the independent watchdog arm of the federal nuclear establishment. She explores the relationship between the development arm, the Department of Energy, and her own regulatory body, and its roots in the Atomic Energy Commission. The interview spells out in great detail the NRC's duties, moral compass as Dr. Kotra sees it, and the commission's commitment to working with stakeholders, including Native American tribal governments, whether on the Yucca Mountain project or others. Project: Nuclear Technology.
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Law, Charles
Date: Unknown
Interviewer(s): Jim Kichas
Summary: Charles Law, U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant (retired), discusses his military service, with particular focus on his time as an atomic monitor during test shots on the Marshall Islands and at Camp Mercury, Nevada, in the 1950s, where he witnessed over forty atomic detonations. He describes the shots and decontamination procedures in detail, along with environmental contamination and hazards in Nevada and the Marshalls, and effects on himself, other military personnel and civilians. Mr. Law served thirty-one years in the Air Force before retiring with full disability due to cancer, and shares much of his time during the Korean War and in Australia as an aircraft mechanic, his primary military skill. He also describes his experience as ground crew for polar overflights, and discusses memorable airplane crashes he witnessed among other asides. He ends with a description of a U-2 spy plane flight and landing. Project: Utah Environmental Oral History Project.
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Lockhart, William and Martin, Terri
Date: May 22, 2009
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Lockhart (b. 1933) is a law professor at the University of Utah and has been active in the litigation of a number of environmental conflicts. Terri Martin is an activist and consultant with organizations such as Don't Waste Utah, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, and Women Protecting Wilderness. Together they describe their respective roles in working to deny the placement of nuclear waste near Canyonlands National Park and in other sites throughout Utah. They also discuss the major forces and stumbling blocks surrounding siting decisions, including political factions/alliances, funding, and value placed on the West. Nuclear Technology Project.

Pierce, Vanessa
Date: February 15, 2008
Interviewer(s): Samantha Senda-Cook and Danielle Endres
Summary: Vanessa Pierce (b. 1980) discusses growing up in Colorado, going to college at Grinnell College, and her work with Green Corps. She talks about her upbringing, role models and ethical influences, and her relationship with nuclear waste issues as the Executive Director of HEAL Utah. Other topics include Energy Solutions, the Yucca Mountain High Level Nuclear Waste site, and the proposed temporary nuclear waste site at Skull Valley, Utah. Nuclear Technology Project.

Pierce, Vanessa
Date: November 7, 2007
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: Pierce (b. 1980) grew up in Colorado Springs. She attended Grinell College in Iowa. Following graduation she went into the Green Corps, a program of training and hands-on experience in how to run an environmental campaign. After training, she came to Utah to take a job with HEAL Utah - the Health Environment Alliance of Utah. This organization was instrumental in stopping the Fernald nuclear waste from being sent to Utah. Vanessa discusses the methods used, particularly the work they did with the Utah legislature. Other topics covered include the relationship between the legislature and the L.D.S. church, plans proposed by Energy Solutions to bring more nuclear waste to Utah, and the proposed nuclear waste dump on the Goshute reservation. Utah Environmentalists Project.

Rowland, Dee
Date: Unknown
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: Dee Rowland talks about her early life and the experiences that led her to become an environmentalist. She discusses her work as the government liaison for the Catholic Diocese and the Catholic Church's stance on environmental issues. Mrs. Rowland also describes the work she has done with the League of Women Voters. She talks about her involvement with Peace Links in opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear testing. Mrs. Rowland traveled to the Soviet Union and also hosted a group of Soviet women who visited the United States. She discusses working with the Nevada Desert Experience and the peaceful protests she took part in at the Nevada nuclear test site.Project: Environmental Oral History Project.
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Townsend, Kim
Date: July 17, 2008
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Kim Townsend was born in Owyhee, Nevada, and currently lives on the Duckwater Western Shoshone Reservation. She recalls the many Western Shoshone people who have died of cancers and discusses how this lead her to work on the NUKERISK project to assess radiation doses in American Indian populations from nuclear testing. She describes her role in the NUKERISK project. Townsend also briefly discusses the role she played in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste controversy. Nuclear Technology Project.

Treichel, Judy
Date: November 13, 2009
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Treichel was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She discusses her background, upbringing, ethical influences, and general relationship to nuclear issues. She explains that she began working on nuclear testing issues, but shifted to nuclear waste in the late 1980s, when Yucca Mountain became the sole contender for a national nuclear waste repository. Treichel describes her position on the Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force. She then discusses the role of the public in the nuclear waste siting process, the problems with nuclear waste, the potential solutions to nuclear waste, and the future of the Yucca Mountain repository (including a discussion of President Obama's pledge to stop Yucca Mountain and create a Blue Ribbon Commission to study nuclear waste siting options). Nuclear Technology Project.

Urgo, John
Date: July 22, 2008
Interviewer(s): Rob DeBirk
Summary: CUrgo is from Brooklyn, New York, and joined Green Corps, after studying Environmental Science in college, which moved him around the country a lot until he applied for a job with HEAL Utah in 2005 (which tends to focus on nuclear issues). He believes that environmental problems are justice problems and is active in power relations. His work in Green Corps involved a lot of organizing and volunteer recruitment, so then he became the Outreach Director for HEAL. As an organization they don't come up with plans and policy but more so educate the public to work towards change and watchdog big industry such as Energy Solutions. They're trying to keep nuclear waste and reactors out of Utah. He is a strong believer in renewable energy. Utah Environmentalist Oral History Project.

Viereck, Jennifer
Date: Unknown
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Jennifer Viereck was born in Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1952. Shortly after her birth she moved with her parents to southern Alaska where she spent her early years. Viereck discusses the ethical, moral and cultural impacts that correspondence with her "name father" John Olaranna (same as her middle name) had on her as he taught her to be a "good Inupiat" in his letters. Based on that background she describes her history and general relationship to nuclear issues. Labeling herself as a jack-of-all-trades, specifically an administrative consultant for non-profits and small businesses, Viereck tells how her early work on native sovereignty issues evolved into a position wherein she helped organizations illuminate and overcome cultural barriers between native and non-native communities. Working closely with Shoshone leader and nuclear activist Corbin Harney her focus gravitated to nuclear issues surrounding Yucca Mountain. True to her early Inupiat ties as well as Shoshone spiritual practices, Viereck describes a vision for nuclear waste siting that considers life forms other than humans and focuses on changing people first to eventually change the world (specifically in her work with HOME). She also discusses her focus on scientific data, including water testing near Yucca Mountain. Included are some tips for encouraging young people to become involved in anti-nuclear activism. The interview concludes as Viereck describes how her work is largely turning toward educating people about the potential harm of exposure to radiation in medical tests. Project: Nuclear Technology.
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Zabarte, Ian
Date: April 12, 2008
Interviewer(s): Danielle Endres
Summary: Ian Zabarte (b.1964) grew up in the Bay Area, California. Zabarte is a Western Shoshone, who is part of the Western Shoshone National Council and has lived on the Duckwater Indian Reservation at various points in his life. Zabarte begins by discussing his Western Shoshone heritage, then moves to a discussion of his role in the controversy over high-level nuclear waste, particularly with regard to Yucca Mountain. Zabarte also briefly discusses the effects of nuclear testing on Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people and the cultural resource studies performed by the Department of Energy in relation to the Nevada Test Site and Yucca Mountain. Nuclear Technology Project.

 

 

 Last Modified 10/18/17