OSU Gets Hip to Hanford

John Price and myself (Dieter Bohrmann) from the Washington Department of Ecology ventured down to Oregon State University on Feb. 23 to talk about Hanford with students and faculty, as well as other Corvallis residents. We were joined on the visit by Ken Niles from the Oregon Department of Energy, and Max Power, chair of the Oregon Hanford Cleanup Board. (Ken and I are both Inheriting Hanford mentors.)

Our first presentation was with students in OSU’s Master’s in Public Policy program. Hanford has many policy issues to consider, such as budget decisions, risk issues, tribal obligations, and natural resource damage assessments. For many of the students, this was their first introduction to Hanford, and they had a lot of good questions.

Our second presentation was sponsored by the university’s Student Sustainability Initiative. The evening event drew about 50 people to Gilfillan Auditorium on campus. We had a good mix of Hanford newcomers and others who obviously knew something about the history and the cleanup efforts.

Overall, people appreciated the opportunity to talk about Hanford issues and get the perspectives of both states involved in the cleanup. The groups also enjoyed the animated video, What’s in Hanford’s Backyard (see below), that was shown during both presentations. The video was created by students at Washington State University Tri-Cities through a project created by Ecology. One student also blogged about our visit, and included a plug for Inheriting Hanford.

Corvallis hasn’t traditionally been visited frequently by the agencies involved in Hanford cleanup. But there was genuine interest in both students and residents in what’s happening at the Site, and it’s a relationship we believe we can build on.

By: Dieter Bohrmann

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