Our award-winning The Nevada Test Site Oral History Project speaks to the program’s emphasis on oral history. The project, spearheaded by program director Andy Kirk, environmental sociologist Robert Futrell, and noted atomic scholar and oral historian Mary Palevsky, features 150 interviews and is dedicated to preserving and disseminating the remembered past of persons affiliated with and affected by Nevada Test Site during the era of Cold War nuclear testing.
Public history graduate students conducted 50 percent of the interviews and served as research assistants through independent studies, graduate assistantships, internships, and class work.
The project led to a first-of-its kind cultural exchange with Karaganda, Kazakhstan, home of another nuclear testing site. Organized through The Atomic Testing Museum and financed by a prestigious grant from the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, UNLV professors, graduate students and Clark County School District students participated in a ten-day exchange. Using photography, video and social media, participants interpreted the effects of nuclear testing in both areas.