Cascadia Community College
Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Sustainability, Nuclear Waste, and the Hanford Site part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
This activity is an introduction to the Hanford Site in Washington, including its history, geology, and hydrology, and examines the sustainability issues associated with it. It is intended for an introductory class in geology, geography, or environmental science, but could be used in many other courses, particularly those with an interdisciplinary approach, since it also involves issues of history, politics, and social justice.The activity has five parts which can be taught in sequence. However, it is designed so that each part can be taught alone, depending on the course, time available, and the outcomes expected by the individual teacher. Briefly, the parts include: 1) location and bioregional setting; 2) human history of the Hanford site (for context); 3) geology and natural history of the site; 4) the nature of radioactive materials and decay; and 5) hydrogeology and contaminant migration. There is also a recommendation for a follow-up activity which could be assigned as a project.