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Merrell to speak on Amchitka tests

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: (907) 474-7902

12/06/05

Retired biologist Ted Merrell, Jr. will speak at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Dec. 8 on the effects of the nuclear tests conducted on Amchitka Island in the 60s and 70s. The lecture, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Schaible Auditorium, is sponsored by the UAF Office of Public History and is free and open to the community.

Merrell, who worked for the Federal Bureau of Commercial Fisheries for three decades, served from 1969 to 1974 as that agency's representative to Amchitka Island.

From 1965 to 1971, the island was the scene of three underground nuclear blasts. The largest was approximately 385 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb and protests against it helped inspire the birth of the environmental organization Greenpeace.

During the five years he studied the island, Merrell was responsible for reviewing the Atomic Energy Commission's research plans, monitoring its contractors' activities and recommending ways to minimize environmental harm. His presentation will focus on changes to the physical environment caused by the commission's activities and will include photographs that have seldom been seen by the public.

CONTACT: Terrence Cole, director, UAF office of public history at (907) 474-6995 or fftmc@uaf.edu. UAF public information officer Marmian Grimes at (907) 474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu

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