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Navajo and Hopi Students Learn About Uranium Legacy Sites

On January 24, more than 300 students from Piñon High School in Piñon, Arizona, learned about uranium legacy sites on the Navajo Nation and Hopi Reservation. The high school welcomed the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (LM) to share information about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts at the event. This outreach was possible through LM’s collaboration with the Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Lands program.

LM Support contractors demonstrated the basics of hydrology by using a groundwater model. They explained how both water wells and the flow of groundwater contribute to the natural processes at the Tuba City, Arizona, and Shiprock, New Mexico, disposal sites. The groundwater model helped students to visualize one of LM’s core functions of long-term surveillance and monitoring to ensure that human health and the environment continue to remain protected.  

“We are honored to have the opportunity to engage with youth from the Navajo Nation,” said LM Public Participation Specialist Karen Edson. “We continue to be amazed with students’ curious and thought-provoking questions. As much as we teach, we always learn something from them.”

Students asked questions about uranium and its historical and contemporary uses, as well as sought an understanding of radiation and its sources. Many of the Navajo and Hopi students expressed interest in science-related professions. Newly inaugurated Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were in attendance. The officials provided words of support and encouraged students to use STEM to improve the lives of tribal members and tribal communities.

LM’s four sites on the Navajo Nation are located in Tuba City, Arizona; Mexican Hat, Utah; Shiprock, New Mexico; and Monument Valley, Arizona. For more information about LM, please visit: https://www.energy.gov/lm/office-legacy-management.

Distribution channels: Energy Industry


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