This article explores the opportunities and challenges of using public history to teach the history of a controversial site like the Hanford Nuclear Reservation to undergraduate students. The Hanford site is often either celebrated as a place of heroic, scientific pioneers or denigrated as a disgraceful atomic wasteland. The author of the article demonstrates that incorporating public historians into his courses has provided students with broadened and more nuanced understandings of the representations and interpretations of Hanford's often contested past and present. The essay also suggests additional benefits to introducing undergraduate students to public history.

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