Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Jill Litt

Second Advisor

Jason Boardman

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This paper focuses on how environmental justice, the media, and science influences perception of the proposed high-level radioactive nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The focus of the thesis is not to talk about whether nuclear power is good or bad, but to talk about the wastes and environmental justices that come with it. The last thing this thesis tries to do is find a way to bridge the gap between the government and the public -specifically the Native American population- on ways to better go about decision-making processes. The findings state that the government did not go about the decision-making process in the most equitable way and a way to improve this is by participating in more participatory science that then influences the media, the government, and the public. Questions for future study ask about the role of Native sovereign nations and power compared to the government on resources.