Guest Speakers


Dan O’Neill

Author of The Firecracker Boys.

In 1958 Father of the H-bomb Edward Teller unveiled his plan to excavate a harbor on the Alaskan coast by detonating a string of nuclear bombs. Instead, he helped launch the environmental movement. Dan O’Neill’s award-winning book The Firecracker Boys tells the story of how a small Eskimo village, along with a handful of Alaska scientists and conservationists, thwarted Teller’s scheme and sparked a new era of environmental awareness. The author, who was named Alaska Historian of the Year for this work, will show slides and tell the story of Project Chariot.

O'Neill twice won the Alaska Library Associations's "Alaskana of the Year Award" for the best book on Alaska published anywhere.


Terrence cole

Professor Emeritus, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.

Terrence Cole is professor emeritus of Northern Studies and History at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He studied geography, northern studies and history at UAF and earned a doctorate in American history at the University of Washington. He returned to his alma mater in 1988 to teach and pursue his passion about polar exploration. Students have twice chosen him as Outstanding Teacher of the Year. He has also received the Emil Usibelli Teaching Award, the Edith Bullock Service Award and the governor's Distinguished Service to the Humanities Award. He has written five books on Alaska history, and was awarded the 2011 Alaska Historian of the Year for, "Fighting for the Forty-Ninth Star: C.W. Snedden and the Long Struggle for Alaska Statehood" published by University of Alaska Press. At Point Hope, he will talk about the general conditions and the reasons why nuclear weapons seemed to otherwise rational people to be ok here in Alaska. He will talk about Project Chariot, nuclear testing on Amchitka Island, and the nuclear reactor at Fort Greely.


Caroline Cannon

Environmental activist from Tikigaq (Point Hope).

Caroline Cannon is an American Iñupiat leader and environmentalist from Point Hope, Alaska, as well as a member of the Point Hope City Council. She was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2012 for her fight for protection of marine ecosystems against pollution from the petroleum industry. She was also an advocate for the clean-up of the Project Chariot site at Cape Thompson. She will speak about the long-term impacts of Project Chariot on health and well-being in her community.


Marzhan Nurzhan

Anti-nuclear activist from Kazakhstan.

Marzhan Nurzhan is originally from Kazakhstan and is actively involved in campaigns for the abolition of nuclear weapons as an educator and lobbyist. In 2017, she was invited to address the topic of nuclear disarmament at the United Nations General Assembly on the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons. She convened the 2017 International Youth Conference for a Nuclear Weapon Free World in Prague, and is the lead coordinator of the Abolition 2000 Youth Network. She will speak about the long-term health and environmental consequences of nuclear weapons testing, including on her home country of Kazakhstan. Between 1949-1991, the USSR tested over 400 nuclear weapons at the Semipalatink Test Site in Kazakhstan.