EWU McNair Scholar Saul Bautista Completes Summer Research

Congratulations to EWU McNair Scholar Saul Bautista for completing his Summer Research with Dr. Ann C. Le Bar! Saul was one of six students selected for a research position through Hanford National Park spanning from June-August 2023. Having supplied plutonium for the Manhattan project, the Tri-Cities, WA site investigated the community impacts. Saul focused on the Hispanic community of Hanford, largely Mexican immigrants, reviewing transcripts from the Bracero Program. His research was presented August 16, 2023 at the McNair Summer Research Symposium.


Saul describes Bracero as an immigrant program from the 1940s designed to increase agricultural development in the USA, which granted rights to the workers. The designation of immigrant rights eventually led to program dissolution in the 1960s. Saul found evidence of radiation poisoning amongst the greatly exposed Hispanic community and the Hanford Site.



Saul visited the B reactor (one of four), saying “they’re way smaller than I imagined”. While there, Saul got to talk with the previous engineers who’s explanation of the technology reminded him of “a steam plant”. The engineer also noted there was a “blinder effect” in place for workers during the Manhattan project, each focus team only knew how their respective sections worked.

Saul snapped a picture of Hanford National Park's impresive Reactor Room.

This reactor room was Saul’s favorite as the largest part of the reactor itself. Visiting on the anniversary of Hiroshima and seeing Oppenheimer in the same weekend (though Saul notes he’s “team Barbie”).

For interested History Scholars, Saul advises to “always keep in contact with the faculty! They’re more than likely to have a program that interests you (with very limited spots). It's a wonderful opportunity– if you don’t care about the research, go for the free food!”.