Another semester of HIS/EVS 483 is in the books, and with it are a suite of new projects detailing the history and legacy of lead production and exposure in Omaha.
This semester’s projects refined and expanded upon the first cohort. Two groups focused on similar themes, mapping the history of lead production and the history of residential exposure. Their approaches, however, differed. Rather than mapping the full suite of industrial point sources, one group chose to highlight the business histories of several particularly significant companies. The other student group employed novel mapping techniques (using the new story map engine) coupled with an historical analysis that uncovered several surprisingly old primary sources about public awareness of the lead paint hazard in Omaha history.
Other groups chose different avenues of investigation altogether. One group focused on the pioneering work of Drs. Carol Angle and Matilda McIntire, and produced a history of science exhibition on their contributions. Another explored the history of lead remediation, again analyzing underappreciated sources. Other groups used census data and EPA lead sampling data in novel ways to ask interesting new questions, including whether the Superfund migration potentially impacted migration. Finally, one group focused on a single building, and produced an exhibition that outlined steps to answer the question, “how do we even know what our potential risk might be” if we live in an older building once used for industrial or commercial purposes.
You can access the site, which includes all projects from 2019 and 2021 here.