Joshua McGuffie

I am a doctoral candidate in the History Department at UCLA. I received my MA from the School of History, Philosophy and Religion at Oregon State University in the history of science. My research focuses on 20th century atomic history and environmental history. For my MA, I worked especially on biology, health physics, and ecology at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State. My other research interests are history of science in the 20th century, nature and the American West, and the history of science and religion. I am also the assistant to the Rector at the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Sierra Madre, CA.

Here is a brief CV:


  • 2015 begin PhD in History, UCLA – Soraya de Chadarevian, Advisor
  • 2015 MA History of Science, OSU – Jacob Darwin Hamblin, Advisor
  • 2006 MDiv., Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
  • 2002 BA Geography, Magna Cum Laude, UCLA


Book Chapters

2021 “Engineering Spaces for the Biological Effects of Fission” in Nature Remade: Engineering Life, Envisioning Worlds, eds. Luis Campos, Michael Dietrich, Tiago Saraiva, Christian Young (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2021)

2022 “The First Accounts of Radiation Sickness” in Making the Unseen Visible: Science and the Contested Histories of Radiation Exposure, eds. Jacob Darwin Hamblin and Linda Richards, Oregon State University Press (manuscript in preparation)


2021 Review of Genay, Lucie. Land of Nuclear Enchantment: A New Mexican History of the Nuclear Weapons Industry. H-War, H-Net Reviews. March, 2021.

2019 “Planet Earth II: BBC” (November 2016–January 2017), Journal of the History of Biology (2019).

2018 “The Nevada Nuclear Test Site, Las Vegas and Mercury, Nevada,” The Public Historian 40:4 (November 2018), 139 – 141.

2018 “The Joy of the Find: A Review of Form and Landscape, by William Deverell and Greg Hise, UCLA Historical Journal 29:1 (2018), 81 – 84.

2018 Energy, A Human History, by Richard Rhodes, Science 360:6369 (2018), 1062.

2018Chemical Lands: Pesticides, Aerial Spraying, and Health in North America’s Grasslands since 1945, by David D. Vail, Western Historical Quarterly 49:4 (2018), 483.

Papers and Presentations

2020 “The Biological Effects of Radiation and the Castle Bravo Disaster,” Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Society, online, December – Co-Organizer for the panel: “From Hegemony to Resistance: Science and the American Empire in the Pacific”

2020 “The First Accounts of the Atomic Bomb Disease,” Oregon State University Downwinders Project 2020 Workshop “75 Years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Science and the Contested Histories of Radiation Exposure,” online, August

2020 “The UCLA Atomic Energy Project and Irradiated Environments in the Southwest United States,” Huntington Library LA History and Metro Studies Group Dissertation Workshop, Pasadena, California, February

2019 “City of Angels/City of Atoms: LA’s Obscure Atomic Past,” Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, “ENGINEERING LA: Science and Technology in Southern California,” Pasadena, California, March

2018 “Imaging Hiroshima and Nagasaki: Knowing the Bomb by Knowing the Bodies of its Victims,” Columbia History of Science Group, Friday Harbor, Washington, March

2017 “New for ‘51: Radiation Monitoring and Novel Atomic Geographies,” Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Society, Northridge, California, August

2017 “Hidden Atomic Loci: Cooperation in Radioecology at the UCLA Atomic Energy Project and the University of Washington Applied Fisheries Laboratory in the 1940s and 1950s”

International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology, Sao Paulo, Brazil, July

2015 “No Significant Risk: Creating the Norms for Public Irradiation at Hanford”

UC Berkeley Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society “Faking It: Counterfeits, Copies, and Uncertain Truths in Science, Technology and Medicine,” Berkeley, California, April

2014 “A Landscape up for Grabs: How Hanford’s Environmental Scientists Recreated Nature at the United States’ most Polluted Place”

OSU Library Resident Scholar Presentation, Corvallis, Oregon, October