Interactive Online StoryMap

The LeRoi Smelter and the Upper Columbia River Basin

By Nick Baca, Olivia Hobson, and Brenden Murphy

Historical LeRoi Smelter photos courtesy of the Northport Historical Society.

The communication piece in the form of an ESRI StoryMap was created to present the findings of our research. A StoryMap is an interactive online website that includes spatial maps and other multi-media facets. A significant part of this project involves portraying the extent and magnitude of the pollution from these smelters. This is where mapping technology and visuals lends itself to effectively communicating the data. Click here to view our StoryMap.

The Upper Columbia: A River of Industry

View our interactive online website


I took an environmental studies capstone course Spring Quarter of 2021 called ENVS 417 – SMOCS, which stands for Science, Management, and Outreach of Contaminated Sites. This course is partially grant-funded by the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology). Student groups in this course typically choose a contaminated site in Washington to study and propose a research project or a communication piece centered around the site. These sites are called MTCA sites, which stands for Model Toxics Control Act, which is Washington state’s cleanup law. Our group decided to create and present a communication piece about contamination in the Upper Columbia River basin. I presented this research project and communication piece as my Honors Capstone final project. 

I would like to thank my other two group members Olivia Hobson and Nick Baca for their effort and support on this research and communication project throughout the quarter. I would also like to thank all the sources we spoke to this quarter who helped us grasp an understanding of this complex, multifaceted region. Thank you to Sandra Trecanni, John Roland, and the folks at Ecology, Monica Tonel at the EPA, Jeff Johnson with the Department of Interior, Jamie Paparich, Andrew Child, Jim Regis, Kate Darby, and Shawn Behling. 

Brenden Murphy 

The LeRoi Smelter, 1901 – Northport, WA

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