Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Hugh Cowdin

Second Advisor

Dr. John Wanzenried

Third Advisor

Dr. Larry Stephens


Nebraska's low-level radioactive waste facility has been a controversial issue. In spite of the controversy, and reports of threats and intimidation techniques used against supporters, there is a group of citizens in the host county, Boyd County, who continue to support the facility. The purpose of this study is to determine (1) what activities or tactics supporters and communicators perceive have been used by people opposed to the facility to prevent the facility from being built, (2) what public relations techniques communicators not opposed to the facility have used, and whether these techniques have been used successfully in other controversial situations, (3) which public relations techniques supporters are aware of and which they view most favorably, and (4) how supporters and communicators feel these public relations techniques help offset the techniques supporters and communicators perceive have been used by people opposed to the facility. The four steps used to gather data were face-to-face interviews with key communicators who are not opposed to the project, telephone interviews with supporters in Boyd County, completion by supporters of the Marwell & Schmitt compliance-gaining table, and a content analysis of materials in two of the most widely-read newspapers in Boyd County.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Kelly L. Kimberly July, 1990