Monday, July 28, 2014

Faces of SRAP: Bradley Branson

The Summer Research Apprentice Program has officially come to a close, but we will still be featuring a few SRAP participants on our blog! Stay tuned! 

Bradley Branson, a recent high school graduate from Riverton, Wyoming enjoyed Environmental Science the most out of all of his classes.
Bradley (left) and his mentor, Dr. Tom Minckley

“I found it very enjoyable,” he says. “All of the teachers made it a fun and enjoyable learning experience.”

Now that he’s graduated, Bradley will be attending Black Hills State University to study secondary science education and administration. Before he starts school though, Bradley was able to get six weeks of research experience under his belt.

“I am looking at core samples from Lily Lake in the north corner of Yellowstone,” he says. “Then I’m reconstructing past fires so that we can look at past patterns and be able to better predict fires in the future.”

Bradley worked with Dr. Tom Minckley in the Geography department, looking at samples of sediment from the bottom of Lily Lake.

“My favorite part is the fact that these samples I’m looking at go so far back in time,” he says. “I think that’s pretty cool.”

According to Dr. Minckley, these samples go back at least 15,000 years.

“So when he’s talking about history, we’re talking from the beginning of vegetation in this region, post glaciation.”

During his time at the University of Wyoming, Bradley hoped to learn more about Geography.

“It’s something that I’ve never studied,” he says. “I thought it sounded fun and interesting, so I’m glad I got placed in the department.”

SRAP is a six-week, intensive research program for high school students. It is based at the University of Wyoming and is sponsored by Wyoming EPSCoR. To learn more about the program, click here, or search "SRAP" in the archives. 

By Robin Rasmussen
Photo by Robert Waggener

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