Pamela Braff (CAS ’11)

Pamela Braff, 2011

 

Preparing a squid for dissection.The most rewarding part of my time at Boston University was my involvement with the BU Marine Program.  The two Marine Semesters I participated in were the most thrilling, hectic, and amazing courses of my college experience. marine program courses are designed to teach students how to become and think as scientists.  The academic challenges of the BU Marine Program extend much further than reading textbooks, memorizing facts, and preparing for exams. Instead of textbooks, students rely on binoculars, microscopes, waders, and snorkel gear to learn as much as possible about the marine environment. Our homework consisted of researching primary scientific literature and developing experimental designs. Exams and quizzes were replaced with actual field and laboratory experiments.

After graduation I decided to expand my horizons and apply my research and GIS experience outside of marine science.  I began a nine month Fire/Habitat Management Internship at National Key Deer Refuge in the Florida Keys with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  I was responsible for various GIS projects such as compiling geospatial fire history data and developing models to predict wildfire risk in fire prone communities. I was also trained as a wildland firefighter and participated in wildfire response and prescribed burns to manage habitat and reduce fuel loads.  I then surveyed vegetation and wildlife pre and post burn for fire severity and effects. I just finished up this internship at the end January and am hoping to attend graduate school in the fall for geography.

UPDATE (Spring 2014): Pamela started her PhD program at The College of William & Mary, Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS).