GEM Environmental is excited to welcome one of our new members to the team! Michael Branham is one of our Youth Conservation Interns working as a Range Technician in cooperation with the BLM at the Lower Sonoran Field Office.
Michael is a 31 year old Arizona native. He likes to spend his free time outside. His favorite outdoor activities are fishing, exploring, gold panning/mineral hunting, and camping. He values STEM education because it gives him the educational background he needs to make sense of what he finds and sees in the wilderness. It has also instilled in him, the value and importance of it’s preservation and management. Welcome to the team Michael!
How did you hear about this service opportunity?
I was connected to GEM Environmental through my college geology professor Pamela Nelson at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona.
Please provide a brief description highlighting your work/area of focus.
As I continue through my educational career, I find myself with interests towards cattle/rangeland management and long-term ecosystem sustainability. My intended focus will be the use and preservation of public lands and sustainable land use programs.
What do you plan to accomplish during your service term with GEM?
I plan to gain as much practical work and field experience as I possibly can while participating with GEM. I also intend to represent the scientific community and the GEM organization to the highest standards possible while learning from active members of the scientific community.
What are your career goals?
My long term career goals are to be a Rangeland Manager for the BLM and/or participate in programs that focus on natural resource management and preservation.
Do you plan to continue your education? If so, what programs or school are you looking into and what is the highest degree you plan to earn?
I plan to finish my undergraduate program at Arizona State University and want to graduate with a bachelors in Environmental Sciences. I hope to one day complete a graduate program from ASU and wish to contribute to the scientific community with the highest level of education possible.
Have you had any other internship or service opportunities before this? If so, how do you believe internships have benefited you so far?
I have not had prior experience with an internship before but I have previous professional experience with the BLM. That experience has led me to want to take any opportunity available to work with that organization again. My previous experience was a pleasant one that has made me want to gain full time employment with that organization in the scientific capacity.
Anything else you'd like to share about your work, yourself, or the STEM fields?
I am very excited and thrilled to become a member of the GEM Team. So far through my educational studies I have found that my pursuit of scientific knowledge and answers tends to lead to more questions and pursuits. Being a part of an organization such as GEM provides me the necessary tools and direction needed to continue my educational goals. For that I will be forever grateful. Thank you GEM I look forward to the positive experiences and relationships ahead.