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Brad Higgins

Major: Environmental Biology

Class: 2011

After one conversation with Brad Higgins, you quickly realize he’s not the type of person who has any desire to pursue a nine-to-five office job. Ever since he was a small child, Brad has loved nature and the environment and he’s adamant about making his living in the great outdoors. There’s no place that better fits that description than the wilds of Glacier National Park in northern Montana. That’s why Brad was right at home during his two-month internship at the sprawling 1.4 million acre national park, where he worked on an important grizzly bear research project. 

Working in Glacier National Park
“It was really everything I expected it to be and more. I learned so much and had such a great experience,” said Brad, who, not surprisingly, majored in environmental biology at Keystone. Simply getting accepted as a summer intern at Glacier National Park was an accomplishment because competition for summer programs at national parks is fierce, and most students selected are actually college graduates pursuing master’s degrees.

During that internship experience, Brad would go on a rotation of nine days in the field and five days in camp. While in the field he traveled to various remote locations where he lived in a cabin or a tent. He spent most of his time acquiring “bear rubs” or grizzly bear hair samples, which are collected from trees, poles, and fences. The samples are then analyzed to determine valuable information about the population of bears living within the study area, such as an estimate of size and genetics. The entire process provides critical information about the bear population inside the mammoth national park.

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