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APU undergrad earns a spot in NSF geophysics research program

APU undergraduate Sam Friedman,’13, is among advanced student scholars selected for a National Science Foundation summer program focusing on geophysics.

Friedman joined 30 other student researchers taking part in the internationally competitive Summer of Applied Geophysics Experience in Santa Fe, NM.

A graduate of APU’s Early Honors program, Friedman is completing a BS in Earth Sciences and a BA in Liberal Studies with a religious studies concentration. The three-week SAGE program concluded July 12.

Friedman credits Michael G. Loso, APU earth sciences associate professor, and Luc Mehl, APU environmental science instructor, for encouraging him to apply for a spot in the geophysics program.

“When I first learned I’d been accepted to SAGE, I was literally jumping up and down for joy,” Friedman said. “I love math, so this is very exciting.”

SAGE is among Research Experiences for Undergraduates, sponsored by NSF and hosted annually by Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

SAGE combines field work, teaching and research on real-world projects. Among other topics, Friedman focused on principles and applications of land-based geophysical methods, including seismic, magnetic, gravity, GPS and electromagnetic.

Friedman said he’s considering geophysics as a potential career.

“I wasn’t expecting to love physics when I took it last year at APU – but I did,” he said. Because geology typically is among the least mathematical sciences, Friedman said the prospect of combining his math skills with his passion for earth science made SAGE a valuable opportunity.

Friedman first came to APU in 2007 as an Early Honors student from Polaris K-12 School in Anchorage. His senior project examines the intersection of earth science and ecotheology as they pertain to Alaska’s Pebble Mine, within the Bristol Bay watershed in southwest Alaska.

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