Name: Jocelyn Cramer
Programs completed at APU: BA Outdoor Studies and BS Environmental Science
Project Title: Gas Diffusion in Wet Avalanche Debris Pertaining to Search and Rescue Dogs
Hometown: Coventry, Connecticut
Why APU: I grew up surrounded by woods but wanted something more… the mountains! I knew I wanted to go somewhere I had never been before and Alaska was very enticing. I applied to APU, got accepted, and packed my bags for adventure.
Best Classes at APU: The best courses that I took at APU were “Snow Science for Professionals (I &II)”, the “Expedition Mountaineering” class, and Physics. I found my love for snow mechanics and traveling in the mountains from my expedition course and the snow science course. I learned here that I could combine my two favorite things, science and those wonderful geologic formations that we call mountains into one amazing field of study. I also enjoyed physics I & II because these classes truly challenged me and taught me that everything can be broken down into simple mathematical mechanics. I have learned a lot in my four years at APU and I can’t wait to apply everything I have learned in my future!
Favorite APU memory: My favorite APU memory was working on my senior project. I was able to collect field data during the 2016 spring semester, spend the summer processing my data, and be able to present my findings at the International Snow Science Workshop (ISSW) in Breckenridge, CO in October 2016. My project aimed to understand how human scent travels through different types of avalanche debris and how this effects search and rescue dogs’ ability to locate their bodies. With just a seasons worth of data I was able to develop a methodology that provided me with information to help search and rescue personnel in the future. Although difficult and stressful at times it offered me the opportunity to share my research with more than 1,000 professionals and practitioners in the scientific community.
Next adventure post-APU: I will be working as a research technician with the University of Alaska Anchorage on a project along the Agashashok River in the Noatak National Preserve, AK. We will be looking at how soil consistency and snow depth affects alpine tree performance at a microbial level.
Words of wisdom for students working on completing their degrees: Always go above and beyond, you never know where it can take you. Pushing yourself to the breaking point can sometimes reveal your true strengths. And never forget to eat… food is fuel!