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Sam Bringhurst

AED (Academy for Educational Development)

Where do you work? How long have you worked there? What do you do?

Serving as department liason for counterpart who is currently closing out USAID funded HIV/AIDS prevention project in Accra, Ghana.

Have you earned any additional degrees or certifications since graduating from BYU?

Yes, I recently finished a dual masters program in international affairs and natural resources & sustainable development from American University (Washington, DC) and the UN mandated Universidad para la Paz (Costa Rica) respectivly.

How is your profession related to Environmental Science?

Currently I am doing "contract" work still trying to get my profession off the ground. But I am interested in working for either the US State Department foreign service or USAID foreign service and using the knowledge gained both during undergrad and grad school.

What are the most rewarding aspects of managing your career?

Pursuing goals and reaching them. Establishing rewarding connections through work. Development of career and discovery of new talents and capacity in pursuing current career goals.

What changes do you see or expect in your profession in the near future?

Continued growth, interest, research in renewable energy initiatives, issues, concepts and challenges. Likewise, as baby boomers retire supposedly an increase in job availability within the Federal Government

There is a common misconception of lumping environmental science with environmental activism. How can our department best address this perception problem with our students and employers?

Show that the program is not only policy based but also provides a solid scientific background. Show that the students can choose either path and that can be effective and make a positive impact in both the policy realm and the more applied science realm in addressing environmental issues. Both are needed and frequently overlap. Highlight past graduates who are having successful application of their knowledge gained at BYU in both realms.

How can students best network within your profession in order to gain employment or internships? Does your company have internships that may be of interest to our students?

Contacting alumni, volunteering, studying up on organizations you might be interested in working for and even if they are not currently hiring calling and asking for an informational interview, finding a mentor...

Do you have any general advice for our students or our faculty with regard to your profession?

Learn how to job hunt. Read "What Color is Your Parachute," provide some kind of a crash course for those students about to graduate based on that book or other practical job hunting guides. Many graduates finish college and have alot of book knowledge but are lacking in street smarts in order to do things such as "salary negotiation" etc. Dont be afraid to dream and pursue your dreams.

Would you share a favorite memory of your BYU professors?

Early morning Basic Soil Science lab with Bruce Webb. Environmental Biology class with Dr. Terry and the fieldtrip class he taught. Although I hated it at the time- taking Soil Taxonomy and Soil Physics from Dr. Nelson. The comics that Dr. Jolley would use before each PowerPoint lecture to help lighten things up and help take the edge off. They and others were all fantastic professors.

Environmental Science & Sustainability in the News
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May 18, 2020 09:58 PM
ESS professor Zach Aanderud and his team of students use cutting-edge molecular methods to track COVID-19 in municipal wastewater.
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ESS undergraduate Natasha Griffin has presented at conferences in Europe, ridden in a helicopter and visited both the North and South Poles to figure out how humans are affecting the Earth.
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April 08, 2020 10:36 AM
ESS PhD student Sara Sayedi wanted to use science to improve policy in her home country of Iran, but politics limited her work in the public arena. Now at BYU, she is influencing policy at a global scale.
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BYU team investigates ecosystem resilience to wildfire, linking plants, streams, climate, and society
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Professor Sam St. Clair from the Environmental Science & Sustainability program takes the vitals of one of North America's keystone tree species.
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January 16, 2018 10:00 PM
ESS professor Ben Abbott presents a new tool to fight nutrient pollution. Streams can be “sensors” of ecosystem health, allowing both improved water quality and food production.

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September 11, 2018 10:00 PM
Dance professor Keely Song and ESS professor Ben Abbott teamed up to promote BYU's free UTA passes to students, employees, and their families.
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July 03, 2020 03:29 PM
While at BYU, Dr. Gary Booth taught a wide range of subjects. Students and faculty alike appreciated Booth and his impact on the college.
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July 23, 2020 09:56 AM
After reading 115 studies on COVID-19, ESS faculty and students published non-technical report on the effectiveness of masks at slowing the spread.
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June 27, 2013 10:00 PM
If Utah’s quaking aspen appear to be quaking more than usual this summer, the trees have reason to tremble, says a Brigham Young University biologist. In dappled forests across the West, aspen trees are battling deadly killers from heat stroke to bud-nipping predators to tree “heart attacks.”
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March 17, 2020 11:10 AM
ESS professor Ben Abbott co-authored a study in Nature on the permafrost climate feedback. Working with an international team, he found that abrupt permafrost collapse could double carbon release.
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June 10, 2019 10:00 PM
A new study in Nature Geoscience led by ESS professor and students found that the global water cycle is incorrect even in modern papers and textbooks. 85% of diagrams show no people, despite human domination of water at a global scale.
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June 29, 2020 02:18 PM
Professors and students from Environmental Science & Sustainability lead research projects from Antarctica to Alaska.
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February 03, 2019 10:00 PM
The solution to nutrient pollution could be right below out feet. Literally. New study reveals the active and dynamic world of groundwater microbes.
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By Carlee Reber
June 05, 2019 01:06 PM
Will we show up in the geologic record in millions of years? The Anthropocene suggests the answer is yes: collective human impact on the environment will leave a definitive mark in future bedrock.
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