True grit: Brock is climbing her way to success
Undeterred by life’s challenges, student pursues complex science
Los Alamos Environmental Stewardship intern Burgandy Brock has a lot on her plate, but that hasn’t diminished her drive to learn more about all types of science. When she’s not working, she’s studying full time towards her biology degree or the young mother is caring for her infant son.
“I go to all the student lectures; they give me a really good idea about all the work we do here,” says Brock, who takes advantage of the Lab’s many tours and talks and finds research inspiration from visiting the multidisciplinary labs outside of her field. “Pretty much everything we do at LANL is interesting.”
Brock’s college physics teacher and Los Alamos mentor, radiation expert Mike McNaughton, offered her a position with the Environmental Stewardship Services group because of curiosity and willingness to volunteer for novel projects, including her current Lab project: radiation detection and analysis.
She compiles the Lab’s Environmental Report Summary, which reveals comprehensive analysis of environmental data collected from the air, soil and surface and ground water. This report, distributed to the public, supports Los Alamos’ commitment to clean up contamination from the past, minimize current operational impacts and create a sustainable future.
“The main goal of the summary is to present information to the general public on things such as radiation/chemical dose to people and the environment in a way that is both educational and stimulating. My hope is to get people really interested so that they want to know more,” Brock explains.
Brock and colleagues frequently monitor radiation in surrounding communities and meet with residents to allay fears and prevent misconceptions.
An avid outdoorswoman who loves adrenaline sports such as rock climbing, the Los Alamos native respects the Lab and the foundation it provides.
“It’s a great place to get started in a serious science career,” Brock touts. “It’s the best job I could ever hope for.”» Return to homepage