Local Eagle Scout Prepares for a "Cool Summer" in the Antarctic


Local Eagle Scout Prepares for a "Cool Summer" in the Antarctic

IRVING, Texas—When 19-year-old Marietta, Georgia, resident Brad Range leaves in August for the operational hub of the U.S. Antarctic Program, McMurdo Station, Antarctica, he will be the 11th Scout chosen to conduct scientific research through the National Science Foundation's (NSF) U.S. Antarctic program. The first Scout accompanied Admiral Richard Byrd—at the well-known explorer's request—on his famous 1928 expedition to the then-unexplored continent.

From McMurdo, Range will join scientists studying the Antarctic ozone hole, and the subsequent effects of global warming on the Earth's ecosystem. He will then team up with NSF-supported researchers building a runway on sea ice. Range's educational studies in engineering will be useful in determining the thickness of the ice as it relates to the landing and takeoff of cargo planes.

Range studied astronomy in high school and will do so once again at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, situated in the vast Antarctic interior at 90*S

latitude. To close out the expedition, he will join an ice-breaking research ship as it travels toward New Zealand. Range will return to the United States in the spring, following the conclusion of his eight-month expedition.

The National Science Foundation places Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts with scientists in Antarctica as part of its commitment to integrating research and education. "We also like it that the Scouts report back in ways their peers understand and appreciate," said Guy Guthridge, the Foundation's manager for the program.

An article about the BSA Antarctic expedition roused Range's sprit of adventure and spurred him to apply for this research opportunity. While an honor student at Alan C. Pope High School, Range demonstrated his acumen for science—as an excellence in biology recipient, an academic bowl member, and a candidate of the highly selective Governor's Honors Program in science.

Range joined the Scouting program at the age of 10 as a Boy Scout in Troop 431, chartered by the Roswell United Methodist Church. He completed the requirements for Eagle Scout and is currently a member of Scouting's high-adventure Venturing program. Range's Scouting experiences allowed him to grow not only as a leader and outdoorsman, but spiritually too—serving as chaplain aide at various camping ventures.

Despite his academic, spiritual and Scouting activities, he still finds time to pursue another passion—music, playing for his high school band and the Georgia Tech Marching Band. Range just completed his freshman year at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he is majoring in mechanical engineering.

Since 1910, the Boy Scouts of America has been the nation's foremost program of character development and values-based leadership training for youth. The program encourages youth to pursue their special interests, make new friends, develop

leadership skills, and give back to their community. Scouting annually serves the needs of nearly 5 million youth. Learn more about Scouting at www.scouting.org.

The National Science Foundation is the federal agency that funds science and engineering research and education, mainly at the university level. The NSF is also responsible for the nation's presence in the Antarctic. You can learn more about the National Science Foundation by visiting www.nsf.gov.