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
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.