Scientific Research Experience Through the Gifted Mentorship Program
Ben Duhrsen with his mentors Jeremy Littell, Ph.D., USGS Research Ecologist and Lead Research Scientist at the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (R) and Ryan Toohey, Ph.D., USGS Physical Scientist at the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (L).
West High School and Gifted Mentorship student Ben Duhrsen is currently mentoring with Dr. Jeremy Littell, United States Geological Survey (USGS) Research Ecologist and Lead Research Scientist and Dr. Ryan Toohey, USGS Physical Scientist at the Alaska Climate Adaptation Science Center (L).
Ben Duhrsen is a junior at West and participates on the tennis and cross-country ski teams. He is a coach for the Anchorage Junior Nordic Ski Team and completed the National Outdoor Leadership School this summer.
Ben learned of the Gifted Mentorship Program through his mom and his older sister who also participated in the program. Ben’s sister, Venessa, completed a mentorship during the 2016-17 school year with Environmental Education at Alaska Youth for Environmental Action, now called The Alaska Center.
Ben is excited to learn more about climate and environmental based research, how to operate equipment effectively to collect data and is looking forward to getting out into the field with his mentors this fall.
After graduating from high school, Ben wants to go to a college where he can major in a field focusing on scientific research. He said he’s excited for what his mentorship will do for his future. He explained, “Participating in the program will give me a first-hand experience with two professionals in a field I am interested in, which is extremely valuable and cannot be taught in the typical high school setting.”
The application window for the 2020-2021 school year will open on February 1, 2020 for next year's juniors and seniors. Check out the website for more information, www.asdk12.org/giftedmentorship.