March 2019 Graduate

Taymee Brandon

Home Town: Butte, Montana
Tribe: Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians
Scholarship: GMS – Graduate
School: Montana Tech of the University of Montana
Major: Environmental Engineering Master’s
GPA: 3.8

Community Service

  • Graduate Student Mentor for the Montana Tech Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (2018)
  • Paper Reviewer for the Intermountain Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (IJSHS) (2018)
  • Volunteer Science Fair Judge for:
    o The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference (2018)
    o The Montana Science Fair (2014-2016)
  • Member of the Montana Tech Regional Science & Engineering Fair Planning Committee and Logo Designer (2018)
  • Montana Tech Fellows in Research Program Member (2017-2018)
  • Member of the AISES and Secretary of the Montana Tech AISES Club (2017-2018)
  • Member of the American Chemical Society (2016-Present)
  • Member and volunteer through the Montana Tech Chapter of AmeriCorps (2017-2018)
  • Member of the Montana Tech Environmental Engineering Club (2017-Present)
  • Kiwanis International Service Organization Involvement (Over 1000 service hours through the organization)
    o Board Member of the Montana Tech Circle K Volunteer Group (2017-2018)
    o Board Member of the University of Montana Circle K Volunteer Group (2011-2016)
    o Board Member of the C.M.R. High School Key Club Volunteer Group (2008-2011)
  • Volunteer Chemistry Tutor through the University of Montana Chemistry Department of the College of Arts and Sciences (2011-2016)
  • Presidential Leadership Scholar and Honor Student Association Member through the Davidson Honors College of the University of Montana (2011-2016)
  • Gates Millennium Scholars Ambassador through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Sloan Scholar, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Indigenous Graduate Partnership (SIGP) Program, awarded in 2017-2018
  • Recipient of the A.T. Anderson Memorial Scholarship through the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (2017)
  • Montana American Indian Student Scholar through the Montana University System (2017-Present)
  • Member of the Pacific Northwest Circle of Success: Mentoring Opportunities in STEM Alliance funded by NSF (2017-present)

Bio

Taymee is a proud member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians community, and considered a legal descendant of her maternal grandmother, who is an enrolled member. Having been born in Havre, MT, and raised near family on the Rocky Boy Reservation, Taymee was able to gain a sense of culture and community with her Native American heritage.

An issue that many reservations confront, as well as most cultures in general, is how to solve the environmental challenges humanity currently faces and is projected to face in the future. On Taymee’s home reservation of Rocky Boy, one such issue has been finding an adequate and quality source of water. Taymee’s family and culture taught her that the earth is sacred, to always respect it, and to be conscious of how her actions impact the environment. She carried this ideology into her studies, and at an early age decided she wanted to be a scientist. Arguably, it is the duty of all people to take care of the earth, but scientists are tasked with the essential endeavor of solving the environmental problems through innovation, persistence, and engineering.

By pursuing a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering at Montana Tech, Taymee has been able to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to enhance her capacity for providing solutions to environmental problems, specifically the need for an adequate tribal water supply in terms of quantity and quality to guarantee tribal community sustainability. Taymee’s graduate thesis project is titled: “Using Extra-cellular Electron Transfer Biofilms to Remove Excessive Nitrates and Combat the Limnological and Oceanic Eutrophication Issue.” Her current and future research intends to create a sustainable in-situ denitrification technology that would be used to manage the nitrogen runoff from agricultural fertilizer usage, thus improving the overall quality of water in many affected areas.