Bonnie Klamm, daughter of Michael and Colleen Klamm of Clinton, graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Mexico on May 12.
Klamm earned a 4.18 grade point average (the university has a weighted GPA system) and received a bachelor’s degree in earth and planetary science and a minor in chemistry. Klamm, a graduate of South Whidbey High School, also attended Western Washington University as a teaching assistant. She worked as a laboratory prepper for two labs and tutored undergraduate students in chemistry and biology. She also ran and competed for the Vikings’ cross country team.
She also completed a 16-week internship in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where she worked in the astrophysics department for the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) collaboration. In the summer of 2015, she was accepted into Washington State University’s Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Summer School, which was funded by the Department of Energy and Department of Homeland Security. She received top grades in radio chemistry, according to a press release.
She transferred to the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2015 with a full-ride scholarship. In 2016, she worked as an undergraduate chemistry intern at Sandia National Laboratory at the Advanced Materials Laboratory under Ryan Hess. Klamm later shared her research on green energy at the 253rd American Chemical Society National Meeting and Exposition.
Klamm is heading to Florida State University this summer to work with and observe the chemistry and analysis of Einsteinium, the 99th atomic element discovered in the debris of the first hydrogen bomb test. Klamm starts her Ph.D. program in radio chemistry in July with all tuition and books covered by working as a teaching assistant in general chemistry lab classes.
Klamm’s future goals are to apply her knowledge in the field of nuclear energy and waste, with a specific focus on improving the United States’ nuclear waste disposal and geologic repositories.