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Posted 7/29/2015

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By Marie Darling
ERDC Public Affairs

ERDC-CRREL Researchers Jackie Richter-Menge, Dr. Zoe Courville and Leonard Zabilansky recently hosted a group of students from St. Paul’s School’s (Concord, New Hampshire) Advanced Studies Program (ASP).

Also participating in this visit was Amherst, New Hampshire, resident and Eagle Scout Candidate Jacob Roberts, who needed to tour a federal facility to earn his Citizenship in the Nation merit badge. Besides fulfilling his merit badge requirement, he expressed his keen interest in engineering topics.

The students’ interests ranged from topics in climate change to experimental design and engineering.
Richter-Menge, an Arctic researcher, provided the students a presentation on her work with CRREL’s Climate Change research that included a section on living and working in the Arctic.

Courville, a research mechanical engineer whose research includes work in both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, provided a visit to a coldroom to view a 60,000-year-old ice core from Greenland. She explained the research involved with ageing an ice core and how to conduct atmospheric analysis leading to understanding past weather trends and the core’s chemical compounds.

Within CRREL’s Ice Engineering Facility, Research Civil Engineer Zabilansky provided the students a presentation on experimental design, which included his recent work on identifying and mitigating oil in and under an ice sheet in a prepared laboratory setting.

“Finding a quantity of oil that has either spilled into or leaked under an ice surface is a real challenge, since you cannot ‘see’ it,” said Zabilansky. “By utilizing novel detection devices such as ground penetrating radar, oil spill workers can quickly detect and begin mitigation techniques; thereby, safeguarding the environment from further contamination.”

Founded in 1856, St. Paul’s School is a coeducational boarding school for grades nine through 12. The school’s ASP provides students a five-and-a-half-week intensive study program for approximately 260 juniors annually from the state’s public and parochial high schools.