USMA Cadet Assists CRREL with Snow Roads

Published Aug. 7, 2012
Cadet McCauley

Cadet McCauley

Public Affairs Office

 HANOVER, N.H. – ERDC Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) hosted U.S. Military Academy (USMA) Cadet Abigail “Abby” McCauley this summer as a research assistant for Civil Engineer Dr. Sally Shoop on the Snow Roads project.

A Woodlands, Texas, native, McCauley will begin her junior year as a civil engineering major in the fall.

Cadet summer research is beneficial to both the cadet and to the organization.  The cadets contribute significantly to CRREL research efforts while gaining valuable experience.

“Abby is helping us analyze the snow road data collected along the Pegasus Road at McMurdo Station,” said Shoop.  “Specifically, she is comparing the snow strength data to road maintenance events to look for evidence of how the maintenance techniques affect the road condition.  To do that, you must look at the entire picture as the road is continually subjected to temperature fluctuations, wind and snow, and vehicle use; all of which influence the road condition.  She is also looking for correlations between the strength and other basic parameters like snow temperature and density.”

“Snow roads research is very interesting to me because of the many different factors that play into the strength of snow,” said McCauley.  “Working on this program has given me the opportunity to do something worthwhile and beneficial to a real-world project.”

“It has been great working with Cadet McCauley,” said Shoop.  “She is very professional, extremely competent and quick to learn unfamiliar concepts, like how to construct and maintain a snow road and why that is important.  I’ve always found the cadets who have come to CRREL to be eager and willing partners and at the top of their game.  They are not afraid to try anything and work hard to get things done.”

Cadets returning to the academy also become ambassadors for the ERDC organization while in school and after being commissioned as Army officers.

“I have seen a diversity of projects while at CRREL,” said McCauley.  “I feel I have a better appreciation now for some of the challenges associated with polar conditions, as well as the wider applicability of seemingly specialized research and all of the people and processes that contribute to successful projects.”