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ERDC Environmental Laboratory hosts U.S. Military Academy

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Vicksburg, Miss. – Dr. Nathan Beane, research forester, and Mr. Gabe Powell, geospatial scientist, of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC)-Environmental Laboratory hosted United States Military Academy (USMA) cadet Jordan Tucker from May 24 through June 9.

Tucker is pursuing a geospatial information science major with a minor in space science and working with the ERDC via a USMA Advanced Individual Academic Development (AIAD) internship program. As a USMA honors-track candidate and Engineer Branch hopeful, this opportunity allowed Tucker to visit and work with scientists at the ERDC and see the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) research and development organization firsthand.

For the AIAD internship, Tucker was paired with Beane and Powell on active efforts within the Intelligent Environmental Battlespace Assessment (IEBA) research program led by Dr. Elizabeth Ferguson, lead technical director of Installations and Operational Environments. Tucker assisted with developing a global vegetation characterization framework that will be utilized by the warfighter as a military planning tool.

A highlight of the first week included interactive tours at the ERDC’s Vicksburg, Mississippi, headquarters across multiple research laboratories to gain situational awareness of the military and civil support that the ERDC provides to the USACE mission, as well as to the Department of Defense. Following the ERDC-Vicksburg experience, Tucker will join Beane and his team in the field for 10 days to collect forest samples at specific areas of interest in four states. During this time, Tucker will have hands-on experience with forest sampling techniques, tree identification, GPS/mapping, and field data collection protocols that will be implemented into forest modeling research efforts.

For the final portion of his internship, Tucker joined Beane and Powell at the Geospatial Research Laboratory, in Alexandria, Virginia, for two days to meet with other team members within the IEBA research program as well as meet with scientist and engineers working within the Enhance Terrain Processing program at GRL.