Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University
McLaughlin, Mark. 2009. Dr. R.W. Gerdel: A History of the Central Sierra Snow Laboratory in Soda Springs, California. Byrd Polar Research Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 16 pages.
Dr. James E. Church is revered as the "Father of Snow Surveying" but Church did not have the equipment or academic training to delve more deeply into the complex physical structure of the snowpack. A major advance for scientific research into the Sierra Nevada snowpack would come in 1945 when U.S. Weather Bureau physicist, Dr. Robert Gerdel was directed to build the Central Sierra Snow Research Laboratory at Soda Springs (near Donner Pass). This article is a brief history of the CSSL and Dr. Gerdel's contributions to the research and the building of the laboratory.