Ian Mccammon

Ian Mccammon

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24
Publications
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631
Citations

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
Errors in judgement have long been identified as key contributors to backcoun-try avalanche accidents. Our understanding of human error in avalanche terrain is improving, but our practical knowledge of how to combat its negative influences remains in its infancy. This article explores how the concept of human factors has evolved in the context of a...
Article
Dry-snow slab avalanche release is generally believed to proceed in three stages: 1) initiation of a local failure (crack), 2) widespread fast propagation of that fracture beneath the slab, and 3) detachment of the slab from its margins. To date, most field stability tests primarily assess the strength of the weak layer and thus relate to the first...
Article
Avalanche forecasting at the slope scale is an essential skill for traveling safely in avalanche terrain. Recent studies indicate that this skill is difficult for recreationists to master, and is subject to a number of persistent biases that can lead to avalanche accidents and their associated fatalities. In an effort to address this problem, resea...
Article
Full-text available
An exceptionally high number of avalanche fatalities during the winter of 2003 forced the Canadian avalanche community to question the effectiveness of existing public ava-lanche safety programs in Canada. In response to the recommendations of several avalanche safety reviews, the Canadian Avalanche Association launched the ADFAR (Avalanche Decisio...
Article
Full-text available
This paper evaluates a new decision aid for traveling in avalanche terrain. The aid is intended primarily for winter recreationists in Canada and provides guidance in trip selection, route finding and slope evaluation. In contrast to other avalanche decision aids, this tool does not attempt to calculate risk or the probability of triggering an aval...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dry snow slab avalanche release is generally believed to proceed in three stages: 1) initiation of a local failure, 2) widespread propagation of that fracture beneath the slab, and 3) detachment of the slab from its margins. To date, most field stability tests primarily assess the strength of the weak layer and thus relate to the first stage of ava...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, a number of decision-making frameworks have been developed to help European rec-reationists make better decisions in avalanche terrain. This study evaluated how well these frameworks might perform in North America by comparing four of them (the Reduction Method, NivoTest, Stop-or-Go, and the SnowCard) and one very simple decision s...
Article
Full-text available
Authors note: This article extends the findings I presented at the 2002 ISSW in Penticton, BC. A full version of the article, including a description of the statistical methods used, appeared in the Avalanche Review (Vol. 22, nos. 2 & 3). You can download the two-part article at www.snowpit.com. Several years ago, my buddy Steve died in an avalanch...
Article
Full-text available
Differences between avalanche experts and novices have long been cited as a key issue in designing effective avalanche education, yet few investigations have quantitatively explored these differ-ences. In this study, we examine how self-reported training, knowledge, skills, and behavior differ be-tween avalanche experts and novices. From 2002 to 20...
Article
Full-text available
heuristic mismatches in avalanche accidents involving victims with and without avalanche training. In a review of 41 avalanche accidents involving avalanche-aware victims, Atkins (2001) found that 34 accidents (83%) were due to decision-making errors rather than subtleties of the terrain or snowpack. These and other results have fostered a growing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Recent studies have confirmed what experienced avalanche workers have known for years: that human- triggered avalanches often coincide with specific structural patterns in the snowpack. In this paper, we examine the role of five structural parameters (weak layer depth, weak layer thickness, grain type, grain size and hardness transitions) in 145 hu...
Article
Full-text available
Avalanche education has become widely available in the United States, and yet trained recreationists continue to com - prise over a third of avalanche victims. Does avalanche education really make a difference? This study investigated the relationship between avalanche education and victim behavior in 344 recreational U.S. accidents, and found that...
Article
The authors introduce communication and control issues in the design of systems composed of distributed microsensors and microactuators. They examine reliability and bandwidth in the context of distributed microsystem design and suggest areas for further research and development. It is shown that communication networks for closed-loop microsystems...
Conference Paper
Despite recent advances in robot hand design and tactile sensing technology, dextrous robot hands with a comprehensive sense of touch are rare. The few existing dextrous touch systems universally exhibit problems of reliability, sensory coverage, bandwidth, or included volume. In an effort to establish a design methodology for dextrous tactile syst...
Article
A general-purpose manipulator, in conjunction with other sensory modalities, can be used to measure the three-dimen sional character of the environment, support object recogni tion and localization procedures, and perform alternately as a delicate and powerful manipulator. This paper surveys the technologies which support general-purpose manipulati...
Conference Paper
Research in robotics and automation is gradually revealing the importance of tactile information in the control of machine manipulation systems. Substantial research efforts have been devoted to the construction of compact, high resolution force sensing arrays which employ sophisticated transduction and processing techniques. A variety of systems h...
Conference Paper
In the course of the National Bureau of Standards' program in measurements and standards for automated manufacturing and robotics,a tactile sensing array with a high degree of conformability has been developed. The array consists of a pneumatically controlled matrix of displacement pins which provides a deformable grasping surface, and a correspond...
Article
Full-text available
A common expectation of avalanche education is that it should reduce the frequency of avalanche deaths. But is this expectation realistic? After all, education campaigns aimed at reducing unsafe sex, illegal drug use, unsafe driving and other risky behaviors have met with very limited success, and in some cases have even worsened the problems they...
Article
Full-text available
A common,expectation,of avalanche education,is that it should reduce,the frequency,of avalanche
Article
Full-text available
Increasing numbers of recreationists are accessing the backcountry beyond the boundaries of winter resorts. For recreationists, the sudden transition to backcountry avalanche con- ditions poses a risk management challenge. For resorts, the content and presentation of out-of- bounds (OB) hazard information presents a risk communication challenge. Th...
Article
Full-text available
January 12, 1993, three skiers left Vail Ski Area headed for the backcountry. The avalanche hazard was posted as high for that day, but the three friends had just completed an avalanche course and were confident they could find safe powder skiing beyond the area boundar-ies. They had been warned about the unstable condi-tions by the Vail ski patrol...

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