Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Well, I don't anticipate that I'll post anymore for a while. I'll get a write-up for the Holiday Party written some time next year. But for now, because my Texas roots have made me a big fan of Robert Earl Keen - Merry Christmas from the Family !

Dam Failure in Tennessee

A Tennesse Valley Authority power plant had a dam failure at one its slurry ponds. A few houses were flooded and infrastruture impacted, but now serious injuries are reported.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

SR 87 Landslide Moving Again?

Interesting – ADOT is reporting movement at the SR 87 landslide. With a major winter storm, the associated moisture, and freeze thaw pressures, this isn’t really surprising. However, the question is will it become a major issue or not. And will it activate some of the other landslides in the area.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

New Earth Fissure Maps Released

The AZGS released two new earth fissure study area maps.

AZGS is posting pdf images and GIS shape files. Interactive versions of the maps are available at the AZMAP Earth Fissure Viewer web site.

AEG member are invited to participate at the GSA Annual Meeting

From email:

The 2009 GSA Annual Meeting will be in Portland, OR on Oct. 18-21, 2009.
Topical submissions are due by Jan. 6, 2009, and will be reviewed during the month of January 2009.

Field trip and short course ideas are due Dec. 2, 2008.

If you have any ideas for a topical session, field trip, or short course, please submit them as soon as possible by going to http://www.geosociety.org/meetings/2009/ and accessing the appropriate link(s) under “Call for Proposals.”

Remember, if a session draws less than 10 abstract submissions, that topical session will be cancelled, but generally, we will try to combine abstracts from other sessions that are sponsored by the Engineering Geology Division (EGD).

Abstracts for these sessions will be due this summer – details will follow later. Please remember that the abstract format has now changed to a limit of 2000 characters (it used to be 350 words.)

Thank you,
J. David Rogers
GSA EGD Chair-Elect

REG Review Courses

From email:


The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) is pleased to announce the Winter 2009 series of review courses for the ASBOG geology licensing exam taught by REG REVIEW, Inc. AEG and REG REVIEW, Inc. have partnered to provide these courses since 1992. In the Winter of 2009, review courses will be offered in Portland, OR - for the Pacific Northwest region, Orlando, FL and Charlotte, NC - for the Southeast region, Baltimore (BWI), MD - for the Central East Coastal region, Manchester, NH for the Northeast region, Indianapolis, IN - for the North Central region, Kansas City, MO - for the Central Midwest region, Dallas, TX for the South Central region, Denver, CO - for the Central Western region, as well as Northern and Southern California locations in Sacramento and Santa Ana.

Course dates and locations are as follows:

Central US Courses - Winter, 2009

2009NCUS-1 - Indianapolis, IN, January 8, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009SCUS-1 - Dallas, TX, January 9, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009CUS-1 - Kansas City, MO, January 10, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009CWUS-1 - Denver, CO, January 11, 2009, 8am to 4pm

West Coast Courses - Winter, 2009

2009PNW-1 - Portland, OR, January 16, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009SC-1 - Santa Ana, CA, January 17, 2009, 8am to 5pm
2009NC-1 - Sacramento, CA, January 18, 2009, 8am to 5pm

Eastern US Courses - Winter, 2009

2009SEUS-1 - Orlando, FL, January 23, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009SEUS-2 - Charlotte, NC, January 24, 2009, 7:30am to 3:30pm
2009CEUS-1 - Baltimore-Washington Area, January 25, 2009, 8am to 4pm
2009NEUS-1 - Manchester, NH, January 31, 2009, 8am to 4pm

We are also teaching a course for the Puerto Rico Department of Natural Resources
2009PR-1 - February, 2009, 8am to 4pm

California Courses are $515 for AEG members, $530 for nonmembers.
ASBOG Courses are $445 for AEG members, $460 for nonmembers.
Preregistration deadlines for the Winter, 2009 courses are a postmark date of December 18, 2008 for all Central U.S. and West Coast courses, January 2, 2009 for Eastern US courses, and January 16, 2009 for the Puerto Rico course.

REG Review, Inc. has been teaching these courses in California since 1985. In March 2000, we began to direct our teaching towards the ASBOG geology licensing exam. The pass rate for students in classes since then has ranged from 85 to 99%. The courses are taught by Patti Sutch, California PG 3949, CEG1641, and CHG 25, and Lisa Dirth, California PG 3951, CEG 1240, and North Carolina RG by ASBOG exam.

Current information on study manuals, flash cards, and courses, including specific locations, may be found online on REG REVIEW, Inc's website at http://regreview.com To contact REG REVIEW Inc.: e-mail - regreview@aol.com, mailing address - 178 Bowles Rd, Newbury, NH 03255 , telephone - East Coast call Lisa Dirth at603-763-3272, (fax)603-763-3341. West Coast (evenings) Patti Sutch at 916-456-4870.

Please pass this information on to any geologist that you know is taking the state licensure examinations. Thanks.

Lisa Dirth
178 Bowles Rd
Newbury NH 03255603-763-3272

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Arizona AEG Holiday Celebration

Dear AEG Members, Professional Colleagues, Students, and Friends:

The Arizona Section of AEG is very pleased to announce our First Annual Holiday Party, which will be held on Thursday, December 18th. You are all invited to attend at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa. Registration will begin at 5:30 PM and we will be allowed after-hours access to view the museum's exhibits until 7 PM, at which time the dinner buffet will commence. Dinner will be catered by La Parrilla Suiza, and the menu will consist of mini beef chimichangas, mini chicken flautas, cheese enchiladas, beef tacos, and rice, beans, chips and salsa.

Complimentary beverages will also be served during the reception period from 5:30 to 7. Please refer to the attached flyer for more details.

We are pleased to announce that the meeting will be sponsored by HDR, Basin & Range Hydrogeologists, and EnviroDrill in order to cover some of the costs.

Please bring your loved ones and friends. The meeting dues are as follows:

$5 Students
$25 Members
$30 Non-Members
$15 Spouses/Guests
$10 Kids
$50 Max for Families

We will not be featuring a speaker and presentation since this will be more of a social/networking event. However, we will be hosting a silent auction, which currently includes mineral specimens, maps, and books. We are trying to arrange for sports paraphernalia, as well, to incite interest from our non-geologist guests. We will announce the winners after dinner.

As you can imagine, with an event like this, it will be important to provide an accurate head count to the caterer. Please RSVP to me at hhespeler@ninyoandmoore.com by Tuesday, December 16th. I hope to see all of you there!

Monday, December 1, 2008

AZGS Report on the SR 87 Landslide

The Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) has released a preliminary report about the landslide that closed SR 87 between Phoenix and Payson last March. It's a short and informative report with some interesting findings - most notably the identification of 4 paleo-landslides in the area, and that part of one of those was reactivated to cause the road closure.

While it's still preliminary, we have scheduled the Aecom (formerly DMJM Harris) team to give us a presentation about the remediation of this landslide for our meeting on May 7, 2009.

"Reconnaissance Report on the Easter Weekend Landslide of 21 March 2008, SR-87, Gila County, Arizona." by M. Diaz, B. Gootee and A. Youberg

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Few Links of Interest

Well, I'm heading out for the holdiay soon and I hope all you have a great Thanksgiving. Here are a few links I've found interesting over the past few days. Enjoy!

Environmental & Engineering Geoscience (E&EG) Wants Your Paper

From the email:
We hope you had a busy and interesting summer field season. We wanted to remind our members that if you have worked on an interesting project, we would like to hear about it.

Environmental & Engineering Geoscience (E&EG), a quarterly journal copublished by the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America, is seeking new manuscripts. E&EG publishes peer-reviewed contributions, based on original work, in the broadly defined areas of environmental and engineering geosciences (including geomorphology, hydrogeology, low-temperature geochemistry,neotectonics, and other earth surface processes). Both theoretical and empirical contributions related to these areas are welcome, although preference will be given to papers of an applied nature. Specifically, E&EG encourages the submission of the following kinds of papers.
  • Results of original research in the environmental and engineering geosciences.
  • Case histories describing the solution of new or unusually difficult problems in the applied geosciences.
  • Review papers that summarize the state of the science or professional practice in a branch of the applied geosciences, including contributions describing relevant aspects of local or regional geology or the history of environmental and engineering geosciences.
  • Short technical notes (six published pages or less) describing new techniques, novel case histories or other topics in the environmental and engineering geosciences.
  • Brief critical discussions of papers and technical notes published in E&EG.

All manuscript submissions are now electronic via AllenTrack. Authors should visit the AEG website at www.aegweb.org and click on Publications under the Professionals tab for details on submission, and for a link to AllenTrack.

For more information, contact Co-Editor Abdul Shakoor,
ashakoor@kent.edu , (330) 672-2968, or Co-Editor Ira Sasowsky, ids@uakron.edu, (330) 972-5389.

You can also submit short technical articles to AEG NEWS for possible publication. Email your article to Allen Shaw at

We at AEG wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Science and Science Fiction

Via All My Faults Are Stress-Related, I found this request for input. ScienceOnline09 is an annual science communication conference that brings together scientists, bloggers, educators, and students to discuss promoting public understanding of science and some of the moderators are looking for input. I’m in a curious place for this one – I’m both a scientist (an engineering geologist) and an avid reader of science fiction who is rather active on the web. So, this appeals to me from both directions. So, I thought I’d share.

What is your relationship to science fiction? Do you read it? Watch it? What/who do you like and why?

I’m a huge fan of reading books that I’d describe as speculative fiction – this includes science fiction, fantasy, horror, alternative history and a number of other genres. As for watching, I have limited time for TV and movies these days, so I don’t watch and sci-fi series but I do find time for the occasional sci-fi movie thanks to net flix.

I read primarily for entertainment and escape, though I certainly enjoy some ‘meat’ to the books I read. It’s hard for me to pin down exactly why I enjoy SFF specifically – I imagine that a large reason why that I deal with the ‘real world’ all the time, so I want something different, something more, when I read. I also think that SFF allows a lot more flexibility in an author than ‘normal’ fiction and seeing what authors do with that flexibility is quite rewarding.

What do you see as science fiction's role in promoting science, if any? Can it do more than make people excited about science? Can it harm the cause of science?

This depends a lot on how science fiction is defined – and that is a long debate that I don’t care to go into and that I don’t feel overly qualified to if I did (you can start here if you want). However, the answer to the first question is that science fiction has both no role in promoting science and that it often serves as a de facto introduction to science for the general public. For writers, I think it’s very rare for promoting science to even be considered when wrting sci-fi. They have their own reasons. But for much of the public the focus is often on the science part of the description rather than the fiction part – and the fiction really dominates in science fiction.

In the case of science fiction movies and TV, I think that harm often results. Most of the general public wouldn’t consider the various CSI shows as science fiction, but that’s exactly what they are. One consequence is that people serving on juries often expect more than is actually possible from prosecutors and have little understanding of important details and caveats of scientific evidence – so, our legal system is suffering due to missunderstandings that often originate from TV shows.

Have you used science fiction as a starting point to talk about science? Is it easier to talk about people doing it right or getting it wrong?

Simply put – no. I think that there are much easier and more applicable ways to introduce science than from science fiction. In an ideal world I think that it should be the other way around – science should be the introduction for science fiction.

Are there any specific science or science fiction blogs you would recommend to interested readers or writers?

I follow dozens of blogs that I don’t really have time to share here, however, I will point to a discussion on science and science fiction that was done as part of SF Signal’s Mind Meld a few months ago – it’s a very good read and much of the discussion is applicable to this one (actually these other mind melds apply as well).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

ADEQ Sunset

The Arizona state legislature is a bit unhappy with the direction of regulation that is occurring at ADEQ. ADEQ sunsets in 2009 and the legislature needs to re-approve it's existence. It'll be interesting to see how things go, but I urge you to let your professional opinions be known to your representatives (contact info below).

Further Information:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

ASPE Engineering Ethics Seminar

From an email:

Engineering Ethics

What are a PE’s obligations when one owner backs out of a project and a potential new owner wants to step in??? Every business wants to grow and succeed, but can participation in networking and referral organizations create an ethical dilemma??? A professional engineer’s review of a contractor’s construction work raises questions about conflict of interest …

Luncheon Seminar 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, December 4th – The Manning House, 450 W. Paseo Redondo, Tucson
Or Friday, December 5th – The University Club, 39 East Monte Vista, Phoenix

The Arizona Society of Professional Engineers and ACEC of Arizona invite all public and private professionalengineers, architects, landscape architects, land surveyors, and geologists to address real life ethical principles. Discover the views and perspectives of engineering ethics experts.

Leader: Arthur Edward Schwartz, CAE
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel,
National Society of Professional Engineers

In addition to leading the NSPE staff and supporting the NSPE Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Mr. Schwartz’s responsibilities include serving as staff director to the NSPE Board of Ethical Review, Licensure & Qualifications for Practice Committee, as well as the NSPE/PEPP Professional Liability Committee and Engineers Joint Contract Documents Committee.

Mr. Schwartz writes an ethics column and a legal column in NSPE’s monthly publication PE, as well as a columnon ethics for Structural Engineer magazine. He has written extensively for various professional journals on matters involving the practice of engineering and has participated as a guest lecturer at many colleges and universities, federal and state agencies, and several national professional association meetings. He has recently launched a web-based teleseminar series on engineering ethics, professionalism, and the law. This is your opportunity to fulfill the ethics requirement mandated by many states for registration. Two Professional Development Hours will be awarded for this luncheon seminar.

Register by Monday, November 24th on line at
or complete and return registration form to:
Arizona Society of Professional Engineers, 1309 Echo Lane, Phoenix 85020
or Fax to 602/995-2218.
Questions, call 602/995-2187

Annual Board of Directors Meeting Summary

Annual Board of Directors Meeting Summary

The Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists (AEG) officers convene meetings biannually to review the status and conduct the business of our organization. On September 20-21, 2008, the Board of Directors (BOD) Annual Board Meeting was in session in New Orleans, Louisiana, location of the 2008 Annual Meeting. Detailed meeting minutes were prepared and will be available for approval at the next Mid-Year Board Meeting, which will take place in Seattle, Washington in April 2009. The following summary was prepared to assist our Directors in highlighting major issues and topic areas for communication to the general membership.

AEG has twenty-five (25) sections. Twenty (20) Section Chairpersons or their proxies were present along with the Executive Council (EC): President Molinari, Vice President/President-Elect Kreuger, Treasurer Hilton, Secretary Bauer, and Past-President Kuper. Chief Operating Officer Roland was also present, as were Governance Committee Co-Chairs Prince and Andrews, Finance Committee member Beiber and other invited guests. Sections absent were Kansas City-Omaha, Montreal-Canada, New York-Philadelphia, Ohio River Valley, and Southeastern.

  • Mark Molinari gave the Presidents Report and indicated the talks he will be presenting to the sections are Practical Applications of Airborne LiDAR Data for Environmental and Engineering Geology Projects and The 2003 Washington SR-20 Rock Avalanche – A Case Study from Emergency Response through Characterization, Design, and Construction

  • Treasurer Hilton informed the board that AEG has contracted a new CPA, Anton Collins-Mitchell (ACM), who will be auditing the 2007-2008 financials during October. The audit report will be presented to the Board at the 2009 Mid-year Board Meeting.

  • Vice President Kreuger updated the Board on AEG’s investments, indicating that we have $272,349 toward the Board directed goal of $350,000 to be set aside as a reserve. The Board is in support of the EC staying the course regarding investments.

  • Headquarters is actively working to correct the $10,000 that our books logged as income from the 2006 Boston Annual Meeting, but did not show up in our account. The bank charged members’ credit cards for the meeting, but never deposited the money in AEG’s account.

  • The Board voted to change the current Fiscal Year term from July 1 - June 30 to the calendar year. This change allows for the annual CPA report to be prepared ahead of the spring BOD meeting for approval by the BOD. This also makes it easier to budget for membership dues, which are based on a calendar year cycle, and get the CPA review shortly after the Annual Meeting.

  • Since the mid-year 2008 Board meeting, AEG reviewed changing the Incorporation status from California to Colorado. COO Roland had discussions with AEG’s attorney and CPA, both of whom recommended remaining incorporated in California, and the Board voted in favor of this.

  • Past President Kuper reported on the AGI Congressional Visit Days in which she and COO Becky Roland participated.

  • Future Annual Meetings are progressing well with 2009 in South Lake Tahoe, 2010 in Charleston, 2011 in Anchorage, 2012 in Salt Lake City, and 2013 approved at this meeting to be in Seattle, WA.

  • Julie Keaton, who has served as AEG’s Annual Meeting Manager since 1997 is retiring in December 2008 but will continue to provide support planning the Shlemon Specialty Conferences. AEG has contracted Colorado Event Organizers (CEO) to assist with Annual Meeting Planning in the future starting with the 2009 meeting. CEO representative, Heather Lopez, shadowed Julie during the 2008 Annual Meeting, and these expenses will be covered by the discretionary funds presented to the Board at the 2008 mid-year meeting. In addition, responsibility for associated AEG functions (e.g. Corporate Luncheon, banquet, awards) will be handled by Phoenix AMC who will work with CEO to coordinate these with the meeting planning.

  • AEG Foundation President Hempen gave a report and promoted the member benefits of the Foundation to the Board. He emphasized that Sections are the primary donors and beneficiaries for the Foundation. Please visit www.aegfoundation.org for more information on the different funds and scholarships, and how to donate.

  • Doug Boyer gave the Communications Committee report requesting that Section Chairs encourage submittals to the E&EG Journal. He also requested that Sections solicit advertisers for the AEG NEWS in order to help offset the cost for the recently added color photos. Additionally, AEG is working with AIPG to develop a joint issue of AEG NEWS focusing on students, which will come out in the Spring of 2009.

  • AEG members can become members of IAEG for $17 or $50 if they wish to receive The Bulletin.

  • The Strategic Planning Committee, chaired by Paul Hale, intends to focus on updating the website, continuing the Visiting Professionals Program through the Student and Young Professionals Support Committee, and surveying the membership again to guide the SP workshop for the 2009 Mid-year Board Meeting.

  • All present Section Chairs answered two questions: What’s working for your section? What challenges are you (the Section) facing that Headquarters could assist you with? Section reports will be available on the website.

  • The Advocacy Committee led a workshop on Licensure. Four break-out groups came up with several ways that AEG can be more proactive in promoting and supporting Sections regarding licensure and associated legislation. An ad-hoc committee will be established to compile pertinent information on licensing and implement the recommendations of the workshop.

  • The Board approved the San Joaquin Chapter of the Sacramento Section and four new student chapters: University of Missouri – Kansas City, Fresno State, Cal Poly Pomona, and California State Univ. - Chico. Two more are pending formal application.

  • The Board supported AEG looking into co-hosting the International Landslide Symposium in 2012 with the Canadian Geotechnical Society in Banff and co-hosting a Geohazards Conference in Central America with GSA.

  • The Joint Task Force on Areas of Practice (JTFAP) draft document has been prepared. The Task Force includes members from AEG, ASCE-GeoInstitute, and AIPG and the document is under review by each organization’s Board members. After Board review, the Task Force will review the comments and prepare a revised draft for general membership review from each organization.

  • In the upcoming year, the Governance Committee, co-chaired by Andrea Prince and Dale Andrews, will take a look at the governance structure of the organization again, and will revisit the issue of Board size as it relates to efficiency. The GC will work with Headquarters to inform incoming Board members about the Director’s Handbook.

  • Planning for the 2009 Shelmon Specialty Conference to be in the Midwest on the New Madrid Fault system is going well. The Board is in support of a second Shlemon Specialty Conference on Ground Rupture Regulation in California in February 2009. A formal approval will be voted on after a budget is presented to the Board via email in October.

  • The next Board meeting will be April 18-19, 2009 in Seattle, WA.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

AEG is Looking for Members with Intersting Hobbies


Nominate yourself, or someone you know to be featured in the Member Profile column in the AEG NEWS.

The NEWS is looking for members with unique and interesting hobbies outside the field of Geology. Past profiles have included a competitive surfer, professional magician, stone sculptor, competitive figure skater, singer/songwriter... you get the idea. The hobby should be something that the member is passionate about and devotes time to.

Send your ideas to AEG NEWS Managing Editor Andrea Ptak at

Before I moved up to Flagstaff I was a member of the Coyotes Curling Club, but it's not a hobby and could keep up after the move. But I'm sure people are still up to interesting things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Journalist review of 'dancing dino' story

Here is another story of interest that I saw on Arizona Geology:

The dancing dinosaurs of Arizona have struck a chord with the news media not only in Arizona, but also nationally and internationally. There's a web site for science journalists that analyzes selected science stories of the day as a peer review service - Knight Science Journalism Tracker.

They review the press release and subsequent press coverage for the dino story and offer links to a number of sources that handled the story in different ways. It ranges from humorous to scholarly to skeptical.

Fascinating to get an somewhat deeper look at how science is reported, using a local story.

Donation for Havasupai flood damage; Web site of flood videos

I saw this on Arizona Geology, but figured others would fine it of interest as well.
The Havasupai Tribe announced a $1 million donation that will allow them to build an early warning system for floods and repair damage from the August flood that devastated their Grand Canyon home.
The donation is from the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians which is based in San Bernardino County, California.The funds will be used to:
  • Rebuild infrastructure, including bridges and trails
  • Install early warning system
  • Update emergency response plan
  • Provide emergency assistance to Tribe members who lost their jobs as a result of the flood
  • Prepare tourism materials to revive their economy
There is a Web site I just found that has compiled 11 videos of the flood, plus links to numerous first-person accounts, photo albums, and news stories. There are lots here that I haven't seen before - http://www.havasupaiflood.com/

New Journal of Geomechanics and Engineering

From the email:

Dear Colleagues:

I would like to request your special attention to the new journal;

"Geomechanics and Engineering (GAE),"

An International Journal of Computational and Theoretical Geomechanics, Foundations, Tunneling, Site Characterization, and Soil-Structure Interactions. The journal will provide an excellent publication channel for the global research community in geomechanics and its applications.

The editorial body of the new journal will be constituted with two Editors-in-Chief (Professors. Poul V. Lade (Columbia U, USA) and Jong-ho Shin (Konkuk U, Korea), and 40 editorial board members. I myself will serve as a managing editor for the journal who will handle mostly administrative matters.

The journal will be published quarterly in the first year by Techno-Press, which is one of the successful international journal publishing houses outside USA and Europe. The inaugural issue of the GAE is expected to be published in January 2009. For more information, please visit;


Considering your global reputation in the field of Geomechanics and Engineering, I have the pleasure to invite you to contribute a paper to the new journal. We will make every effort to expedite the review process for the invited papers for possible inclusion in the first few issue of the journal. For "Instructions to Prepare Manuscrpt", you are referred to the flyer whch is attached to this e-mail.

We will also greatly appreciate if you can recommend the journal to your library for possible subscription. The journal is priced as low as possible and no other journals of similar quality can match. You may also personally subscribe to the journal at the personal subscription rate (

Looking forward to your enjoyable association with the new journal in the future, I remain,

C.K. Choi
Managing Editor,
Geomechanics and Engineering, An Int’ Journal

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Presidential Candidates Respond to Science Survey

AEG, through its membership with American Geological Institute, participated in the Scientists & Engineers for America Coalition (SEA). SEA submitted a series of questions to the candidates specific to science and technology. Click the link below to see each candidate's response. If the link does not work, copy and paste it in your browser.

And a bit more information at Arizona Geology.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Innovative Remediation Technology Conference

Information on the Innovative Remediation Technology Conference is found here. It's sponsored by AIPG, will be held in Denver, CO, and is next month from November 6-7.

Next Meeting - October 30th, 2008

Dear AEG Members, Professional Colleagues, Students, and Friends:

The Arizona Section of AEG is pleased to announce that our next meeting will be held on Thursday, October 30, 2008 at Pizzeria Uno in Tempe. The hosted social hour begins at 6 PM and is sponsored by Boart Longyear. Dinner is usually served around 7 PM and the talk will begin shortly after dinner. The presentation topic is: "Field Applications of Mobile GIS," presented by Will Horton, GIS Specialist in HDR's Phoenix office. Please see below for the abstract and bio and I have also attached a meeting flyer with all of the pertinent information. Hope to see you all there!

Please RSVP, Heather Hespeler, by e-mail by Monday, October 27th.

By the way, our final meeting this year will be a special holiday meeting on Thursday, December 11th at the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa. Your meeting dues will allow you access to the museum and we will have a very nice catered dinner. We are encouraging everybody to bring their spouses and children as we are hoping to make this a family event. More information will follow. Mark your calendars!

Heather A. Hespeler, R.G.
Senior Engineering Geologist
Ninyo & Moore

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Early Registration for the International Conference on Rock Joints and Jointed Rock Masses

I got this in the email earlier today:

Dear Geo-Professional,

Please note that the early bird registration deadline for the International Conference on Rock Joints and Jointed Rock masses to be held in Tucson, Arizona, USA is October 31st, 2008. Please visit the conference website given below to obtain details about the conference, short courses, sight-seeing trips and the field trip scheduled for the duration January 4-10, 2009.

Best regards,
Pinnaduwa Kulatilake
Conference Chair

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Earth Science Literacy Draft Document

The NSF-supported Earth Science Literacy Initiative has prepared a draft document outlining what every citizen should know about earth science, and we are seeking community input on the draft. We hope that you will take the time to provide your input, because this document will provide a clear and concise summary of the fundamental ideas in earth science for policy makers, educators, students, and the general public.

In order to read and comment on the draft, please go to
http://www.earthscienceliteracy.org/ before October 31st, 2008. We will then incorporate community comments, add graphics, and release a revised draft by early December. The final document will be printed toward the end ofJanuary.

This document complements the efforts of the Ocean, Climate and Atmospheric science communities in defining the big ideas and supporting concepts essential for an earth system literate public. The Earth Sciences draft was developed through an NSF-supported, 350-participant online workshop held in May, 2008 and a 35-participant, in-person writing workshop held in July, 2008. These workshops brought together scientists from a broad representation of the geosciences, including mineralogists, petrologists, resource explorationists, sedimentologists and stratigraphers, paleontologists, tectonicists, geophysicists, geomorphologists, low-temperature geochemists and biogeochemists, continental dynamicists, volcanologists, geohazard specialists, and members of the freshwater hydrologic science community.

This is a critical time for our science - the geosciences can play a critical role in helping society meet the challenges of natural hazards and human impacts on the environment. Please help us make this document the best it can be!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Focusing Arizona’s Water Research: A One-Day Workshop

Focusing Arizona’s Water Research: A One-Day Workshop
October 29, 2008 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Fiesta Resort, 2100 S. Priest Drive, Tempe, AZ
Jointly sponsored by AZ Water Association (AWPCA) and the Arizona Water Institute

Workshop Agenda

9:00 AM Welcome and Explanation of Workshop Activities
9:10 AM Research Highlights from current Arizona work:
• Soil Aquifer Treatment: The State of the Art
• Update on Detection and Treatment of Emerging Contaminants
• Climate Change Implications for Water Management
• Desalination News, including RO, VESP
• Perspectives on Infrastructure Security
10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM Arizona’s Got Talent: an Advocacy Contest for Water Nerds Advocates for Top 10 Contenders for
Collaborative Research Projects vie for votes!
12:15 PM Attendee Voting for Top 4 Projects
12:30 – 1:30 PM Catered lunch; “Arizona’s Opportunities for Participating in Global Water and Sanitation Solutions”
AZ Water Association Research Contributions Award Presentation
1:30 – 2:30 PM Little-Known Secrets of Successful Grant Writing and Funding
A panel of funding organizations and successful grant writers share their innermost secrets to success!
2:30 – 4:00 Four facilitated breakout groups brainstorm ideas for proposals built around the Top 4 Projects from morning
session, focusing on intended funding sources and responsibilities for next steps
4:00 – 5:00 Plenary discussion of project ideas and next steps
5:00 – 6:30 Adjourn to local watering hole

Fee: Registration Fee is $65 (continental breakfast and lunch included)
Registration: Online Registration Available at http://www.awpca.org/default.aspx (VISA and MasterCard accepted)

Mail in or Fax Registration to:
AZ Water Association (AWPCA)
1042 Willow Creek Rd., A101-510
Prescott, AZ 86301 FAX: 928-717-9910
Questions: Contact Debbie Muse, AZ Water Association, at 928-717-9905 or toll free 888-559-8844.
Payment: Check and Payment of $________________enclosed (payable to AWPCA).
Credit Card: Card Number____________________________________________Exp.Date_____________
Card Holder Name:____________________________________________________________
Registrant Name:______________________________________________________________________________
Mailing Address:_______________________________________________________________________________

Registration Deadline: October 24, 2008 Register Early, Seating is Limited!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Support Dam Rehabilitation Bill in the Senate

I got my newsletter from the Association of State Dam Safety Officials (ASDSO) in the inbox today. This announcement was included:

KEY ALERT: Support Dam Rehabilitation Bill in the Senate

Please contact your Senator in support of the ASCE-supported Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act (H.R. 3224).

This legislation would provide up to $200 million over five years to address deficiencies in the nation's publicly owned non-federal dams. Major features of the bill include:

• Establishment of a program within the Federal Emergency Management Agency to fund dam rehabilitation and repairs.

• Enactment of a public fund to award grants for assistance to repair unsafe dams that are publicly-owned (state and local dams).

• Authorization of appropriation levels that will help rehabilitate publicly owned non-federal deficient dams.

The Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act was passed by the House of Representatives in October 2007 and needs only Senate approval to be sent to the President and signed into law.

Please call or email your Senators. Senate rules allow for quick consideration and passage of non-controversial bills under unanimous consent. It is our hope that H.R. 3224 will be brought up today or tomorrow under this arrangement. If it is not, the bill will likely die when Congress adjourns and will need to be reintroduced at the beginning of the 111th Congress in January 2009.

Sample message:

Please support prompt passage of the Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act (H.R. 3224). This legislation would provide $200 million over five years to make repairs to the nation's ailing publicly owned dams.

Aging dams often represent hidden hazards to communities that have grown up around them, and the Association of State Dam Safety Officials estimates that $10 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address our most critical dams, both public and private.

With a shaky economy, we cannot afford to neglect our infrastructure any longer. Please support H.R. 3224 that will protect homes and livelihoods by making vital improvements to essential infrastructure.

Additional Background - Dams in Need of RepairThe Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act was originally introduced in the 110th Congress as H.R. 1098. The bill was reintroduced with minor changes as H.R. 3224 and passed by the full House in October 2007. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved the bill on September 17, 2008.

Recent failures and extreme rainfalls have called attention to the vulnerability of dams and brought into tragic focus the potential consequences of aging and unsafe dams. Just this summer, the Redlands Dam in Arizona failed as a result of heavy rains, displacing the 400-member Havasupai Tribe and causing the evacuation of hundreds of campers and hikers in the Grand Canyon. The March 2006 failure of the Ka Loko Dam in Hawaii killed seven people and caused over $50 million in damage. The April 2007 failure of Rainbow Lake Dam in New Jersey resulted in the further failure of two smaller dams nearby. The Association of State Dam Safety Officials estimates that $36.2 billion is needed to rehabilitate all dams across the nation, and $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address the most critical dams, both public and private, that pose a direct risk to human life should they fail. Needed repairs to publicly owned dams are estimated at $5.9 billion.

ASCE's 2005 Report Card for America's Infrastructure gives the condition of our nation's dams a grade of D, equal to the overall infrastructure grade. State dam safety programs have identified more than 3,300 "unsafe" dams, which have deficiencies that leave them more susceptible to failure, especially during large flood events or earthquakes. The number of unsafe dams will continue to increase until a funding source is created to repair them.

The federal government should bear some responsibility in repairing ailing dams as failures do not necessarily respect state and local boundaries. The proposed legislation would distribute funds to state dam safety agencies based on the number of high-hazard publicly owned non-federal dams in the state. A high-hazard dam is one whose failure would likely cause loss of life or severe property damage. The Dam Rehabilitation and Repair Act would help fulfill this responsibility.

For Arizona residents, you can easily contact your Senator at this web address - http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=AZ. Of course one of them isn't very likely to show up for a vote.

101 GeoBlogs

I saw this on Arizona Geology (big surprise). German blogger geoberg.de has compiled a list of 101 geoblogs - I'll have to check a few of these out. They missed this blog, but we're relatively new and not the most prolific site, though it still stings a bit.


(Palaeo-) Climatology

Geo-Information (GIS etc.)

  • The Geo Factor by Ron Exler - Blog about GIS, GPS etc.
  • Geologic Froth - blog about geoscientific data-processing with focus on GPS and GIS
  • MiGeo - Blog from Peru about web-based geoscientific applications (in Spanish)
  • Arctic and Alpine by Dawn and Dave Nicholson - news, discussions and links about geomorphology in cold climates


Hydrogeology / Hydrology


Quarternary Geology

Regional and Local Geology

  • Arizona Geology by Allison - diverse geo-topics about Arizona and neighbouring states
  • Oakland Geology by Andrew Alden - geological outcrops in Oakland
  • proreg news by Michael Hahl - articles about the geology of the German Odenwald (in German)


Structural Geology/Tectonics


  • ECRIS & CEVP - comprehensive articles about the European Cenozoic Rift System (ECRIS) and the Central European Volcanic Provence (CEVP) (in German)
  • Eruptions by Dr. Erik W. Klemetti - Blog about active volcanos worldwide
  • Magma Cum Laude - blog about volcanos and their molten and solidified products
  • Volcano Summer - Blog about a research stay of a geology student at Mauna Loa (Hawaii)
  • The Volcanism Blog by Dr. Ralph Harrington - Blog about worldwide volcanos, especially Chaitén, Llaima, Kilauea and Tungurahua


Friday, September 26, 2008

Random Geo-Amusement

I can't be all serious all the time, so here are a few pictures and one video that I've found amusing as a geologist. Enjoy!

Wasatch Fault Video

From the Arizona Geology Blog:

The Utah Geological Survey has produced a Google Earth fly-by
video tour of the Wasatch fault and posted it on YouTube. It briefly shows the fault within the Intermountain Seismic Belt that extends into northern Arizona.

The 10-minute video is not only engaging, the narrative is fully understandable by non-geologists without dumbing down the information.This is circulating among state geologists across the country as a great example of how we can better communicate with our constituents.

The State of Utah is showcasing it. But unfortunately, we are hearing from a number of other states that not only are their computers blocked from viewing or uploading materials to YouTube, a number of them are even prohibited from viewing Google Earth. (I find this unsurprising since many institutions block YouTube and that Goolge Earth requires a coorporate liscence for commercial purposes - something that many people seem unaware of).