Monday, July 28, 2008

Reminder - Meeting this Thursday, July 31st

Don't forget about the meeting this Thursday evening (July 31st) at Pizzeria Uno's in Tempe. Our speaker is Mimi Diaz with the Arizona Geological Survey and should prove to be an interesting talk.

I hope to see you all there - drinks start at 6!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Take the Train to the AEG National Meeting

The Lower Mississippi Valley Section of AEG is sponsoring this year’s national meeting in New Orleans. It promises to be informative and a great time, and we are looking for the meeting to be well attended. It is a fact that the economy and fuel prices may hinder some from committing to attend, and to that end we offer the following possible solution. AmTrak offers a number of train routes that lead to downtown New Orleans where the meeting will be held. This mode of transportation has proven to be an excellent way for geologists and engineers to travel together to such conferences, and have a great time in the process! Please have someone in your organization pass this information along to your section members for consideration. Group rates are available if needed, otherwise, it is still a great value and a wonderful opportunity to meet and greet those in our professions headed for the ‘Big Easy’ in September. Let the Good Times Roll!

Jay Ferris, R.P.G
LMVS Section Chairman

For more information on the meeting visit:
Deadline for Pre‐Registration is August 12, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NPR to Cut Science Friday?

I saw this today at Arizona Geology and it makes me very sad:

NPR is cutting funding by 60% for the immensely popular Science Friday starting in October, as part of budget problems. SF has 1.3 million listeners per week and 10 million podcast downloads plus science videos, blogs (it has the only full time science reporter based in Beijing), and more. It is one of the successes in engaging the public in science but also talking to scientists ourselves.

An email forwarded from former NSF director Rita Colwell, says the show is short about $500K of the annual $950K budget, which means Science Friday will either go off the air or stay on in a greatly diminished form until or unless new funds are found. What's most surprising to me is that NPR says it will no longer seek foundation underwriting for Science Friday: Rita says if Science Friday is to stay on the air, it is up to the scientific community to raise the money for it.

Maybe a public outcry can change their mind

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Next Meeting - July 31st

Our next meeting will be Thursday, July 31st and the usual location – Pizzeria Uno’s in downtown Tempe with socializing at 6 pm and dinner at 6:30. Our speaker for the meeting is Mimi Diaz with the Arizona Geological Survey, who will be speaking about a general geohazards update for Arizona. This will hit such hot topics as the SR 87 landslide (which we hope to have dedicated presentation on later this fall), earth fissures, and flooding. Our sponsor for this meeting is Enviro Drill.

Upcoming planned presentations include ASU’s Dr. Ed Kavazanjian speaking about his current work in China and someone from DMJM speaking about their emergency response and remediation work for the SR 87 landslide.

Here is Mimi’s bio:

Mimi Diaz
Arizona Geological Survey

Mimi has been serving as the Phoenix Branch Chief of the Arizona Geological Survey (AZGS) since the inception of the Phoenix Branch in March 2007. In addition to mapping earth fissures, landslides, and other geologic hazards, she provides fissure education sessions to state and local jurisdictions and trade associations, and is a member of the Earth Fissure Advisory Group and the Arizona Land Subsidence Group. Mimi also serves as the liaison for the Survey, fostering and building relationships across the state. Prior to working for the Survey, she worked for the Arizona Division of Emergency Management (ADEM) in the Mitigation Office. Mimi continues to work closely with ADEM and the Arizona Department of Real Estate, bringing the geological expertise of AZGS into the mitigation planning, hazard analysis, and real estate disclosure processes. She has been involved in various aspects of the natural hazards realm (public safety, emergency management, geology) for the last fifteen years, including specific projects dealing with sinkholes, wildfires, flooding, landslides, earthquakes, and earth fissures. Mimi earned her MS in Geology from Arizona State University, and her BS in Geology from Central Missouri State University.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Floodplain Association Annual Conference

Floodplain Management Association Annual Conference
September 2-5, 2008
Paradise Point Resort, San Diego, CA
Registration starts at $395

Floodplain Sustainability: Integrating Flood Risk, Land Use and Environmental Stewardship

The Floodplain Management Association (FMA) invites you to this year's premier conference in Floodplain Management in the U.S.! Anticipating over 500 attendees from around the country and the international community, the conference brings together regulators, scientists, planners, engineers and researchers to address the latest policy and technical issues in floodplain management. The updated program including 18 technical sessions, 16 workshops and 18 policy panels is now posted at

Hydrolgy and Hydraulics for Engineers

Via the Floodplain Management Association:

Hydrology and Hydraulics for Engineers! July 28-30, 2008

Nevada DOT Training Center, 1301 Hot Springs Road, Carson City, Nevada


The Floodplain Management Association (FMA) is pleased to announce a 3-day course in Hydrology and Hydraulics for Engineers, July 28-30, at the Nevada DOT Training Center in Carson City, Nevada! This course, which offers 12 CECs to Certified Floodplain Managers, is an invaluable opportunity to review the fundamentals of H&H and discuss key concepts, latest tools and application to water resources and public works projects.

REGISTRATION FEE: $695 FMA Members, $795 Non-Members
TO REGISTER: Download the registration form at
and e-mail it the requested info to, or by fax to 760-440-0792, or by mailing to FMA, .P.O. Box 712080, Santee, CA 92072-2080.


July 28
· Role of hydraulics & hydrology in highway design · Hydrologic design alternatives· Introduction to statistical methods in hydrology· Flood flow frequency analysis· Exercise/demonstration: Flood flow frequency analysis· Regional frequency analysis (+ watershed properties)· Exercise: Regional frequency analysis· Design storm runoff computation for design flow determination· Rainfall depth-duration-frequency analysis· Exercise: Rainfall design depth determination

July 29
· Flood runoff processes and system components· Runoff computation methods· Rational equation· Exercise: Rational equation application· Hydrographs and hydrograph computation· Exercise: Hydrograph analysis and computation· Exercise: Application of fundamentals of hydraulics· Channel and pond routing· Exercise: Rating and routing

July 30
· More fundamentals of hydraulics· Open channel flow analysis · Exercise: Water surface elevation computation· Culvert analysis concepts· Exercise: Culvert analysis· Sedimentation, erosion, deposition + group exercise· Closed conduit flow concepts· Exercise: Storm drain computation· Hydraulic and hydrologic study design· H&H software overview


David Ford, PhD, PE, D.WRE, is owner and president of David Ford Consulting Engineers, Inc. He is an internationally recognized expert in hydrologic and environmental engineering and water resources planning and management. Dr. Ford has served as a consultant to the Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, government agencies in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, India, Portugal, Indonesia, Romania, the United Nations, World Bank, USAID, and to engineering firms worldwide. Prior to establishing his own consulting firm, Ford worked for 12 years at the Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center. He currently serves on the National Research Council (NRC) committee on hydrologic science.

Joe DeVries, PhD, PE, PH, D.WRE, has nearly 50 years of experience in hydraulic engineering, irrigation system analysis, and hydrology, including more than 30 years of professional project management experience with the UC Davis Hydraulics Laboratory, the California Department of Water Resources, and with engineering consulting firms. He regularly teaches courses in hydraulic design and computer-based hydrologic modeling in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis, through the University of California Extension, and other institutions. Dr. DeVries has prepared dozens of training documents, engineering manuals, and other guidance for local government agencies, state agencies, the Corps of Engineers, National Weather Service, and UN agencies.

Tom Molls, PhD, PE, CFM, specializes in computational hydraulics and environmental fluid mechanics. He has successfully managed numerous hydrologic, hydraulic, and water resources engineering projects across the United States. In addition to his consulting engineering experience, Molls has worked as an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois, and as a part-time faculty member at California State University, Sacramento.

Iovanka Todt, Executive Director
Floodplain Management Association

Property in Pinal County Devalued Due to Earth Fissures

The East Valley Tribune has this article about reducing property value of a parcel by 60% due to the presence of earth fissures. This seems to be a precedent-setting action that I imagine we'll be seeing more of in the future.