Friday, March 13, 2015

Seattle and the AEG Professional Forum on Landslides

I must apologize for not posting much around here as it's been a very hectic beginning of 2015. So, I'll just skip ahead a bit.

About to speak at the Washington Section meeting.
At the end of February I traveled to Seattle, WA to speak at the Washington Section AEG, at an applied geology course at the University of Washington, attend the AEG Professional Forum on Landslides, and then hold a couple of days of meetings with the rest of the Executive Council of AEG. It was an exhausting trip, but also a very rewarding trip.

It began with me presenting to a class at UW full of some of the most prepared applied geology students I've come across. The program they have set up is very impressive and I hope it has a long future ahead of it. Then I presented at the Washington Section meeting - once again the Hoover Dam Bypass talk which seems to be a crowd pleaser. This was my largest Section audience yet at 70+ people. 

Oso (SR 530) Landslide
Next up was 2 days of talks and workshops at the AEG Professional Forum on Landslides: Time to Face the Landslide Hazard Dilemma: Bridging Science, Policy, Public Safety, and Potential Loss. It was a very impressive forum that brought scientists together with stakeholders such as emergency planners, local government officials, forest service, FEMA, USGS, policy professionals, insurance professionals and more. I think a lot of steps were taken toward truly protecting the public from landslide hazards and I hope to see movement on the policy front both regionally and nationally. 

House destroyed at Panaview Landslide, Everett, WA
As part of the forum there was a field trip that included stops at the Panaview landslide in Everett, WA as well as the the Oso landslide site (also known as the SR 530 landslide). It was very impressive to see these up close and it was especially impactful to see the full scale of the Oso landslide. It was also very sobering to see the destruction and site where so many lives were lost. It was one of the best field trips I've been on, for both the geology and the human element.

AEG will be following up with another conference related to this in the next year or two - this time probably on the eastern side of the country.

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