CalGeo E Newsletter

December 14, 2009

Happy Holidays from CalGeo

At the holiday season, our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have supported this association. It is in this spirit we say ... thank you and may the peace and joy of the holiday season be with you throughout the coming year.

holidaysWe hope that you enjoy this month’s e.Geo and find it informative and useful.  Thanks for reading!

Marsha Myers, Executive Director


Outstanding Project Awards - Call for Entries »

Loss Prevention Seminars in January and February »

Call for Member News: Share Your Success! »

Member News »
Legislative Update »

Technical Corner »

Safety First: CAL/OSHA Consultation Program »



Outstanding Project Awards - Call for Entries

There’s still time to send your entry in for our Outstanding Project Awards.  Winner(s) will receive a beautiful crystal trophy and will have the opportunity to present their project during the awards presentation luncheon at the Annual Conference in La Jolla, CA on Saturday, May 1, 2010.

Applications are being accepted through January 29, 2010. You may also download the forms and rules here.




Loss Prevention Seminars in January and February, 2010

Price slashed for 2010

CalGeo’s 2010 Loss Prevention Seminars will be held in Santa Ana on January 23rd and in Fairfield on February 13th. These seminars are aimed predominately at field technicians. However, the information provided also proves very useful to entry-level geologists and engineers. 

We have a great line-up of topics:  “ICC Soils Special Inspector Examination: Now We KNOW What to Expect!”, “Below-Slab Moisture Protection Engineering Theory and Design”, “A Construction Litigator’s Key Recommendations For Limiting Future Defect Liability”,  “Buried By Backfill”, and, “Are You Smarter Than An OSHA Inspector?’   

We understand that this is a difficult economic climate, and yet we want to continue to provide valuable training to our members.  With that in mind, we have slashed the cost of this year’s seminars in half!  CalGeo will subsidize the remaining costs.  We hope that this reduced price will allow you to send those that need to attend to the seminars without a financial hardship. Because of limited space and the low price, these seminars will fill up quickly, so please don’t hesitate to send in your registration right away.  You can download the registration packet and/or pay online here.

We hope to see participants from your firm at these valuable seminars.




Call for Member News: Share Your Success!

Are you or your firm doing something worth noting? Did you win an award, get a promotion or finish a recognizable project? If you're making news, we want to hear about it. Send us your stories to and we'll post them in this space in upcoming editions. Items should be 140 characters in length or less.




Member News

Group Delta Consultants, Inc. (GDC) is proud to announce the acquisition of the Ontario, California office of AMEC, which will now serve as GDC’s Inland Empire office located at 4201 Santa Ana Street, Suite F, Ontario, CA, 91761. This new GDC office features a fully certified lab (DSA, AASHTO and Caltrans) and can perform a complete range of asphalt, soils and concrete testing. Mr. Jim Cunneen (RCE, JD) will serve as the new Inland Empire office area manager, with Ms. Marta Landaverde continuing to serve as Laboratory Manager and Mr. John Thune serving as the Field Operations Manager.

Group Delta also welcomes Mr. John Traina to the GDC team. John will be the Manager of Inspection and Testing in the Torrance Office; 370 Amapola Avenue, Suite 212, Torrance, CA, 90501. Mr. Traina brings over 20 years of experience managing inspection and testing operations throughout southern California.




Legislative Update

Between Sessions

The legislature completed the first year of the 2009-2010 session on September 11th and the Governor either signed or vetoed all bills by October 11th.  They will reconvene the session on January 4th, 2010. Legislative proposals must be to the Legislature's Legislative Counsel for drafting by January 22, 2010, all new bills must be introduced by February 19, 2010.

Several special sessions have been called by the Governor.  A special session has no definite deadlines but must be on one subject only.  There are special sessions on water, education, government organization and energy being held this fall.  The Water special session was completed when several water related bills were passed and the Governor signed the bills on November 8th. 

The Board of Geologists and Geophysicists merged under the Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors on October 23, 2009. 

If there are any issues that you want CalGeo to champion, or pending bills that concern you or you want CalGeo to support in regards to geotechnical engineer practice in California, please let us know.




Technical Corner

BPELS and BGG merger update

As most of you know, on October 23, 2009 the Board for Geologist and Geophysicists (BGG) was merged with the Board for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (BPELS). Although activity to reinstate the BGG is ongoing, a concentrated focus by many geologists in the community to find representation within BPELS is gaining momentum.

During November and December 2009 BPELS held two town hall style meetings to hear the comments, opinions and gripes of those who attended. At the Northern California meeting, many spoke about how the elimination of the BGG was unconstitutional and frankly, inappropriate. BPELS members openly admitted that they were as surprised as the geologist sitting before them. BPELS appeared intent on keeping the meeting focused on what was within their realm of control. Quick and open communication regarding exams, enforcement, record retention, contact information, etc. seemed to be a major concern to most that spoke in the Northern California town hall meeting. The apparent vacuum of information has impacted the geologic community and this was clearly transmitted to the Board. Understandably, the BPELS representatives acknowledged that the channels for dissemination of information were not clear to them and that pending litigation has required them to release statements cautiously which is a slower process. The subject of licensed geologists and geophysicists seated on the board and a change in the nomenclature of BPELS was also a recurring topic. To that end, the BPELS spokespersons welcomed the concept of having a geologist and/or geophysicist on the board and a name change; however, this is not within their control and needs to be handled through legislation.

Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG) has drafted suggested legislative language for the BGG to BPELS transition. In their draft language they suggest that the board’s name be changed to the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, Geologists, and Geophysicists (BPELSGG). They further suggest that a position on the board be created and occupied by one licensed under the Geologists and Geophysicists Act. Possibly viewed as a minimum, this language is being supported by many in the geologic community with hopes to create further legislative language in an effort to approach more equal representation within BPELS.

With the daily email flurries and battery of phone calls, there assuredly will be much more to come on this subject. Stay tuned.

Article written by Jared J. Pratt (RGH Consultants, Inc., & AEG SF Section Chairman)




Safety First

Be prepared for a Cal/OSHA inspection

Cal/OSHA inspectors make unannounced visits to ensure California workplaces are safe and healthy. If your facility has documented uncontrolled hazards and receives citations, the penalties, legal issues, and lowered employee morale and publicity can cause serious financial and business impacts. Managers, supervisors, and employees need to know what to expect during a Cal/OSHA inspection and how to respond appropriately. For the complete article click here.





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