CalGeo E Newsletter

June 30, 2010

Welcome to the e.Geo!

Welcome to our e.Geo - CalGeo's electronic newsletter. Summer is here and we're busy working on putting together this year's Salary Survey and collecting membership renewals. If you participated in the Salary Survey, you'll receive a FREE copy when it is published in August. If not, you will be able to purchase it on our website at that time. We'll have some exciting events coming up in the fall; look for information delivered each month directly to your inbox. Our goal is to keep you better informed of the latest trends and studies, industry events, legislative updates, and industry news that matters to geotechnical professionals.

I hope you find the e.Geo informative and helpful. Thanks for reading!

Marsha Myers, Executive Director


Welcome to the e.Geo! »

Call for Member News: Share Your Success! »

Member News »

Legislative Update »

CalGeo's June Regional Meeting »

Successful Webcast Of June Regional Meeting »

Welcome Newest Board

Hire A Student! »

Safety First »



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

Hamilton & Associates, Inc. have recently moved to old town Torrance, and are very excited and proud of their new building. Make a note of their new address -
1641 Border Avenue
Torrance, CA 90501-2810
Their phones remain the same O) 310-618-2190 and F) 310-618-2191




Legislative Update

Indemnification Reform Bill SB 972

Currently the most important bill concerning CalGeo members is SB 972. This is still in Committee, and once it hits the floor for debate it needs our strong support. Basically, this bill is in response to two court rulings (UDC-Universal Development v. CH2M Hill and Crawford v. Weather Shield) that have dramatically expanded the contractual duty to provide a legal defense to another party (typically the design professionals client). Efforts to appeal this ruling in the court system have been exhausted, and ACEC-California is heading up the effort with Senator Wolk's (Davis) help to protect our profession from unfairly having to indemnify a client even when there are no allegations or proof that the design professional was negligent.

Please go to the following link for the latest list of bills that are being monitored by CalGeo:

If you know of any bills that you would like CalGeo to monitor, or would like to express support or opposition to a piece of legislation, please contact CalGeo's office, or Mike Laney at




CalGeo's June Regional Meeting

New ASCE 7-10 Procedures For Determining Peak Ground Acceleration For Liquefaction Analyses

CalGeo's June Regional Meeting featured Mr. Patrick Jenks, a Senior Engineering Geologist with CalGeo member firm Wallace-Kuhl & Associates in West Sacramento, California and a member of the CalGeo Technical Advisory Committee. Pat presented an outline of some of the changes to ASCE/SEI Standard No. 7-10 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures that replaces ASCE/SEI Standard No. 7-05. The new standard is expected to be incorporated into the 2012 International Building Code and 2013 California Building Code, becoming effective in California on January 1, 2014. Pat described the new and revised procedures for determining Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) relative to the procedures presented in ASCE 7-05, the 2006 IBC, and the 2007 California Building Code (CBC). One of the significant changes in ASCE 7-10 is the introduction of "Maximum Considered Earthquake Geometric Mean Peak Ground Acceleration adjusted for Site Class effects", or PGAM, that is used for evaluating site response.

Example case studies illustrating the impact of the new standard were presented for two metropolitan locations in California for which PGAM was calculated according to the procedures prescribed by both ASCE 7-05 and ASCE 7-10. The examples illustrated that the increased PGA used in the new standard will result in more sites that are predicted to be susceptible to liquefaction, post-liquefaction settlements, and lateral spreading; and probably more sites that require classification as Site Class F. This will require increased subsurface investigation and analysis for many sites, with increased up-front geotechnical design costs for owners and developers. It appears likely that the new standard will increase the number of sites that require ground improvement and/or special foundation considerations, leading to increased development costs and project construction durations. Pat recommended that we, as practitioners, should be proactive in informing our clients about the implications and upcoming impacts of the new standard.




Successful Webcast Of June Regional Meeting

CalGeo's June Regional Meeting was attended by about 146 people - including 64 people at the Doubletree Hotel in Irvine and 82 people at seven broadcast locations in CalGeo member offices. This was CalGeo's first effort at a live broadcast of a meeting and, while there were a few kinks we had to work out, we were very pleased with the both the outcome and the member response. Members attending webcast events were able to watch and participate in the presentation in real time. Special thanks goes out to the member firms that hosted broadcasts: Blackburn Consultants (West Sacramento), BSK Associates (Fresno), Earth Systems Pacific (San Luis Obispo), ENGEO Inc. (San Ramon), Geocon, Inc. (Rancho Cordova), Laco Associates (Eureka) and RGH Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants (Santa Rosa).

Our next Regional Meeting will be September 22nd and we're looking forward to increasing the number of host sites for the webcast. If you are interested in being a host site or have suggestions about how to improve the webcast format, just contact Marsha Myers at (530) 344-0644 or by email at




Welcome Newest Board Member!

Christopher Diaz of Diaz-Yourman & Associates

Christopher Diaz, P.E. of Diaz - Yourman & Associates (DYA)During our General Membership Meeting at our annual conference in La Jolla, the membership voted in our newest Board member, Christopher Diaz, P.E. of Diaz - Yourman & Associates (DYA). Chris has over 30 years of experience in civil construction and geotechnical engineering. For the past 15 years, the major focus of his work has been in the design and construction of liquefaction mitigation, as well as in ground improvement projects, including stone columns, grouting, and deep dynamic compaction. Chris became a principal and company president of Diaz -Yourman & Associates in December 2004, after 10 years as a staff through senior engineer.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Chris serves on the Orange County and State boards of ACEC. He is also involved in several professional and engineering organizations, including ASCE, CalGeo, WTS, and is a member of the DFI Ground Improvement Committee. Chris has been instrumental in directing DYA to generously support the student chapter of CalGeo at Cal Poly Pomona.

Chris' primary reason to serve on the CalGeo Board is to have the opportunity to give back to an organization which has given so much to Chris. CalGeo has been important to Chris's professional development through the many seminars CalGeo offers; including technician training, employment law, and legislative issues. The friends and networking opportunities provided by CalGeo has been an important part of Chris' personal and professional life.

Chris and his wife Sandi have been married for 31 years, have 3 children, and live in Tustin.




Hire A Student!

If you're interested in hiring a geotechnical student, check out our website for student resumes. Go to:

For many years, CalGeo has supported geotechnical engineering students in colleges throughout California through our Student Outreach program. If you would like to get involved in the committee, contact the CalGeo office at and we'll get you in contact with the committee.

CalPoly, Pomona Rising Star Award winners with CalGeo Past President, Greg Silver (center)
CalPoly, Pomona Rising Star Award winners with CalGeo Past President, Greg Silver (center)




Safety First

How To Prevent Heat Illness

As we quickly approach the warm summer months, information obtained from the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) regarding Heat Illness Prevention would seem appropriate.

In accordance with the California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 3395, California employers are required to take the below listed four steps to prevent heat illness:

1: Training: Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.

2: Water: Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage them to do so.

3: Shade: Provide access to shade for at least 5 minutes of rest when an employee believes he or she needs a preventative recovery period. They should not wait until they feel sick to do so.

4: Planning: Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

For more detailed information regarding Heat Illness Prevention and requirements, visit: Additional internet websites to visit in obtaining more information relating to heat illness prevention can be found at,, and

The National Weather Service also provides a wealth of information on their website that can be found at:

Let's all be safe in the work place and watch out for one another!




CalGeo  |  Phone: 530 344-0644