CalGeo E Newsletter

July 23, 2010

President's Message

Let's get Energized!

In our January 2010 issue of e.Geo, we promised you that CalGeo is gearing up for a great year.

Siamak Jafroudi, PhD. - CalGeo PresidentThat was not an empty promise - CalGeo is proud of our new website, new marketing materials and exciting events planned for this year. Visit our new website - you will be amazed! Those of you that participated in our annual and regional conferences gave us great reviews. We have been working hard at developing new marketing materials and we will be sharing them with you soon.


President's Message »

Member News »

Technical Corner »

Legislative Update »

CalGeo Website »

Safety First »


Why did we spend all this effort, and why are we going to continue to do more? We want you to have an organization that you can be proud of, an organization that gives its members great value, and we want our non-member colleagues to see the value to feel compelled to join our dynamic organization.

So, let's get energized - take advantage of CalGeo's new features and help us expand our membership.

Siamak Jafroudi, PhD.


Member News

Project to Share?

CalGeo would like to hear from any of our member firms on any interesting projects you are working on or have completed. Send us a brief summary of your project including a photograph for publication in one of our future e.Geo's to We look forward to hearing from you and sharing your work with others!


An Invitation to Our Members

Our website maintains an area in which a members’ photograph and bio cycles each time you click to move from one page to another. If you are a current member and would like to be illustrated in our Member Highlight area of the website, you will need to send us a color, .jpg file head shot (cropped to 74px wide by 104px high) , plus a bio of under 150 words. The photograph and bio are to be emailed to


Earth Systems Welcomes Mike Laney

Earth Systems is pleased to announce that Mr. Michael Laney, registered civil and geotechnical engineer, has joined their team of Geoprofessionals. Mr. Laney's career highlights include:

Mike Laney
  • Over 17 years of professional experience with residential, commercial, and public works projects including the recent Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project.
  • Expertise in seismic design and engineering of deep foundations.
  • Service on the Board of Directors CalGeo since 2007.

Mr. Laney will focus on projects in the Southwest. Feel free to contact him at




Technical Corner

Geofoam Used for Lightweight Road Fill

On a rural residential project in the Santa Cruz Mountains, CalGeo member firm Upp Geotechnology used Geofoam as light weight fill to raise the grade of a private road crossing the head of a dormant landslide without increasing the driving force on the landslide mass.




Legislative Update

Senator Dave Cox Dies

A friend of CalGeo, state senator and former Assembly Republican leader Dave Cox died July 13th, ending more than two decades of public service by a fiscal conservative and political tough guy who savored a good joke and loved to laugh - even at himself.

His family said Cox , age 71, died at home, surrounded by friends and family, after a 13 year battle with prostate cancer.

"A devoted family man, he always found time to serve his community and constituents," said the statement from the family. "Dave took great pride in public service and making government work for the people it serves."

At the Capitol, Cox crafted a reputation as gruff, feisty, irascible, and combative - a passionate advocate and no-nonsense inquisitor who didn't back down from a verbal fight but had a warm heart, quick smile and ready quip.

CalGeo sends condolences to his family and we thank him for his support of our organization during his tenure.




CalGeo Website

New e.Geo Search and Subscribe Features

Did you know that you can view our monthly e-newsletter, the e.Geo, on our website? Now, we have made it even easier to access the e.Geo archives from our website's front page at When on the home page, click on the e.Geo Monthly Newsletter button located to the right of "News". Once there, you will find the current and past issues of the e.Geo. Both the home page and archives pages include a frame allowing you to sign up for a free subscription to the e.Geo. You will also find a "Tell a Friend" button on each tab of our website. Please use this button to let your geotechnical colleagues know about CalGeo and the free subscription to the e.Geo.


Regional Meeting Video Is Now Available For Viewing

At our June 17th Regional Meeting Mr. Patrick Jenks, a Senior Engineering Geologist with CalGeo member firm Wallace-Kuhl & Associates in West Sacramento, CA, presented New ASCE 7-10 Procedures For Determining Peak Ground Acceleration For Liquefaction Analyses. This was also CalGeo's first attempt at web casting a regional meeting and it was quite a success. We are now offering the video of the presentation on our website for viewing at no cost to you! You may view it on our website at under "Events" or under the "Toolkit". Click here to view




Safety First

Smoke From Wildfires And The Workplace

By Beth Mohr, California State Compensation Insurance Fund*

When smoke from wildfires is in the air, employers may wonder if the smoke is a health hazard and if they can do anything to protect their workers.

Smoke is a complex mixture of gases and fine particles. These fine particles are the primary health concern, but chemicals in the mixture can also contribute to the irritating effects of smoke. Carbon monoxide in the smoke is typically only a concern for firefighters close to the fire line.

Health effects depend upon the level of smoke and the sensitivity of the individual. They can include irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, cough, phlegm, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and chest discomfort. People with asthma, lung disease, or heart disease are more likely to be affected by smoke. If workers experience symptoms such as chest pain, chest tightness, shortness of breath, or severe fatigue, medical attention should be sought.

Employers should stay alert. They should listen to local news, weather forecasts, and air quality alerts. Air quality advisories and news can also be found at

Staying indoors is a common advisory. The heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system should be set to maximize the amount of recirculated air and minimize any fresh air being brought in. Portable room air cleaners can provide additional air filtration. Some buildings are so "leaky" that the inside air is no better than the outside air. Other buildings may lack air conditioning and become too hot with all the windows and doors kept shut. If the inside environment is unacceptable, it may be appropriate for some or all employees to remain at home or at some alternate location.

Reducing physical activity may be recommended. Employers should review the level of physical exertion needed for all operations and limit or stop some activities if appropriate.

Air contaminants generated within the workplace can be a concern. If open doors and windows or mechanical ventilation with make-up air from outside are needed to reduce exposure to air contaminants from forklifts, welding, or other processes, it may be appropriate to limit or even stop some operations.

In general, the use of respirators or masks is not recommended for widespread use in areas affected by smoke. However, their use may be appropriate for some workers, such as those who need to be outdoors. Consult a safety and health professional before providing respirators for your employees.

* Beth Mohr, Ph.D., CIH, is a Certified Industrial Hygienist assigned to State Fund's San Francisco and San Jose Districts.




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