CalGeo E Newsletter

August 18, 2011

Volunteer – It’s The Professional Thing To Do!

By Dr. Rex Upp
CalGeo President 2011-2012


Rex Upp, CalGeo President 2011-2012

Rex Upp

Over the past four decades, California’s top geotechnical minds have worked hard to establish CalGeo as the ONLY organization focused solely on unifying, strengthening and advancing the state’s private-practice of geotechnical engineering and engineering geology. We hope you have noticed the changes we have made over the past few years as we’ve worked to build on the foundation they’ve laid for us. As we enter our 41st year, you will continue to see positive changes. Our overriding goal moving forward is to continue growing our membership by providing more of what our members and our industry needs and wants.


Volunteer with CalGeo »

BPELSG Exam Update »

Counsel's Corner »

Initiating Project Management »

Member News »

Job Board »

Annual Conference Fun Facts »

OPA Small Project Winner »

Safety First »

Write For e.Geo »



As President, my number one goal for the 2011-2012 year is to get more of our members involved with CalGeo’s many committees. Almost all that CalGeo does is thought-up, planned, and implemented by the Directors and members who serve on our various committees. We are only limited in our accomplishments by the time they have available.


You have all worked hard and made a long-term commitment to your careers as professional engineers and geologists. Part of being a professional is giving something back to strengthen the industry and its future leaders, just as those before us have done. One great way to do that is by volunteering your time and ideas to one of CalGeo’s committees. We have many to choose from to match your interests. Click here to learn how easy it is and to get started today. I know you can help!


Click here to learn more about our new President and his goals for the year.



BPELSG Geotechnical Engineering Exam Format

By Mike Laney
Earth Systems Southwest


The following is an announcement from the Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG) regarding the October 2011 Geotechnical Engineers Exam.  Please pass this on to your associates who are planning on sitting for the exam this fall.

Attention Test Takers! The Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists (BPELSG) geotechnical engineering examinations will be administered at computer-based testing sites beginning this October.

Applicants will be notified by the Board how to register and where the test sites will be located when the contracts are finalized in the coming weeks. The final filing dates remain the same: July 8, 2011 for new applications, and August 12, 2011 for refile applicants.

The geotechnical engineer application, reference forms, instructions and examination information can be found here


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Counsel's Corner

Joint and Several Liability

By Thomas R. Gill & David R. Reeder
Manning & Kass, Ellrod, Ramirez, Trester LLP


At first blush, Proposition 51 and the concept of Joint Several Liability seem scary and somewhat confusing. Through a discussion of the tragic story of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow, this article will provide its readers with a real world explanation and application of both Proposition 51 and Joint and Several Liability. Click here to read more about Joint and Several Liability.


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The Geotechnical Advantage to Initiating Project Management

By Scott David Rudd, PMP
Quality Assurance Manager
R.T. Frankian & Associates


Many technical managers suppose the cost of instituting a more formal project management system as excessive. High costs do not necessarily have to be the case. The geotechnical firm has certain advantages inherent to its work that will help reduce the cost in implementing a more formal system; a system that can actually become an organizational lubricant to help ease the time and cost associated with many daily business activities.

In our May issue, Scott Rudd wrote about the potential for increased profitability by incorporating elements of a globally recognized standard framework for project management. This month, he focuses on the ability to increase the efficiency and quality of many geotechnical tasks while improving the ability to plan those tasks with little increased organizational costs. Click here to read more about initiating project management.


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Member News


Henry Kling

Henry Kling

Henry Kling, former CEO of Zeiser Kling Consultants, is proud to announce the formation of Kling Consulting Group.  Henry was involved with Zeiser Kling for more than 20 years prior to creating Kling Consulting Group.

He was President of CalGeo (as CGEA) for the 1998 - 1999 fiscal year after joining the board in the early 1990s. Kling Consulting Group is mostly comprised of former ZKC staff and has retained its former clients and projects.  KCG was created mostly in response to the retirement of ZKC founder Rick Zeiser who relinquished his interest in the firm roughly three years ago.

KCG offers municipal geotechnical review, design work for commercial and residential projects, risk assessment, expert witness and forensic services. The KCG offices are located in Irvine.


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Job Board


Visit our website for the latest information on current available positions throughout the industry, including:

  • Sr. Geotechnical Engineer at Giles Engineering Associates, Inc.
  • Geotechnical Group Manager at BSK Associates
  • Environmental & Geotechnical Engineers, plus more openings at Leighton Consulting, Inc.


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“Here Today, Gone To Maui”

Fun Facts

By Marsha Myers
CalGeo Executive Director


Black Rock Maui

Black Rock - Maui




CalGeo Annual Conference
April 17 – 20
Lahaina, Maui


In Hawaiian tradition, it is the place where natural forces come together - Pu`u Keka`a, “hill creating strength through enlightenment.”

Hawaiians believed that Pu`u Keka`a (aka Black Rock) was one of three “`uhane lele,” a place where souls of the dead leapt from earth into their ancestral spirit land. It is believed that only a person with great spiritual strength can enter that world and return. That person was King Kahekili.

King Kahekili ruled Maui and O`ahu for 45 years to 1794, and lived in Ka`anapali for most of his ruling years. King Kahekili proved his bravery by jumping from Pu’u Keka’a. Returning to shore unscathed, Kahekili – “King of the Spirit Leap” gained much respect and admiration by his people and his warriors.

As day transitions to night, the Sheraton Maui Resort retells the story of King Kahekili in its nightly Cliff Dive Ceremony.

Click here to learn more about the 2012 conference. You won’t want to miss out!


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2010 Outstanding Project Award

Upp Geotechnology, Inc. Wins in the Small Project Category

By Dr. Rex Upp
Upp Geotechnology, Inc


Moss Beach, California Project:
Bluff Failure Protection and Emergency Underpinning at a Seaside Residential Property

Moss Beach, California



A section of coastal bluff failed during a heavy storm surge, threatening a nearby house in Moss Beach. With an emergency California Coastal Commission permit, a notch was cut through the bluff and boulder riprap was placed on the shoreline. The Coastal Commission approved plans to rebuild and stabilize the notch with a U-shaped drilled tangent-pier retaining structure at a cost of $700,000.

Upp Geotechnology was retained to develop an alternative bluff restoration concept. They determined that the Coastal Commission-approved retaining wall was unnecessary and recommended a similarly shaped hand-dug caisson-supported shotcrete wall along the flanks of the notch. A Geoweb cellular confinement system wall was built to infill the notch itself. The cost of this repair was about $290,000. Click here to read more about this project.


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Safety First

Workplace Fires

"Courtesy of the California State Compensation Insurance Fund"


The potential for fire is present in any workplace. But, if you’re aware of the causes and conditions, if you’re prepared, and if you think before you act, the risk of a workplace fire and its damaging effects – on you, your co-workers or your company- can be minimized.

Following good housekeeping practices is crucial to fire prevention. That means keep heating and electrical equipment clean, clear, and in good repair; regularly clean ducts and fume hood filters; keep ovens and ranges clean and free of spilled fats, sugar, sauces, etc.; keep paper products, aerosols, and other flammable materials away from heating elements; and store flammable liquids away from heat sources, exits or escape routes.

To avoid electrically-caused fires, check, replace or have professionally fixed any appliance with frayed or loose cords and wires or cords that get hot during use. Avoid running cords or wires under rugs and carpets or near a heat source; and keep them out of doorways where they can become worn.

Ensure that fire protection equipment (i.e., sprinklers, smoke/heat detectors, alarms, fire hoses, fire extinguishers, and fire blankets) are maintained, available for use, and not impaired or concealed. Make sure fire extinguishers correspond to the potential risk. Know where they’re located and how to use them.

Besides training in fire prevention and protection, make sure you understand company emergency communication and evacuation procedures. Know the location of fire alarms and the telephone numbers for emergency response personnel. Report a fire, even if it seems minor. Fire fighters would rather arrive and find nothing to do than be called after it’s too late to save individuals or property. Keep in mind that all workers are responsible for preventing fires, but not everyone is expected to fight major fires. Fire fighting is best handled by trained professionals.


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Write For e.Geo!



At the beach working with laptop

In California, August means it's time to go to the beach! Don't forget to take your laptop and write an article for e.Geo. Your fellow geotechnologists will appreciate your effort (even if your family won't). Click here for the e.Geo writing guidelines.


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