CalGeo E Newsletter

January 10, 2012

Dr. Geoffrey Martin to Keynote CalGeo 2012 Annual Conference


Geoffrey Martin

CalGeo is pleased to announce that Dr. Geoffrey Martin, recipient of the ASCE's 2012 H. Bolton Seed Medal, will keynote the CalGeo 2012 Annual Conference April 18-20 in Maui. Dr. Martin will discuss his observations on the mechanics of liquefaction and volume change of sands under cyclic loadings, which will be complemented by his insights on lateral spread analyses where silt content plays a major role. Click here to read more about Dr. Martin.


Annual Conference Keynote »

Loss Prevention Seminar »

Salary Survey »

Here Today, Gone To Maui »

Call For Entries Deadline »

Legislative Information »

Landslide of the Month »

Can You Help a Student? »

Job Board »

A Funny Joke »

Safety First »



Loss Prevention Seminar

Deadline Quickly Approaching!


You still have a few days left to register for CalGeo's Loss Prevention Seminars. For those wishing to attend the seminar on January 28 in Santa Ana or February 11 in Fairfield, the registration deadline for both locations is Friday, January 13.

The seminar is filled with interesting and pertinent sessions you won't want to miss. Don't delay; register today!

Southern California - Click here.

Northern California - Click here.


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Salary Survey

By Danny Cohen
CalGeo Business Factors Chairhead


As we mentioned last month, CalGeo is conducting a survey about the salary survey (yes, we know that sounds redundant, but please bear with us). The salary survey has been provided to our membership for a number of years, but the past few years have seen many changes in the economy and the business environment that have affected how we do business. In order to make the salary survey more pertinent and reflective of today's economy, we are looking for input on ways to improve and/or enhance the information included.

Click here to take the survey. Please follow the instructions in completing the survey by tabbing through to the check boxes or fill-in answer boxes, save the document to your computer; then attach the document in an email message addressed to Marsha Myers at at your earliest convenience. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Danny Cohen, CalGeo's Business Factors Committee Chairperson at (559) 497-2880 ext. 123. We appreciate your valuable input!


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Here Today, Gone To Maui

Register Now and Save!

Marsha Myers
Executive Director


Maui Sheraton

Don't miss CalGeo's annual conference in Maui, April 18-20 at The Sheraton Resort and Spa in Lahaina. We have a great room rate of $240 per night. The conference will encompass a broad range of business, legislative and technical topics, highlighted by a keynote session presented by Professor Geoffrey Martin. Our "Kamanawana Golf" tournament will open the conference on Wednesday, April 18. The conference will end on Friday, April 20 with a lively Luau party that will leave us with the Aloha spirit!

Registration is now open. Regular conference registration ends March 17. A substantial discount is offered for Early Bird registration until February 17.

Don't delay! Click here to visit our website for full conference and registration information. Brochures have been mailed to member firms... so check your mail and visit the web site.


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Call For Entries Deadline

Outstanding Project Awards: 2011 - 2012


Remember to get your Outstanding Project Award entry in for judging by the deadline, January 27, 2012. Award winners will be highlighted at the Outstanding Project Awards luncheon during your Annual Conference at The Sheraton Resort & Spa, in Maui, on April 20, 2012.

The entry process has been streamlined to make it easier for you to enter. Instead of mailing in (3) copies of all the reports with the application, you may now submit reports electronically. Entry forms may be downloaded here.

Click here to download the rules and application package.


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Legislative Information


New bills were recently passed adding sections to the labor code placing an added burden on employers to provide employees with additional information at the time of hiring. A recent article written by David Miller with Pacific Employers in Visalia provides details on AB240 and AB469 (Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011) as well as AB 1396, a new commission payment law. As David writes, "Once more, the state and federal government have come out with a bundle of new laws, regulations and court decisions for the new year, that will make life more difficult for employers." Click here for more about these new rules.


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A Landslide Locals Would Like to Fuggedabout


Mountain Lake Mudslide

Two cars and part of a house in Mountain Lake, New Jersery collapsed when the ground beneath faltered in a mud slide following Hurricane Irene.

Rightly or wrongly (depending on where you're from), New Jersey has become home to many American stereotypes. But there was nothing stereotypical about the hurricane that hit the eastern seaboard last summer, which made its way past New Jersey's iconic seaside towns leaving a torrent of destruction and geotechnical issues in its wake.

Click here to read more.


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Can You Help a Student?

Survey of Practice

By Donald P. Coduto
Professor of Geotechnical Engineering
Cal Poly Pomona


One of my geotechnical engineering graduate students, Dustin Michel, is studying the residual strength of California soils for his master's project. His work will include researching the current state of practice, and conducting a series of comparative laboratory tests using both the reversing direct shear method and the ring shear method.

I'm writing to solicit your help in this project. Dustin has prepared an online survey intended to document the current state of practice, and we are asking you to participate in this survey. Access it by clicking here.

We are hoping the results of this work will provide useful information to assist California geotechnical engineers in their work. The results will be published in a future edition of the e.Geo.

Thank you for your assistance in this project. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dustin at or me at


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

• Civil Engineer with TerraCosta Consulting Group


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A Funny Joke - The Genie


Three men - a project manager, a software engineer, and a geotechnical engineer - are in Ft. Lauderdale for a two-week period helping out on a project.

About mid-week, they decide to walk up and down the beach during their lunch hour. Halfway up the beach, they stumbled upon a lamp. They rubbed the lamp, and a genie appeared and said, "Normally, I would grant you three wishes, but since there are 3 of you, I will grant you each one wish."

The geotechnical engineer went first. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living in a huge house in St. Thomas, with no money worries and surrounded by the beautiful surroundings of the island." The genie granted him his wish and sent him off to St. Thomas."

The software engineer went next. "I would like to spend the rest of my life living on a huge yacht cruising the Mediterranean, with no money worries and surrounded by the beauty of the seas." The genie sent him off to the Mediterranean.

Last - but not least, it was the project manager's turn. "And what would your wish be?" asked the genie.

"I want them both back after lunch," replied the project manager.


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Safety First

Extra Help at the Office - How Ergonomics and Stretching Reduce Injury Risks

Courtesy of State Compensation Insurance Fund of California


Did you know that over 35 percent of workers' compensation injuries for office workers are caused by overexertion, repetitive motion, and cumulative trauma? We're all spending more time working at the computer and other electronic devices. All those mouse clicks, keystrokes, and thumb presses can really add up.

One way you can help reduce the risk of injury is by ensuring that your employees have a good ergonomic fit with their computer workstations. We can help you with that. Whether you need information on selecting an office chair, positioning a monitor, learning keyboard shortcuts, or finding out how to deal with the latest "new" injury - such as BlackBerry thumb or cell-phone elbow - we have more than 20 office-specific ErgoMatters articles available at

It's also important for you and your employees to remember to take small periodic breaks from sitting at the computer. We've created a special pamphlet illustrating some stretches that will help counteract the effects of overusing computers and other electronic devices. The pamphlet is "Stretches for Office Workers" (SCIF 17126), and you can order it for free from your State Fund regional office or via the Safety Materials Catalog online.


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