CalGeo E Newsletter

February 16, 2012

Hawaii Volcanology a Hot Topic for Annual Conference

By Larry Taylor
Taylor Group, Inc.


Dr. Kauahikaua

Dr. Jim Kauahikaua

We all deal with geologic hazards in our business, but probably not quite the same way that Dr. Jim Kauahikaua does. Dr. Kauahikaua is a geophysicist currently serving as the Scientist-in-Charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) on the Big Island, where he has studied the current eruption of Kilauea Volcano for nearly three decades. A geophysicist by training, Dr. Kauahikaua has partly morphed into a physical volcanologist, taking special interest in the formation and evolution of lava flows and lava tubes, applying geophysical techniques to map them.


Annual Conference Update »

Origins of the Lu'au »

Human Resources Perspective »

Members News »

Legislative Information »

1-Day CPT Seminar Coming! »

Job Board »

Safety First »

A Thought »


Dr. Kauahikaua will be a featured speaker at the 2012 CalGeo Annual Conference in Maui, Hawaii on April 18-20. He will describe the work of HVO and provide a primer on Hawaii volcanology and volcano hazards. He will offer insights into what is happening at KÄ«lauea Volcano, which has been erupting almost continuously since 1983. Click here to register for the 2012 CalGeo Annual Conference.

Dr. Kauahikaua received his BA in Geology from Pomona College in 1973, his master's degree from the University of Hawaii in 1976 and his Ph.D. from the same institution in 1982. In addition to his scientific interest in volcanoes, Jim also enjoys detailing the connection between Hawaiian mythology/stories/history and geological events, teaches kids about volcanology and helps devise educational curricula for elementary school students in Hawaii.

Dr. Kauahikaua at work

Jim Kauahikaua in front of a dome fountain from a skylight at 2,450 feet elevation.
Photo by Carl Thornber, U.S. Geological Survey, February 1, 1996.



Here Today, Gone To Maui

Origins of the Lu`au

By Marsha Myers
CalGeo Executive Director



Since ancient times, Hawaiian islanders have gathered together to celebrate auspicious occasions with a feast. These celebrations are held for many reasons, including to honor a great victory in war, celebrate a bountiful harvest or to welcome the birth of a new child. Hawaiians believed that it is important to honor their gods and that prosperity should be shared with family and friends.

Such celebrations were originally called 'aha'ainas, meaning gathering ('aha) for a meal ('aina). Referring to these celebrations as lu'aus came much later. Today lu'au has come to mean an informal gathering of people for food and entertainment.

CalGeo's closing night lu'au will be the grand finale to your Maui visit. That night, we will also be holding our annual Silent Auction to raise funds for Student Outreach (always a favorite!). It will be a time to enjoy new and old friends, eat wonderful food, revel in the Hawaiian music and dance, and perhaps even participate in a hula or two!

Come celebrate with us and be part of our Annual Conference by clicking here to register! REMEMBER: Friday, February 17th is the deadline for the discounted Early Bird registration rate. Don't delay, register today!


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Human Resources Perspective

At-Will Employment Information


Verla Oliver, SPHR-CA

Verla Oliver, SPHR-CA
Vice President
SinglePoint Outsourcing, Inc.

The rules for employers are constantly changing and must be strictly adhered to in order to avoid getting in trouble. It is commonly assumed that an at-will employee is just that, one who can be terminated at will for no apparent reason. However, it is not so simple and is actually more complicated than that.

A recent article written by Verla Oliver, Vice President of SinglePoint Outsourcing, Inc., provides additional information on what you need to know before terminating an at-will employee and provides insight as to "Limitations to At-Will Terminations." Click here for more about these new rules.


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Members News


We'd like to welcome our newest individual members:

David Salter
DRS Engineering
3300 Airport Ave., Suite 11
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(818) 402-3962

Jay Merani
Geosyntec Consultants
1111 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94607
(925) 366-5887



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Legislative Information


Rick Keene

Rick Keene

The California Legislature rang in the New Year on January 4 (a few days after the rest of us) by reconvening at the capitol, and leaders of both parties hit the ground running.

This year is the second of a two-year session, so bills that weren't ready for prime time last year became two-year bills and will be first in line to be debated over the coming months. Here are some of the bigger discussions to keep an eye on this year:

• Redevelopment Agencies were ruled by the State Supreme Court to be terminated starting this month. The impact will be extensive and may cause communities problems with finding matching infrastructure dollars and general plan housing requirements. The various impacts of this change are vast.

• The Governor's newly proposed budget is already projected to run a deficit . Recent triggers require new cuts when revenues fall short.

• Pension reform, internet gambling, pot rules, and revisiting the water bond and high-speed rail are all on the table.


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1-Day CPT Seminar Coming!


Gregg Drilling & Testing, Inc. will be presenting a one-day cone penetration testing seminar on April 6th, at the Hyatt Regency Resort in Huntington Beach. This course has been designed to illustrate the principles of cone penetration testing through the evaluation of case histories and worked examples. This course is intended for geotechnical engineers working with foundation design, liquefaction, and seismic analysis using the CPT. Also included will be a field tour of one of Gregg's custom designed CPT rigs. Click here for more seminar and registration information.


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

      • Branch Manager with Giles Engineering Associates


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Safety First

Stay Sharp, Stay Safe

Courtesy of State Compensation Insurance Fund of California


In the course of a workday, you may come across a sharp or pointed object while working in an office, a restaurant, hotel, hospital or store. Whether it's a needle, knife, broken glass, scissors, pointed pencil, staple or tool, if you're not following safe work practices, you can end up with a cut, puncture, nick or gash that can lead to a serious infection or disease. Pay attention to what you're doing and do it with your safety and health in mind.

One of the leading causes of injury is improper handling of sharp and pointed objects. Keep yourself and others safe by remembering and following these safe work practices:

• Watch where you put your hands, especially when reaching into drawers, closets, sinks, and shelves or when grasping under or around items. Make careful and deliberate movements.
• Don't try and catch sharp or pointed objects. Let falling objects fall. It's better to clean up a mess or replace the item, rather than risk an injury or infection.
• Keep bare hands out of wastebaskets, disposal containers or liquid-filled sinks, which could contain broken glass or sharps. Never "bear hug" a bag. Hold it away from your body and limbs to prevent sharp items from puncturing the bag and causing an injury.
• Don't carry sharp items in your pockets. Return sharp and pointed items to their proper storage areas; keep them away from surface edges.
• Select the right tool for the job. Sharpen cutting tools and knives on a regular basis and only use them as they were designed. Dull blades require more force and may be more likely to slip, cutting the handler. Make sure guards are in place on machinery with cutting blades.
• Protective clothing, such as cut or puncture resistant gloves, chaps or aprons, can further protect against injury.

Always employ proper clean up and disposal procedures to dispose of any sharp, pointed, broken, cracked or otherwise damaged objects. Make it a point to act cautiously and to follow recommended safe work practices around sharp or pointed objects. But, if an injury occurs, report it immediately and get proper medical treatment to prevent a serious infection or possibility of disease.


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A Thought



"When you tug at a single thread in nature, you will find it attached to the rest of the world."
- John Muir


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