CalGeo E Newsletter

May 15, 2012

CalGeo Student Outreach Program

Cal State Fullerton Wins Rising Star Award

By Hannes Richter
Stoney-Miller Consultants, Inc.

CSUF Students

CalGeo recognized our industry's future leaders by honoring Cal State Fullerton's student chapter with the Rising Star Award.


Student Outreach Program »

Regional Meeting & Webcast »

Outstanding Project Award »

2012 CalGeo Salary Survey »

Member News »

Legislative Happenings »

Maui Conference Wrap-up »

Job Board »

Safety First »


CalGeo's Rising Star Award is given each year to the student chapter that best supports its budding geotechs. The judges had their work cut out for them this year, as CalGeo is proud to have such active and enthusiastic student chapters at UCLA (defending champions), Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton and a liaison chapter at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After careful review of their accomplishments for the year, this year's Rising Star Award went to Cal State Fullerton! They had great social events, speakers, student forums and volunteer activities. The CSU Fullerton chapter also competed at the Geo-Institute MSE Wall Regional and National competitions, and members presented a number of professional papers. To see their program in detail, click here.

CalGeo's student outreach efforts, including student chapter administration and the Rising Star Awards, are partially funded by the silent auction at the Annual Conference. We thank all of you who donated or purchased items this year!



Regional Meeting & Webcast

Register by June 13th


Our June Regional meeting will be held live in Sacramento at the Hilton Arden West and will be webcast to 13 sites that night as well. The 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake produced a wealth of geotechnical lessons and geotechnical data that will have a lasting impact on the science and practice of geotechnical earthquake engineering. Professor Ross Boulanger of UC Davis will examine & discuss some of the key lessons from this earthquake.

For complete information and registration, visit our website here.

Students, we have a special rate for you of just $10. The registration deadline for this regional meeting and webcast is June 13th, so don't delay, register today!


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2011 Outstanding Project Award Winner

Sacramento Railyards Bridges

By Eric Nichols & Dave Morrell
Blackburn Consulting

CalGeo member Blackburn Consulting was awarded the Outstanding Project Award at this year's Annual Conference in Maui

Blackburn Consulting (BCI) was recently honored with this year's Outstanding Project Award for foundation reports on three bridge structures critical to initial redevelopment of the 240-acre Sacramento Railyards site, one of the largest urban infill projects in the nation. The highly compressed design and construction schedule was complicated by coordination with a simultaneous Union Pacific Railroad track relocation project, significant funding issues and several geotechnical challenges. Key geotechnical issues included: deep compressible and liquefiable soil deposits, resulting high static/seismic pile downdrag loads, inconsistent upper gravel/sand bearing stratum with potential pile punching/hard pile driving issues, difficult subsurface exploration conditions (environmental cleanup site with specialized drilling protocol), and the need to protect historic buildings from construction vibrations. BCI met the challenges by completing a pile test program during design, using surcharges to eliminate static downdrag issues, recommending lightweight cellular concrete for abutment MSE wall backfill, and recommending a pile setup factor during construction to confirm high pile load demands. Click here to read more about this project.


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2012 CalGeo Salary Survey

By Danny Cohen
BSK Associates

Our 2012 CalGeo Salary Survey questionnaire has been e-mailed to all active member firms. As you know, we use this tool to give our membership vital information regarding salaries for both technical and non-technical employees.

If you would take the time to fill out the questionnaire carefully, following the instructions and return it by June 15th, it would be greatly appreciated. If you know other firms who may not be members of CalGeo at this time but would be interested in this information, please have them contact Marsha Myers at as we are trying to expand the database. All firms that contribute in filling out the salary survey will receive a copy for FREE. Member firms that do not participate can obtain a copy of the results for $250.

We appreciate your completing and returning the survey and look forward to record-breaking participation this year! Thank you.

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Member News

Welcome to Our Newest Individual Member

Noah Smith
Neil O. Anderson & Associates, Inc.
5051 Commercial Circle, Unit B
Concord, CA 94520
(925) 609-7224

New Addition to Stoney-Miller Consultants, Inc.

Ian Goltz

Ian Goltz

Stoney-Miller is pleased to introduce Ian Goltz to their team. Ian has more than 25 years of experience performing geologic and hydrogeological investigations. He joins Dr. John Foster to lead the hydrogeologic, environmental and groundwater resources division.

Earth Systems Has Opened a New Office

Earth Systems
1680 Illinois Ave., Suite 20
Perris, CA 92571
(951) 928-9797
Primary Rep: Mark Spykerman


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Legislative Happenings

By Rick Keene
CalGeo's Legislative Consultant

Rick Keene
CalGeo's Legislative Committee recently reviewed and distilled more than 2,500 pieces of proposed legislation to determine the potential benefits and impacts to our industry.

The group identified approximately 20 bills this session that could affect how you do business, which are presented in the CalGeo Bill Status Report.

CalGeo will work over the coming session to actively support or oppose many of these bills; others we will be keeping a keen eye on. Our hope is that CalGeo members will relay to us your input so that we can be sure to accurately reflect your priorities and opinions as we advocate on behalf of the profession.


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Maui Conference Wrap-up

Pavement Reclamation 2012

By William M. Kenney, GE
Acacia CE

Cold Foam Train

CalGeo helped educate members about the latest pavement technologies at the Annual Conference in Maui

Most GE's would not associate foam with a pavement section. They just might after the lunch presentation at the 2012 Annual CalGeo Conference. Ron Skaggs, GE, of Condor Earth Technologies, Inc. opened attendees' eyes to a new technology that is accepted by CalTrans and is revolutionizing the way we reclaim degraded pavements.

Skaggs discussed how cold foam in-place recycled asphalt concrete (CFA) can be used to mix in-place recycled ac/AB with a spray of hot asphalt (≈ 350°F) water and air (foam) to produce a high gravel factor (GF=1.4-1.5) base section. The CFA base is overlaid with standard ac to finish the reclaimed section. Traffic can be routed back onto the CFA base after compaction with the use of temporary sand slurry coat to prevent raveling.

Anyone interested in this technology that is accepted by Caltrans should contact Mr. Skaggs. He may be reached via e-mail at or (209) 234-0518.


Engaging the Beast

By Eric Nichols
Blackburn Consulting

Rick Keene gave an excellent presentation entitled "Engaging the Beast" where he spoke about increasing CalGeo's influence in the State public policy debate and the plans that CalGeo is undertaking to be more proactive in its interaction with the legislative process. Rick made the observation that money is not the mothers milk of politics, but that people looking from the outside often mistake money for affecting legislative behavior. The money is used as a vehicle to spend time with legislators creating that relationship. It is the time spent that builds relationships, even without spending a lot of money. CalGeo's mission is to build relational stock, then once established communicate the organization's concerns to proactively move issues forward. With respect to current legislation, CalGeo is meeting with the Professional Engineers Board to address the $50,000 settlement disciplinary problem, looking into the Workers' Compensation X-Mod process for potential solutions, communicating activity status with CalGeo members, collaborating with other associations to leverage our collective efforts, and inviting legislators to join CalGeo's board meetings. Rick closed by asking the membership for feedback in order to understand our concerns and then translate those concerns into political and or legislative power.


Hawaiian Volcanology for Technically-Inclined

By Michael W. Laney, GE
Earth Systems Global, Inc.

Dr. Jim Kauahikaua & "The Cookie Monster"

CalGeo brought some local flair to the conference with the help of volcano expert Dr. Jim Kauahikaua.

When you mention Hawaii, the average person thinks of sun-drenched beaches and luau parties. Not CalGeo members. When we hear Hawaii, we think one thing: volcanoes. That's why CalGeo's Annual Conference in Maui wouldn't have been complete without a keynote address by Dr. Jim Kauahikaua of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Hawaiian volcanology and events surrounding the recent eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. Click here to learn more.


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Job Board

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

 • Senior Level Environmental Geologist or Engineer with Leighton Consulting, Inc.
 • Marketing/Business Development Coordinator with Geocon West, Inc.
 • Soils Technician with Geocon West, Inc.
 • Geotechnical Engineer with Geocon Inc.
 • Senior Geotechnical Engineer for GMU Geotechnical, Inc.
 • Staff Tunnel Engineer for Condor Earth Technologies, Inc.


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Safety First

Revive Your First Aid Program

Courtesy of State Compensation Insurance Fund of California

What would happen today, if there was an accident at your workplace? Would employees and management know what to do? Would the injured person get the best possible care?

When an accident happens, a first aid program that meets the requirements of the law and is tailored to the type and size of the workplace can literally make the difference between life and death or between recovery and permanent disablement.

Employers should insure that all employees know where emergency information is posted at the work site. The emergency notice should state the phone numbers of the closest ambulance service, fire/rescue unit, police, and hospital. The amount of time it takes to look up one of these important numbers can make a big difference to a seriously injured person. The location of first aid equipment and rescue equipment should also be posted prominently.

All work sites should have a person with first aid or medical training readily available in case of an emergency. First aid equipment and supplies, including a variety of dressings and instruments, as well as an up-to-date first aid manual, should be stored where they can be reached quickly and easily in case of an accident. These supplies should be inspected frequently, making sure they are kept in sanitary and usable condition and re-stocked after use. Larger workplaces may need more than one, fully equipped first aid kit.

In isolated work sites, emergency supplies and an action plan are especially important. At least one person trained in emergency first aid should always be on-site. If first aid is not given properly, it can sometimes hurt rather than help an injured or ill person, or even be harmful to the person giving the first aid. All workers should know who on site is trained to give first aid, where the emergency first aid equipment is located, and what medical professional or medical facility should be contacted if a medical emergency should occur.

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