CalGeo E Newsletter

June 30, 2014

CalGeo Student Outreach Program & Rising Star Award

New Chapter Wins!

By: Hannes Richter/Stoney-Miller Consultants


Smiling students


Student Outreach Program »

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The purpose of the Student Outreach Program is to promote geotechnical engineering in California universities and provide a means for students to interact with practitioners to encourage their careers, find internships, and find employment after graduation. We support them throughout the year with funding, speakers and field trips, and this is proving to be highly successful for both the students and CalGeo members. Our efforts are partially funded by the Silent Auction at the annual conference, and we thank all of you who donated or purchased items this year!

This year's Rising Star Award evaluation was again difficult, as we had four very competitive groups in UCLA, Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Fullerton (defending champions), and a new chapter at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (formerly a liaison chapter). After careful review of their accomplishments for the year with the student liaisons, we were quite overwhelmed with the effort, accomplishments, energy and enthusiasm of our newest chapter, and decided that this year's Rising Star Award belonged to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo! They had great social events, speakers, student forums, field trips, volunteer activities, and competed at the Geo-Institute MSE Wall. To see their program in detail, click here. We are very proud of the excellent effort and enthusiasm by all the students, in all the chapters, and wish them the very best in the coming year.


June UCLA CalGeo Student Chapter Field Trip


UCLA Students
UCLA Students

Harry Derkalousdian, PE, and Andy Lapostol, Staff Geologist of Geocon West's Los Angeles office, conducted a UCLA CalGeo student chapter field trip allowing students to see how geotechnical exploration and sampling is performed using hollow stem auger equipment. Geocon is performing a geotechnical investigation for the new UCLA Basketball Practice Facility on campus so it was the perfect opportunity to teach students about drilling and soil sampling procedures. We encourage other engineering firms to support the student chapters and make an effort to educate our next generation of engineers!


Fault Rupture Hazard Presentation at Cal Poly Pomona


Cal Poly Students
Cal Poly Pomona Students


Susan Kirkgard
Susan Kirkgard, CEG-Geocon West


Ms. Susan Kirkgard, CEG, Senior Geologist of Geocon West's Los Angeles office, gave a presentation on fault rupture hazard investigations in an urban environment to the combined CalGeo and AEG student chapters at Cal Poly Pomona. The presentation covered the role and difference between a geotechnical engineer and an engineering geologist, addressed the types of hazards an engineering geologist evaluates, the requirements and various techniques of fault investigations, and the challenges of investigating faults in an urban environment.


Upcoming Events


June Regional Meetings Were Well Attended "Seismic Design With The 2012 IBC and ASCE 7-10"


Todd Kamisky & Speaker David Baska
Todd Kamisky, CalGeo President with June Regional Meeting Speaker David Baska, Terracon

We thank David Baska for presenting "Seismic Design With The 2012 IBC and ASCE 7-10" in June in Santa Ana and in Sacramento. We had a great turnout!.


Regional Meetings In October

SAVE the DATES for our next Regional Meetings, in Southern California on Tuesday, October 7, and in Northern California on Thursday, October 9. Speaker and topic has yet to be determined, but keep your eye open for information coming soon.


CalGEO Emerging Professionals

CalGEO Emerging Professionals meet the 3rd Wednesday every month in Northern California. Our next meeting will be July 16, 2014. "Groundwater Policy & Monitoring in Lassen County" will be presented by John Ayres, PG, CHG. Check our website at for updated information on this meeting and future meetings.


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Member News

Terracon's David Gaboury Elected To The GMA Council of Fellows


David Gaboury
David Gaboury
Silver Springs, MD. , Calif. — David R. Gaboury, P.E. is the newest member of the prestigious Council of Fellows of ASFE/The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA). The organization established the Council in 1975 to provide guidance for GBA's direction and to pursue other activities its members deemed appropriate.


The president, CEO, and board chair of Terracon, Mr. Gaboury is a licensed professional engineer with more than 30 years' experience in environmental, geoenvironmental, and water-resources engineering. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and his Master of Science degree in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. David is a 15-year "veteran" of Woodward-Clyde Consultants, which he served as president and chief operating officer before joining Terracon. Well known for his volunteer and charitable endeavors, he has served GBA in a variety of leadership positions over the past decade, most recently as its president during the organization's 2011-2012 fiscal year. David is an active participant in the CEO Conference Group, the Construction Industry Round Table, and the Incident- and Injury-Free Executive Forum. In 2013, he was a national finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year® award.

Established in 1969, GBA serves to "help its geoprofessional-member firms and their clients confront risk and optimize performance." Geoprofessional firms provide geotechnical, geologic, environmental, construction-materials engineering and testing, and related professional services. (Refer to HYPERLINK "" All GBA-member firms' technical activities are under the full-time control of an individual who is legally and/or ethically bound to hold paramount public health, safety, and welfare. GBA's associate membership comprises geoconstructors; geoprofessional educators and students; geoprofessionals employed by government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and industry; and attorneys and other consultants to GBA-member firms.


Sad News

One of CalGeo's founding fathers, Jerry Kovacs, passed away in May. He was part of the original steering committee organized in 1970 to guide the formation of the organization. In 1973-1974 he became President of our board (our third president).

Jerry receive his BSCE from UCLA in 1959, and his MSCE from USC in 1962. He worked at Bechtel, Geolabs and R.T. Frankian before forming Kovacs-Byer and Associates in 1971. He retired in 1996.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years Sheri, his children Lori, Kim and Brent, and his grandchildren Aaron, Sara, Jen, Sydney and Kyle. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.

Recently, we gratefully accepted a very generous donation to our Student Fund from Ed Hill of Geotechnologies, Inc. in memory of Jerry Kovacs. You can contact our office at if you would like to donate in Jerry's memory.


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Job Board


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

Geotechnical Engineer with Geocon
Geotechnical/Materials Laboratory with Geocon
Project-level Engineering Geologist with Geocon


If you're LOOKING for help throughout the year, we also have a number of resumes on our website at


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Safety First

Water, Rest, Shade


Drinking gatorate at workplace on a hot sunny day.

California employers are required to take these four steps to prevent heat illness:

1. Training — Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.

2. Water — Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, and encourage them to do so.

3. Shade — Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.

4. Planning — Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard (get the Standard here:
Standard &cx=001779225245372747843%3Ahq74utyoxui&cof=FORID%3A10&ie=UTF-8&submit.x=0&submit.y=0

courtesy of Cal/OSHA


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Soil Retention Systems


Experience with engineered aggregate piers

e.Geo Standards for Publication

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