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Re-established Alaska Section hosts Mars rover
project manager

Alaska is at the cutting edge of environmental and engineering geology that once supported a thriving AEG section. The section has been inactive of late, but two AEG members, Brian Mullen and Eric Cannon, undertook to reverse the trend and revive the section. To kick off 2014-2015, the Alaska Section hosted a talk by Dr. John Callas on Oct. 24. He is program manager for NASA's Mars rover project.
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Latest issue of AEG News hitting mailboxes soon
The December issue of AEG News is being mailed and should be in your mailbox soon. The final News of 2014 features a recap of the Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, a summary of the Oso landslide, important news of the association and updates from AEG's newly installed officers. You can also look for it online next week by clicking here.
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Call for AEG award nominations
AEG has several awards that recognize the contributions our members make to the association and to the profession. The following awards are just some of the ways AEG acknowledges these efforts:
  • Student Professional Paper Award
  • AEG Publication Award
  • Douglas R. Piteau Outstanding Young Member Award
  • Claire P. Holdredge Award
  • Floyd T. Johnston Service Award
  • Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering Geology
  • The Outstanding Environmental and Engineering Geology Project Award
  • The Schuster Medal
  • Karl and Ruth Terzaghi Mentor Award
  • Honorary Members
  • Outstanding Reviewer for Environmental and Engineering Geoscience Journal Award
  • Outstanding Section Award
  • Outstanding Student Chapter Award
For more information and criteria on each of these awards, please visit the AEG website. If you know of a deserving member please submit your nomination to headquarters no later than March 15, 2015.

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New York professional geologist licensure bill signed into law
New York State Education Department
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed Chapter 475 of the Laws of 2014 that provides for the licensure of professional geologists under Title VIII of the Education Law. The law takes effect in November 2016.

Under the provisions of the new law, geology will be added to the current State Board for Engineering and Land Surveying. To implement the licensing provisions, the Board of Regents must first appoint qualified geologists to the board. The State Board will assist the regents and the department in developing regulations necessary to license qualified individuals in the new profession. Please check back for additional updates in the coming months.

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Oso: The SR 530 Landslide Commission report
American Geophysical Union
This week, the Oso/SR 530 Landslide Commission released its final report. It is available online as a PDF. It is notable that the commission notes that there were many successes in the response but that inevitably not everything went as smoothly as it could have done.
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Scientists observe the Earth grow a new layer under an Icelandic volcano
University of Leeds via ScienceDaily
New research into an Icelandic eruption has shed light on how the Earth's crust forms, according to a paper published in Nature.
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Ancient Earth may have made its own water: Rock circulating in mantle feeds world's oceans even today, evidence suggests
The Ohio State University via ScienceDaily
In a finding that meshes well with recent discoveries from the Rosetta mission, researchers have discovered a geochemical pathway by which Earth makes it own water through plate tectonics. This finding extends the planet's water cycle to billions of years — and suggests that enough water is buried in the deep earth right now to fill the Pacific Ocean.
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Science highlights

Check out what's going on in science and around the industry:
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Urban stream contamination increasing rapidly due to road salt
U.S. Geological Survey
Average chloride concentrations often exceed toxic levels in many northern United States streams due to the use of salt to deice winter pavement, and the frequency of these occurrences nearly doubled in two decades. Chloride levels increased substantially in 84 percent of urban streams analyzed, according to a study that began as early as 1960 at some sites and ended as late as 2011. Levels were highest during the winter but increased during all seasons over time at the northern sites, including near Milwaukee, Chicago, Denver and other metropolitan areas.
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Abandoned wells can be 'super-emitters' of greenhouse gas
Geology Times
Princeton University researchers have uncovered a previously unknown — and possibly substantial — source of the greenhouse gas methane to the Earth's atmosphere. After testing a sample of abandoned oil and natural gas wells in northwestern Pennsylvania, the researchers found that many of the old wells leaked substantial quantities of methane. Because there are so many abandoned wells nationwide (a recent study from Stanford University concluded there were roughly 3 million abandoned wells in the United States) the researchers believe the overall contribution of leaking wells could be significant.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    At what point will the viaduct be unsafe? Washington state: It's complicated (KUOW-FM)
A call for technical working group chairs or 'reporters' (AEG)
The $50 earthquake alarm that could save thousands of lives (CNN)
Commission urges mapping of all Washington landslide zones (KUOW-FM)
Hundreds of methane seeps discovered along the US East Coast (EARTH Magazine)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Wetlands more vulnerable to invasives as climate changes
Duke University via ScienceDaily
Changing water temperatures, rainfall patterns and seasonal river flows linked to global warming may give invasive wetland plants a slight but significant competitive edge over less adaptable native species, according to a groundbreaking three-year field study conducted at 24 riparian wetland sites in the southeast U.S.
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