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Join your peers for the 3rd North American Symposium on Landslides in Roanoke, Virginia! The symposium will have speakers and attendees coming in from the National Weather Service, those in emergency management, various state departments of transportation, FHWA, USGS, state geological surveys and state departments of conservation, among other agencies/areas.
Early registration deadline is Saturday, April 15.
Be sure to visit the 3rd NASL website for complete details on field trips, guest tours, short courses and sponsorship opportunities. Book your reservations at the Hotel Roanoke at group rate before the deadline of Saturday, May 13.
AEG members working/residing in Illinois please take a moment to respond to Illinois Senate Bill 1821 (S.B. 1821). The summary of the bill notes to repeal the Professional Geologist Licensing Act, specifically. Please consider sending an email, a letter and also calling your State representative to ask them to vote no on this bill. You will need to contact your direct representative to be most effective.
AEG members need to know that your profession and standard of practice is under attack in Illinois, and you will need to take immediate action if you want to communicate your concerns to your Illinois state legislators. Please ask your representative for a no vote on S.B. 1821. See the Illinois General Assembly website for more information about this Senate Bill.
Also working its way through the House is H.B. 1969. The main sponsor of this bill is David B. Reis from Olney. The intent is to clean up unwanted stuff and create competitiveness within Illinois. However, in so doing, it is calling for "The Professional Geologist Licensing Act is repealed" on page 126, Section 90, and subsequently, the words “Licensed Professional Geologist” has been deleted and replaced by “professional geologist”. Again, please consider sending an email, a letter and also call your representative to ask them to vote no on this bill. You will need to contact your direct representative to be most effective.
As you may or may not be aware, AEG was formed in 1957 directly as a response to poor standards of practice for geologists in California. After a period of heavy rainfall following an extended drought, there were a number of deaths related to landslides that occurred in new housing developments due to lack of geologic reviews of site plans. AEG was formed to improve the standards of practice and to lobby the state to establish some minimum standards of practice to save lives from similar events. The state of California was one of the first states to pass a professional geologists act, and became an example that almost all states have subsequently followed.
AEG played a direct role in this. Most of the states in America now require minimum standards for persons practicing as professional geologists because poor standards of practice in this field can result in large-scale deaths from improper interpretations of site geology. Loss of life from "bad geology" can occur from landslides, dam or levee failures, inadequate environmental assessments and cleanups, bridge and road failures, and can result in $100 millions in excessive construction costs for projects every year from poor site characterization due to lack of a qualified geologist. Just the savings in construction costs for things such as state highways and bridges will pay for state licensing of professional geologists, although license fees usually cover most of this cost. In Illinois, the State Board of Professional Geologists are not compensated for their time, they are volunteers.
AEG Past President Ken Fergason wrote an article on this subject in the September 2016 issue of AEG News. Please note that the link to Licensure Resources online as referenced in the article can be found here.
The field trips will highlight local areas and features such as the Garden of Gods, Royal Gorge, Colorado’s mining industry, Manitou Springs, and geohazards in the area of the world-famous Broadmoor Hotel.
Field Trip 1: Fire, Flood and Landslide Impacts and Mitigation
For more information on the Field Trips and other offerings at this year's Annual Meeting, please visit www.aegannualmeeting.org. Be sure to register today!
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 12
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Trip leaders: Jonathan R. Lovekin, P.G., Senior Engineering Geologist, Colorado Geological Survey, and Tim Mitros, PE, Former Engineering Program Manager with the Office of Emergency Management, Colorado Springs
Cost (per person): $65 before Aug. 1, $75 after Aug. 1 (includes a box lunch)
Colorado Springs and surrounding areas were devastated by wildfire in 2012 and 2013 and floods in 2013 and 2015. Following the historic rainfall of 2015, landslides occurred in three locations within the city destroying homes and continuing to threaten others. Our field trip will visit the three major landslide locations to view both the geology and the impacts to the houses. The field trip will also visit mitigation efforts in three canyons where devastating floods resulted from the burn scar areas.
Field Trip 2: Garden of the Gods Geology
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 12
Time: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Trip leaders: David A. Glater, P.E., C.P.G., Principal Geological Engineer, CTL|Thompson, Inc.
Cost (per person): $150 before Aug. 1, $160 after Aug. 1
Field Trip 3: Cripple Creek/Victor Gold Mine
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
Time: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Trip leaders: Darin R. Duran, P.E., Principal, Geotechnical Engineering Manager, Cesare, Inc.
Cost (per person): $75 before Aug. 1, $85 after Aug. 1
The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mine, formerly and historically the Cresol Mine, is an active gold mine located near the town of Victor, in the Cripple Creek mining district of Colorado. It is the largest current producer of gold in Colorado, and it produced 211,000 troy ounces of gold in 2014. The mine is an open pit operation. The gold is recovered from the ore by heap leaching. CC&V's heap leach pad is one of the biggest in the world.
Field Trip 4: Industrial Minerals Mining and Geology in the Royal Gorge Region
Date: Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 16 and 17
Time: Depart at 8 a.m. on Saturday and return at 5 p.m. on Sunday. Departs from the Antlers Hotel Lobby
Trip leaders: David W. Bieber, PG, Manager of Geology/Survey, Rocky Mountain Division, Martin Marietta and Tom Newman, Lafarge-Holcim
Cost (per person): $355 before Aug. 1, $380 after Aug. 1 (Double Occupancy); $65 Single Supplement
The first stop for this trip on Saturday morning will be the Martin Marietta Red Canyon Quarry in Fremont County, Colorado. The quarry is a drill and shoot operation that mines Ordovician Manitou Limestone, Precambrian Pikes Peak Granite, and Precambrian metamorphic complex rocks in a complex faulted setting.
American Geosciences Institute
Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) introduced the bipartisan National Landslide Preparation Act (S. 698) on March 22.
The bill directs the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to establish a National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program. This program would identify and characterize landslide risks, and work to improve emergency preparedness. USGS would also establish a Cooperative Landslide Hazard Mapping and Assessment Program to provide grants to state, local, and tribal governments to study landslide hazards. The bill reauthorizes the USGS 3-D elevation program (3DEP) to better characterize landslide-prone regions. The 3DEP initiative collects high-resolution topographic data covering the U.S. that would be used to create and inform city planning and hazard risk assessment activities.
S. 698 is being reviewed by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. It is matched on the House side by H.R.1675, which was introduced by Representative Suzan DelBene (D-WA-1) on March 22. The House bill is being reviewed by the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
AEG connection: Members Ken Neal and Mark Molinari provided comments on drafts provided by Ben Barasky, Legislative Director for Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) who has submitted a companion bill in the House.
The deadline to submit content for the July issue of AEG News is Wednesday, May 31. We are looking for professional articles, field trip write-ups and photos from your chapter. Please send content to the AEG News Submissions Editor Chrissey Frattali.
The following is from Jane Gill-Shaler, fundraising chair of the AEG Foundation:
If you have any surplus rock and mineral samples, geology books and interesting literature, I will be driving from North Carolina to New Hampshire April 20-30. IF you are located on or near my route, and IF you have some fantastic rock samples (or gently used field gear, clothing, collectibles, hats or whatever your inner geologist geek would like to share), I will plan my route accordingly, and save you and the Foundation shipping costs. Be sure and email or call; my contact information is below.
I am picking up a box or more of rocks and papers in Hershey, Pennsylvania, on April 22, so be sure and call or email before then if you are nearby, or I can pick your donations up on the way back, and take your information for your official letter from the Foundation for your taxes.
If you do not have items for the silent auction, please consider donating $5 or $500 or more to the AEG Foundation. You may donate online, or you may send a check, written out to the AEG Foundation, to: AEG Foundation, 4123 Broadway #817, Oakland, CA 94611. The AEG Foundation is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the full extent of the law. We will send you an acknowledgement letter for your taxes.
All the money raised from this year's silent auction and raffle will go towards this year's designated fund, the K-12 EDUCATION FUND. The purpose of this fund is to encourage K-12 students, K-12 teachers and elementary, middle and high schools to explore methods and technologies to teach geology. You can read all about it on the AEG Foundation webpage.
Please call or email me at the numbers below if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Colorado Springs! THANK YOU!
Jane Gill-Shaler, Fundraising Chair
Director, AEG Foundation
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Monday the country was ready to begin shipping uranium to India, after almost three years of discussions between the two nations following an export deal for power generation.
The Associated Press
The number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 15 this week to 839. A year ago, 443 rigs were active. Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. said Friday that 672 rigs sought oil and 165 explored for natural gas this week. Two were listed as miscellaneous. Texas increased by seven rigs, Oklahoma gained four, Wyoming rose by two and Louisiana, New Mexico and West Virginia each gained one.
In a crazy twist of international events, Russia's state-owned oil company Rosneft might end up owning Citgo, a US energy company based in Houston. This isn't a direct takeover. Instead, it hinges on the ability of Venezuela's state-run oil company to pay back its Russian loan. The Venezuelan company owns Citgo, which was used as collateral for the loan.
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