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AEG Short Course Descriptions
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Advanced Slope Stability Analysis

This two-day course will briefly review landslide processes (principally within bedrock) and focus on empirical and numerical analytical methods to evaluate and predict landslide failure behavior. Emphasis will be placed on case studies and practical hands-on tutorials to examine initiation, development, catastrophic failure, and runout. The course will include the use of the continuum finite-difference program FLAC®, the discontinuum distinct-element program UDEC®, the dynamic runout code DAN, and the hybrid finite-/discrete-element code ELFEN DEFT. 

Instructors: Dr. Erik Eberhard and Dr. Oldrich Ungr from the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Doug Stead with Simon Fraser University

Contact: Tom Badger – 360-709-5461 –

Applications of Block Theory to Slope Stability Problems in Block Ground

The course will focus on applying the principles of block theory to solve practical ground support problems in mining, tunneling, dam foundations and slope stability. Key-block analysis provides a powerful limit equilibrium tool for assessing the stability of excavations in jointed rock masses. The overall objective of the analyses is to check stability of blocks before and after a selected support system design has been applied. Presentations will focus on how block theory works and provide hands-on examples illustrating the power and flexibility of the programs. Example applications and special analyses (water pressures, earthquakes, optimizing support, etc.) will be discussed.
Instructors: John Tunucci, President, PanTechnica Corporation,; Matthew Mauldon, Virginia Technical University
Contact: Matthew Mauldon – 540-231-5477 –

Applied Rock Slope Engineering

This one-day short course will focus on basic rock slope engineering presented from the standpoint of practitioners responsible for the design and construction aspects of excavations in rock. The course will focus on:
  • Rock slope field data collection methods and drilling and sampling techniques
  • Rock mass rating systems
  • Estimation of discontinuity and rock mass shear strength
  • Kinematic slope stability analysis via stereonet projection
  • Two and three dimensional limit equilibrium block stability analysis
  • Two dimensional force and moment equilibrium rock mass analysis
  • Rockfall modeling
  • Rockfall hazard rating systems
  • Slope remediation strategies including:
    • Slope reconfiguration
    • Drainage
    • Block reinforcement
    • Mesh
    • Buttresses
    • Case histories involving highway reconstruction, and
    • Blasting techniques if time allows

Basic engineering theory will be covered during the course although the focus will be on the practical applied aspects of rock slope design and remediation. The course is geared for Engineering Geologists and Geotechnical Engineers that are (or plan to be) involved with excavation design in rock. Attendees should be familiar with basic engineering geological data interpretation using stereonet projection and understand basic physics principals. The course will be “hands-on” and we will provide practical stereonet and limit equilibrium design problems to be worked out during the course.    We will also provide participants with published papers and references for further study and excel spreadsheets that may be used for limit equilibrium design and analysis of rock slopes.

Instructors: William (Bill) Gates, Chief Geological Engineer and Senior Consultant, Kleinfelder; and Brendan Fisher, Kleinfelder

Contact: Brendan Fisher – 425-562-4200 –

Aquifer Test Analysis

Expected ranges of aquifer properties will be presented. Field conditions and limitations will be considered for sampling water-level and discharge data. Both slug and pumping single-well tests will be analyzed. Confined, leaky, and unconfined aquifers will be analyzed where multiple observation wells are available. Aquifer tests will be analyzed with spreadsheet based software. Analysis of complex systems with numerical models will be presented.
Instructor: Keith Halford, U.S. Geological Survey-Carson City
Contact: Keith Halford – 775-887-7613,

BEST GeoSim: A Computer Simulator to Teach Site Investigation Skills

BEST SiteSim has been developed with support from the National Science Foundation and the Oak Ridge Associated Universities to help students learn site investigation skills.  Students are given either a geotechnical or hydrogeologic site to investigate, and they must select boring locations and lab tests, interpret the geology revealed in the borings, and evaluate the results, all under budgetary constraints.  This short course will introduce participants to the workings of the simulator, the geology and engineering contained in the site databases, and the pedagogical studies demonstrating its effectiveness.  By the end of the course, participants will be able to load and customize the program, and use it for laboratory exercises or term projects in their own courses.  Participants will spend time exploring the program's options, using a computer lab set up for the short course.   Each participant will receive a copy of BEST SiteSim as part of their registration.  This course is subsidized by the NSF-DUE-CCLI program.
Instructors: Paul Santi, Colorado School of Mines; and John Petrikovitsch, University of Missouri-Rolla

Contact: Paul Santi – 303-273-3108 –

Construction in Karst: What can go wrong and how to fix it 

This is a unique karst mitigation how-to course that will open your eyes to the unpredictable nature of karst and the unconventional approaches sometimes needed for constructing in karst-prone areas. This course will complement the karst field trip on Tuesday and the karst mitigation symposium on Wednesday. After an introduction about the formation and occurrence of karst by one of Missouri's leading karst experts, the course dives into two distinct topics: pre-construction preventive measures and post-construction fixes. Pre-construction preventive measures will address exploration techniques, shallow treatments and foundation designs. Post-construction fixes will include groundwater controls and structural controls. The seminar will address design and implementation of remedial approaches utilizing open forum discussions and case studies.
Instructors: Jim Vandike R.G., Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geology and Land Survey; Gene Brucker P.E., Brucker Engineering; Dave Taylor R.G., Strata Services, Inc.; Jean Berg P.E., Geotechnology, Inc.


  1. Dave Taylor – 636-398-5858 –
  2. Gene Brucker – 514-961-4495

Contracting for Geophysical Services

This course:
  1. Will focus on introducing the many general geophysical methods to project development and acquiring geophysical services to obtain the required project data.
  2. Reviews reconnaissance through detailed site assessments, phasing geological and geophysical data acquisition, the various geophysical methods, and the procedural evaluations of site requirements. 

  3. Will teach engineers, geologists, and project managers how to cost effectively select geophysical methods in a phased approach to site data acquisition.
  4. Will provide a range of materials depending upon the sponsor’s cost consideration. At minimum the course will provide course notes, a recommended list of geophysical-service contractual provisions, and a reference to useful geophysical publications. At little added cost, an AEG Special Publication and a CD of useful papers may be provided. 

  5. Is a thorough description to cost-effectively acquire geophysical site data and the basis for more advanced self-study in geophysical methods. 

  6. Is intended as a developmental class that will enable engineers, geologists, and project managers to effectively acquire site information with in-house or contracted geophysics. The course may also be helpful to geophysical service providers to understand the desires of clients. 
Instructor: Gregory L. Hempen, PhD, PE, RG. Dr. Hempen has been a geophysicist for the St. Louis District, Corps of Engineers since 1973. He has written or edited publications, manuals and papers on geophysical methods. Dr. Hempen has provided geophysical instruction at Corps of Engineers’ Districts and Environmental Protection Agency Regions, Geological Society of America short courses, and individual private offices. Dr. Hempen teaches graduate classes as an adjunct professor. 
Contact: Greg Hempen – 314-260-3939 –

Design and Analysis of Aquifer Tests

Course presents methods to plan, conduct, and analyze aquifer tests including slug tests. The course will stress the methods and theory behind aquifer testing through hands-on practice and refine analytical skills of aquifer test interpretation in porous and fractured rock geologic settings.
Instructor: Earl A Green
Contact: Allen Shaw – 301-258-9780 – 

Effective Nonstructural Mitigation Strategies for Earthquakes in Nevada

Earthquakes shake the continents and building infrastructure as strong as the building structure itself. This leads to preventable economic losses and injuries. To be mitigated, nonstructural hazards need to be secured, relocated, replaced ore removed. Building owners, maintenance personnel and building occupants can accomplish this with reasonable effort and information from this conference.
This informational conference is for Nevada facilities and maintenance operators and managers, engineers, safety professionals, emergency managers and other professionals. Presenters will offer mitigative techniques that will lead to increased safety and economic resiliency for Nevada businesses and Nevadans. The instructors will discuss these risks in detail, including motivations for nonstructural mitigation with historical examples, securing building contents and nonstructural building infrastructure, and planning effective individual and statewide mitigation strategies.
Instructors: Jeff Lusk, Regional Earthquake Specialist, DHS/FEMA Region IX; Dr. Emmanuel “Manos” Maragakis, Chair, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno; Brian Kehoe, MA, Structural Engineer, Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.; Tim Brown, Structural Engineer, US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation
Contact: David Sullivan – 775-827-6111 –

Engineering and Groundwater Geology Symposium

The Symposium presents many papers and poster sessions related to the topic of engineering geology and groundwater geology. This symposium was held in Waco, Texas and co-hosted by AIPG.
Coordinator: Martin J. “Marty” Flanders
Contact: Marty Flanders – 972-436-3171 –

Engineering Geology for Timber Harvesting, Wildland Management, and Watershed Restoration

The San Francisco Section of AEG is sponsoring a workshop presented by California Geological Survey (CGS, formerly the California Division of Mines and Geology) on Engineering Geology for Timber Harvesting, Wildland Management, and Watershed Restoration. The Workshop is to be held individually at three locations in Northern California – Santa Rosa, Sacramento, and Eureka. The workshop provides geologic consultants with information and tools for managing unstable lands during timber harvesting projects. The workshop is crucial for employees who have Professional Foresters as clients or who are working on timber harvest projects where geologic hazards are of a concern. Practice rule requirements have resulted in a need to improve land use management technologies and incorporate multi-disciplinary concepts. The geologist plays a major role in designing mitigation measures for slope instability, erosion, and other geologic hazards on timber harvest projects. The workshop is highly recommended for geologists seeking to increase their diversity and marketability. Presentations will be at an advanced level for landslide recognition, geologic terrain driven process, and slope hazard ranking.
This workshop will be a two-day course, with one day indoors and one in the field. The field session will focus on local geology/landslide issues and will provide site-specific examples for cases where geologists and other resource management professionals work. Participants will learn new and additional information on forest management issues and thoughts from the Technical Advisory Committee on Forest Geology.
Coordinators: Tom Spittler, Drew Kennedy, Gerald Marshall, James W. Falls, and Bill Short
  1. Tom Spittler – 707-829-0168 –
  2. Drew Kennedy – 916-729-8050 –
  3. Gerald Marshall – 707-441-5742 –
  4. James Falls – 707-441-2052 –
  5. Bill Short – 916-322-4853 –

Environmental, Ground-Water, and Engineering Geology Symposium

The Symposium presents many papers and poster sessions related to the topic of environmental geology engineering geology and groundwater geology. This symposium was held in Austin, Texas and co-hosted by AIPG.

Coordinator: W. Kevin Coleman

Contact: Kevin Coleman – 214-350-5600 –

Field-Developed Cross-Section: A Systematic Method of Portraying Dimensional

This one-day course will cover the field-developed cross-section method, originally developed by Doug Williamson to provide a systematic and reproducible method of collecting data for portrayal of subsurface conditions during drilling. The field-developed cross-section provides a visual tool for evaluation and analysis of conditions pertinent to foundations, earthwork, slopes and slope stability, use of materials and ground water flow. The class includes a half day of lecture and discussion, followed by a half day of field application.

Instructor: Kenneth G. Neal

Contact: Ken Neal – 360-280-6180 –

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for Practicing Geologists

AEG Sacramento presents a Workshop on Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and application to the fields of Engineering, Environmental, and Mining Geology. GIS consists of software tools that link places to various types of data. Data can consist of physical features, geology, hazards, studies, resources, and many other types of information. GIS can be used to build geographic/geologic databases, perform analyses, and create maps. 
This one-day workshop is targeted toward individuals with little or no exposure to GIS. Participants will learn basic querying, analysis, and presentation tools common to most GIS applications. Some of the topics that will be covered include:
  • What is GIS
  • GIS Basics
  • Where to find GIS Data
  • Georeferencing Images such as Aerial Photography
  • Creating Layers
  • Fixing Coordinate system errors and scaling
  • GPS into GIS and back
  • Digitizing and Analyzing Data
  • Using Excel and other database information
Don’t miss this great opportunity to expand your knowledge of GIS and its application to your work. Free evaluation software, GIS data, and references will be provided.
Instructors: Bill Bryant, CGS; George Saucedo, CGS; John Kramer, Condor; Woody Higdon, Geo-Tech Imagery Intl.; Carol Ostergren, USGS; Brian Hausbeck - CSU Sacramento; George Brimhall, UC Berkeley; Ian McGovern, Forsgren; Salvatore Caronna – GCA; and Bill Frazer, DSOD
  1. Bruce Hilton – 916-366-1716 –
  2. Patrick Fischer – 530-887-1494 

Geologic Hazards for Realtors [or Bankers] – (Geologic and Hydrologic Hazards in the Las Vegas Valley: Reducing Risk)

This course is for Land Planners, Realtors, Appraisers, Developers, Geologists, and Engineers who wish to learn more about the geologic and hydrologic hazard risks in the Las Vegas Valley. The purpose of this course is to educate the targeted audience on the geology in the area, including earthquakes, floods, groundwater conditions, land subsidence, foundation problems, and environmental problems.
Instructors: Mr. Kurt Goebel, Geology of the Las Vegas Valley; Dr. David “Burt” Slemmons, Earthquakes in Las Vegas; Mr. Kevin Eubanks, Floods in Las Vegas; Dr. Joe Leising, Groundwater Conditions in the Las Vegas Valley; Mr. John Bell, Land Subsidence in Las Vegas; Mr. Ron Lynn, Foundation Problems in Las Vegas; and Mr. Jeffrey Palmer, Environmental Problems in Las Vegas
  1. John Bell – 775-784-1939 –
  2. Burt Slemmons – 702-363-4847 –
  3. Ron Lynn – 702-455-8039 – 

Geophysics for Engineering Geologists: A Practical Guide to Applications, Limitations and Benefits

Engineering geologists, geologists, hydrologists, and geotechnical engineers typically understand, or at least have been introduced to, just one or two geophysical methods, and therefore tend to limit their application of subsurface imaging on their projects. Over the past decade, the use of geophysics to image features in the shallow subsurface has increased considerably, or at least to the point it can no longer be referred to as “black-box magic”. Several factors have played an important role in the improved use of subsurface imaging, but none more crucial than the education of end users - you. 
This half-day short course, adapted from an on-going course for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), is intended to educate end users of geophysics about the variety of methods, where geophysics is being used, and its limitations. In a methodical format the course focuses on the use of geophysics as it applies to geological, engineering, groundwater, and environmental applications, rather than the theory of the techniques.
Five main methods will be presented, detailing the following techniques:
  • SEISMIC – Refraction, Reflection, SASW, MASW, and Borehole
  • ELECTRICAL RESISTIVITY – Sounding, Profiling, 3D, and Time-lapse Imaging
  • ELECTROMAGNETIC (EM) – Time-Domain and Frequency Domain (profiling and sounding)
  • GROUND PENETRATING RADAR (GPR) – Structural Engineering, Geological, Archeological, and Environmental
  • NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING (NDT) – Construction QA/QC, Foundations, and Bridges
Each technique will be discussed by: 1) their applications; 2) their field procedures (i.e., method and approach); 3) their results (using example data); 4) their limitations; and, 5) their benefits. With this presentation format we have found that each participant takes away at least two things: a fundamental knowledge of the variety of techniques available to them; and, a new understanding of where subsurface imaging using geophysics is appropriate and where it is not! As geophysics gets used more and more, the end users – you – need a conceptual understanding of how the techniques are similar and how they differ, what physical property they measure and how, and how best to use the data. Come to this short course and you will!
Instructor: Mr. Phil Sirles, Zone Geosciences, Inc.
Contact: Phil Sirles – 720-962-4444 –

Geotechnical and Environmental Applications of Time Domain Reflectometry

This short course is intended to provide participants with an introduction to use of Time Domain Reflectometry (TDR) technology to remotely and continuously monitor subsidence, slope stability (in both soil and rock), pavement subgrade performance, fluid levels, subsurface contaminants, and leak detection. The course emphasizes hands-on experience to familiarize participants with the simplicity, robustness, and flexibility of TDR technology for each of these applications.

The course is intended to familiarize participants with the diverse applications of TDR technology through a combination of case history presentations and hands-on experience with equipment from a variety of manufacturers. For example, rock and soil deformation is demonstrated by having participants deform cable and other participants identify deformation by interrogating with a cable tester. Fluid levels and interfaces within a monitoring well are demonstrated with water, LNAPLs and DNAPLs in a Plexiglas tube which provides visual validation of the measurement made with TDR and air-dielectric coaxial cable. Soil moisture measurement is demonstrated with sands, silts, and clays at a variety of moisture contents. Leak detection is demonstrated with liquid-specific sensing cable that gets immersed in water.

Instructor: Kevin M. O’Connor GeoTDR, Inc.

Contact: Kevin O’Connor – 614-891-1400 –

Geotechnical Engineering in Transportation: More Than Just Lines on a Map

See course entitled:   More Than Just Lines on a Map – Geotechnical Engineering in Transportation

Geotechnical Photography

This course deals with camera basics, film selection, ground shooting, supplemental lighting, aerial, infrared, and digital applications including scanning to GIS uses with MAPINFO.

The purpose of the course is to learn to take better pictures through knowledge with improved information yield, and multiple long-term uses. 

Instructor: Woodrow “Woody” Higdon, owner of Geo-Tech Imagery Intl.

Contact: Woody Higdon – 760-754-8423 –

Groundwater and Soil Remediation with Recirculating Well Technology (In Well Aeration)

The course will present case histories & methods to evaluate site suitability, groundwater hydraulics, pilot test procedures, the use of tracers to confirm recirculation, and system capital costs.

Instructors: Darin Wordin and Boyd Breeding

Contact: Boyd Breeding – 801-972-8400

Highway Rock Slope Engineering

Basic engineering theory will be covered during the course although the focus will be on the practical applied aspects of rock slope design and remediation.
Instructors: Bill Gates, Kleinfelder, Inc.; Chester F. “Skip” Watts, Radford University; and Brendan Fisher, Kleinfelder, Inc.
  1. Brendan Fisher – 425-562-4200 –
  2. Skip Watts – 540-831-5637 –

Hydrology Seminar – 11th Annual Kansas

The seminar presented topics on:
  1. Reservoir Sedimentation
  2. Selected Water Quality Characteristics
  3. Development of Flood Frequency Profiles
  4. Storm Duration and Antecedent Moisture Conditions
Improving the Description and Characterization of General Successions in Northeastern Illinois for Environmental and Engineering Projects
Northern Illinois University, the NC Section of the Association of Engineering Geologists, and the Midwest GeoSciences Group are teaming together to conduct an exciting short course at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. This one-day continuing education course is dedicated to characterizing glacial successions for environmental and engineering projects. Morning classroom sessions focus on the principals of glacial depositional environments, effects of secondary weathering, the stratigraphic framework, and in-field characterization. A variety of afternoon field exercises demonstrates application of the classroom principles and focus on field identification and description of glacial stratigraphic units.
Instructors: Tim Kemmis, Ph.D., Research Geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey; Phil Carpenter, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University; Art Bettis, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Iowa; Paul Kesich, Hydrogeologist, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; Ardith Hansel, Ph.D., Research Geologist and Program Director, Illinois State Geological Survey; and Daniel L. Kelleher, Hydrogeologist, Earth Tech, Inc.
Contact: Dan Kelleher – 763-551-2435 –
Internet and Useful PC Applications for Consultants This course will emphasize features of the Internet and other software that are of particular interest to consulting engineers and geologists. Specifically, participants will learn how to:

  • Set up an Internet account
  • Download data available through the World Wide Web (www)
  • Use e-mail
  • Create a web page, and set up project specific web pages
  • Research a project
  • Review contact manager and proposal software
  • Software to cut drafting costs
  • Useful utilities and shareware
  • Access FTP sites
  • Access web pages using browsers and search engines
  • Use listservers and user groups
  • Be more efficient through use of integrated software systems
  • Obtain low cost PC training
  • Review scheduling and project management software
  • Network and perform a job search
Participants will be introduced to useful web sites using online demonstrations - regulatory agencies, geological societies, universities, vendors, software, hydrogeologic data, geotechnical data, as well as using many less known but useful features of common business software including their integration with relational database systems.
The course is split into two parts. In the morning, Mr. Maslonkowski deals with using the Internet for geologists and geotechnical engineers. The afternoon session, taught by Dr. Knight, teaches consultants about useful software tools that can make the life of a small consulting firm more efficient.
Instructor: Dennis Maslonkowski
Contact: Dennis Maslonkowski – 510-587-7728 –

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

This one-day short course will provide participants with an overview of GIS in Seismic Information Systems and geologic applications. Topics will include the use of GIS in seismic hazard assessment, terrain analysis, geomorphometry, and other digital mapping applications. Participants will be introduced to on-line, free, and low-cost digital spatial databases for use in GIS analyses. The workshop will focus on ESRI's ArcView 3.1 software package and extensions. Prior knowledge or experience with GIS software is neither required nor recommended.

Instructor: Dr. Paula Messina, Department of Geology, San Jose State University

Contact: Dr. Paul Messina – 408-924-5027 –

Landslides and Seismicity in South Africa Workshop

Slope instability and landsliding are normal geologic processes, though in many regions of the world large landslides are infrequent events. Their occurrence in comparison to the length of a human lifetime can be exceedingly small particularly where topographic relief is low. Consequently an understanding of landslide hazards and their geologic influence on human activities may not be appreciated. The geomorphic evolution of the landscape, near surface strength of earth materials and the seismicity of a region can be better understood when an understanding of landslide types, processes, and distribution are considered. The purpose of the short course is to assess the influence of seismicity on slope instability, the recognition of landslide geomorphic features, and address particular landslide types and morphologies that are often observed in earthquake induced landsliding.
The course comprises two parts. The first is the lecture portion where landslide phenomena are introduced, how it is recognized, analyzed, and appraised. Course participant are encouraged to share their experiences. The second part is a field investigation of landslides and possible landslide phenomena in and surrounding Cape Town and what may have caused them to occur. Printed course notes and a CD-Rom of the course will be included.
Specific topics include:
  • Landslide types and processes: characterization, failure geometry, activity, materials, and water content, 
  • Surface and subsurface observations and investigation, geologic mapping, and movement monitoring.
  • Landslide triggering mechanisms: earthquake shaking, volcanic activity, water-level changes, rainfall intensity and duration, and man-made activities.
  • Static and dynamic (seismic) slope-stability analysis: basics of slope stability analysis illustrating affect of earthquake activity.
  • Influence of soil and rock strength on landslide formation: shear strength of soils and rocks, weathering and hydrothermal alteration, effect of water on strength, destabilizing aspect of rock discontinuities (faults, bedding, and joints).
  • Landslide dating techniques: historical record, rock weathering rinds, slope geomorphic analysis, and dendrochronology.
  • Regional analysis of landslides: correspondence analysis.
  • Criteria suggestive of seismic origin of landslides: regional seismicity, landslide distribution, seismic affects on slope stability from analysis, landslide size, and liquefaction features.
  • Precariously balance rocks and seismic shaking.
  • Case histories of seismically induced landslides, recent and historical. Landslides known to have been caused by seismic shaking from New Zealand, Central and South America, USA (Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Missouri).     
Instructor: Robert J. “Bob” Watters
Contact: Bob Watters – 775-784-6069 –

Mapping Natural Hazards Using GIS

The course is for those with intermediate or advanced knowledge of GIS and explores the mapping of geologic hazards.

Instructor: Matthew Mabey

Contact: Matthew Mabey – 503-986-2847 – 

More Than Just Lines on a Map -- Geotechnical Engineering in Transportation

This course:
  1. Will focus on Geotechnical and Engineering Geology case histories related to transportation.
  2. Reviews the foundations, slope stabilization, underground construction (tunnels), geological and geotechnical characterization, and local Colorado challenges related to transportation.
  3. Presents recent case histories and unique approaches to geological and geotechnical problems and solutions related to transportation projects.
  4. Will provide opportunities to make contacts with and learn from other geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists. Attendees will also receive a notebook with copies of the case history papers and have a chance to review poster presentations on additional papers related to transportation. Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with vendors of products and services related to engineering geology and geotechnical engineering.
  5. Is an overview course for engineers, geologists, and others with an interest in engineering geology and geotechnical engineering related to transportation projects of all kinds including pavements, tunnels, bridges and slopes.
Instructors: many presentations related to the course topic. Course Coordinator: Thomas A. Terry
Contact: Tom Terry – 719-528-8300 –

Paleoseismic Investigations

In the past 10 years the science of paleoseismology has matured by adopting standard field methods and interpretive paradigms, developing new ones, and spreading to nearly every country on the globe. One of the new paradigms harkens back to the earliest days of paleoseismology in nuclear power plant studies, and involves whether the deformation we are studying was actually produced by tectonic, seismogenic faulting. We now recognize that geologic deposits in the shallow subsurface can be deformed by several mechanisms. These mechanisms range from landslides, to differential subsidence (Las Vegas), to deep seated gravitational spreading in mountains, to tectonic creep on faults, to triggered slip on faults, and finally to seismogenic faulting. All of these mechanisms create planes of shear displacement in geologic deposits near the surface, and the all except the last 2 can result from either steady (creep) displacement or episodic (sudden) displacement. Distinguishing between these 6 types of movement in shallow exposures, such as foundation excavations, is often difficult. However, the hazard implications of each type of movement are very different. The existing reference books on paleoseismology (McCalpin, 1996; Keller & Pinter, 1996; Yeats et al., 1997) do not address this problem of correct identification directly. They assume the faults under study are KNOWN by the investigator to be both tectonic AND seismogenic. But clearly, for many structures that are exposed (often unexpectedly) in artificial exposures, the origin is ambiguous. Therefore, this Short Course will address this paradigm and ways to test origins of shear planes, based on a study commissioned by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, as well as surveying advances in the field of "mainstream" paleoseismology since 1996. Day 1 (Monday, Sept. 19) will be a full day of classroom lecture, and Day 2 will be 2/3 of a day spent in the field examining a fault exposure.

Instructor: James McCalpin, GEO-HAZ Consulting, Inc.

Contact: Jim McCalpin – 719-256-5227 –

Paleoseismology in Seismic Hazard Assessment (SHA)

This course covers the theory and techniques of paleoseismology, with emphasis on what parameters are useful in Seismic Hazard Assessments and how to obtain them from field evidence. 

This two-day course will describe the current state-of-the-art in paleoseismology, with special emphasis on trench siting, trench logging, defining trench map units and soil horizons, computer retrodeformation of trench logs, and the characteristics of intraplate faults with relatively long recurrence times. Having described paleoseismic field methods, a further discussion will be held on how to quantify uncertainty in the paleoseismic parameters (displacement, recurrence, slip rate), and how to best integrate paleoseismic data into an SHA. (Paleoseismic data are now standard inputs to an SHA, with primary fault evidence on seismic source characterization, and secondary evidence [liquefaction, landslides] bearing on the strength of local/regional ground shaking.)

Instructor: James McCalpin, GEO-HAZ Consulting, Inc.

Contact: Jim McCalpin – 719-256-5227 –

Practical Application of Unsaturated Zone Hydrology

The one day short course will provide participants with an overview of the theoretical background of unsaturated (vadose) zone hydrology and numerous examples of the practical application of those principles by means of a variety of case histories. Participants will be provided with an extensive course notebook comprising key articles and resources regarding unsaturated flow that will provide more detailed information beyond that which can be covered in the initial one day course.


(1)     Basics of water, air, and solid mass and volume relationships

(2)     Concepts of potential theory (gravity, capillary and/or head, osmotic, and total potential)

(3)     How fluids (especially water) move in the presence of potentials

(4)     Richards' equation

(5)     Saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity estimates (based on field and laboratory testing and by other means such as correlations with other types of data)


(6)     Overview of available computer codes

(7)     Computer model development (establishing the geometry, selecting the necessary material properties, identifying and quantifying the boundary conditions, evaluating the results)

(8)     Applications (case histories including flow through reclamation covers, evaluation of head on a liner system, flow through waste piles/heap leach pads, influence of engineered drains, flowof non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs), flowof other fluids)

Instructors: James R. Kunkel, Hydrologist/Senior Project Manager, Knight Piésold and Co.; Peter D. Duryea, Senior Geotechnical Engineering, Knight Piésold and Co.

Contact: James R. Kunkel –

Practical Geophysics for Engineering Geologists

Engineering geologists, geologists, hydrologists, and geotechnical engineers have typically been exposed to one or two geophysical techniques or methods, and therefore tend to limit their application for subsurface imaging on their projects. Implementation of geophysics to image features and conditions in the shallow subsurface has steadily increased for engineering and environmental applications. A key factor for the correct application of geophysics is educating the end users.
This full-day presentation is tailored for the AEG 2005 Conference from an EEGS (Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society) Short Course and a FHWA (Federal Highway Administration) Workshop. It is intended to educate end users of geophysics about the variety of methods, where geophysics is being used, as well as its benefits and limitations. In a workshop format the course focuses on the use of geophysics as it applies to engineering, geological, and environmental applications, rather than the theory.
The following outline presents the primary techniques (e.g., seismic, electrical, GPR, etc.) and the applicable methods that will be discussed. Each method will be discussed through: (1) applications; (2) field equipment and procedures; (3) data acquisition/processing/presentation; (4) limitations; (5) benefits; (6) design considerations; and (7) examples/case studies. Using this format provides two things: first, a fundamental knowledge of the variety of techniques available; and secondly, a new understanding of where subsurface imaging using geophysics is appropriate and where it is not! 
As geophysics gets used more and more, the end users – you – need a conceptual understanding of how the techniques are similar and how they differ, what physical property they measure and how, and how best to use the data to meet your project needs. Attend this short course and you will!
Instructors: Mr. Phil Sirles, Zonge Geosciences; and Mr. Richard A. Hoover, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
  1. Phil Sirles – 720-962-4444 –
  2. Rick Hoover – 717-901-8835 –

Practical Rock Slope Engineering (Introduction)

This two-day short course presents basic rock slope stability analysis and design from the standpoint of the practitioner who is responsible for stabilizing existing slopes or designing new excavations in rock. Topics will include methods of field data collection; kinematic analyses by stereonet to identify potential failures; safety factor calculations for problem areas; methods for determining discontinuity shear strength parameters; and techniques for the remediation of unstable slopes. Also included will be slide presentations of numerous case histories which are likely to include: Virginia’s smart road technology test bed with 200-ft vertical cuts; the Seven Oaks Dam in California; the Yosemite National Park Glacier Point 1800-ft rock slide investigation; the Bristol, Virginia quarry to landfill rock wall stabilization project, and; a plethora of highway rock slide studies. Two rock slope failure court cases also will be discussed. ROCKPACK and CRSP (Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program) software for analyzing rockslide and rock fall situations will be demonstrated. Participants will receive copies of ROCKPACK II (for DOS) and CRSP as well as a discount certificate for ROCKPACK 2000 (for Windows tm).

Instructor: Chester F. “Skip” Watts, Dept. of Geology, Radford University

Contact: Skip Watts – 540-831-5637 –

Practical Rock Slope Engineering (Advanced)

This course reaches deeper into advanced topics and rock mechanics theory and contains a live field mapping and rock slope evaluation exercise (two or three days).

Topics covered include methods of field data collection; kinematic analyses by stereonet to identify potential failures; safety factor calculations for problem areas; methods for determining discontinuity shear strength parameters; and techniques for the remediation of unstable slopes. Case histories are likely to include: Virginia’s Smart Road test bed with 200ft vertical cuts; the Seven Oaks Dam in California; the Yosemite National Park Glacier Point 1800ft rock slide investigation; the Bristol, Virginia quarry-to-landfill rock wall stabilization project, and; a plethora of highway rock slide studies. Rock slope failure litigation will be discussed. Participants will learn rock slope computer modeling using ROCKPACK and CRSP (Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program) software.

Instructor: Chester F. “Skip” Watts, Dept. of Geology, Radford University

Contact: Skip Watts – 540-831-5637 –

Recommended Procedures for Implementation of DMG Special Pub 117 - Guidelines for Analyzing and Mitigating Landslide Hazards in California

This two-day course will present the recommended slope stability guidelines developed for southern California by a select committee of geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists. The purpose of those guidelines is to aid consultants and local southern California City and County agencies in their compliance with the requirements of the State’s Seismic Hazards Mapping Act. The guidelines contain detailed discussions of exploration procedures, sampling procedures, strength testing, static slope stability analysis methodologies, seismic hazards analysis, seismic slope stability analyses, and landslide-hazard mitigation. The course is intended to summarize and explain the recommendations of the guidelines and to provide time for interaction with the authors.

The purpose of the course is to provide and explain technical guidelines to consultants that should result in a more consistent level of site exploration, laboratory testing, static slope stability analysis, seismic slope stability analysis, and mitigation of landslide hazards in southern California.

Instructors: Thomas F. Blake; Robert A. Hollingsworth; Randy Jibson; Rod Masuda; Daniel Pradel; Charles R. Real; N. Sathialingam; and Jonathan P. Stewart

Contact: Thomas Blake – 805-650-7000 –

Rock Slope Engineering for the Practitioner

The course covers design philosophies, factors influencing stability modes of failure, methods of evaluation, block theory, simplified limit equilibrium analysis, mitigation methods, risk mgmt., & case histories.

Instructors: Mike Long, Richard Goodman, Chuck Brawner, Chester F. “Skip” Watts, and Larry Pierson

Contact: Skip Watts – 540-831-5637 –

Slope Stabilization

This course trains participants to use a unique computer software program developed for dimensioning anchored wire mesh slope stabilization systems. The course will review the basic forces involved with primarily shallow slope instabilities, as well as deeper sliding surfaces. Participants will learn about the interaction of the mesh and anchors of these systems with slope materials, the basic theory behind the dimensioning concept, and proper use of the concept and software, including hands-on exercises in the software application.

Contact: Deborah Johnson at Geobrugg North America, LLC - 505-438-6161 –

Soil Stratigraphy for Trench Logging

This course will teach attendees how to improve their logs and descriptions of soils uncovered during seismic trenching. Topics to be discussed include:

  • AB&Cs of soils: soil-horizons from simple to complex
  • CTPOT: the factors of soil formation
  • Climate: how water improves rocks
  • Topography: how gravity helps water improve rocks
  • Parent Material: how rocks control soils
  • Organisms: construction and destruction in soils
  • Pedochronology: perspective and bookkeeping for the ages
  • Relative dating methods: chronosequences
  • Absolute dating methods: U/Th, C-14, and others
  • Laboratory methods: PSD and soil mineralogy
  • Recognizing important soil features
  • Soil tectonics: what faults do to soils; what soils do to faults
Instructor: Dr. Glenn Borchardt
Contact: Glenn Borchardt – 510-654-1619 –

Stream System Evaluations with Interpretations for Habitat Rehabilitation and Restoration

This half-day workshop will discuss how many streams have been historically classified and evaluated in the context of their watershed processes, hydraulic geometry and history (i.e. their fluvial geomorphology). Some functional relationships and classification systems shown (in particular, the Rosgen Classification System) will be used as examples to show some procedures for evaluating stream geometry reconstruction, establishing stream stability and sediment transport and stream habitat rehabilitation. Examples of soil-bioengineering streambank treatment and instream habitat rehabilitation will be presented.

Instructor: Frank Reckendorf, Reckendorf & Associates

Contact: Kenneth “Ken” Neal – 360-352-5125 –

Tunnels through Fault Rocks and Tectonic Melanges: A Short Course for Engineering Geologists and Geotechnical Engineers

Relatively little is known about engineering geological characterization and geomechanical properties of complex brittle fault rocks and tectonic mélanges, although these troublesome block-in-matrix rocks are common throughout the world. This course will introduce engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers to techniques useful for the characterization, design and construction of tunnels in fault rocks and mélanges. The course is topical given that several tunnels and excavations are currently in design, or are proposed for construction, in fault rocks and mélanges of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The course will also provide background useful to geo-professionals interested in characterizing mélanges, fault rocks and similar block-in-matrix rocks for excavations and other earthworks.
Instructors: Dr. Gunter Riedmueller, senior Professor at the Institute of Engineering Geology and Applied Mineralogy at the Technical University of Graz, Austria; and Dr. Wulf Schubert, senior Professor of the Institute for Rock Mechanics and Tunneling at the Technical University of Graz, both of whom are internationally recognized consultants and researchers in the engineering geological characterization of the complexity and tunnel design/construction in fault rocks and mélanges. US contact is Dr. Richard E. Goodman, Professor Emeritus in Geological Engineering, University of California, Berkeley.
  1. Ernest Solomon – 650-948-3528 –
  2. Elizabeth “Betsy” Mathieson – 510-268-5011 –

Understanding and Applying Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis

Once used only sparingly for highly unique projects, probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) is now routinely incorporated, either implicitly or explicitly, as part of the planning, design, evaluation, regulation, financing, and insurance of constructed facilities that may be exposed to earthquakes. Having a solid understanding of this tool and its various applications is now a must for all earth scientists, engineers, and other earthquake professionals and decision makers.
This one-day short course presents an in-depth treatment of PSHA and its uses in a straightforward transparent style, with emphasis on understanding both fundamental and more advanced concepts. The course illustrates how these concepts are applied in various real-world projects. Rather than delving into complicated, specialized (and possibly unfamiliar) mathematical expressions as the principal means of explaining concepts, the course lays a foundation of insight into the necessary mathematics by using familiar graphical representations of key principles. The course then builds upon these fundamental insights systematically and gradually to address more advanced topics.
Basic topics that are discussed include:
Modeling of earthquake sources, including source types and geometries, maximum magnitudes, seismic activity rates, and magnitude probability distributions;
Three-dimensional modeling of earthquake ruptures for various earthquake scenarios, and determining source-to-site distance measures;
Modeling earthquake ground motion and its uncertainty, in terms of magnitude, distance measure, and other key geophysical parameters; and
Simple treatment of the effects of local soil conditions.
Fundamental treatment of each of the random (aleatory) components of uncertainty commonly modeled in a PSHA will be discussed. These basic concepts explain how earthquake scenarios are characterized, how their probabilities are determined, and how this information is combined to quantify probabilistic seismic hazard. A comparison of probabilistic and deterministic facets of seismic hazard analyses will be provided, as basis for highlighting the importance of deterministic methods in describing the characteristics of earthquake scenarios, and of probabilistic methods in enumerating these scenarios and evaluating their likelihoods. Throughout the course, the role and importance of both deterministic and probabilistic methodologies in the overall PSHA framework is highlighted.
Intermediate topics that are discussed include:
Determination of hazard curves for spectral acceleration or velocity;
Determination of a uniform hazard spectrum (UHS);
Modeling of near-source effects on probabilistic spectral accelerations, including average, fault-normal, and fault-parallel effects;
Soil response-modification factors for spectral accelerations;
Deaggregation of PSHA results by magnitude, distance, and number of ground-motion standard deviations;
Development of hazard-compatible time histories; and
Use of site response analysis.
The course explains why each of these intermediate-level facets of a PSHA is important, and provides guidance as to when each facet should be introduced into a PSHA study, how each facet is implemented, and how the specific PSHA application can alter the manner and detail of such implementation
More advanced topics that are covered include:
Logic-tree methodology and simulation approaches for modeling and quantifying expert/modeling (epistemic) uncertainties;
Sensitivity analyses;
§Spatial (x,y,z) deaggregation of PSHA results;
Limitations on use of PSHA spectra, and formulation of alternative PSHA approaches;
Generalization of PSHA to the analysis of consequences and probabilities; and
Project management and quality assurance of PSHA investigations.
All earthquake professionals should have basic familiarity with these more-advanced topics, whereas a complete understanding of them is essential to individuals and organizations desiring to set themselves apart in PSHA practice and the ability to participate in PSHA projects of all levels of complexity.
Demonstration of how PSHA methods are implemented will be drawn from the following types of applications:
Planning, including zoning, micro-zoning, and facility layout
Design, including preliminary and final design of new facilities or retrofits
Evaluation, including assessment of existing facilities for potential improvement
Regulatory, including satisfying hazard criteria and risk/safety criteria
Financial/Investment, including probable maximum loss and expected annual loss studies
Insurance, including portfolio loss and risk studies
Research, including methodological improvements, enhanced automation, and uniform PSHA project standards
The applications address various engineering situations, including residential and commercial development, earth structures, spatially distributed lifelines, marine/offshore facilities, power plants, and chemical
processing plants.
The course summarizes how the various elements of PSHA are typically incorporated within a complete software system, such as the widely used PSHA program FRISKSP. The pertaining discussion clarifies the
various features of modern PSHA software, and how the features are used to model problems of varying complexity.
In addition to topical presentations, the course will include audience participation in the form of question-and-answer sessions, and the opportunity for moderated audience discussion. Participants will be provided a
take-home package containing a copy of presentation notes, worksheets, and a CD-ROM.
Instructor: Robert T. Sewell, Principal, R.T. Sewell Associates, Consulting
  1. Tom Blake – 805-650-7000 –
  2. Kerry Cato – 951-834-2619 –

Using RockWorks/2002 as an Analytical and Visual Tool in Site Characterization and Remediation

This short course will be focused on the management, analysis, and visualization of geological data based on boreholes and/or measured sections. The course will be taught using RockWorks/2002. Specific topics
include the management of geophysical, geochemical, lithologic, stratigraphic, hydrologic, and structural data from vertical, inclined, and deviated boreholes and measured sections. Output and analytical topics will
include surface models, striplogs, cross sections, fence diagrams, and solid modeling. Special emphasis will be placed on three-dimensional graphics and computing the volume and mass properties of geological

Additional topics will include gridding/contouring, model manipulations, advanced volumetrics, hydrological and hydrochemical tools (drawdown, Piper and Stiff plots), 2D and 3D feature analysis (rose and stereonet
diagrams, lineation maps and densities), statistical computations and diagrams (histograms, scatterplots, ternary plots), survey mapping, and coordinate conversions. Case studies will include environ-mental
remediation and geotechnical examples.

Instructors: Alison Alcott and/or Jim Reed, RockWare, Inc.

Contact: Alison Alcott or Jim Reed – 303-278-3534
What Are The Odds? An Introduction to Probabilistic Methods for Environmental Engineering Geologists
All decisions based on geologic information are plagued by uncertainty, and probabilistic methods provide a powerful set of tools with which to quantify and utilize that uncertainty in decision
making processes. So, join us in Reno for an informative half-day overview of some of the practical tools currently available to professional geologists. Learn how the methods work, what
assumptions lie beneath them, and why thinking probabilistically about geologic processes isn't really as far-fetched as it may seem. In fact, most geologists probably incorporate probabilistic
reasoning into their thinking without even realizing it!
The course will include an overview of basic probability concepts, a discussion of probabilistic methods available to the professional geologist, the pros and cons of viewing the world
probabilistically, hands-on computer exercises using FOSM Calculator and Mathematica software, and time for informal questions. Specific probabilistic topics will include an introduction to
common probability distributions and their manipulation; sources of uncertainty; empirical probabilistic models based on Poisson and binomial distributions (temporal distributions of floods,
earthquakes, etc.); first-order, second-moment and Monte Carlo methods for rational probabilistic modeling; conditional probability and logic trees; and sampling strategies.
No prior training in statistics or probability is required, but an interest in solving applied geologic problems is essential!
Participants will receive a complimentary CD containing FOSM Calculator (web browser based calculator software for geotechnical and hydrologic applications), course notes formatted as a
Mathematica notebook, a copy of MathReader software to read the notes on their own computers, and paper handouts. 
Instructor: William C. “Bill” Haneberg, PhD, PG, CPG, Haneberg Geoscience

Contact: Bill Haneberg – 206-935-0846 –

Workshop on Application of the UBC/CBC to Engineering Geology and Geotechnical Engineering Problems

This short course/workshop will introduce the significant changes regarding the emphasis on the input for design of post-tensioned slabs and seismic design parameters which have occurred in the last three
Unified Building Codes (UBCs) (1991, 1994 and 1997).
The soils data now required for input for design of slabs-on-grade on expansive soils requires specialized knowledge of soil suction potential, clay mineralogy and a host of other details which involve a great deal
of judgment.
The seismic data are much more codified. We now have default design earthquakes: Design Basis Earthquake (DBE) Ground Motion for residential and commercial construction (10% chance of exceedance in
50 years) and the Upper-Bound Earthquake (UBD) Ground Motion for Public School facilities and hospitals in California (10% chance of exceedance in 100 years).
The maximal ground motion is codified in a separate document titled: Maps of Know Active Fault Near-Surface Zones in California and Adjacent Portions of Nevada, but a USGS website also lists similar criteria
for the entire United States. The distance to the nearest faults is then required to determine if the site of interest lies within 2 km, 5 km, 10 km, or 15 km of various types of faults (A, B or C type faults).
The average shear wave velocity in the upper 100 feet must then be estimated from Tables in the UBC, by assuming one of 6 soils types (A through F).
Default design coefficients for near-source factors (magnifications) and lateral and vertical acceleration are then taken from five published tables provided in the UBC.
Instructors: J. David “Dave” Rogers; Chris J. Wills; and Mark Petersen
  1. Dave Rogers – 573-341-6198 –
  2. Chris Wills – 916-323-8553 –
  3. Mark Petersen – 209-928-4776 –
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Engineers Without Borders Monthly Meeting

11/4/2016 » 11/6/2016
ASBOG Fall Workshop

Annual Meeting

September 18-24, 2016  
59th Annual Meeting  
Waikoloa Beach
Marriott Resort & Spa 
Kona, Hawaii