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February e.Geo


February 2018

In this issue:

  1. Why you should charge more
  2. Dinner, Drinks & DWR - Regional Meeting
  3. Loss Prevention Seminar, DEADLINE for Fairfield, CA location
  4. Did you do something neat in 2017? Apply for an OPA, time is running out!
  5. Member Highlight
  6. Conference Early-bird Registration - THIS MONTH
  7. Playing for Peanuts Golf Tournament
  8. Help us give back #SonomaStrong
  9. Get your PDH's at these events
  10. More and more and more...Jobs!
  11. Welcome CalGeo's Newest Members

Why you should charge clients more than you think

Do you typically charge a client more or less than you think you are worth? Here is a provocative take from the Harvard Business review on the topic that encourages you to err on the high side when valuing your work.

One of the most challenging decisions freelancers, solopreneurs, and independent consultants face is how much to charge for their time and expertise. What if people complain that you’re overpriced — or, even worse, walk away from a deal with you entirely? But the answer isn’t swinging to the other extreme and asking a fee so modest you’ll ultimately resent it. Read More HERE

Dinner, Drinks & DWR

Northern California Dinner Meeting - February 27, 2018, Blueprynt Restaurant, Sacramento

Southern California Dinner Meeting - March 1, 2018 The Hacienda, Santa Ana.This meeting will be a joint meeting with ASCE-GI Orange County chapter. Come out and meet your colleagues in the area. ASCE-GI members get the member rate of $45!

Oroville Spillway Damage & Repair

Presented by Holly Nichols, Department of Water Resources

On February 7, 2017, a hole formed in a portion of the concrete-lined spillway at Oroville Dam.  Continued operation of the gated spillway caused additional erosion and damage to the concrete structure.  The areas of deepest erosion occurred in portions of the spillway that were mapped during original construction as strongly weathered to decomposed amphibolite rock.  On February 12, 2017, during operation of the emergency spillway, rapid, deep headward erosion was observed in the northern portion of the unlined emergency spillway.  This presentation will discuss the geologic conditions that were understood at the site prior to construction, the geologic conditions that were documented during construction, the geologic exploration completed since the spillway failure, and the spillway reconstruction design, construction, and status.

Holly Nichols has been with the California Department of Water Resources since 2008, after working in the private sector for several years in Southern California.  She is currently a Senior Engineering Geologist in DWR’s Division of Engineering.  She has worked on a variety of water infrastructure design and construction projects including pipelines, canals, and dams throughout California’s State Water Project.  She received her B.S. in Geology from the University of Texas in Austin, and her M.S. in Geology from Washington State University, and is a licensed Engineering Geologist in California.  She has been AEG’s Sacramento Chapter Vice Chair for several years and has spent most of 2017 as the lead geologist for the Oroville Spillway Recovery efforts.

Register for Sacramento meeting Feb. 27th.

Register for Santa Ana meeting March 1st.

Thank you to our generous sponsors and Affiliate members, Hayward Baker & Tensar for providing the drinks!

Loss Prevention Seminar DEADLINE APPROACHING

Last chance to register for CalGeo's Northern California Loss Prevention Seminar in Fairfield, CA. The 4-hour seminar is designed for technicians, staff engineers and geologists of all skill levels. By increasing the knowledge and skill base of your field personnel, we hope to reduce your liability and losses and increase productivity.

Northern California LPS: February 10, 2018, Courtyard Marriott Hotel, Fairfield, CA

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Online registration will close TODAY for Northern California. If mailing a check, please post-mark payment at least 10-days in advance of your course date.

View full program on our website through the links above.


Members: $150, Non-members: $200

Register for NorCal LPS HERE - only a few spots left!

Last Chance! Don't put it off any longer...

We know that the start of a New Year is busy but don't forget about your Outstanding Project Award submissions! We've extended the deadline until February 15th to allow you a little more time to submit your application.

Each year at our Annual Conference, CalGeo puts the spotlight on the best geotechnical projects in the state with our Outstanding Project Awards. A panel of your peers select the year's finest work in a number of categories, providing winners with a powerful new marketing message, and everyone with the opportunity to learn from exciting, innovative approaches to challenging situations.

3-easy steps and you could win!



3.) E-mail [email protected] for a Dropbox link to upload your project documents.

Member Highlight: Greg Silver

President, GMU Geotechnical

Greg Silver joined GMU in 1997 and currently serves as the company's President and Principal Engineer. He is instrumental in furthering the direction and character of the company and oversees the majority of the firm's day-to-day operations. Greg's experience in the industry includes more than 29 years of working with clients throughout Southern California on some of the most challenging geotechnical projects. He has worked successfully for and with industrial, residential and commercial developers, master community planners and governmental agencies. He has extensive experience in landslide evaluation and remediation design, geotechnical instrumentation, residential and commercial development, public works projects, municipality consultation, mechanically stabilized earth walls, and forensic projects. In addition, Silver has served as an expert witness in regards to numerous geotechnical issues and as city geotechnical engineer for numerous cities throughout Southern California.

Mr. Silver has a Bachelor’s degree in geological sciences with an emphasis in Geophysics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a M.S. in Civil Engineering (emphasis Geotechnical engineering) from California State University at Long Beach.  He is a registered civil engineer in California and Nevada as well as a Registered Geotechnical Engineer in California.   He served as CalGeo’s president in 2010 and is also member of ASCE.  Mr. Silver has published several papers on subjects ranging from MSE wall design and performance to Landslide mitigation.

Conference Early Bird Registration is THIS MONTH

Why should you attend CalGeo's Annual Conference?

  • Located IN California to save time and travel costs.
  • Focused on issues important to California Geotechs (state laws, codes, design issues that are LOCAL).
  • Lower registration costs compared to other major national conferences - early bird registration is only $650 for members compared to almost $1000 at other conferences.
  • Courses and sessions for all levels of employees - not just owners! Younger engineers will benefit from our Emerging Professional break-outs and technical short courses while owners and managers will enjoy our Management sessions and Financial Short Course.
  • Meet with interested students to fill gaps in your workforce.
  • Local and affordable means you should more than one attendee!
  • Single-day options for just Friday or just Saturday available.
  • Short course registration is separate from conference so pick one or both! Come to a short course and stay for the Welcome Reception to meet and mingle.

Early-bird registration deadline is Feb. 22! If paying by check, payment MUST be post-marked by Feb. 22 to get the early-bird price of only $650. Register On-line Now!

The 2018 CalGeo Annual Conference will be held April 19-21, 2018 at the Flamingo Conference Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa, CA. The Outstanding Project Awards luncheon will take place the final afternoon, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Click HERE for event details.

Download our full (and updated!) conference brochure

Annual Golf Tournament April 19th

Do you enjoy a perfectly good day ruined by chasing around after a small white ball? Then listen up!

CalGeo's Annual Golf Tournament, Playing for Peanuts is now available for registration.

Location: Foxtail Golf Course, Santa Rosa, CA

Date/Time: April 19th Registration & Breakfast 6:30-7:30am, Tee-off at 7:30am

Why should you play? Get out of the office and enjoy California's wine country with other geotech professionals AND win some great prizes! Continental breakfast is included because, Good Grief! That's an early tee-time!

CalGeo Member rate $75, Non-members $85. Register HERE.

Thank you to our golf tournament sponsors:



Help us give back #SonomaStrong

CalGeo has decided to help Sonoma county get back on its feet after the wildfires that ravaged the area this fall. Each year at our Annual Conference we hold a silent auction during the closing banquet to benefit our Student Fund. Those funds go to California University Engineering programs to promote geotechnical engineering among the students, and to create student chapters to further educate the engineering student about geotechnical engineering as a career.  We also help fund student groups on educational, fact-finding trips.  The fund also assists in sponsoring student’s attendance at our annual conferences, where the students are able to highlight their projects and interact with their “future” peers.

This year we will be donating 10% of proceeds back to the community that is hosting us to aid in the rebuilding efforts. We found the North Bay Wildfire relief fund ( to be the best option for the community.

Please assist us in making this year's silent auction the best yet! If you have items, tickets, gift cards, software or training programs to donate, or even fun experiences - we would love to have them. Please e-mail [email protected] to help contribute to the education of a California engineer.

Need Some Training or PDH's?

Mark you calendars for these upcoming events, or download Outlook and iCal events through our new calendar.

CalGeo Loss Prevention Seminars:

NorCal Loss Prevention Seminar - February 10, 2018, Fairfield, CA. ALMOST SOLD OUT < 10 spaces left!

Pile Dynamics Short Course:

Pile Dynamics, Inc. is offering One Day Workshops (6.5 PDHs) on Quality Control of Deep Foundations. There will be two workshops in California in February.  The PDCA/PDI Dynamic Measurement Test will be offered in select cities for those looking for certification.

February 15, 2018: SFO Workshop Flyer

February 16, 2018: LAX Workshop Flyer (no test offered)

Short Courses:

Financial Management for A/E/C Firm Leaders offered by renowned financial leaders PSMJ. 10am-5pm April 18, 2018 at our Annual Conference venue, The Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa.

Do you have a succession plan in place for retirement? Who will lead the next generation at your firm? This compressed 1-day seminar is designed for owners, senior level management and the next generation of engineers moving into management.

2D & 3D Slope Stability Course offered through Rocscience. 8am-12pm April 19, 2018 at our Annual Conference venue, The Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa.

The objective of this course is to provide a background on numerical modelling for slope stability analysis using various Rocscience software tools (Slide, RS2, RS3, Slide3). Get the most out of the Rocscience slope stability suite through a balanced mixture of lectures and hands-on computer analysis using practical examples collected over the years.

Integrated Site Characterization for Selection of Design Parameters by Jason DeJong, UC Davis. 1-5pm April 19, 2018 at our Annual Conference venue, The Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa.

Join us for this practical afternoon short course on integrated site characterization and the selection of parameters for project analysis and design. The course is perfect for both young, practicing engineers developing their site investigation skills as well as project level engeineers that are managing site investigations and overseeing selection of design parameters.

More and more and more...Jobs!

Its a New Year and if you are out there looking for a change, check out our job board on the website - lots of new postings are available.

Emerging Professionals

If you are a young professional just looking to get more involved in the CalGeo community, think about joining our Emerging Professionals group. We have a Northern California and Southern California chapter. They hold their own dinner meetings, bring in speakers and plan fun events.

Contact: Jonathan Ontiveros for Southern California EP and Lindsey Angell for Northern California.

Welcome our new members

We are pleased to welcome the following new members to CalGeo! Make sure to stop by and meet them at our next event.

Individual Members:

Logan Prosser, BSK Associates



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