The Geological Society of America

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Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America (GSA’s) mission is to advance geoscience research and discovery, service to society, stewardship of Earth, and the geosciences profession. Their vision is to be the premier geological society supporting the global community in scientific discovery, communication, and application of geoscience knowledge.

Association of Geohazard Professionals (AGHP)

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Association of Geohazard Professionals

The Association of Geohazard Professionals (AGHP) provides resources and mechanisms to elevate the state of practice and the reach of the geohazard marketplace. All interested industry participants are invited to join.

AGHP has 8 active committees: Anchor Testing, Debris Flow and Steep Creek Hazards Mitigation, Education, Geohazard Monitoring & Instrumentation, Marketing, Post Support Systems, Rope Access, and Standards & Specifications.

2019 TRB Annual Meeting: Early Bird Registration Ends November 30

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TRB Annual Meeting - January 13-17, 2019 in Washington, D.C.

Register and make hotel reservations today for the TRB 98th Annual Meeting, January 13-17, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Early Bird Registration rates end November 30, 2018. Registration is required for all Annual Meeting attendees, including session speakers, poster presenters, and those who attend the exhibit hall, career fair, or any workshops. 

Full Registration also includes full access to: *Annual Meeting Interactive Program (available in November 2018) *Annual Meeting Mobile App, supported by PTV Group *Annual Meeting Online, which contains materials from individual presenters, searchable by session, presentation, author, subject area, and more (available in January 2019) 

Book your hotel now: The Annual Meeting registration and hotel reservation processes are combined. TRB has contracted with 22 hotels to provide guest rooms at prevailing Federal Government per diem (currently $181/night). Hotel rooms will fill quickly, so please make your reservation early. Only registered attendees are permitted to reserve hotel rooms in the TRB hotel block. Hotel options range from large chain hotels, to boutique hotels, to hotels offering primarily suites. Locations range from the immediate vicinity of the Convention Center to trendy DC neighborhoods, such as the Dupont Circle area. The hotels are easily accessible to the convention center via a variety of transportation options

Save time onsite: If you are a domestic full registrant with your account paid in full by November 30, 2018, you will have the option to have your name badge and any tickets mailed to you before the Annual Meeting. So, when you arrive at the convention center, you won’t have to wait on line to pick up your badge. 

TRB’s 98th Annual Meeting takes place January 13-17, 2019, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, in Washington, D.C. The meeting covers all transportation issues, with 5,000 presentations in more than 800 sessions. A number of sessions and workshops will focus on the meeting’s spotlight theme, Transportation for a Smart, Sustainable, and Equitable Future. The meeting is expected to attract more than 13,000 transportation professionals from around the world. 

Landslide on Route 30 in East Pittsburgh

Randy PostIn The News

A section of Route 30 in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania has been destroyed by a landslide, and the road could remain closed for several months.  An apartment building down-slope has also been destroyed, although all residents were evacuated and there were no reported injuries.  There had already been several landslides since mid-February in the Pittsburgh area as temperatures increase and above-average rainfall has occurred in March.

Pennsylvania DOT has a contractor on board to begin clearing the slide, and geotechnical engineers have already been performing an investigation to attempt to find the cause of the slide and design a solution.  Funding will likely come from FEMA as well as state and local sources.  A series of videos can be found on the website of WTAE, and the video below from the local CBS affiliate provides a good overview of recent activities.

Image credit: GOV. TOM WOLF / FLICKR.  This post originally appeared on, reproduced with permission.

TRB Events for Engineering Geology and Related Committees

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The TRB 2018 conference is rapidly approaching, January 7 – 11 in Washington D.C.  AFP10’s TRB Staff Representative, Nancy Whiting, provided a summary of events that may be of interest to the Engineering Geology Committee and related committees.  Download below.  Hope to see you in D.C.!

Download the Document

Procedures to Develop Defined Metrics and Protocols Using Existing Rockslope and Rockfall Design Guidelines within Corridors for Mitigation of Rockfall and Rockslides

Randy PostResearch Needs Statements

Crews remove the large boulder that fell in the rock fence along the side of I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass in Washington State. Image credit WSDOT.

Rockfall and rock slope design engineering guidelines have been established since the 1960’s with such notable works as the Ritchie Ditch Catchment (1963), Rock Slope Engineering (Hoek and Bray, 1974), Rockfall Catchment Area Design Guide (FHWA-OR-RD-02-04), and more recently Rockfall Characterization and Control (Transportation Research Board (TRB), 2012). These guidelines offer the basis for design of rock slopes and rockfall catchment but do not establish guidelines, criteria, or metrics for implementation that designers or agencies can follow.

Given the desire to make and communicate asset management based design decisions, and to design for resilience and the consideration of life-cycle cost, there is a need to develop a rock slope and rockfall guideline metric and framework that establishes suggested parameters and protocols based on:

Rock slope evaluation to determine potential for generating rockfall by either a condition, tolerable risk, or performance based systems or combinations therein,

Rock slope mitigation options such as blasting methods, stabilization, or protection measures or combinations of each to reduce the potential for rockfall,

Ditch catchment options based on rock slope evaluation, mitigation options and traffic volumes,

Formulating an iterative life-cycle process to evaluate and encompass roadway design, constructability, environmental, cost, maintenance, and other considerations using the previous points including potential for rock slope to generate rockfall, mitigation options, and ditch catchment requirements,

Results of the research will be useful to transportation agencies charged with managing rockfall hazards.

RNS last updated on May 5, 2016.  Visit the TRB website to view the full RNS.

An Implementation Manual for Geotechnical Asset Management (GAM) for Transportation Agencies

Randy PostResearch Needs Statements

SR 410 Nile Valley Landslide. Credit WSDOT

In the past decade considerable advancement has been made in Transportation Asset Management (TAM) to allow agencies to focus strategically on the long-term management of government-owned assets and guidelines are available for the development of asset management plans. In the past few years, the application of asset management principles to geotechnical assets has followed the general TAM development and been tried by a few state departments of transportation and other agencies. However the results to date are mixed, with considerable differences in approaches and results. Early efforts have often focused on inventorying and condition surveys and not continued along the full TAM spectrum, hence the benefits of asset management have not been realized.

Recent efforts such as those by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Central Federal Lands Highway Division (Vessely 2013), Colorado Department of Transportation, and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities to develop asset management plans for geotechnical assets have increased the awareness of the valuable contributions possible by Geotechnical Asset Management (GAM). With the passage of the Federal surface transportation bill Moving Ahead with Progress for the 21st Century (MAP-21) which specifies performance management criteria and encourages state transportation agencies to develop and implement transportation asset management strategies for all assets within the right-of-way, it is time to move beyond the initial steps of GAM and focus on the development and incorporation of geotechnical assets into the transportation asset management arena.

RNS last modified on March 25, 2014.  Visit the TRB Website for the official RNS statement.