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Call for abstracts: AEG's 58th Annual Meeting
The "Conference at the Confluence" will be held Sept. 19-26 in Pittsburgh at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, downtown. Throughout this dynamic urban landscape, past and present collide in land use, environmental impacts and shifting economic forces. The AEG 2015 Annual Meeting Planning Committee invite you to join us for this outstanding "Conference at the Confluence!" Click here for more information.

The abstract submission deadline is May 1. Please click here to submit your abstract. Be sure to use the abstract submittal username and password and not your AEG member username and password. The following are planned symposia and proposed technical sessions:
  • Symposia: Dams, tunneling, landslides, rock slope design, shale gas development, urban environmental geology.
  • General technical session topics include: Landslides (identification and mitigation), rockfall mitigation, hydrogeology, environmental site characterization, geotechnical site characterization, seismic hazards, coastal hazards, licensure and professional practice, mine reclamation/subsidence, geophysics, remote sensing (LiDAR/GIS/aerial photography).

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REMINDER: Special edition of AEG News slated for March
An Environmental Special Edition of AEG News will be published in March. Editor Anna Saindon is seeking professional articles (2-6 pages), field trip articles (0.5-1 page), book reviews (0.5-1 page) and general professional news (0.5-1 page) on a wide range of environmental topics. If you have an idea or questions, please contact Anna. Deadline for submissions is Jan. 31.
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Designed for geologists and engineers working in the geotechnical industry. Live Stream Video, Collaborative Software, Archived Classes.

New York-Philadelphia Section and GEO-INSTITUTE Delaware Valley Chapter joint meeting
Speaker David Chapman presents "Hudson River Tunnels, Mega-Projects, and Risk — A Designer's Perspective" the evening of Jan. 20 at the Valley Forge Casino (Radisson Valley Forge) in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Click here for more details.
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AEG President Ken Fergason to be in Georgia
AEG President Ken Fergason will be making a few stops in Georgia this month. Ken will speak at Georgia State University on Jan. 22 and then the University of West Georgia and University of Georgia on Jan. 23.

Learn the specifics by visiting the Southeastern Section webpage.

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Ocean trash: 5.25 trillion pieces and counting, but big questions remain
National Geographic
The numbers are staggering: There are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. Scientists call these statistics the "wow factor" of ocean trash. The tallies, published last year in three separate scientific papers, are useful in red-flagging the scope of the problem for the public. But beyond the shock value, just how does adding up those rice-size fragments of plastic help solve the problem?
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Oso landslide research paves way for future hazard evaluations
U.S. Geological Survey
The large landslide that occurred on March 22, 2014, near Oso, Washington, was unusually mobile and destructive. The first published study from U.S. Geological Survey investigations of the Oso landslide (named the "SR530 Landslide" by Washington State) reveals that the potential for landslide liquefaction and high mobility are influenced by several factors, and the landslide process at Oso could have unfolded very differently (with much less destruction) if initial conditions had been only subtly different.

A major focus of the research reported this week is to understand the causes and effects of the landslide's high mobility. High "mobility" implies high speeds and large areas of impact, which can be far from the landslide source area. Because high-mobility landslides overrun areas that are larger than normal, they present a significant challenge for landslide hazard evaluation. Understanding of the Oso event adds to the knowledge base that can be used to improve future hazard evaluations.

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Science highlights

Check out what's going on in science and around the industry:
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On a tropical island, fossils reveal past — and possible future — of polar ice
University of Florida via ScienceDaily
The balmy islands of Seychelles couldn't feel farther from Antarctica, but their fossil corals could reveal much about the fate of polar ice sheets. About 125,000 years ago, the average global temperature was only slightly warmer, but sea levels rose high enough to submerge the locations of many of today's coastal cities. Understanding what caused seas to rise then could shed light on how to protect those cities today.
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