ASFE - Newslog - September 22, 2021

September 22, 2021

Vol. 50  No. 38


2021 Photo Contest Winners Announced

GBA is committed to promoting the value of geoprofessionals and for our 2021 photo contest we asked Members to share: “How do you depict the day in the life of a Geoprofessional?”

With over 90 photos submitted this year, the pride of geoprofessionals was on full display. We think you will agree, these vibrant photos capture our members in field activities, meeting with colleagues and clients, and observing safety in some amazing locations.

Grand Prize Winner

Photographer: Luke Ducey (Geotechnolology)

Description: Drilling piers for the St. Louis Arch Grounds early morning. Museum renovation and expansion. Downtown, St. Louis, Missouri

Congratulations Luke Ducey! Luke will receive a $100 gift card, Grand Prize Winner’s plaque and be recognized during GBA’s 2021 Fall Conference.

Overall Runner Up

Photographer: James “Jim” Potts, EIT (DOWL)

Description: DOWL Geologist, Paul Pribyl performs peat probes in a wetland along the proposed Sterling Highway MP 45 to 60 Project.

Congratulations Jim Potts.  Jim will receive a plaque, $50 gift card and be recognized during GBA’s 2021 Fall Conference.

Thank you to all who submitted photos and to our contest judges!

See all photo contest winners:  HERE

Discount Ends Tonight!

GBA is coming back together safely this October for our 2021 Fall Conference in Henderson, Nevada.  As we gather after a long period of separation, GBA will reunite in-person to learn, collaborate, network, renew friendships, celebrate successes, and meet with fellow geoprofessionals from across North America.

Reuniting at this conference will bring us back to the basics of what GBA does best. We will focus on business & educational resources, specifically risk management and business performance optimization for geoprofessional firms.

Dates: October 21-23, 2021
Location: Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa, Henderson, Nevada


Welcome New Member - Dan Brown and Associates

GBA welcomes new Member-Firm, Dan Brown and Associates.  Dan Brown and Associates, PC is a specialty consulting engineering firm specializing in geotechnical and foundation engineering, with emphasis on problem solving related to foundation engineering and slope stability problems. The firm includes associates with special expertise in construction, materials, design, testing, and research.

Our services for deep foundations include design and construction issues for:

     •  Drilled Shafts
     •  Auger Cast-in-Situ Piles
     •  Micropiles
     •  Driven Piles

While specializing in deep foundation systems and slope stability problems, we also provide our services for a wide range of geotechnical applications and problems.


President’s Update: A Journey of Ownership Transition

This is the September installment of President Tom Blackburn’s monthly updates to GBA members.  “It is my way to better connect you with GBA’s leadership, provide some lessons learned, show you how we continue to make GBA better and improve your GBA experience.” 

In this update, Tom shares Blackburn Consulting’s journey of ownership transition.


New Podcast Episode: Case History #105 - Friends Don't Sue Friends… Most of the Time

GBA has published over 100 case histories based on real-life events that have happened to geoprofessional firms.  GBA Case Histories are unique because our members share real-life stories of problems that impacted their businesses.  They also include the outcomes of corrective action, and lessons learned.

This episode in the series explores Case History #105 where a GBA member-Firm was hired to perform a geotechnical engineering study of the project site and provide a written report describing its subsurface conditions. This same firm provided construction materials engineering and testing (CoMET) during site development and construction of a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall. Failed communication between the field representative, member firm's project manager and the design team during construction of a MSE wall led to cracks in the building slab and in the wall blocks and ultimately a claim.

Featuring: Dan Schaefer, P.E. (Froehling & Robertson, Inc.)


What is a Geoprofessional? - Throwback Video

Joel Carson, Executive Director

More than 10-years ago, I prepared a short video in preparation for my keynote at GBA’s 2011 Spring Conference.  Watch as I explored the community, looking for the definition of “geoprofessional”. 

It was fun to revisit this project and I hope you enjoy watching.



Our most popular article from our last issue of GBA NEWSlog was the International Man of Memory, Chester Santos’, overview of his keynote presentation for GBA’s Fall Conference.


Let’s Collaborate on the Fall Conference Playlist

GBA created a playlist for our 2021 Fall Conference, and we are looking for your input. Share your favorite songs that support our REUNION theme.



Future GBA Events: Mark Your Calendars Now!

GBA Events Calendar


Wayne Karem for State Senate

GBA’s own Wayne A. Karem, PhD, PE, PG, D.GE (Vector Engineers) recently announced his bid for the Kentucky State Senate.


Matthew Koss, CSP, CHST Named Director of Corporate Safety

ECS Limited

Matthew Koss, CSP, CHST has joined ECS as our new Director of Corporate Safety and is based out of the Baltimore office. We look forward to his leadership as we continue to build and improve our already robust safety program.

Matt is a Board-Certified Safety Professional (BCSP) with over 10 years of construction safety management experience. He has developed and managed the implementation of safety programs and processes in the heavy, high-value construction arena including commercial, industrial and transportation sectors. Matt has an in-depth knowledge of OSHA, DOT and USACE (EM385) safety requirements. He is currently pursuing his master’s in engineering - Advanced Safety Engineering and Management at the University of Alabama at Birmingham online while working full time. Matt’s experience, vision and leadership will be an invaluable asset as ECS continues to grow our footprint and expand our influence in heavy industrial and energy market sectors.


Dr. Kathy Troost Rejoins Shannon and Wilson

Shannon & Wilson, Inc.

Shannon & Wilson, Inc. is pleased to announce Kathy Troost L.G., PhD has rejoined our Seattle office as a senior consultant. As both an expert in the geology of the Puget Lowlands and Washington, and a respected associate teaching professor with the University of Washington Department of Earth and Space Science focusing in the Applied Geosciences Masters program, we are thrilled have her back on our team.


Gannett Fleming Selected as Design-Builder for Transformative Water Reclamation Facility

Gannett Fleming

To meet regulatory, economic, and demographic regional drivers, the Town of Clayton, North Carolina, is undertaking the largest capital project in its history.

Work has begun on the New Neuse River Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) project, a state-of-the-art treatment plant capable of handling 6 million gallons per day (MGD). Clayton selected Gannett Fleming to provide design-build bridging services for the project, which is expected to be completed in early 2024. The firm’s work includes surveying, design, permitting, construction, commissioning, and startup support.


Avoiding the “Good Enough” Mindset

Ardaman & Associates, Inc.

For most of us, we have been doing our jobs long enough to know what is the right way to do something and what falls short to “good enough”. When it comes to workplace safety “good enough” does not cut it. When addressing hazards, having this mindset will lead to exposure to risk that will eventually result in incidents and injuries occurring.

It is important to take the time to not only identify hazards but also taking the proper time and energy to mitigate them.

What Leads to the “Good Enough” Mindset?

There are many reasons why individuals may be tolerant of unnecessary risk during work tasks. A few of these reasons could include:

Complacency. For individuals who have been doing their work for long periods of time, complacency can be one of the biggest challenges to avoiding a “good enough” mindset.

Lack of training or understanding. Some workers, especially those less experienced, may not understand the importance of taking certain steps to protect themselves and those around them while completing their work.


The Path to Professional License: Amelia Oates, LG

Aspect Consulting

In the science and engineering industry, seeing a “PE”, “LG”, “PMP”, or other initials behind someone’s name shows that person went through years of work experience that culminated in a substantial test to confirm the right to practice their area of technical expertise. Many go through this licensing journey but few outside that group know what the process is really like.

We’re telling those stories here. Aspect’s professionals are writing a series of articles that capture the trials and successes of studying for and receiving these career-defining milestones.



Earth Systems

There are cracks in stucco, drywall, concrete, and cracks in masonry and mortar. Most buildings have them; many of them are too small to be noticed. These are some of the factors leading to cracks and why some are of concern and others are not.



Las Vegas MINExpo Conference Was Bigger and Better

For Construction Pros

After a one-year delay, the show has come back bigger and better with the latest cutting-edge equipment, innovations, services and technologies that can take mining operations to a new level.


GBA is Cooperating Organization for DFI’s Las Vegas Conference

Deep Foundations Institute

The show must go on! GBA is a proud partner of DFI’s 46th Annual Conference on deep foundations to be held in Las Vegas, Nevada this October.


Before the Mandate, Corporations Took the Lead


Many big name companies were putting their foot down when it comes to COVID, before the federal mandate on vaccines.


Contractors Caught Between Vaccine Hesitancy and Owner Mandates

Construction Dive

Construction firms are scrambling to meet client requests for 100% vaccinated jobsites.


Ground Conditioning

Interesting Engineering

Houses built into the Earth during the '70s and '80s in response to the gas crisis might be the perfect solution to today's heat.


Stability 101: Why Cranes Collapse

Practical Engineering

Cranes are dangerous. Any time something goes up, there’s a chance it might fall down.


Massive Mudslide Closes Colorado Highway


Slide on scenic Colorado highway tests limits of aging infrastructure in era of climate change.


PFAS Dominate the News: Changes Coming to ASTM Phase I ESA Language

Bloomberg Law

ASTM International will soon amend its Phase I environmental site assessment language—considered the “gold standard” for due diligence—to include reference to PFAS, a change that will impact real estate and M&A deals. CMBG3 Law’s John P. Gardella explains that these changes will not suddenly absolve parties involved in these transactions, including insurers, of liability risks.


Cognitive Bias, Why We Make Mistakes

Visual Capitalist

Humans have a tendency to think in particular ways that can lead to systematic deviations from making rational judgments.


Words of Wisdom

"Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come."

- Diane Helbig


President - Thomas "Tom" W. Blackburn, P.E., G.E., F. ASCE, F.ACEC (Blackburn Consulting / Auburn, CA) 530/887-1494

President-Elect - Leo J. Titus, Jr. P.E., (ECS, Ltd. / Chantilly, VA) 703/471-8400

Secretary/Treasurer - Christopher Matthew "Matt" Moler, P.E. (S&ME, Inc. / Greensboro, NC) 336/553-1245

Director - Martin LaRoche, P. Eng, M.Sc.(Kiewit / Montreal, Canada)

Director - Guy Marcozzi, P.E., LEED AP BD+C, F. ASCE (Duffield Associates, Inc. / Wilmington, DE) 302/239-6634

Director - Steve Wendland, P.G., P.E., R.G., D.GE (GeoEngineers, Inc. / Prairie Village, KS) 913/475-5851

Director - Teresa L. Peterson, P.E., C.M.E., LEED AP O&M ENV SP (Gannett Fleming / Harrisburg, PA) 717/763-7211

Director - Bradley M. Melocik, P.E., P.H. (DOWL / Redmond, WA) 800/478-3695


Connect with GBA

GBA Staff
Joel G. Carson, Execuive Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 402-517-1819 (cell)
Sara Menase, Program Manager, 301-5652733
Phillip D. Pettway, Controller, 301-565-2733
Barb Nappy, Program Director, 301-565-2733 (office) | 727-457-2272 (cell)

Geoprofessional Business Association
15800 Crabbs Branch Way, Suite 300 | Rockville, MD 20855 | 301-565-2733 | Contact Us

About GBA
The Geoprofessional Business Association (GBA) helps its members and their clients confront risk and optimize business performance by delivering unique professional resources, programs, and services that make them stronger and more successful.

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