Sunday, April 22, 2012

Percs of Being in a University Town

Took a break from report writing Friday to take advantage of living in university town. Kim and I headed up to campus to hear a talk on landslides in North Carolina. The speaker was Jennifer Bauer, President of the Association of Engineering Geologists. She made some interesting points about geology and engineering geology before speaking about the landslide mapping project in North Carolina. She noted the importance of engineering geology in everyday life. Made one proud to be an engineering geologist.

Her talk on landslide mapping in North Carolina discussed applied geology using remote sensing tools and strategic field work in the development of hazard maps over a very broad and rugged landscape. She had some great examples of picking out landslides from aerial images and less than ideal LiDAR and then field truthing. Some great images similar to some research I have been dabbling in so it was helpful to see the approach taken. Inspired me to work on my own little non business related landslide project.

Afterwards, Kim and I headed back to our report writing, but I met up with Jennifer and a few other local geologists after work. We compared notes on vegetation and field work. I was interested in how various counties and communities in North Carolina responded to the land slide work, and much like Washington Sate there was a range of reaction from progressive and regressive reactions. Jennifer has recently started a consulting business in Asheville, North Carolina called Appalachian Landslide Consultants. Like lots of geologists that develop an interest in a particular area, she is making the transition to turn passion into a way to pay the bills.

All in all a good geology day. While up at Western I found out Swift Creek on Sumas Mountain ( and whatcom-countys-desert) had sent a surge of mud down the slope and made plans to tag along to visit the slide.

More posts to come on Swift Creek as well as the recently nailed down fault zones in northwest Washington. 

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