Category Archives: AEG

AEG: Meinert on terroir

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, February 22, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at ECS Mid-Atlantic office in Chantilly, VA.

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, February 19, via online payment (

Title:  Wine and Terroir – the science of good taste

A lecture and guided winetasting by Larry Meinert

Mounds of grape seeds in prehistoric caves testify that early people had more than a passing acquaintance with wine. Grapes naturally ripen to high sugar levels and, left on the vine, they will begin to ferment from the action of native yeasts on the skins. Perhaps our early ancestors plucked such fermenting fruit and with a smile, plucked a few more. Or maybe they observed the erratic flight of birds that had feasted a bit too much and wondered, as scientists are wont to do, about cause and effect.  Regardless of how people came to appreciate the joys of the grape, there is ample evidence in the earliest written documents that they were making and enjoying wine. The records of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks also contain observations that certain regions seemed to produce better wine than others. This observation carries through to modern times where the question is brought into sharp focus by the rather simple occurrence of two vineyards, side by side, that share most obvious aspects of climate, slope and viticulture, yet produce crops that are vastly different. Examples abound but perhaps the most spectacular are the vineyards of Burgundy, France, where the wines of Romanee-Conti have been highly valued for centuries (some bottles sell for thousands of dollars), while nearby vineyards produce wine that is sold as vin ordinare for less than a dollar a bottle. The simple question is, “Why?”  This special lecture and winetasting will address that question and many others, using examples from the vineyards of France and the United States. The lecture will be illustrated with a comparative tasting of wines from some of the regions described.

Larry Meinert’s interest in wine dates from growing up in an Ohio household where his father imported fine wine from Germany. He first became interested in the California wine country during his doctoral geological studies at Stanford University. Perhaps it is coincidence that his PhD advisor was not only a respected geologist but also owned part of the family winery in the famous Barolo area of northern Italy. After Stanford, he joined the faculty at Washington State University and Smith College and in addition to teaching geology for 30 years, operated a small home winery, specializing in a barrel-fermented Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Malbec. He currently lives in Washington, DC and works for the U.S. Geological Survey. His teaching and research covers a wide range of fields from exploring for gold mines to liquid gold in bottled form – fine wine. He has published research on the physical factors (terroir) affecting vineyard siting and performance in several appellations of the U.S. and also Argentina, Chile, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (


AEG-DMV Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) D.C.-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) Chapter and the Radford University AEG student chapter are pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium. The spring symposium was established to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, allow students to meet potential employers, and further the fellowship that exists between geoscientists.

AEG-DMV Spring Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

March 23 – 24, 2018

Radford, VA

Half-day field trip (to include unmanned systems) on Friday, followed by poster session and oral presentations on Saturday. Additional details to be announced.

Call for Abstracts:

We are seeking abstracts for speakers and posters from college students, geology professionals, professors/instructors, and State regulators. Topics should be focused on the broad subjects of environmental geology and engineering geology.

Abstracts should be submitted by February 16, 2018, and include:

  • The title of the presentation or poster
  • The author(s) names, affiliation(s), and contact information
  • A brief abstract (250 words or less) of the presentation or poster

Please submit abstracts for speakers and posters to Cheryl Gannon ( – a formal paper is not required.

Abstract submissions will be reviewed by the co-conveners of the symposium. If your submission is accepted, you will be notified via e-mail at least three weeks prior to the event. Speakers will be asked to deliver a PowerPoint presentation (not to exceed 18 minutes), and poster authors will be asked to support the poster session.

AEG: Eisner on Effective Source Water Protection

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, January 18, 2018, from 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, MD

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please register by Monday, January 15, via online payment (

Mark Eisner, President

Advanced Land and Water, Inc.

Challenges in Implementing Effective Source Water Protection – How One Groundwater-Reliant Municipality Balances Economic & Public Health Interests – A Case History from the Delmarva Peninsula

Salisbury, Maryland is a fast-growing municipality situated on and withdrawing groundwater from the extraordinarily productive and vulnerable Salisbury Paleochannel aquifer. The susceptibility to groundwater contamination borne of incompatible land uses also has been a focus of evaluation by Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and the Maryland Geological Survey and resulted in land use protection ordinance, by both the City of Salisbury and by Wicomico County. Advanced Land and Water, Inc. (ALWI) updated the 2003 Source Water Assessment and worked with the City to develop a customized set of recommendations, centered on proscriptive land use restrictions, but also entailing other measures to achieve ongoing source water protection. We came to develop comprehensive recommendations for a singular multi-jurisdictional ordinance reflective of gradations in both distance (source-to-well) and specific nature of the contamination hazard.

Not long after the MDE-funded source water protection plan update concluded, a new wave of development pressure again brought the local press to focus on the Paleochannel and its protection from contamination arising from incompatible land uses. We continue to recommend ordinance consolidation and even more importantly, that their proscriptive measures be applied and enforced. The presentation will present and discuss our ordinance recommendations in detail, in the context of recent proposed development activity.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG: Ground Vibration Control from Explosives Demolition of the Kosciuszko Bridge

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter (

Thursday, November 16, 2017, from 5:30 PM to 7:45 PM
at Brewer’s Alley in Frederick, MD

AEG Members $40, Non-members $45 (includes dinner; student and retiree discounts available). Please RSVP by Monday, November 13, via email ( or via online payment (

Patrick T. Hastings, G.I.T. and David K. Miller, P.G.

Seismic Surveys, Inc.

Ground Vibration Control from Explosives Demolition of the Kosciuszko Bridge

The project involved designing and building the new eastbound structures of Interstate 278 over the Newtown Creek from Brooklyn to Queens, New York City, and the subsequent explosives felling of the existing Kosciuszko Bridge. The explosive demolition of the old Kosciuszko Bridge included 10 steel trusses on the Brooklyn approach and 10 steel trusses on the Queens approach. This presentation discusses the methods and procedures that were developed to protect third-party buildings, buried gas transmission pipelines, the Long Island Railroad, the Historical Old Calvary Cemetery and the new K-Bridges. During the explosive demolition on October 1, 2017, SSI used 52 seismographs at adjacent structures to monitor vibrations. The conclusion of the presentation will include a video compilation of Controlled Demolition, Inc. (CDI) successful explosives felling of the 3,104’ long, 20-span, structural steel, iconic Kosciuszko Bridge.

Please refer to our meeting announcement for full details (

AEG: USGS’s Pratt on seismic shaking

Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists

D.C. – Maryland – Virginia Chapter

Notice of Meeting

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Topic:                      Amplification of earthquake ground motions by Atlantic Coastal Plain sediments: Implications for Central and Eastern U.S. seismic hazards

Presenter:           Thomas Pratt, PhD
Research Geophysicist, U.S. Geological Survey

Damage in Washington, D.C., during the 2011 Mw5.8 Mineral, Va., earthquake was surprisingly high for an epicenter 130 km away, and “Did-You-Feel-It” felt reports suggest that ground motions in the city were amplified by Atlantic Coastal Plain and other unconsolidated deposits. We measure this potential ground amplification relative to bedrock sites in the city using teleseismic and regional earthquake signals recorded on a temporary seismometer array. The resulting spectral ratios show amplification in the 0.7 to 4 Hz frequency range, which overlaps resonant frequencies of buildings in the city as inferred from their heights, suggesting amplification at frequencies to which many buildings are vulnerable to damage. The 2011 earthquake thus emphasizes the importance of local ground motion amplification in stable continental regions, where low attenuation extends shaking levels over wide areas and unconsolidated, shallow deposits on crystalline or igneous bedrock can create strong contrasts in near-surface material properties. Thicker Atlantic Coastal Plain and Mississippi Embayment strata throughout the central and eastern U.S. produce strong fundamental resonance peaks in the 0.2 to 4 Hz frequency range on spectral ratios computed from crustal-scale seismic experiments. These spectral ratios can be converted from frequency to depth, resulting in depth-converted spectral ratios across the array that produce an image of the strata causing the resonances. The data sets thus provide an average velocity function for the sedimentary sequence, the frequencies and amplitudes of the major resonance peaks, and a subsurface image of the major reflectors producing resonance peaks, and show that teleseismic signals can be used to characterize sedimentary strata in the upper km.

Dr. Thomas Pratt is a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Science Center within the Earthquake Hazards program. His research interests are in seismic imaging of fault systems beneath the surface, computer modeling of geologic structures, studying the tectonic settings of active faults, and understanding ground motions during earthquakes. His past research has focused on active faults throughout the continental U.S. and Alaska, as well as Japan and Panama, and ground motion studies in the Pacific Northwest and the eastern U.S. Dr. Pratt was based in Seattle, WA, for twenty years but recently moved to Reston, VA, where the primary focus of his research is earthquake hazards in the Central and Eastern United States. Dr. Pratt serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, which is one of the premier scientific journals for earthquake science. He received his bachelor’s degree in geology at Cornell University in 1980, and his master’s (1982) and doctorate (1986) degrees in geophysics at Virginia Tech.
Meeting Information

Date/Time:                                                       Location:

Thursday, October 19, 2017              Amphora Restaurant

5:00 PM to 7:30 PM                             377 Maple Ave W

Vienna, VA 22180

Cost (dinner and meeting):                        Agenda:

Members                    $40                    5:00-5:30 PM     Social & Check-in

Non-members           $45                         5:30-6:15 PM     Dinner

  Discounts Available:                                           6:15-6:30 PM     Section Announcements &

      Students save $20                                                                     Sponsor Presentation

Retirees save $10                                          6:30-7:30 PM     Presentation followed by Q&A

A special thank you to our meeting sponsor:

Roctest, the leading manufacturer of geotechnical and structural monitoring instrumentation, has been in operation since 1967. In 2006, Roctest acquired Smartec SA, of Switzerland, specializing in the development, production and distribution of structural health monitoring systems using fiber optic technology. FISO Technologies, also in the Roctest family, leads development and manufacturer of fiber optic systems specializing in the aerospace, industrial control, energy and health sectors. Roctest is represented worldwide by an established network of partners in 75 countries.

Roctest products use reliable technologies including vibrating wire and fiber optics. Our products are used in all phases of projects: planning, construction, operation and rehabilitation. Roctest offers custom solutions designed for non-standard requirements and specific needs such as training, installation and maintenance.

Roctest products are found in dams, tunnels, mines, bridges, cliffs, buildings, pipelines, energy plants and LNG. Roctest is the leading manufacturer and distributor of pressuremeters.

Roctest provides topnotch quality service and the highest level of competence and support.

AEG DMV Officers (2017-2019)

Chair:  Drew Thomas, CPG
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
(703) 471-8400

Vice Chair:  Katelyn Foster, PG
GeoStructures, Inc.
(703) 987-4499

Treasurer:  John Garber
ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC
(571) 237-5865

Secretary:  Cheryl Gannon, CPG
(703) 418-3276

AEG: Titus on The Pentagon & FEMA’s 9/11 Search and Rescue Mission

AEG-DMV Members and Friends,

Please join us for the September AEG-DMV Chapter meeting.

RSVP by Monday, Sept. 25!

Meeting Info:

Thursday, September 28, 2017

5:30-8:00 PM

Cooper’s Hawk Restaurant

19870 Belmont Chase Dr, Ashburn, VA 20147

Topic: The Pentagon – September 11th, 2011, FEMA’s Urban Search and Rescue Mission

Presenter: Leo J. Titus, Jr., P.E.,

President, ECS Mid-Atlantic

Mr. Titus was a civilian member of Fairfax County’s Urban Search and Rescue Team (VA-TF1) for 11 years and was one of the Structural Specialists deployed as part of the search, rescue, and recovery mission on September 11, 2001. Mr. Titus’ presentation will be an overview of the involvement of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue teams at the Pentagon from September 11th through September 18th, 2001. There will be an emphasis on the damage to structural members and the shoring process used to stabilize the building during the first several days following the attack.

Please reserve a seat by Monday, September 25!

Two options for RSVP:

1) Reply to Cheryl Gannon ( and plan to pay in person (check or cash) at the meeting, or

2) Use the AEG-DMV website to RVSP and pay online via PayPal ( We are working on updating the website, so please ignore the incorrect dates. Contact Katelyn Foster ( if you have questions regarding the PayPal site.

A special thank you to our meeting sponsor:

Connelly and Associates Drilling Services

Geotechnical, Environmental, and Geothermal Drilling

Service Locations:

– 1513 Tilco Dr, Frederick, MD 21704

– 6882 Wellington Rd, Manassas, VA 20109

If you have questions or trouble viewing this email, please reply to Cheryl Gannon (

AEG Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

Visit for all of the information regarding the symposium and other AEG-DMV events.

Third Annual Environmental and Engineering Geology Symposium

April 7th and 8th, 2017 at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Convened by the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) Chapter and the JMU Student Chapter of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG)

The third annual AEG-DMV spring environmental and engineering geology symposium will be held on the campus of JMU in Memorial Hall. The spring symposium was established to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, allow for students to meet potential employers, and to further the fellowship that exists between geoscientists.  Last year’s symposium was attended by over 50 geo-professionals, academics, and students from five universities. Lasting personal and professional relationships were forged. The Symposium will consist of the traditional poster and oral presentations on Saturday and a half-day field trip is planned on Friday to observe and learn about a cut slope failures on Interstate-64 crossing the Blue Ridge.

Friday, April 7, 2017

12:00 to 5:00 pm– Half-day field trip.  The field trip will involve visiting the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains near where Interstate-64 crosses the mountain where a slope failed in the past and where historical debris flows can be observed in the nearby vicinity.  In addition, a planned stop will also visit an old railroad tunnel that crosses the Blue Ridge and is under the cut slope.  The tunnel is now being converted into a bike trail.  Dr. Scott Eaton and Dr. Yonathan Admassu will discuss the cut slope features and tunnel.  Dr. Steven Whitmeyer, a structural geologist will guide the group to several stops to explain the geology of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Please note the field trip is limited to the first 30 participants that sign up.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

08:00 to 08:30 – Symposium registration and continental breakfast

08:30 to 12:00 – Oral presentations – Memorial Hall, Room 6110

12:00 to 1:00 – Lunch & Poster presentations   Mineral Museum open for viewing

(Lunch provided by the AEG-DMV and JMU Student Chapter)

1:00 to 3:00 – Oral presentations – Memorial Hall, Room 6110

Symposium attendance is open to anyone with an interest in environmental and engineering geology.  Fees are based on your standing within AEG and as detailed below:

  • Student                        $30
  • Member                      $75
  • Non-member              $90
  • Field Trip                     $45

Since overnight travel is likely for some attendees, AEG-DMV has made arrangements with the following hotels:

Holiday Inn Express                            $91 per night (two Queen beds)

3325 South Main Street                      $129 per night (King bed)

Harrisonburg, Virginia

(540) 433-9999                                   4.1 miles south of Memorial Hall


Hampton Inn                                       $134 per night (two Queen beds)

85 University Boulevard

Harrisonburg, Virginia                         2.8 miles east of Memorial Hall

(540) 432-1111

The Symposium will be held in Room 6110, Memorial Hall, located at 395 South High Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.  Parking is available near Memorial Hall, see attached map.

AEG-DMV and the JMU Student Chapter are excited to host this event and look forward to seeing you in Harrisonburg.  To register and pay via Paypal for the symposium, please log onto the AEG-DMV website (   Attendees can also pay by check at time of registration; however, please complete the event sign-up sheet at the bottom of this page, scan it, and return it to the AEG-DMV Spring Geology Symposium e-mail ( for head count purposes.

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General Directions to JMU Memorial Hall

From  I-81, get off at Exit 245 in Harrisonburg onto VA Rt. 253 / Port Republic Road – Maryland Avenue towards the west. After approximately 0.9 mile, turn right onto High Street.  Travel approximately 0.4 mile to the University parking lot on the left.