AEG Phoenix Dinner, December 6th

Brought to you by: Langan Engineering and Environmental Services, Inc.

We are looking forward to celebrating the holidays and enjoying dinner and a talk at Fates Brewing Company in Scottsdale on December 6th, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

We are excited to welcome Jeff Keaton, Principal Engineering Geologist, of WSP, Inc. to speak on “Engineering Geology: Fundamental Input or Random Variable”.

Jeffrey R. Keaton, P.E.

This topic became a personal research focus as LRFD was expanding to include ground conditions. Geologists and engineers view the world in complementary but different ways. Science seeks to explain all observed details, whereas engineering seeks to design with specific objectives and multiple constraints. National guidance in the United States calls for geotechnical site investigations to be performed by geotechnical engineers and engineering geologists. Site characterization should start with Geologic Models which form the basis for Ground Models (Geologic Models with engineering parameters) and Geotechnical Models (Ground Models with predicted performance based on design parameters). Fundamental geologic variability makes some details unforeseeable. Insufficient geotechnical investigations, faulty interpretations, or failure to portray results understandably can contribute to inappropriate designs or failures. If the geologist does not interpret the geology and explain it clearly, then the engineer will be forced to interpret the geology or ignore it. Incomplete or inaccurate geotechnical site characterization can lead to selection of incorrect models, geotechnical properties, and design values. A suggested Geologic Model Complexity Rating System considers two site components (geologic complexity and terrain) and two field components (geologist competency and level-of-effort) in the scoring scheme used for the Geological Strength Index (GSI) which recognizes the gradational nature of component boundaries

Jeff Keaton is a registered professional engineer and a certified engineering geologist with 50 years of experience in characterizing sites and alignments for design, construction, and condition assessments for a variety of projects on five continents.  He has been employed by large, multinational consulting companies throughout his career, currently Wood Environment & Infrastructure Solutions, Inc.  He was the lead engineering geologist for design of San Diego County Water Authority’s roller compacted concrete Olivenhain Dam and principal investigator of National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 24-29 to develop guidelines for evaluating scour at bridge foundations on rock.  He received AEG’s 2016 Holdredge Award for his 2013 paper “Engineering Geology: Fundamental Input or Random Variable?”  He is Honorary Member and past president of AEG, Fellow of ASCE, GSA, and ABET, past chair of ABET’s Engineering Accreditation Commission, and selected as a GeoLegend by GEOSTRATA (2017).  He has a BS degree in Geological Engineering from University of Arizona, a MS degree in Engineering (Geotechnical) from UCLA, and a PhD degree in Geology from Texas A&M University.

AEG Members: $30
Non-Member: $40
Student: $10
Government: $15
*Includes dinner and 1 drink
Cash/card will be accepted at the door.

AEG Phoenix October 25th Meeting

We are excited to usher in cooler temperatures with good food, beer, and discussion. The meeting will be at Fate’s Brewery in Scottsdale at 6:30 pm.

It is an honor to have Mark Edwards, R.G. from Atlas Technical Consultants for this event. Mr. Edwards will be discussing “Geophysics – Project Risk Reduction, Applications for Site Assessments, and Structural NDE/NDT Studies“. Modern geophysical methods provide standalone data or supplemental data for the interpretation of geologic, buried infrastructure, and/or structural conditions. Goals are risk reduction, target designation, or to obtain information useful to directing ongoing project evaluations.

Mr. Edwards currently is a Principal Geologist/Geophysicist with Atlas Technical Consultants. Mr. Edwards has over 32 years of national and international experience in geophysical and geologic evaluations, geologic resource evaluations, environmental assessments, hydrogeologic evaluations, geologic and geophysical site characterization, environmental remediation, subsurface utility engineering (SUE), and directing geological and geophysical studies for diverse projects. Many projects have been completed while meeting municipal, state, and federal regulatory requirements. A diverse background and wide variety of project experiences allow him to manage and perform geophysical, environmental, and geotechnical aspects of projects. Projects have included schools, medical facilities, power plants, dams, groundwater resource exploration and well siting, water treatment plants, transportation, commercial and residential properties, solar plants, bridges, tunnels, forensics, mineral resources exploration, open pit copper porphyry and gold and silver mines, and military bases.

AEG Members: $30
Non-Member: $40
Student: $10
Government: $15
*Includes dinner and 1 drink
Cash/card will be accepted at the door.

AEG Summer Dinner

We are excited to get out of the heat and cool down in the barrel room at Fates Brewery in Scottsdale on June 28th at 6:30 pm. Andrew Whitsell of Cascade Environmental will be providing great information on sonic drilling & sampling techniques.

Andrew Whitsell, MBA
Andrew Whitsell, Key Accounts Manager
Cascade Environmental, LLC

Andrew Whitsell is a Key Accounts Manager at Cascade Drilling. He joined Cascade in 2015 and has held prior positions as Project Manager and Operations Manager before transitioning into his current role. Andrew started his career in mining, working as a Geologist at Rio Tinto’s Resolution Copper Mine before moving to the upper peninsula of Michigan where he held the roles of underground geologist and project geologist at their Copper/Nickel deposit, Eagle Mine. Andrew is a licensed driller in Idaho, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and holds a licensed operator certification in New Mexico. He also holds a blue card for the Mine Safety and Health Administration as a certified trainer.

Andrew received his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Geology from Northwest Missouri State University in 2010 and Master of Business Administration from the University of Arizona in 2017.  Andrew resides in Overland Park, Kansas. In his free time, he enjoys golfing with his wife, Megan, and fly fishing.

AEG Members: $30
Non-Member: $40
Student: $0 (Paid for by Cascade)
Government: $15
*Includes dinner and 1 drink
Cash/card will be accepted at the door.

AEG Phoenix Summer Dinner | June 28th | Arizona AEG (

AEG/GI Student Career Night

Join the Phoenix Chapters of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) and ASCE AZ Geo-Institute (G-I) at the 15th Annual Student Night on March 29th, 2022 from 5:30-8:30pm at Arizona State University.

It is a great opportunity to grow your network and meet with likeminded individuals!

If you are interested in sponsoring, or attending the event as an industry individual, please sign up at the link below:

AEG-GI Annual Student Geo Career Fair at ASU (

AEG Phoenix Spring Kick-Off

Thursday March 3, 2022 6:30 PM

We will be kicking off the year in-person at one of our favorite places, Fates Brewing Company in Scottsdale. There are a lot of exciting changes happening that we would like to update you on and we have a fantastic speaker lined up!

Ashley Herndon – VP of Adams Contracting, Inc

Profile photo of Ashley Herndon


Ashley Herndon, Vice President of Operations for Adams Contracting, Inc.  Adams Contracting provides drilling, blasting, rockfall and slope stabilization services throughout the state of Arizona. Ashley joined the company in 2008 as an administrator.  Having taken an interest in learning the business and dynamics of the trade work, she began perusing through plans, going on site walks, she eventually moved into the responsibilities of estimator and project manager. Using learned skills, Ashley now oversees the Operations of the company itself.  Still honing in on learning techniques to help elevate her education in her area of expertise, she continues to attend slope stabilization workshops, even having traveled to Switzerland to attend the geo-summit. Projects highlights include drilling and blasting single boulders to mass excavation, monitoring crews repelling off 300’ cut slopes, delegating crews to helicopter to cell tower sites and working remote access locations to install rockfall mitigation components.

AEG Members: $30
Non-Member: $40
Student: $10
Government: $15
*Includes dinner and 1 drink
Cash/card will be accepted at the door.

AEG/GI Career Fair 2021

Please join the Phoenix Chapters of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists (AEG) and ASCE Geo-Institute (G-I) at the 14th annual student night on April 6th, 2021 from 4-8pm.


4:00 pm – start event and announcements

4:15 pm – webinar Deirdre Gilmore: “What they don’t teach you in college”

5:00 pm – Industry lightning talks

6:00 pm – Student- industry mixer and interviews

8:00 pm – End of the event

Register Now by clicking this link!

This will be an online event, with a webinar by Deirdre Gilmore about: “What they don’t teach you in college“.

About Deirdre Gilmore: 

For over 21 years Deirdre has focused on business/marketing planning, strategic project pursuits, and supporting professional consulting firms, aka architects/engineers/contractors (A/E/C) by implementing the tactics needed for success. When she started in A/E/C it became quickly clear that while technical staff (that’s you) are excellent at your respective crafts, none of you had been taught the skills it takes to be successful in you careers beyond the technical expertise. And thus, a training career was added to teach the soft skills required to success in the consulting business. In addition to training hundreds of A/E/C professionals each year, Deirdre is the President & Lead Strategist at TankGirl Marketing. Whether it is creating and implementing a strategic vision, or digging deep to win a specific project, she ensures firms are ready for battle with the right strategy to execute the plan.

The webinar is followed by a series of short pitches in which the geo-engineering companies attending the event will introduce their company and share their working experience as geo-engineers.

Afterwards there is opportunity for students with an interest in geo-related engineering disciplines to learn how diverse the geo-engineering field is and what types of positions are available as a professional. Students have the opportunity to meet with professionals for reconnaissance interviews for the students and lightening talks by professionals. This is also a night for professionals to meet students and learn what they are studying and what they hope to do once they graduate. Don’t miss out on this terrific networking opportunity!                                

The event will be held online. The link will follow shortly upon registration. For companies wanting to sponsor a virtual booth at the event, the cost is $200 per booth (or $150 for government agencies) which will include admission for two representatives. Companies represented with a table will also have sponsorship recognition in a slideshow and have there logos included on the announcement. Please contact Leon van Paassen at AEG at 480-479-7116 with questions, or email I look forward to enjoying this career fair with you! 


Leon van Paassen

AEG email at: 480-479-7116

February 25, 2021: Dr. Steve Reynolds, Virtual Meeting

Mesozoic evolution of western Arizona and southeastern California

Abstract: Western Arizona occupies key segment of the North American cordillera. It represents the transition between subduction-related magmatism to the southwest with the stable continental platform to the northeast. Exploratory geologic mapping of mountain ranges in western Arizona led to the discovery of a key sequence of early Mesozoic rocks that record the arc-platform transition in space and time. The sequence correlates with well-known Mesozoic units on the Colorado Plateau, as verified by detrital zircon geochronology. It also records a previously unknown early Mesozoic uplift event. The Mesozoic rocks, along with underlying Paleozoic units, are spectacularly deformed by overturned folds and ductile thrust faults of the Maria Fold and Thrust Belt.


Reynolds is a professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, where he has taught Physical Geology, Structural Geology, Advanced Field Geology, Orogenic Systems, Cordilleran Regional Geology, Teaching Methods in the Geosciences, and others. He helped establish the ASU Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (CRESMET) and was president of the Arizona Geological Society. He has authored or edited more than 200 geologic maps, articles, and reports, including the 866-page “Geologic Evolution of Arizona.” He has authored three innovative textbooks for introductory college geoscience courses: “Exploring Geology,” “Exploring Earth Science,” and “Exploring Physical Geography.” He also coauthored “Structural Geology of Rocks and Regions,” a widely used structural geology textbook and “Observing and Interpreting Geology, a Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology.” His current geologic research focuses on structure, tectonics, stratigraphy, detrital-zircon provenance studies, and mineral deposits of the Southwest, including northern Mexico. For nearly 20 years, he has done science-education research on student learning in college geology courses, especially the role of visualization. He was the first geologist with his own eye-tracking laboratory, where he and his students have researched student learning, demonstrating that students learn more when using materials with integrated text and figures compared to material in traditional textbooks. Steve is known for innovative teaching methods, has received numerous teaching awards, and has an award-winning website. He was a National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) distinguished speaker, and he travels across the country presenting talks and workshops on how to infuse active learning and inquiry into large introductory geoscience classes. He is commonly an invited speaker to national workshops and symposia on active learning, visualization, and teaching methods in college geoscience courses. He has been a long-time industry consultant in mineral, energy, and water resources and environmental issues, and has received outstanding alumni awards from UTEP and the University of Arizona.

President’s Professor Steve Reynolds’s body of work on the geology of Arizona and surrounding regions of the North American Cordillera is, put simply, unmatched—encompassing his graduate work at UA, his years with the Arizona Geological Survey, and his tenure as a revered faculty member here at Arizona State University. In addition to numerous published papers, reports, and geologic maps, Steve’s ubiquitous products on Arizona geology include the widely cited volume Geologic Evolution of Arizona and the State Geological Map of Arizona. Arizona geology also flavors the many innovative geoscience textbooks and lab manuals Steve has authored. His research spans tectonics, structural geology, stratigraphy, geochronology, groundwater and environmental geology, mineral deposits, and geoscience education. Steve has shared his incredible expertise in the field and in the classroom with generations of ASU Geological Science and SESE students (and colleagues!) and has mentored many successful MS and PhD students. -Dr. Steve Semken

More resources:

Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures: Workshop, Field Trip & Social

We are pleased to host the final meeting of the UNESCO-IGCP641 Project regarding land subsidence and earth fissuring in Arizona and the Southwest! The meeting will take place November 4-6, 2019 at Arizona State University’s Tempe Campus. 

Monday, November 4th:

We will be holding an IGCP641 Board and local experts meeting. This meeting is by invitation only. You will be contacted individually to join this meeting.

Tuesday, November 5th: Land Subsidence/Earth Fissures Workshop

RSVP for the Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures Workshop by CLICKING HERE. This event will be limited to 200 attendees. Registration and payment through PayPal is required prior to the event, cash or credit will not be accepted onsite.

There is a great series of presentations running throughout the day. For a full list of those presenting and other details, CLICK HERE. The workshop will run from 8:00am to 5:00pm in the Memorial Union Ventana Room, 214BC. Breakfast and lunch will be provided, with coffee, lemonade, water, and snacks available throughout the day. Vegan and Vegetarian options will be available. Everyone is on their own for dinner, but we highly encourage collaborating with those you know and meet at this workshop!

Wednesday, November 6th: Land Subsidence/Earth Fissures Field Trip

RSVP for the Land Subsidence and Earth Fissures Field Trip by CLICKING HERE. This event will be limited to 65 participants. Registration and payment through PayPal is required prior to the event, cash or credit will not be accepted onsite.

This field trip is a great opportunity for those seeking to observe three local areas of interest, with demonstrations on how earth fissures affect structures, and methods to detect fissures. For a listing of field trip activities, in addition to parking and other details, CLICK HERE.

The field trip will run from 8:00am to around 3pm. We will meet at the Gammage Theater parking lot near the Memorial Union on Tempe campus at 8:00am to get on a charter bus to visit 3 areas of interest. These areas are within the Phoenix metropolitan area, so long bus rides are not expected. Please remember to wear appropriate footwear and clothing. We will not be doing anything strenuous, but will be walking on dirt roads for short periods of time under the sun. There will be water and snacks available, but please bring anything else you require to make this trip comfortable and enjoyable. Lunch will be provided and will eat in the field during our field trip. Vegan and Vegetarian options will be available. Once we get closer to the time, we will reach out for lunch orders. 

To conclude the day and the final meeting of the UNESCO-IGCP641 project, we will be holding a social event after the field trip on November 6th from 7pm to 10pm at Fate Brewing Company, Scottsdale: 1312 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85257. Dinner and drinks will be provided, with additional drinks and items available for purchase from the bar menu. We will have some brief closing statements and plan to spend the evening celebrating and socializing together. It should be a blast, and we look forward to seeing you! RSVP for the November 6th social event by CLICKING HERE. Cash or credit payment will also be accepted at the door.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Danielle Smilovsky (AEG contact): or Brian Conway (IGCP641 contact):

Fall Meeting: Oct. 15, 2019

AEG 2019 Fall Social at GSA

The Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists welcomes the public to attend our social event on Monday, September 23rd, 2019. We are excited to have the 2018-2019 Jahn’s Distinguished Lecturer- Deborah Green speaking on a topic relating to applied geology. Please click to RSVP here, payment will not be accepted at the door! There will be food and drinks offered throughout the event. This social will be held outside of GSA conference hours, thus a GSA pass is not required for entry.

Date and Time: Monday, September 23rd, 2019 from 5:00 to 8:30pm

Location: Phoenix Convention Center- North Building, Room 226 ABC

Food Selection (Free with ticket)

  • Southwestern chicken skewer, cilantro creme
  • Chipotle steak skewers, onion poblano, red pepper
  • Chacuterie board
  • One drink ticket per person, cash bar afterwards

Biography of Jahns Distinguished Lecturer- Deborah Green

I’ve worked as an environmental and engineering geologist for 34 years in consulting and industry. For more than 20 of those years I’ve been self-employed. I discovered my love for geology as a kid when my earth science teacher father informally taught me all sorts of things about rocks on our summer camping adventures. I earned a B.S. in geology from the University of Rochester and an M.S. in engineering geology from Texas A&M University.

These days, I spend most of my work time writing. I recently completed my first novel, which is loosely based on a period in my late husband’s life when he was the Chief Foundation Geologist for a large dam in East Central Turkey from the late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. On my website,, you can read essays in which I strive to understand and convey the wonder of the landscape and the complexity of earth processes, while also exploring the terrain of our lives.