South Coast Geological Society



South Coast Geological Society Newsletter

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Meeting Date: Monday, June 4, 2018

Guest Speaker: Mr. Tom Bourque, P.E.   

Topic:  And When the Landfill Swims with the Fishes

The City of Port Angeles Landfill is located adjacent to Olympic National Park on the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Washington State. Three solid waste cells (west, middle, and east) located behind and within the 135-foot sea bluff had been closed for 20 years as new cells were constructed and operated behind (inland of) them. Bluff and seaward cell slope failures resulted in refuse discharging onto the beach, precipitating a 300-foot seawall to stabilize the west and middle cells in the mid-2000s. Subsequently changed wave dynamics off the sea wall eventually threatened the middle and east cells. Accelerated bluff erosion through block failures and wave erosion penetration into the east cell had reduced the seaward bluff wall thickness from the original 100 feet (back from the “edge” of the bluff) to as narrow as ten feet. Bluff erosion was also changing due to increasing storm intensity and higher high tide levels, commonly attributed to climate change observations. New cell configurations were developed based on slope stability, seismic loading, groundwater conveyance, projected bluff erosion patterns into the landfill site, and new landfill cover system approaches. The tallest mechanically reinforced earth wall ever built in Washington State was constructed, including being integrated into the new solid waste landfill cover system. Construction in 2014-15 occurred on the beach, within the bluff, and within the landfill site. In addition, endangered species were a significant issue. Stream and beach control and restoration were required due to several species including salmon and Taylor Blackback Butterflies. Three tribes participated in the project as well as the City of Port Angeles, Washington Department of Ecology, Army Corps of Engineers, US EPA, state resources agencies, and several community groups. This project was the largest solid waste relocation project ever undertaken in Washington State history.

Click Here to RSVP for the Meeting!

In this edition:

  • Meeting Information
  • Presidents Corner
  • Membership Drive
  • Corporate Sponsors
  • May Meeting Highlights
  • Job Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events
  • Other Announcements
  • Additional Links
  • Geology Fun
  • Ways to Support SCGS

Social Hour: 6:00 PM
Dinner: 6:30 PM
Talk: 7:30 PM
Holiday Inn Express San Clemente North
35 Via Pico Plaza
San Clemente, CA 

Member $30
Non-Member $35
Student/Prof. $15

Dinner Menu:
Blackened Chicken over Bowtie asiago, gorgonzola, parmesan, Braised Beef with Penne goat cheese, roasted portobello, Roasted Vegetables, Organic Baby Greens Salad, Brownies & Lemon Bars, Ice Tea, Water & Coffee


Kurtis Mr.  Tom  Bourque,  P.E.
Vice President \ Project Engineer
 Environmental  Engineering  Practice  Director of Geotek


Speaker Information:
Tom Bourque is a Principal and Environmental Engineering Practice Director at GeoTek with over 25 years of experience as a project engineer and manager on environmental and civil engineering projects. His experiences include Superfund, solid and hazardous waste landfills, contaminated community redevelopment, contaminated surface and groundwater collection and treatment systems, flood control, and environmental restoration. He was the Project Manager and Engineer-of-Record for the Port Angeles Landfill Cell Stabilization and Protection Project.

Holiday Inn Express Directions:
From I-5 South: (Orange/LA County Members) 
TAKE EXIT 76 for Avenida Pico. TURN RIGHT onto E. Avenida Pico. Keep in the left lane and TURN LEFT (at the first light) onto Via Pico Plaza. Keep in the left lane and TAKE A RIGHT at the end of the street, and follow the street UP THE HILL. The Holiday Inn Express will be on the right. 

From I-5 North: (San Diego Members)
TAKE EXIT 76 for Avenida Pico. TURN LEFT onto E. Avenida Pico. Keep in the left lane and TURN LEFT (at the second light) onto Via Pico Plaza. Keep in the left lane and TAKE A RIGHT at the end of the street, and follow the street UP THE HILL. The Holiday Inn Express will be on the right. 


  Presidents Corner 

Hello South Coast Geological Society,

Thanks to all who came out to see Kurtis Burmeister’s engaging talk that covered multiple disciplines and a beautiful field site. I hope to hear an update in a few years.

As discussed in the May newsletter and meeting, a group of dedicated South Coasters has been working on updates the Society’s Bylaws. While the current Bylaws have been sufficient to date, the changes are focused in two main areas. The first has been to format them in a manner that is more consistent with today’s governance standards. The other substantial change has been to include a board of directors that would provide oversight of the Society by having longer-term leadership to assist the officers.

Based on feedback from some of the membership, I will be sending out a summary presentation of the major elements and changes. Also, if the Society ratifies the changes, please be prepared to nominate members to the board of directors.

The annual joint SCGS/SDAG meeting will be on Monday June 4th with talk from Tom Bourque of GeoTek. We are all very excited to hear about the large sea wall construction project on the ocean bluffs in Washington State for a City of Los Angeles landfill.

For those looking for additional time in the field, Thom Davis of the Geologic Maps Foundation and a past SCGS speaker, is putting on a Highway 33 Structural Transect Plus Petroleum Geology of the Ventura & Cuyama Basins trip on June 2nd, there is still space available. For more info see his website through the link below.

Please join us for our July 9th meeting for a talk from Philip Hughes, Santa Ana College’s Geology Department Chair regarding a recent student trip to Alaska.

And finally a reminder that on Sunday June 10th SCGS will host another Hike and Brew featuring a hike through the Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve and a stop at the San Pedro Brewing Company after.


Ben Lewis
2018 President

2018 Draft of Updated SCGS Bylaws
Highway 33 Structural Transect Plus Petroleum Geology of the Ventura & Cuyama Basins Trip

Ben Lewis, SCGS President


Your membership in 2017 allowed SCGS to host stellar field trips, provide over $2,000 in student scholarships, and improve the society in many ways. South Coast Geological Society raises our annual budget through private contributions, so your membership is essential for us to continue the society, make improvements, provide phenomenal meetings, host field trips, and award student scholarships. To support the goals of SCGS we are asking for your membership renewal for 2018.


A membership to South Coast Geological Society has many benefits including discounted meeting and field trip costs, exclusive field trips and events, and more! 
We welcome you to join SCGS, one of the largest, most active Geological Societies in Southern California. 

Membership Costs:
Professionals: $35 / year
Students: Free

Click Here for the Membership Form!

South Coast Geological Society Corporate Sponsorship

SCGS greatly appreciates our Corporate Sponsors! Corporate sponsorship allows SCGS to host stellar field trips, provide annual scholarships, and publish guidebooks. There are four Corporate Sponsorship Levels: DIAMOND ($1,000+), GOLD ($500+), SILVER ($250+), and BRONZE ($100+).


Click Here to Become a Corporate Sponsor!


We had an excellent showing of longtime and new members!

Kurtis Burmeister, Ph.D. provided us with an excellent presentation on Sierra Nevadas titled: Welcome to Jurassic arc resolving the hidden parts of Sierra Nevadan history.

Thanks for flying down for SCGS! 

CSUF & CSULB Department of Geological Sciences Graduation
Congratulations to all the CSUF & CSULB Graduates! SCGS Members are looking forward to you joining the workforce! 

CSUF Geology and Earth Science Class of 2018

CSULB Geology and Earth Science Class of 2018

LEFT: Congratulations to SCGS Officer, Jenifer Leidelmeijer for receiving the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Associate Award at the CSUF College of Natural Sciences Awards Banquet.
RIGHT: Congratulations to SCGS Officer, Allison Bieda, for graduating with her Masters in Civil Engineering at the CSUF College of Engineering and Computer Science Commencement. 


Have a Position to Advertise?
Send us your add and we will include it in our newsletter! 

Please click the link below to send us an email

Send us an email


SCGS Hike & Brews
Hiking Coordinator – Garrett Mottle

Sunday, June 10th – Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Hike: Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve
(distance & elevation TBA)
Brew: San Pedro Brewing Company
331 W 6th St, San Pedro, CA 90731

Sunday, August 19th – Pasadena, CA
Hike: Eaton Canyon Falls Trail via Eaton Canyon Nature Center
( 3.5 miles round-trip, 375 feet elevation gain)

Trailhead: 1750 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107
Trailhead coordinates: 34.17832, -118.09663 (34° 10′ 42″N 118° 05′ 47.9″W)
Brew: TBD

Click Here to RSVP – June Hike
Click Here to RSVP – August Hike

South Coast Geological Society Hike+Brew: Whiting Ranch Red Rock Canyon



Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists – So. California
Association for Women Geoscientists – LA/OC Chapter
American Society of Civil Engineers
Coast Geological Society
Groundwater Resources Association of California – So. California
Inland Geological Society
Los Angeles Basin Geological Society
San Diego Association of Geologists
San Joaquin Geological Society
Southern California Paleontological Society


Did you hear the one about the geologist?
 They took their spouse for granite so they left them. 
What do you call a can of pop found in a conglomerate? 
Coca-Cola Clastic


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Copyright © 2018 South Coast Geological Society, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
South Coast Geological Society
P.O. Box 10244
Santa Ana, CA, 92711-0244

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