Due to COVID-19, please stay tuned for updates from our AEG Board Members about future meetings.


Tuesday • January 25th 2021 • 6:30 PM

Virtual: **Zoom Link**

Meeting ID: 833 3188 7306

Passcode: 006652


6:30PM – Virtual Presentation

The Great One: Pretty Rocks Landslide in Denali National Park

Presented by:

Scott Anderson, BCG Engineering

Orion George, Federal Highway Administration

Denny Capps, National Park Service

Ninety years ago, the Denali Park Road was built across Polychrome Pass and the Pretty Rocks Landslide. It was excavated into steep slopes containing permafrost at some depth and built with common cut-fill methods of the time. It probably started moving as soon as it was built, but only in a minor way. By the 1960s the movement was notable but manageable with routine maintenance performed as the road opened in the spring each year. By the 1980s and 1990s, more movement was occurring and yet it was still manageable with innovative (at the time) geosynthetic reinforcements and other means, which Denali National Park and Western Federal Lands constructed. By the 2010’s, the movement was notably more each year – it was clearly accelerating, and doing so alongside a warming climate. Alternate approaches for managing the landslide or avoiding it were being considered, and in 2020 a careful consideration of alternatives, including the risks, impacts, costs, and the need for rapid solution was made and it was determined that bridging the landslide was the best path forward. Investigation and design was underway throughout 2021, when the rate of movement on the slide became unsafe and unsustainable, so the road was closed. The last vehicle drove across Pretty Rocks Landslide on September 2, 2021, but that is not the end. This talk describes the problem and planned solution, including many innovations along the way – all designed to mitigate impacts of the landslide to Denali National Park and the people who wish to enjoy it.

Speaker Bio: Orion George

Orion has a BSc (summa cum laude) from Humboldt State University in Geology (2006) and a Geology MSc from Western Washington University (2012) with 13 years of collective experience working as a geologist. He has worked with Barrick Gold Exploration in Alaska and Nevada supporting grassroots and developmental exploration, as an engineering geologist with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources doing slope stability assessments supporting their timber sale program, and most recently as an engineering geologist with the Federal Highway Administration’s Western Federal Lands Division supporting projects in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska.

Speaker Bio: Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is a Principal Geotechnical Engineer with BGC Engineering in Golden, Colorado. He is a former researcher, professor, consultant and technical leader at the Federal Highway Administration. He is trained as a geologist and engineer at the University of Colorado, Colorado State, and the University of California at Berkeley, and he is a member of the ASCE Geo-Institute and AEG, and is active in these and many other professional organizations.

Speaker Bio: Denny Capps

Denny Capps is a park geologist at Denali National Park and Preserve. Geologic project manager with 20+ years of experience conducting cutting-edge remote sensing investigations, safe fieldwork in remote environments, and robust analyses.

Message from the Chair

Dear AEG Oregon,

A new year-a new wave! I hope you all are faring well, despite the stormy seas.
Now is the time to renew your AEG registration and keep AEG Oregon thriving! We have a great many members in the region- compared to other chapters. And it means we will continue to be an important link in people’s professional networks. I hope you’ll consider renewing or joining as a member. Students enjoy free registration.
Thanks to all that joined us for a deep dive into the history and evolution of geologic understanding of the Missoula Floods and Channeled Scablands by Jim O’Connor. Whether by Zoom or in-person, it was a great talk!
We hope you’ll join us in a few short weeks for our annual joint meeting with our engineer friends, the Oregon ASCE. We are hosting, though virtually, and welcome all to join- please spread the word! (See meeting details in the side bar of this newsletter).
Bravo for continuing to persevere- wherever this newsletter may find you. We welcome any feedback you may have about how AEG Oregon can best serve you. Please reach out to any of the Board members- our contact information is listed below.

Happy Trails,

Nancy Calhoun
AEG Oregon Chapter Chair

Interested in presenting for the oregon chapter?

The Oregon Chapter is looking for great topics and presenters to provide content to share with the chapter. As we continue to navigate the virtual world, we will be holding the next foreseeable meetings through webinars. We currently have opportunities to present in November and December. Please consider presenting your exciting project to the Oregon Chapter. We look forward to hearing from all of you and especially appreciative of those willing to present to the Chapter. If you are interested in presenting please feel free to contact any board member. Our contact information is at the end of the newsletter.

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