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Geohazard Association Newsletter   |   January/February 2018

Webinars schedule announced! See below for more details and
check your membership renewal for a webinar coupon!




With the change of the year has come a new AGHP Executive Council. On behalf of the entire AGHP membership, I would like to extend our thanks to the outgoing council members for their hard work and valuable contributions over the past three years; and, we welcome new and returning members to the Executive Council.

In 2017, the AGHP found great success: membership grew; three webinars (well attended) were held; two new committees were formed; and many of the committees had great progress on their ambitious initiatives. This year looks to be even more promising with many exciting events and deliverables in the works.

As a young association, the AGHP continues to learn and improve its role as a bridge between industry, researchers, and stakeholders. The importance of our work often comes to the public’s attention only after devastating events such as the recent flooding and debris flows in California; but, the continuous efforts of our members to educate, advance knowledge and technology, and support government policy for safety and geohazard awareness helps save lives.

Your continued support of the Association of Geohazard Professionals is highly appreciated, and your involvement in the committees is of utmost importance to the Association and the communities we live in.


Ahren Bichler
President, Association of Geohazard Professionals


  • President   |   Ahren Bichler, Trumer N.A.
  • Vice President   |   Colby Barrett, GeoStablization International
  • Secretary   |   Pierce Runnels, Geobrugg
  • Treasurer   |   Mike Koutsourais, Maccaferri
  • Individual Member Representative   |   Martin Derby, Golder Associates Inc.
Learn more about the incoming Board of Directors


Quite early in his childhood, Todd Hansen became captivated by the natural world and its threats. He was heavily influenced by people in the timber industry, spent summers employed as a “professional arsonist” fighting wildfires, and was finally introduced to the field of geohazards. In our January/February 2018 Member Profile, Hansen discusses what keeps him fired up in his work, the extraordinary complexity of thought demonstrated by scalers who can read a loose rock pile, and one of the issues that is closest to him in his involvement with AGHP: rope access safety.

Click here to learn more about Todd Hansen.


BGC Engineering Inc. (BGC) is an earth sciences consulting firm that specializes in addressing engineering and environmental issues in challenging terrain, with much of our work focusing on geohazard risk management. AGHP offers great opportunities for BGC to collaborate with all sides of the geohazard risk management field to help move our profession forward.

Click here to learn more about BGC Engineering Inc. (BGC)


The Board of Directors would like to formally welcome the newest members of the Association of GeoHazard Professionals:
  • Scott McDougall from the University of British Columbia, Dept. of Earth, Oceans and Atmospheric Sciences
  • Kevin McCoy from the Colorado Geological Survey
  • David Burger from Cal Engineering & Geology
  • Paul Schwering from Olson Engineering, Inc.
  • Matthew Morris from Gannett Fleming, Inc. / GeoBuild, LLC
  • Massimo Ciarla from MC5 Consulting Group Inc.
  • Matthias Busslinger from Tetra Tech Canada Inc.


On January 10, representatives from the AGHP’s Monitoring & Instrumentation committee met with Congressman Doug Lamborn for about an hour to discuss the future of geohazard monitoring program. The meeting provided the AGHP members with a good perspective. The committee, based on some very positive feedback from the Congressman and his staff, will begin to chart a path for active pursuit of such a program. We are very grateful to the Congressman and staff for spending time with us, and we look forward to continuing the relationship to work toward a sustainable and viable program to support public safety and the protection of community assets.

Click here to learn more about Bill H.R.4776 — National Landslide Loss Reduction Act.

AGHP Membership renewals are due. Remember each member will receive a coupon code for one free webinar!


AGHP Committees met in Washington, DC during the 97th Annual TRB Meeting. Committees held working meetings and set goals for 2018. Everyone is highly encouraged to join a committee and get involved at a deeper level.

Please review our committees below and sign up today!
  • Anchor testing   |   Chaired by David Wood   |   Currently drafting an anchor testing guideline
  • Debris Flow Hazard Mitigation   |   Chaired by Dr. Clarence Choi   |   The newest AGHP committee!
  • Education and Marketing   |   Chaired by Frank Amend   |   Offering a full year of webinars
  • Geohazard Monitoring and Instrumentation   |   Co-Chaired by Martin Derby and John Metzger   |   Meeting with Congressional members to discuss the future of geohazard monitoring
  • Post Support System   |   Chaired by Tim Shevlin   |   Case study submissions needed
  • Rope Access   |   Co-Chaired by John D. Duffy and Marc Fish   |   Safety recognitions, slope safety assessments, and more
  • Standards & Specifications   |   Chaired by Ghislain Brunet   |   Testing test methods for mesh


Presented annually to recognize outstanding achievement and efforts in the rope access safety programs of AGHP Member companies. An AGHP Rope Access Safety Recognition will be awarded to the company or companies with the lowest TRC rate, with a minimum combined 85-point score in leading and trailing safety indicator categories.

Please visit the Rope Access Committee page for more information.


The AGHP committee on Post Base Support and Anchorage has worked for three years on the topic of efficient design and construction of post base supports for flexible-net geohazard mitigation systems. A milestone was reached at the end 2016 with the writing and submission of a TRB Research Needs Statement through the Engineering Geology committee on this topic. We are continuing this year with the collection of examples from real-world post base support and anchor systems and an evaluation of their performance following impacts. The data set will be integral in establishing appropriate state-of-the-art guidelines that will help engineers and contractors select efficient and cost-effective designs relevant to their projects. In this endeavor, we invite you to submit examples of installed systems that have been impacted by an event and which showcase the performance of the post base support anchorage, whether good or poor performance. Please complete as many of the fields as possible to help add to this body of knowledge. Information collected will not be made public. Please visit the Post Support Committee page to learn more and submit your case study!


Mark your calendars! More information to come. Please email info@GeohazardAssociation.org if you’d like to attend a webinar. All AGHP members will receive a coupon code to attend one free webinar!
  • February   |   RocScience
  • April   |   Monitoring & Instrumentation
  • June   |   Post Support Design
  • August   |   Rope Access
  • October   |   Debris Flow and Hazard Mitigation
  • December   |   Anchor Testing


The Debris Flow Hazard Mitigation committee was established in the latter part of 2017. This committee focuses on bringing together experts to enhance the current of state of understanding in debris flow mitigation. Members are from industry and research institutions, and bring about a broad range of expertise, including physical and numerical modelling, risk and consequence analysis, disaster management, field monitoring, design, manufacturing, standards and testing, planning, and public policy and education. This committee includes members from more than ten countries, including Austria, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States.

The committee has established a debris flow library, which comprises international design guidelines, and journal and conference papers to serve the committee. Also, the committee is progressively working to provide summaries of design guidelines. Finally, the committee is dedicated to launching a landslide information system, via smartphone application, that will be used to develop the world’s first international landslide data base.

The committee conducts regular monthly meetings where invited talks are delivered to share innovations, new findings and developments with each other. Members of the committee touch-base at international conferences and workshops. The committee has an in-person meeting annually (first kick-off meeting in Canmore, Alberta, Canada at the 7th Canadian Geohazards Conference).

Select geohazard events/opportunities and AGHP committee and board conference call schedules are listed below.
NOTE: Participation in the conference calls is limited to the applicable committee or board members. Please contact
info@GeohazardAssociation.org for additional details and how to join a call.




© 2018 Association of Geohazard Professionals

The Association of Geohazard Professionals (AGHP) provides resources and mechanisms to elevate the state of practice and the reach of the geohazard marketplace.

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