April 2015

Geotechnical Engineering: Impacting Human & Socio-Economic Development

Status: This seminar has been cancelled due to low registration.
Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Time: 8:30 AM-9:00 AM: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM-5:00 PM: Geotechnical Engineering: Impacting Human & Socio-Economic Development
(Lunch will be provided)

Location: Vancouver, BC
Presenter: Dr. Lionel Jackson, P.Geo., FGC
Dr. Fernando Muñoz Carmona
Credit: 7 Formal Professional Development Hours (PDH)
Cost: Early Bird Price Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member: $399.00 + GST = $418.95 until Mar 18, 2015

Engineers and Geoscientists BC Member and EIT/GIT Regular Price: $474.00 + GST = $497.70

Non-Member Price: $474.00 + GST = $497.70

Student Member Price: $237.00 + GST = $248.85
Please Note: *A minimum number of registrations are needed by March 18, 2015 to proceed with this seminar. Please register early to avoid cancellation.
**All prices are subject to applicable taxes.
Contact: Ailene Lim | Professional Development Coordinator
Direct: 604.412.4899
Toll Free: 1.888.430.8035 ext.4899
Fax: 604.639.8180
Email: [email protected]
Effective communication and dissemination of geoscience and geotechnical reports are rightly considered hallmarks of effective professionals in these disciplines. The importance of conveying in an objective and clear manner the knowledge and information engineers and geoscientists generate cannot be understated. Techniques for improving writing and presentations means are widely available through professional development seminars and university and web-based courses. However, what is commonly lacking with respect to geoscience and geotechnical communication is an approach where the effectiveness of the communication exercise is discussed in terms of the actual impacts the engineering and geoscience products specifically have on their users/clients.

This is particularly apparent in the developing world where technically excellent investigations often are not implemented and end up gathering dust with the consequent waste of time and resources. Even worse, the issues for which the studies were originally proposed remain unaddressed and unsolved. One of the reasons for this situation, in the context of the developing world, is the misconception that completing high quality work and conveying it in a clear fashion to the public or authorities who have requested them constitute the successful completion of a project. What experience has shown is that, on many occasions, without the proper articulation with other fields of knowledge and access to resources, the technical report does not go beyond a mere document for “future reference.”
Implementation of information and knowledge takes place in particular social, political, regulatory, and infrastructure capacity contexts: these aspects are key when transforming technical investigation, writing and reporting efforts into particular actions that eventually lead to positive human and social impacts.  “Adding value” to the geotechnical/engineering product means incorporation and articulation of additional knowledge and resources (e.g., human, financial). In this way, the original technical report is transformed into a series of actions which will impact and change the previous conditions for which a particular report/study was commissioned.
This short course will present general communication concepts, approaches and techniques for the application and implementation of geotechnical engineering knowledge. Topics will include:
1. General concepts of communication, levels of communication, message content, types: verbal-non-verbal, functions, communication medium types.
2. Communicating engineering knowledge for human and social transformation and impact:
2.1 The financial, human and social costs of non-implemented engineering information/knowledge solutions. Cases will be drawn from the developing world and we will explore why this happens.
2.2 Contexts where communication occurs:
-Knowledge (Technical, Social)
2.3 Communication approach:
-Communication for transforming (example ‘the college kid’)
2.4 Stakeholders/Shareholders
2.4.1 Definition/identification
2.4.2 Engagement:
-Levels (external communication-consultation-participation-negotiation-consent)
-Roles (knowledge generators-solution proponents-solutions implementers).
-Articulating process
  • Identification of barriers/constraints (e.g., lack of knowledge, political willingness, regulatory framework, implementation resources). SWOT analysis.
  • Proposing the actual pertinent/feasible solutions.
  • Accessing and articulating resources for solutions and implementations
2.5 Process documentation and divulgation information for/by/with the users/beneficiaries of the geotechnical knowledge.
4-Successful and not-so-successful examples.

 Target Audience
This course will be of interest to engineers and geoscientist conducting projects in the developing world including geohazard investigations, mineral development and general infrastructure development.
The Instructors
Dr. Fernando Muñoz Carmona
F. Munoz Carmona is a geoscientist with over 30 years of expertise in research, administration, consulting and, project management with government and private organizations mostly within the energy and mines sectors. During his tenures he has been responsible for the implementation of geoscience information (hazards/risks/resources) management projects in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, United States and Venezuela. Since 2009, he has been involved with the identification and development of renewable energy/geothermal resources in Southern Peru with strong emphasis on securing community, government, geothermal companies’ engagement and land/resource access. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geology, a M.Sc. with emphasis in geophysics/seismology and a Ph.D. in Human Communication. His dual training and experience in geosciences and human communication has shaped his understanding of the relationship between humans and their geological surroundings. This knowledge has assisted him when articulating means and resources for effective Earth’s resource management, risk reduction and positive social transformation.
Dr. Lionel E. Jackson P.Geo., FGC
Lionel Jackson has worked as a petroleum geologist in the Canadian oil industry, as a hydrologist with the United States Geological Survey and as a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). He retired from GSC in 2009 after 34 years of research and service to that organization. He continues his work with GSC as an Emeritus Scientist. He has served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences and a lecturer in the Resources Management Program at Simon Fraser University since 1987 and as a sessional instructor at Douglas College. He was a pioneer and is a continuing authority in recognition and evaluation of debris flow hazards in the Canadian Cordillera. He has investigated debris flow and rock avalanche hazards in western Canada, California, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. He led an expedition on behalf of the United Nations and GSC to the Republic of Seychelles in 2005 to investigate the effects of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami on that island nation. He recently completed a research project evaluating evidence concerning landslide-induced-tsunami hazards in coastal fjords of British Columbia.

View the full listing of events sponsored and organized by other groups.
Contact Professional Development
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 604.430.8035
Toll-free: 1.888.430.8035
View our career listings or place an employment ad.
Presentations for Post-Secondary Students
Andrea Michaud
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 604.412.4860
Presentations for High School Students
Chelsea Smith
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 604.412.4892
See the various opportunities to volunteer with Engineers and Geoscientists BC and in your community.