Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section Panel Discussions

In an effort to bring a diverse group of stakeholders together to address a focused problem, the SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section will develop three panel discussions.

The panel discussions address identified need. Please join us for dynamic discussions following the afternoon technical sessions.

Challenges of working in the Coastal Zone

15 October 2018
5:30-6:30 PM

Room 204B

The Coastal Zone is one of the most important environments on earth where major cities are heavily populated, and ports and harbors and coastlines include substantial infrastructure necessary for society to survive and enjoy. Because the Coastal Zone spans the region from land to water, there are special requirements for obtaining subsurface information needed to identify and map potential environmental hazards. Site surveys are needed to plan routes for pipelines and other coastal infrastructure, and to locate obstacles for planned construction. Major coastal infrastructure includes energy, transportation, water supply, hydrocarbon production, processing and storage, waste management, and critical defense installations. Due to the difficult data acquisition within the transition zone – where water meets land – the Coastal Zone may be considered the biggest data gap in earth sciences. The Coastal Zone Panel Discussion will examine challenges in obtaining near-surface geophysical data needed for projects in the Coastal Zone. Environmental sensitivity and government regulations to minimize impacts of geophysical surveys in the Coastal Zone will be discussed. Technology available to acquire useful subsurface images for mapping and characterizing subbottom materials will be described. Examples will be presented from the Coastal Zone in California where space for critical infrastructure must be shared with a popular recreational environment. Furthermore, natural hazards including active faults and landslides, earthquakes and liquefiable sediments, storm surge and tsunamis, climate change and sea level rise must be recognized and mitigated through careful planning, design and construction of facilities. Near-surface geophysical data in the Coastal Zone are crucial for successful development and enjoyment of this great resource.

Panelists Background

Moderator: Mark Legg, Legg Geophysical, Inc. President

Dr. Legg received a B.S. in Space Sciences & Mechanical Engineering at Florida Tech, M.S. in Oceanography at UC San Diego (Scripps Institution of Oceanography), and PhD in Geological Sciences at UC Santa Barbara. He had consulted on risk assessment for natural and man-made hazards including earthquakes, tsunamis, and rocket launch hazards; worked at the Tulsa Research Center of Amoco studying marine seismic reflection profiling, is a Participating Scientist with the Southern California Earthquake Center, and has performed numerous coastal and offshore geophysical surveys to investigate subsurface geology and seismotectonics. He has recently been active in coastal zone investigations for desalination plant intakes and other coastal infrastructure development. His research has been published over a wide range of topics including California Continental Borderland geology and tectonics, earthquake hazard and risk assessment, sonic boom and explosive hazards at military installations.

Panelist 1: Richard Greenwood, California State Lands Commission, Geologist, Geophysical Coordinator

Panelist 2: Phillip J. Hogan, PhD, Fugro Consultants, Inc., Senior Principal Engineering Geologist

Panelist 3: Scott Seyfried, CA State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality Groundwater Ambient Monitoring and Assessment Unit Chief

Near-Surface Geophysics Student Career Panel

16 October 2018
5:30-6:30 PM

Room 204B

Industry, academic, and government near-surface geophysics professionals will lead a discussion on their current career paths. Panel members will share their stories of how they rose to the position they are in right now. They will highlight obstacles they encountered and overcame throughout their journey from student to professional providing attendees insight on how they too can prepare for their upcoming careers in near-surface geophysics.
Members of this panel will be near-surface geophysics professionals ranging from early-career to senior scientists to give students a wide array of information and perspectives. The panel will feature members who hold positions as engineering/environmental geophysicists, government researchers, and university faculty.

Panelists Background

Moderator: Sarah Morton Rupert, SEG NSTS Student Program Lead

Sarah Morton Rupert is the Student Program Lead for the SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section. She earned both her B.Sc. in Geoscience and M.Sc. in Civil Engineering from the University of Connecticut and is currently a pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Kansas in Geotechnical Engineering. Her near-surface geophysics career started in 2010 with experience working for the U.S. Geological Survey, Connecticut Geological Survey, Kansas Geological Survey, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sarah identifies as an engineering geophysicist focusing on the application of surface wave seismic methods for engineering and environmental investigations with a special interest in natural hazards and void detection.

Panelist 1: Esther Babcock, President and Chief Geophysicist, Logic Geophysics

Dr. Babcock earned her M.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Arizona and her Ph.D. in Geophysics from Boise State University. Prior to graduate school, Esther served in the Air Force as an officer and pilot, including 62 combat missions in the A-10 in Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom. After her military service, her geophysical work has focused on near-surface investigations for geotechnical and environmental applications, with a specialization in ground-penetrating radar and electrical methods. Dr. Babcock's geophysical field experience spans the globe, from Benin, Africa, to the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic, to the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica. She has been a member of the near-surface geophysical community since 2011 working in both government and industry. Esther currently owns and operates her own geophysical services company, Logic Geophysics & Analytics LLC.

Panelist 2: Kristina Keating, Associate Professor, Rutgers University

Dr. Kristina Keating is an Associate Professor of Near Surface Geophysics in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University, Newark. After completing a Bachelor's of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia in Engineering Physics, she received both a Master’s in Geophysics and a Ph.D. in Earth, Energy, and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University. Dr. Keating's research focuses on using laboratory and field-based nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) measurements to understand processes occurring in the top 100 m's of Earth's surface. Her research spans hydrogeophysics, cryosphere geophysics, biogeophysics, and soil science.

Panelist 3: Adam Mangel, Postdoctoral Fellow, Colorado School of Mines

Dr. Adam Mangel received his B.Sc. in Geology from the SUNY University of Buffalo and both his M.Sc. in Hydrogeology and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Clemson University. After graduate school, he worked for almost two years at AECOM, Inc. as a hydrogeologist focusing on groundwater modelling and environmental data analysis. Now a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Colorado School of Mines, Adam continues to focus on developing geophysical tools and methods. He is hoping to apply these recent developments to advance our understanding of critical zone geometry and processes. This year alone, he has travelled to Alaska to study permafrost, Pagosa Springs, Colorado to study geothermal systems, Italy to study Roman Ruins, and Mount St. Helens to study a natural dam.

Panelist 4: Anthony Martin, Vice President and Technical Director, GEOVision

Anthony Martin has a B.Sc. in Geophysics from the University of British Columbia and an MS in Geology/Geophysics from California State University, Long Beach. His 30+ year career has been in near-surface geophysics spanning environmental, engineering, and groundwater applications. He has spent the last 23 years at GEOVision, a 20+ person near-surface geophysics firm in Southern California. At GEOVision, he is currently the Vice President and Technical Director. Similar to other near-surface geophysicists, Anthony is a generalist with experience applying most types of geophysical methods, but specializes in shear-wave velocity techniques, both borehole (PS Suspension, downhole, crosshole) and surface methods including body wave (shear-wave refraction and reflection) and surface wave techniques (SASW, MASW, array microtremor, HVSR)

Near-Surface Geophysics for Groundwater Management

17 October 2018
5:30-6:30 PM

Room 204B

Improved groundwater management is becoming a critical issue in many parts of the U.S. and the world, owing to competing demands for this depleting resource and increasing threats to groundwater quantity and quality. Near surface geophysical methods can play an important role in evaluating and monitoring this resource and mitigating risks associated with groundwater exploitation.

The purpose of this panel is to bring together a cross-section of stakeholders who can share sector-specific perspectives on groundwater issues, and through interaction with technical experts on the panel, receive feedback on how near surface geophysics, and hydrogeophysics in particular, can address their needs and priorities. The significance of groundwater resources in international development and the role of near surface geophysics in promoting sustainable groundwater practices are also within the scope of this discussion.

Among the topics for discussion are groundwater withdrawals for municipal supply and agriculture use; practices for aquifer depletion mapping and aquifer recharge; and approaches to monitoring and remediation of saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers. Also pertinent to the discussion will be applicable water laws and regulation, including possibly international water law in the case of transboundary aquifers.

The intended outcome of the panel is twofold: 1) to provide sector representatives an informed awareness of geophysical tools that can address their needs with regard to groundwater management; and 2) to facilitate access to potentially expanded market opportunities for geophysical companies and service providers.

Panelists Background

Moderator: John W. Lane, Jr., Chief, Hydrogeophysics Branch, Earth System Processes Division, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

Dr. John W. Lane, Jr. is Chief of the Hydrogeophysics Branch at the U.S. Geological Survey. His research focuses on the development of near-surface geophysical methods for quantitative aquifer characterization with an emphasis on mobile imaging technology and the application of geophysical monitoring methods to assess hydrologic processes. He is a former Chair of the SEG Near-Surface Technical Section and served on the editorial Board of The Leading Edge and Eos and is an Associate Editor for Journal of Hydrology. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in Geology and Geophysics from the University of Connecticut and a PhD in Earth and Environmental Engineering from Columbia University.

Panelist 1: Rosemary Knight, The George L. Harrington Professor of Earth Sciences, Director of the Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management, Stanford University

Dr. Rosemary Knight has worked for over 30 years on the challenge of using geophysical methods to image groundwater systems. Her research ranges from carefully controlled laboratory experiments to large-scale field experiments, all designed to explore new ways of remotely imaging hydrologic properties and processes. In 2008, Dr. Knight founded the Center for Groundwater Evaluation and Management, with the vision of advancing and promoting the use of geophysical methods through the development of partnerships—with real people, in the real world, with real problems. Dr. Knight has been active within the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, serving as Second Vice-President and Distinguished Lecturer, and within the American Geophysical Union, serving as the founding Chair of the Near-Surface Geophysics Focus Group, and as Associate Editor for Water Resources Research and the Journal of Geophysical Research. Current and past students and post-doctoral scientists within her research group all share her commitment to, and enthusiasm for, finding new ways to use geophysical methods to support the sustainable management of our groundwater resources.

Panelist 2: Bill M. AlleyDirector of Science and Technology for the National Ground Water Association (NGWA)

Dr. William Alley, previously served as Chief, Office of Groundwater for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) for almost two decades. Dr. Alley has published over 100 scientific publications, and most recently co-authored with his wife, Rosemarie, High and Dry: Meeting the Challenges of the World’s Growing Dependence on Groundwater. Among other awards, Dr. Alley received the USGS Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievement in Communication and the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award. He holds a B.S. in Geological Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, an M.S. in Hydrogeology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University.

Panelist 3: John Borkovich, California Professional Geologist, California State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality    

John Borkovich received his Bachelor’s in geology from UC Santa Barbara in 1985. From 1986 to 2000, he worked in both the geotechnical engineering and groundwater cleanup sectors. John came to the California State Water Board in 2001 to work in the groundwater protection program. He was unit chief of the brownfields and Department of Defense site cleanup program in 2005 and later led the Groundwater Ambient Monitoring & Assessment (GAMA) Unit from 2006 to 2014. John is currently the Groundwater Monitoring Section Chief that oversees GAMA and oil and gas monitoring activities.

Panelist 4: Timothy Sovich, P.E., Principal Engineer, Orange County Water District

Timothy “Tim” Sovich has been with the Orange County Water District since 1988 and is currently a principal engineer in its hydrogeology department. He holds a key position, creating the annual contour map that is used to calculate amounts of groundwater storage. He built the groundwater basin flow model that is used to predict changes in conditions due to factors such as a drought. In addition, he analyzes seawater intrusion along the coast and was influential in expanding the Talbert Seawater Barrier as part of the Groundwater Replenishment System project.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, a Master of Science degree in civil engineering, with an emphasis in groundwater, from the University of California, Irvine, and is a California-licensed civil engineer.

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  • Opened 1 May 2018
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