11-04-2015 JLTGG: The Big One (EQ) Workshop

About the Workshop

Surviving the Really Big One – A JLT Earthquake and Tsunami Preparedness Workshop

The Jefferson Land Trust Geology Group presents a special workshop on “Surviving the Really Big One” on November 14, 2015.

This earthquake and tsunami workshop was created in response to the July 20th article in the New Yorker Magazine, which has received lots of attention both locally and throughout the Pacific Northwest. However, those with a background in geology may have felt that many of the claims in this article were exaggerated or not well founded.

Michael Machette, the organizer of this event, said “as a geologist and leader of the Land Trust’s Geology Group, I have a big appreciation for how a region’s geology shapes landscape and life over long stretches of time. And as a Land Trust board member, I’m thinking about perpetuity–about life and land in Jefferson County for 50, 100, 200+ years into the future. We know massive earthquakes like this are a feature of our region, so I wanted to bring a panel together to focus our thinking on the longer-term hazards and help our community sustain itself into future.”

About the Speakers

Toward these ends, Machette has assembled a team of local and regional experts for this workshop.  Presenters will take you from the Magnitude 9 earthquake and tsunami’s source to the local effects with a focus on the Port Townsend area.

Renowned earthquake geologist Brian Atwater (USGS) will discuss the anticipated earthquake and its source. Hazard geologists Tim Walsh (DNR) and Carrie Garrison-Laney (UW) will cover tsunamis (both real and modeled).  Getting into the effects of a large quake, structural engineer Cale Ash (Degenkolb-Seattle) will discuss building response and structural solutions to tsunamis and ground shaking, and Emergency Planner Bob Hamblin of Jefferson County will talk about what it will be like to live through the Really Big One and what you should have done to prepare for it.  The workshop will be from 2:30-5 pm on Saturday, Nov. 14 at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Foundation (QUUF) at 2333 San Juan Road in Port Townsend. This event is both a community service and a fundraiser for the Land Trust, so a portion of your $40 ticket price is tax deductible.

02-28-2015 Wendy Gerstel: Bluff retreat

About the Talk

Bluff Retreat—What to do about the “Law of Averages”

Options for addressing coastal erosion and landslide hazards vary as much as do the combinations of bluff composition and the coastal processes acting on them. For this reason, owners, both private and public, of bluffs along Puget Sound need to consider site conditions and their geologic and geographic setting when deciding how or whether to take action to counter slope retreat. On Saturday, February 28th, Wendy Gerstel will offer insights into what must be considered for long-term adaptation to natural geologic processes and will provide a few site-specific examples of geotechnical investigations and how these relate to the broader context of unstable slopes around Puget Sound. She will discuss how and why to be clear on objectives and manage expectations for any actions taken. Wendy will touch on the rules, tools, and options that apply to living with geologic hazards associated with bluffs, and on gaining the necessary resilience we need to take on associated risks.

About the Speaker

Wendy (on the right in photo) is a licensed Engineering Geologist and Hydrogeologist and owner and principal scientist of Qwg Applied Geology, a small woman-owned business she established in 2005. She has over 30 years of experience working with Federal, State, and local jurisdictions, Tribes, non-profit groups, and private landowners throughout the U.S. and extensively in the Pacific Northwest.  Since 1992 Wendy has provided coastal geologic, geomorphic, and hydrogeologic input to a range of research, mapping, mitigation, and restoration projects. She obtained a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of New Hampshire in 1980 and her MSc. in Geology from Humboldt State University, California, in 1989.

10-03-2015 Paul Loubere: Rising Sea-Level

About the Talk

Paul Loubere will present a lecture titled Rising Sea-Level: Causes, Predictions, and Coastal Impact.  This topic should be of great interest to those that live at or near sea level.

The basic message is that “Sea-level is rising and will continue to do so well into the future as global warming proceeds, which leads to a series of basic science questions:

  • What exactly defines sea-level? 
  • It turns out that sea-level isn’t very level, why not?
  • How has sea-level varied in the past, and why?
  • What mechanisms control sea-level, and on what scales and time-spans? 
  • What are predictions for sea-level rise in the near future? 
  • What impacts does rising sea-level have on coastlines, such as ours?
  • How might coast-lines change as sea-levels rise? 

Paul Loubere’s talk will examine these questions in a non-technical way to provide perspective on the issues created by rising sea-level for our NW Pacific environment.

About the Speaker


Paul holds a Ph.D. in Ocean Sciences/Marine Geology from the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University.  He was a Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University and is a Professor Emeritus in that Department and the Department of Anthropology. He has over 30 years experience researching global ocean and climate systems.  He has participated on scientific expeditions in much of the world’s oceans from the Arctic to the tropical Pacific. Paul retired from teaching in 2009, moved to Port Townsend, and is on the Geology Group’s Board of Advisors.