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Field Courses

Field Course Disclaimer:

Field courses will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis, and registration will be limited to the number of spaces shown. The indicated minimum and maximum numbers of participants are based on a combination of factors, including transportation, accessibility, and safety at roadside outcrops. Field courses are subject to cancellation if minimum number of registrants is not met. Field course logistics (e.g., schedule, duration, route, transportation, location/number of stops, etc.) are also subject to change. Participants should be prepared for variable weather conditions and hiking on uneven ground.  Field courses will proceed rain or shine. Additional information regarding the logistics of each field course will be provided to the paid registrants by the field course leader(s) at a later date, but well in advance of the course. 


Field Course #1:  Landslides and Engineering Geology in the Columbia River Gorge - SOLD OUT

Crown Point_Looking East_Recent.jpg


Tuesday, 9/19/2023 



Departs at 8:00am and returns at 5:30pm. Departs from the Hotel Lobby.


COURSE LEADERS:  Kate Mickelson and Douglas A. Anderson

COST (per person): $200 per person, $225 after 8/1/23



Minimum 19 ; Maximum 32


Easy walking on slight grades to moderate hiking with steep inclines and declines to view the Washington State Landslides and to hike the trail from the base of Multnomah Falls to the Benson Bridge.  Moderate hiking is optional at both of these sites.

This trip will focus on the geology, waterfalls, landslides, rockfall, and ice-age floods. We will also have stops discussing the history of the historic Columbia River Highway and the 2017 wildfire in the Columbia River Gorge and its impacts to slope stability. Visit iconic vistas such as Chanticleer Point and the Vista House with lunch at the Port of Cascade Locks, directly across from the enormous Bonneville landslide! In the afternoon, we will cross over to the Washington side of the Gorge to visit two giant landslides with historic, spectacular movement.

Field Course #2: Living with Giant Landslides in Portland, Oregon



Tuesday, 9/19/23



Departs at 8:00am and returns at 5:30pm. Departs from the hotel lobby.


COURSE LEADERS:  Charlie Hammond, Tom Westover, Cody Sorensen, Seth Sonnier


COST (per person): $225 per person, $250 after 8/1/23



Minimum 26; Maximum 42

ACTIVITY LEVEL - Up to 14,000 feet of easy walking, possibly 8,000 feet on the optional short-walk route. Urban forest and park pathways and sidewalks where slopes are gentle to moderate with short inclines at moderate to steep grades. The longest walk of approximately 6,000 feet can be optional, which is on portions of the Wildwood Trail and Japanese Garden Trail, leading down to Washington Park and the Rose Garden.

Giant landslides in the Portland metropolitan area have been impacting our infrastructure for decades, one notable case started in the 1890s. The Portland region contains many types of geologic materials, including submarine basalts, continental flood basalts, soil interbeds, volcaniclastic rock, mudstone to sandstone and conglomerate, glacial lake outburst flood deposits, and glacial loess. Tectonic tilting, folding and faulting, combined with various conditions of weathering, decomposition, erosion, and high groundwater often results in landslides. When development is constrained by unstable ground, along with the social and economic factors of the urban area, landslides need to be engineered. These landslides have been regraded and revegetated, as well as drained, buttressed and restrained. Recent ground movements, fresh scarps, tilted trees, etc., are generally not visible anymore.


Field Course #2 is planning to visit three, giant landslides in Portland:

1)    Sellwood Bridge West Approach Landslide (River View Cemetery to the banks of Willamette River)

2)    Zoo-Highlands Landslide (Hoyt Arboretum, MAX Transit Station, Oregon Zoo, to Highway 26)

3)    Washington Park Landslide (Hoyt Arboretum, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, to City of Portland water reservoirs)


Field Course #2 is conceptualized to explore:

·      Site engineering geology conditions

·      Historic impacts

·      Evolution of geologizing and engineering landslides

·      Mitigation measures and monitoring systems

Field Course #3: Scoggins Dam Engineering Geology in the Cascadia Subduction Zone / Networking Opportunity

Scroggins Valley.JPG


Tuesday, 9/19/23



Departs at 8:00am and returns at 3:00pm. Departs from the hotel lobby.


COURSE LEADER: Bryan Simpson and Ray Wells


COST (per person): $125 per person, $175 after 8/1/23



Minimum 24 ; Maximum 46

ACTIVITY LEVEL - Easy, however, the reservoir shoreline can be slippery when wet so we recommend wearing grippy shoes.

Scoggins Dam is a zoned earthen embankment dam located on Scoggins Creek, west of Portland.  It is owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation.  This trip will focus on the site geology with a discussion of the recent geologic/geotechnical field exploration program by Bryan Simpson PG, PE  of Reclamation in support of seismic risk-based design modifications.  This trip will also feature a presentation by Dr. Ray Wells, USGS Research Geologist, an expert on Cascadia's active tectonics. He will discuss how the Cascadia Subduction Zone and active upper plate faults impact seismic risk assessments for infrastructure in the region. There will be various stops, discussing the Scoggins Dam Facility and a box lunch served onsite. A Networking Event will be held at the McMenamins Cornelius Pass Roadhouse Brewbpub in Hillsboro, on the way back to Portland. 

Field Course #4:  Mt St Helens - Highlights of the 1980 Eruption and Engineering Geology after the Event - SOLD OUT



Saturday, 9/23/23



Departs at 8:00am and returns at 5:30pm. Departs from the hotel lobby.




COST (per person): $150 per person, $175 after 8/1/23



Minimum 24 ; Maximum 50


Join Dr. Scott Burns on an all day field trip to Mt. St. Helens, the most studied volcano in the lower 48 states!  We will leave at 8 AM and get back about 5:30 PM.   We will visit the Mt. St. Helens Visitor center, the Sediment Retention Dam, three outcrops, four overlooks and then the David Johnston Visitor Center.  We will learn about the famous 1980 eruption and the recovery of the area.  We will see how engineering geology was used over and over again to not only build Highway 504, but the Spirit Lake Tunnel and the evaluation of landslide hazards there.

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