HAVE YOU HEARD?

The Las Vegas and San Dimas STEAM Teams through Donors Choose (https://www.donorschoose.org/) donated a total of $2,415.43 to 9 different classrooms and schools throughout the Las Vegas, NV and San Dimas, CA areas to help teachers fund STEAM education in their classrooms.  The donations will help teachers purchase supplies such as Legos, 3D printer, grow lights, calculators, books, magnet blocks, and hands-on activity kits for their students to enhance STEAM Learning.

 

Below are comments we received back from some of the teachers:

 

“I am so very grateful for your consideration and donations. My students mean so much to me and I know that this project will make a tremendous impact on their lives. Your generosity is going to allow me to help my students build structures that will expand their imaginations and futures.”

With gratitude,
Ms. Abramowski – Lewis E. Rowe Elementary School, Las Vegas, NV

 

 

“Thank you so very much for your generosity! The positivity you have shared will elevate the learning experience of our science classroom in many ways, on many days, for students from all walks of life. Passing knowledge to the next generation will ensure that innovation spreads in our community . Your gifts will go a long way to develop the skills that students need to be successful in the community. Thank you for all of your support.”

With gratitude,
Mr. Evans – Sunrise Mountain High School, Las Vegas, NV

 

 

“I am so thankful that you have funded my project. I can’t wait to see the looks on my learners faces when we engage in these fun activities. Teaching math and science is my passion, so being granted with these great items is awesome. I can’t wait to share pictures of the learners working on there projects.”

With gratitude,
Ms. Oliver – Lomie G Heard Elementary School, Las Vegas, NV

 

 

“Thank you so much for helping to fund my project. My students will be so thrilled to hear the news of our project being funded! They have been begging me to do science experiments and now we can! I haven’t even told them about the new PE equipment we will be getting. I can barely wait to see their faces when they see all of new exercise equipment! They will be over the moon with excitement.”

With gratitude,
Ms. Johnston – Newman Elementary School, Chino, CA

Recently, one of our Principals, Mathew Salveson, attended the California Transportation Foundation’s Transportation Education Symposium.

This is a widely anticipated event, for both students and professionals. Students are paired with mentors for one-on-one coaching. Student teams compete in a real-world RFP scenario while professionals role play stakeholders and decision-makers. Each team is mentored by two professionals. They prepare a presentation in response to a Request for Proposal for a transportation project, and compete against other student teams. The best team “wins” the contract. It is great forum for top transportation students from around the state to interact with transportation industry leaders. The purpose is to encourage students to pursue a career in transportation.

We would also like to congratulate Mathew and his team, who actually won the event! Way to represent Wood Rodgers and help the next generation of engineers!

ACEC California recently selected our Alameda County Pump Station Assessments, Rehabilitation Studies, and Performance Evaluations Project for a Commendation Award in the ACEC California 2022 Engineering Excellence Awards Competition!
The client for this project was the Alameda County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.
 
This project was the regional analysis performed by our team for Alameda County to evaluate pump stations throughout the urban area to identify flooding and prioritize necessary pump station improvements.
 
“During the work, they found pump stations that were being operated and maintained for years but didn’t help to prevent flooding at all,” stated Dan Matthies.
 
The District operates and maintains at least 24 flood control pump stations. Wood Rodgers developed detailed, calibrated hydrologic/hydraulic models of the pump station drainage, developed detailed inventories of the pump systems, and performed a condition assessment of each of the three major systems of the pump station (site/structural, mechanical, and electrical systems) with detailed visual inspections and with vibration and oil testing to define the remaining service life of the components, and to quickly repair existing problems. HEC-HMS, HEC-RAS, DHI MIKE, and InfoWorks ICM were used to support the hydrologic and hydraulic modeling needs.
 
Wood Rodgers conducted flow testing of the pumps, documented, and assessed the current operation and maintenance schedules of the pump stations, identifying costs and potential efficiency improvements. The assessment used the hydrologic models to refine the operating set points and low flow pump operations. Wood Rodgers conducted a risk assessment to compare the annualized costs vs. risk of the existing pump station vs. the annualized cost and risk of and the pump station with an increased capacity. Wood Rodgers then used the inventories, condition assessments, performance testing, and risk analyses to recommend efficient combinations of re-operation, maintenance, rehabilitation, and improvements for each of the 24 pump stations assessed.

Today, November 17th, 2021, is International GIS Day! GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. Here at Wood Rodgers, many of us use GIS software in all sorts of applications every day. We asked our GIS Department some questions, and this is what they had to say!

Eric Ford – Project GIS Analyst

How did you get into your field?

“By accident. I started doing H&H modeling, which is mostly GIS-based. Through managing input/output data and making maps I became more interested in GIS and eventually transitioned into a GIS Analyst position.”

 

 

Azin Sharaf – Project GIS Analyst

What is your favorite part of your job?

“My favorite part of my job is automating repetitive tasks and making things easier for engineers.”

 

 

Jonathan Faoro – Project GIS Analyst

How did you get into your field?

“I found GIS in my university’s course catalog while wondering if I could make a living as a physical geographer/cartographer.”

 

 

Stephen Barrow – GIS Technician

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Take whatever GIS classes are available, especially those that are lab based, and look for internships to learn the basics. Outside of college courses, ESRI has a lot of available free training on their website that’s very helpful in learning GIS and more specifically their products which are widely used.”

 

November 10th is International Accounting Day! Here at Wood Rodgers, we greatly appreciate the work our accounting department does!

We asked some of our accounting Team members some questions and this is what they had to say!

Lorraine Messerer – Project Accountant

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Because we work in the finance department, it is key that timelines are met. Attention to detail is very important. Good communication skills (written and orally). Organization skills. Ability to work independently as well as in a team.”

 

 

Hanalei Pruter – Assistant Controller

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“My advice is to build a strong foundation in accounting through work experience and/or education and then continue to grow your knowledge from there. Accounting is ever-changing – there is always something new to learn!”

 

 

Diane L. Arkell – Project Accountant

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Have lots of patients, you will have to be able to see things from several different points of view. Be a self starter. Be able to work with very different personalities.”

 

 

November 8th is National STEM Day! Here at Wood Rodgers, we believe strongly in raising the next generation of Engineers!

Wood Rodgers launched the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) Team Community Action Program in 2019. The Community Action Program is a way for Wood Rodgers employees to support their local communities through hands-on volunteering and financial support. The STEAM Team provides paths for Wood Rodgers to support local students, educators, and organizations to encourage and stimulate STEAM careers.

We asked some of our STEAM Team members some questions and this is what they had to say!

Katie Mason – Engineer

What has been your favorite project that you have worked on with the STEAM Team?

“My favorite STEAM project in the Reno office was the CANstruction demonstration we did with the Montessori students. We had made small scale cans out of a wood dowel and gave them activities to see tension, compression, cantilever, etc. The students ended up using most of their concepts in the final design which was amazing to see.”

 

 

John Nicolaus – Principal Landscape Architect and Sac STEAM lead

What does STEAM team mean to you?

“Facilitating philanthropy for the firm in our community(ies) is a really great feeling, and is central to my role as a seasoned professional. It’s great to be able to help provide young people with support, and, hopefully, a catalyst to perhaps join our industry.”

 

 

Ashley Verling – Engineer

What does STEAM team mean to you?

“STEAM team is Wood Rodgers’ contribution to helping the kids in our community understand what careers like engineering are all about. By doing outreach events early, it can have a big impact on decisions they make in school and what careers they look into towards the end of high school.”

 

 

 

Learn more about our STEAM Team here: https://steam-team-wrgis.hub.arcgis.com/

Wood Rodgers would like to congratulate Mike Davidson on being named President-Elect for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Truckee Meadows Branch!

We asked Mike a few questions about himself and ASCE and this is what he said!

What Does ASCE Do?

“ASCE, which stands for American Society of Civil Engineers, was founded in 1852 and is a society that brings civil engineers together from all across the country. ASCE provides members with technical and professional conferences, continuing education and networking opportunities. ASCE is subcatorized into sections, branches, student chapters and younger member groups. In Reno, our local ASCE branch is the Truckee Meadows Branch.”

How does ASCE Benefit Wood Rodgers?

“I believe that ASCE’s greatest benefit to Wood Rodgers are the numerous marketing opportunities. Some of which include having our staff attend monthly lunches and network with other attendees, being a yearly sponsor of the local branch, participating in the office crawl (an event where college students get to tour local civil engineering offices), presenting technical topics at lunches or conferences and sponsoring a hole at a golf tournament.”

What is your favorite part of ASCE?

“My favorite part of ASCE is the networking opportunity it provides. For instance, it may be discussing an upcoming project with an existing (or potential) client, talking with a college student who is nearing graduation and looking for employment or even catching up with an old friend from when you were in college.”

How long have you been a part of ASCE?

“I have been involved with ASCE for about 8 years as a member and became more involved as a board member 2018. I am the current Treasurer of the Truckee Meadows Branch and am set to become the President-Elect for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.”

Can you tell me about your background?

“I have been in the civil engineering field for about 22 years, with 18 of these years having been at Wood Rodgers. My career started off doing drafting tasks and evolved into designing land development projects, mostly consisting of subdivision layout, grading and utility designs. In 2009, I switched over to our Water Resources department for a few years, then eventually ended up in our Transportation department in 2011. My current role includes management of a variety of public works projects, including roadway rehabilitations, site improvements and cemetery expansions.”

Here at Wood Rodgers, we believe a lot in the future. Not only do we have our STEAM Program, but several of our team members are also professors and teachers! Giving back and being a well rounded person is one of the most valued assets in our team!

Matthew Salveson, Principal

What Classes do you teach and at what school?

“I teach CE 191 – Senior Class Project, CSU Sacramento Civil Engineering.”

How long have you been teaching?

“I have been teaching for 13 years.”

Do you feel teaching the next generation of students helps you as a professional? If so, why?

“Definitely. Teaching forces you to re-examine the fundamental assumptions behind why we make our engineering decisions. I have found that it has forced me to be much more precise and conscientious about how I do my job.”

Do you feel like working as a professional helps you be a better teacher? If so, why?

“Yes, especially in my class. A substantial portion of the class time is spent introducing and developing solid professional practices.”

What is your favorite part about contributing to the next generation and why?

“My class consists 100% of graduating seniors. I get to work with students at the end of their undergraduate journey. I also get to work with many of them in the years after they graduate, as many stay in the Sacramento region.”

What made you decide to start teaching?

“I served 5 years as a full time professor in the Civil Engineering department at Sac State. I was answering a passionate call to service, and I am thrilled to still have the opportunity to serve our community in a small way.”

Paul Klein, Principal

What Classes do you teach and at what school?

“I teach Intro to the Built Environment at Sierra College.”

How long have you been teaching?

“I have been teaching for 3 years.”

Do you feel like working as a professional helps you be a better teacher? If so, why?

“The experiences from working on real projects directly correlates to the classroom since the class I teach is based on practical application and not theory. No text book covers the process and requirements to go from large acreage raw land to individual lots that can be developed.”

What is your favorite part about contributing to the next generation and why?

“My favorite part is seeing students that are excited about a future career in a construction related field.”

What made you decide to start teaching?

“The building industry, including the trades, needs more people to choose it as a career. The class I teach is an opportunity for students to gain insight into the built environment and all of the excellent career opportunities that are available.”

Arsalan Gharachorloo, Project Engineer

What Classes do you teach and at what school?

“I teach Geometric Design of Highways at California State University, Sacramento”

How long have you been teaching?

“This is my first semester teaching.”

Do you feel teaching the next generation of students helps you as a professional? If so, why?

“Yes, I do. I am teaching a class which is mostly taken by graduating seniors. Teaching this class allows me to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the next generation of engineers along with the level of their engineering knowledge. This is helpful when I interact with them in the future in professional settings. Teaching a class also requires excellent communication, organizational, time management, and leadership skills and provides opportunity to further develop them.”

Do you feel like working as a professional helps you be a better teacher? If so, why?

“Definitely. Working as a professional helps me to identify the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in the industry and incorporate them into the lectures and class projects. Having understanding of the industry needs is specially important for someone who teaches engineering courses.”

What is your favorite part about contributing to the next generation and why?

“My favorite part about contributing to the next generation is that I am confident the students will benefit from the knowledge and skills they develop in my class at some point in their professional career, which contributes to their success.”

What made you decide to start teaching?

“Contributing to the professional society and school that helped me grow into the engineer I am today is my passion, and teaching a class is one way to contribute.”

As an Esri Silver Partner providing GIS services, Wood Rodgers is proud to announce that we are included as a partner of Esri’s Release Ready Specialty Program. This program recognizes firms that are up to date with the latest Esri technology as well as demonstrating expertise in their applications.

The Release Ready Specialty is designed to help customers succeed through collaboration with qualified Esri partners who offer industry expertise, and solutions, services, and content on the latest Esri software releases. Wood Rodgers has demonstrated that we have defined technical and business competencies, including but not limited to:

-Adopting the latest version of Esri technology on a consistent basis

-Demonstrating a repeatable approach for migrating your offerings to the latest versions

-Helping customers implement the latest release

-Ensuring your staff is trained and able to support the latest release

-Offering defined solutions, services, or content that use the latest ArcGIS capabilities

-Promoting Release Ready offerings

-Sharing customer successes

Our clients can be rest assured that Wood Rodgers is providing services that include the latest offerings and solutions from Esri and have qualified staff resources to implement these technology offerings with the latest release.

On September 25, 2021, the Groundwater Resources Association (GRA) – Sacramento Branch meeting held a field trip to the Mehrten Ranch, located near the Comanche Reservoir in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.  The purpose of the field trip was to learn about and see first-hand the outcrops, or exposures at the ground surface, of the Mehrten Formation.  The Mehrten is a volcanically-sourced geologic formation that was formed from debris and mud flow deposits from the ancestral Cascadian volcanoes that formerly made up the crest of the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The Mehrten Formation is exposed at the ground surface near Comanche Reservoir, but it dives below ground and becomes very deep to the west in the Sacramento Valley.  A lot of deep, high-capacity municipal groundwater wells that Wood Rodgers has designed and developed for the City of Sacramento, Sacramento County Water Agency, and the City of Galt targets the deep aquifers of the Mehrten Formation, in excess of 1,000 feet deep!  The Mehrten Formation contains the infamous “black sands” that are described during well drilling; however, this field trip provided us the opportunity to see the Mehrten Formation in-situ and exposed at ground surface.  The type locality of the Mehrten Formation was formally named and characterized by U.S.G.S. geologists (A.M. Piper, et al, 1939) during a dam siting study on the Mokelumne River beginning in the late 1920s, in honor of the Mehrten’s, a family of ranchers and farmers that travelled to California by boat and set down roots in California in the 1800s.  Joe Mehrten and his wife, now in their 80s, tend to their family ranch and run a Bed & Breakfast, and kindly hosted the GRA group of hydrogeologists and volcanologists and shared their family history and ranch with us to enjoy.  We also got to admire their 600+ year old oak tree in their front yard!!! A geology lecture was provided by Dr. Brian Hausback, a volcanology professor at CSU Sacramento, and the meeting was attended by various hydrogeologic consultants, regulatory agencies, municipal utility districts, recent graduates, and nature enthusiasts.

We caught up with Julie and asked her a few questions about her trip!

What was your favorite part of the trip and why?

“Being a history enthusiast, I was captivated by Joe Mehrten’s stories describing his families ventures in setting down roots in California over 100 years ago, and establishing the Mehrten Ranch. At the same time, we learned about the geologic processes that created the Mehrten Formation, named by geologists after dam siting studies on the Mehrten Ranch that began in the 1920s. The Mehrten Formation is approximately 16 million years old to 4 million years old, and formed as the ancestral Cascade volcanoes that capped the Sierra Nevada crest disintegrated and formed volcanic lahars and mud flow deposits. Various mammals at the time, such as mastodons, camels, etc. were swept away and embedded within these deposits, and their fossils have recently been discovered on the shores of the Comanche Reservoir and are being excavated by CSU Chico students. As we were standing on top of the Comanche Dam, it was a beautiful juxtaposition of past and present geologic processes, archaeological and anthropogenic history, and engineering marvels all in one incredible place.”

What is the benefit of this trip to a working professional as yourself?

“This GRA fieldtrip enabled people to continue to develop relationships or create new connections with other professionals in the geology industry across a whole spectrum of disciplines, including professionals in hydrogeology consulting, university education, regulatory agencies, analytical laboratories, field equipment suppliers, recent graduates seeking employment, and nature and history enthusiasts with a curious mind. To make this experience even greater, we had this networking opportunity in the great outdoors!”

What is a valuable thing you took away from the trip?

“The volcanically-sourced “black sands” of the Mehrten Formation create important groundwater aquifers in which many deep wells (in excess of 1,000 feet deep) in the Sacramento Valley are drilled within to provide municipal drinking water supply to communities. As a hydrogeologist, I typically see sediments of the Mehrten Formation chewed up by drilling bits and brought up to the ground surface in the drilling process. This field trip provided us the opportunity to see in-situ surface expressions of the Mehrten Formation in outcrop along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, with original depositional features from past volcanic and erosional events of the ancestral Cascadian volcanoes. I now have context and a new appreciation for the sediments I see during well drilling with respect to the geologic processes they endured to reach their final resting place below our feet in the Sacramento Valley.”

Anything else?

“You have to know the past to understand the present. This is true of any discipline that transcends time. We have a lot to learn from the geologic record, the fossil record, and our ancestors accounts. Never stop asking questions… “Why is this here? How did we get here?” Never stop learning.”