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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.”

The Western Bridge Engineers’ Seminar is a biennial cooperative effort by the Federal Highway Administration and the Transportation departments of Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. The purpose is to facilitate the exchange of information between government agencies, consultants, contractors, educators, and suppliers on subjects of current interest to the design, construction, and maintenance of bridges.

There is a huge benefit to both attendees and associates to those who attend. The conference presents material related to design examples and codes.  It is a highly technical conference for bridge designers and researchers.  It is always a great learning experience. Although we may not be using this information in our daily design activities, it is always good to learn about new ideas and potential code changes.  The concepts introduced at the conference can be brought back to the designers at Wood Rodgers for their learning and further investigation.

 

“My favorite part of the conference is really two-fold: Learning about the different ways engineers are tackling similar challenges in different states throughout the western US, then being able to talk though those concepts and approaches with other bridge engineers.”

Chris Hodge – PE | Principal – Bridges/Structures

FMA is the Floodplain Management Association, which is a non-profit organization where floodplain management professionals from all types of local, regional, state, federal, and private entities meet together to share information and ideas about floodplain management issues.  When it was formed FMA was intended to be a forum for issues in California, Nevada and Hawaii. Our Water Research Associate, Michael Nowlan, was just voted in as the Chair of the Board of Directors, and will serve as such for the next two years.  There are 16 voting Board members, and 9 advisors to the Board, as well as a hired Executive Director to carry out the directions of the Board.  Michael has been active on the board for the last 12 years, serving on many committees (Newsletter, Professional Development, and Modeling/Mapping).

 

FMA provides many avenues to share important technical and policy information. They host an annual four day conference that is attended by 450 to 650 professionals. FMA also host certified technical training seminars relating to hydrology, hydraulics, and mapping, as well as monthly regional luncheons with speakers in Sacramento, the Bay Area, and San Diego (this has been affected by the pandemic). They also publish a quarterly newsletter, which Michael currently serves as the editor for!

 

FMA benefits Wood Rodgers by providing great opportunities for networking and exposure to agencies/entities that oversee water resources project work/funding, as well as providing opportunities for training our staff on a vast array of technical issues. For example, this year we were able to have a virtual booth at the conference. Below are some images used on the booth.

 

 

“I really want to thank Wood Rodgers for supporting me in serving as a member of this association, and supporting the association through sponsorships and by allowing many of our employees to attend various events over the years!”

Michael Nowlan, PE, CFM | Associate, Water Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even in today’s dry climate, these drought-tolerant plants will keep growing strong! They’ll survive dry weather, while helping you conserve water and add color and texture to your landscaping!

 

“Mugo Pine”

This medium sized, evergreen shrub is a versatile tool in a drought friendly landscape. Mugo Pine has a fine texture, is low maintenance, and compliments many different garden styles (ie. Japanese garden, Desert Garden, Rock Garden, container plant, and more). This plant is slow growing but in time becomes a solid year-round foreground or foundation shrub in any landscape.

“Smoke Tree”

This colorful plant is a deciduous large shrub/small tree. It flaunts a dark purple color and a unique smoke-like seed cluster, I like to use it to create a dramatic statement in the garden. “Smoke Tree” is great in the background to provide contrast to light colored plants in the foreground.

“Cousin Itt Acacia”

“Cousin Itt Acacia” is a medium evergreen shrub with a lush Blue Green color and a mounding form. This is a fairly new plant in western gardens. I like its fine textured leaves and weeping branches. This plant looks great in a grouping of 3 – 5 plants on a small hillside, near rock gardens or weeping over dry stream beds.

“Platinum Beauty Lomandra”

“Platinum Beauty Lomandra” is a small upright grass-like accent shrub. With silvery “platinum’ foliage, as well as being practically maintenance-free, this plant makes a striking low foreground statement in the landscape. It is also deer resistant, salt tolerant, and hardy to 15 degrees.

“Russian Sage”

“Russian Sage” is a deciduous flowering shrub. This drought tolerant plant has a great purple spike-like flower. This makes for a great background mass and the flowers are great as cuttings.

Corey Kazinec – Senior Landscape Architect – WR Associate

At Wood Rodgers, we are always working to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!

While we still use ArcMap (the previous version of ArcGIS Pro), we are phasing it out and transitioning to ArcGIS Pro. Naturally, learning a new software can be intimidating for many, especially some of our casual users who don’t use it on a day to day basis. Not only is ArcGIS Pro the newest and greatest software, it is more streamlined than ArcMap. For new users, ArcGIS Pro is much easier to pick up. One of the great things about the software being more streamlined, is that features such as Base Maps are significantly faster. This not only saves our team time, but also saves time and money for our clients!

Stephen Barrow, GIS Technician, started this training program about a year ago. Although the training has been going on bi-weekly for a year, Stephen says the crowd has just gotten bigger. “It’s been really nice that people are interested enough to keep coming back!”

Sheng Tan, from our GIS Department, really values the training. “Not only is it training, but it’s more like collaboration with the GIS Group of Engineers to find out how our end users are utilizing the tools, and we can help you out with that. We have a lot of users in different departments that use the software differently, and this is an opportunity for us to obtain feedback on their needs.”

Stephan Barrow

GIS Technician

 

 

Sheng Tan

GIS Department

 

 

Wood Rodgers would like to congratulate Lexi Robertson on being named Secretary on the Board Of Directors for the American Council Of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Bay Bridge Chapter!

We asked Lexi a few questions about herself and ACEC and this is what she said!

What made you decide to become an engineer?

“While studying Environmental Engineering in college, I was involved in the Student Association for International Water Issues (SAIWI). Through SAIWI, I was able to participate in a service trip to Peru and assist a Peace Corps volunteer’s project to bring potable water to a small rural village. That experience opened my eyes to the importance of water as a vital resource and showed me how greatly the profession of engineering can improve the lives of others. I am really excited to be in Water Resources department of the Oakland office with the opportunity to advance my skillset and contributions to local communities.”

Can you give me a brief summary of your career history?

“University of Nevada, Reno: BS in Environmental Engineering & Master of Business Administration (MBA). PE – California. UAS Remote Pilot. Member of American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and Building Industry Association, Professional Women in Building (BIA PWB). 4 years at Wood Rodgers.”

Why did you join Wood Rodgers and what do you like about it?

“I am excited to celebrate my 4-year work anniversary at Wood Rodgers this September. Wood Rodgers is truly a special place that has encouraged me to follow any and all of my interests in engineering industry. I love the employees-first culture here, my awesome coworkers and the opportunity to keep challenging myself on impactful projects.”

What does ACEC do?

“I am a member of the ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, which is one chapter of the nationwide ACEC network.”

How does ACEC Benefit Wood Rodgers?

“As a member firm, Wood Rodgers receives the following benefits: Legislative Representation & Timely News Insurance Programs Networking Opportunities & Industry Connections Continuing Education & Webinars Online Publications & Forms Promoting the Profession”

What is your favorite part of ACEC?

“I moved to the Bay Area last year without knowing many people here. When I became involved with the ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, it helped me network and become more involved with local engineering industry. Since the Bay Bridge Chapter covers Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco, it is convenient for me to attend events close to the Wood Rodgers Oakland office. It is a privilege to represent Wood Rodgers this year on the Board as Secretary!”

Labor Day is a day where we all pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of all workers in the US. Here at Wood Rodgers, we highly value our employees. We find that when our employees are taken care of and happy they put out their best work! This not only benefits Wood Rodgers, but also our clients, and the projects that impact the community!

This year, Wood Rodgers is celebrating Labor Day by giving all employees not only Monday (the holiday) as a paid day off, but added the Friday before as a paid day off as well! After all, who doesn’t love a 4 day weekend?!?!? It’s Wood Rodgers’ way to say “Thank You for all of your hard work!” and gives everyone extra time off to enjoy with their families and friends.

We asked a few employees what makes Wood Rodgers a great place to work. Below are a few of the reasons that our team loves working at Wood Rodgers!

 

Elvis Bikoba – Assistant IT Engineer

“Wood Rodgers is the best. Employees are showered with random paid days off and bonuses. Also, the extra perks that come with working here are amazing!”

 

 

 

Karl Meier – Associate Water Resources

“Besides the random extra paid days off, stocked kitchen, fun company bonding events/trips, anniversary spins, etc. I also like the fact that our culture allows us to be who we are which in turn leads to more productive folks.”

 

 

 

Hanalei Pruter – Assistant Controller

“Wood Rodgers treats its employees so well by always putting us first. The Board Members, Principals, Supervisors and really everyone, are always so considerate and make it a point to keep our employee morale high. From the Pizza Fridays, to the stocked kitchens, to the company outings – it’s all for us. Thank you, Wood Rodgers!”

 

 

Susan Lee – Admin. Asst.

“My favorite perk working at Wood Rodgers is the bonuses, events, and stocked kitchen. I just love it! I was surprised to get my first bonus for us reopening the company. It was awesome!”

 

 

 

Crystal Miller – Marketing/Proposal Coordinator

“I have never worked anywhere that cares about their employees so much. I’ve been through a lot personally in the 7 years I’ve worked here and Wood Rodgers has always accommodated my needs while getting through my difficult situations.”

 

 

 

Jonathan Brose – Corporate Recruiter

“I am yet to see another company treat employees better than Wood Rodgers. All the activities listed above and then some, such as all the gift cards and bonuses we received when we are not able to do things in-person. Most firms focus on the bottom line and employee treatment comes second. At Wood Rodgers it’s very clear the employees come first and they invest the bottom-line heavily back into employees.”

 

 

 

Jessica Cheung – Assistant Engineer

“I think it goes without saying that Wood Rodgers treats their employees well. From their random paid days off and fun bonding activities to their thorough trainings and variety in work, Wood Rodgers is one of those rare companies that actually do care about how their employees feel and how they grow.”

 

 

 

Chris Robards – Survey Tech II

“Wood Rodgers treats their people extremely good and I have always felt like this company is a second family.”

 

 

 

 

John Nicolaus, Principal Landscape Architect

“I’ve worked at, and been a partner at, several firms over the course of my career, and I can definitely say that WR takes really good care of its staff. The perks listed above are a start, but the attitude of ‘yes, you can do that’ is really what sets us apart.”

 

 

 

 

Amber Harmon – NV Region Marketing Lead

“I have never felt like a number at Wood Rodgers, I truly feel like I matter to the company and I know that the Principals of the company know who I am and what I do. I thought it was very cool what Wood Rodgers did for me when I graduated from college, I felt very special and recognized for my accomplishment.”

Wood Rodgers Fixes Flooding And Safety Issues On Highway 20

Wood Rodgers completed both the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) and Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) design phases for the rehabilitation of one mile of State Route 20 in Colusa County through the Town of Colusa (PM 31.8/32.8). This State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project rehabilitated the existing pavement to improve the ride quality and extend the life of the existing pavement by correcting the roadway profile and cross slopes. Due to multiple overlays over many years, the travelled way was built up and existing shoulder cross slopes varied between 8% and 16%. Additionally, there were no existing underground drainage culverts so all existing drainage was captured in the shoulders and flowed along the curb for substantial distance. This led to localized drainage issues that had to be corrected.

There were a lot of non-standard features on this project that required custom design and out of the box thinking. Knowing the Caltrans design standards and review process were critical to ensure our final design would be approved by Caltrans.” – Steven Robinson

This project removed and replaced all pavement, curb and gutter, installed subsurface drainage, installed detached sidewalk, installed ADA compliant ramps, and relocated an existing traffic signal. Due to the flatness of the area Wood Rodgers developed strategies to retain drainage in an underground vault to minimize flooding and reduce right-of-way impacts. Wood Rodgers worked with Caltrans and City staff to identify right-of-way issues with curb returns and utilities so that these could be resolved early on in the process.

Wood Rodgers completed both the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) and Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) design phases for the rehabilitation of one mile of State Route 20 in Colusa County through the Town of Colusa (PM 31.8/32.8). This State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project rehabilitated the existing pavement to improve the ride quality and extend the life of the existing pavement by correcting the roadway profile and cross slopes. Due to multiple overlays over many years, the travelled way was built up and existing shoulder cross slopes varied between 8% and 16%. Additionally, there were no existing underground drainage culverts so all existing drainage was captured in the shoulders and flowed along the curb for substantial distance. This led to localized drainage issues that had to be corrected.

This project removed and replaced all pavement, curb and gutter, installed subsurface drainage, installed detached sidewalk, installed ADA compliant ramps, and relocated an existing traffic signal. Due to the flatness of the area Wood Rodgers developed strategies to retain drainage in an underground vault to minimize flooding and reduce right-of-way impacts. Wood Rodgers worked with Caltrans and City staff to identify right-of-way issues with curb returns and utilities so that these could be resolved early on in the process.

“As we heard from our local partners and elected official, this truly was a complete street, community revitalization project that will benefit all users including businesses and residences for decades to come.” – Nawid Nessar, PE, TE, Caltrans District 3 – Program / Project Manager

Assemblymember James Gallagher, Colusa City Manager Jesse Cain, Colusa Mayor Pro Tem Tom Reiche, Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter, Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal, state Sen. Jim Nielsen, Colusa County Supervisor Daurice Kalfsbeek Smith, Jennifer Diaz of the Colusa Chamber of Commerce, a Colusa Chamber member, CHP Sgt. Blayne Kilkenny and Chamber President Cindy Campbell participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday to recognize the completion of the State Route 20 Roadway Improvement and Complete Streets Project in Colusa.
On the left, we have an image from one of our engineers demonstrating the flooding and safety issues before the project was completed. On the right, you can see a picture of the street after the project was completed.

On Friday, September 10th, 2021, Wood Rodgers’ own Judd Goodman, PE, will be featured in a webinar hosted by Stormwater Online.

Judd will be presenting with colleague Barry Hecht on how land use changes affect erosion and sediment processes and how to thoughtfully manage these impacts. These topics will include wildfire, urbanization, and construction.

Judd Goodman has 16 years of experience planning, designing, and managing surface water systems. His most significant technical contributions are solving water resources problems, which require both an engineering and geomorphic perspective. He has experience in hydromodification planning and impact analysis, stream channel rehabilitation design, geomorphic field assessment and monitoring, erosion and sediment control inspection, flood assessment, and design of stormwater management systems. Judd leads the geomorphology practice at Wood Rodgers, Inc.

The Webinar is expected to have over 100 participants, so be sure to get your RSVP in soon!

RSVP here