Please join us for our Annual AEG/GRA Holiday Mixer and Raffle on Thursday, December 6th at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Sacramento! Raffle prizes are also welcome and encouraged! Please bring prizes that geology and engineer-types will love (rocks, minerals, books, beer, wine…). All proceeds will benefit geology students in the local area, so be generous and help support our next generation of geologists. Please RSVP with your meal selection by Monday, December 3!
5:30–6:30pm – Social hour
6:30-7:30pm – Dinner
7:30-8:30pm – Speaker & Questions
8:30-8:45pm – Raffle
Parking is available at the venue and overflow parking is available immediately east of the venue/just past (east) the railroad tracks on J Street.
Students: $10 (the FIRST 5 students to RVP are free!)
Please RSVP by 12/3/2018. There will be a $5 surcharge for walk-ins.
Speaker and Talk Info
“The Thomas Fire Debris Flow in Montecito, CA – The Real Fire and Fury”
Presented By: Chris Doolittle, PG, CEG, County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department
During December 2017, the Thomas Fire burned westward from Ventura County and into southeastern Santa Barbara County, eventually becoming the largest fire in modern California History (since surpassed by Mendocino Complex, 2018). Driven by sundowner winds, the fire burned intensely and removed large areas of vegetation above the City of Carpinteria and the Village of Montecito. This portion of the Santa Ynez Mountains Range is steep and rugged, with incised creek drainages that create high intensity, short duration flooding events during intense storms. On the morning of January 9th, 2018, an intense rainfall event directly within the Thomas Fire burn zone triggered massive debris flows within multiple creek drainages. These debris flows devastated large areas of Montecito and the surrounding areas. All major transportation corridors were affected, with US Highway 101 closed from January 9th through January 21st.
During the Thomas Fire Debris flow events, the County of Santa Barbara was responsible for a significant portion of debris removal and infrastructure repairs. In this task, the County worked in close coordination with a multitude of City, County, State and Federal Agencies, as well as several contractors, private citizens, and volunteer groups.
As a member of the first inspection teams sent into the disaster zone to assess and report on the damage and begin directing construction crews on debris removal activities, this presentation will focus on the conditions that initiated the Thomas Fire debris flow event, as well as the experience of being a first responder directly involved in the debris removal activities during the event and the continuing activities to repair infrastructure.
About our Speaker:
Christian Doolittle is a Certified Engineering Geologist with the County of Santa Barbara Public Works Department, working in the Transportation Engineering Section. He has 20 years of experience working at the County of Santa Barbara in a number of capacities, including as an engineering technician performing construction materials testing and inspection, as a design assistant working on civil engineering projects, as a Professional Geologist and currently as a Certified Engineering Geologist. His responsibilities at the County of Santa Barbara include project management for various infrastructure repair/replacement projects as well as geotechnical investigations for transportation infrastructure repairs or replacements. These types of projects include bridge rehabilitation and replacement, retaining walls, rock/soil cut and embankment slopes, rockfall hazard mitigation, lightweight fill roadway repairs, scour and erosion control projects, and storm damage emergency opening response.
Chris received his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with an emphasis in engineering and hydrology from the University of California Santa Barbara. He is licensed as a Professional Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist in the State of California. Chris was awarded the County of Santa Barbara Employee of the Month in August 2015.
During the Thomas Fire Debris Flow within Montecito and surrounding areas, Chris was on one of the first inspection teams sent into the disaster zone to assess the damage, report back on anticipated work, and begin directing construction crews on debris removal activities. He is presenting information on the debris flow event as well as his experiences being directly in charge of debris removal activities during the event and the continuing activities to repair infrastructure.