Association of State Dam Safety Officials - November 2016 

Time is Running Out 
Take Action to Pass Federal Water Resources Bill

ASDSO continues to partner with ASCE Government Relations to push for passage of the WRDA16. An action alert is underway to urge members of Congress to make good on their promise to pass a Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) this year. Take action and directly contact your Congressional representatives to urge them to continue working to finalize details of a compromised bill. The Senate passed a WRDA bill on September 15 with a vote of 95-3, and the House passed their version two weeks later, 399-25. ASDSO and ASCE have been actively working to secure final passage that would include a major High Hazard Potential Dam Rehabilitation Program and upgrades to the nation's drinking water and waste water infrastructure. Send an email to your Senators and Representative to encourage them to finish the job.

Dam Safety 2017 Call for Abstracts Now Open

ASDSO invites all persons interested in the safety of dams and levees to submit abstracts of papers to be considered for presentation at the ASDSO 2017 National Conference. Engineers, geologists, hydrologists, dam owners, state, local or federal officials, industry representatives and others working in the field of dam and levee safety are invited to share their experiences. Submit your abstract today through the ASDSO Portal

Deadline: February 1, 2017.

See the Dam Safety 2017 Call for Abstracts webpage for important guidelines, including:
  • Suggested Topics
  • Tips on Writing an Effective Abstract
  • Paper Deadlines
  • Volunteer to be a Session Moderator

Ninth Annual Student Paper Competition: ASDSO invites students to enter the Student Paper Competition, open to undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees at U.S. universities or colleges. Topics may include traditional areas of dam and levee design engineering, case studies, and emerging and innovative technologies. Senior capstone projects are also encouraged. ASDSO recommends that undergraduate papers and posters be co-authored or sponsored by faculty. See details.

2016 Donor Drive
Consider ASDSO for Your End-of-Year Charitable Contributions

As we kick off the 2016 ASDSO Donor Drive we ask all members to consider giving back to the dam safety community through a donation to ASDSO. Donations impact the future of dam safety by providing a shot of resources to ASDSO's ability to carry out projects. Without your past donations, there would be no undergraduate scholarship funds, there would be less ability to create public outreach materials, and there would be little ability to provide education to dam owners. Let's keep those programs going and start new ones such as our new goal to reduce incidents in and around dams, especially low-head dams, and our expanded emphasis on better communication about our goals to a broader audience. 

You can donate through the ASDSO Portal or by calling 859.550.2788. ASDSO is a 501(c)(3) educational, charitable organization.

More Ways to Participate

Listed below are several additional opportunities to contribute to the dam safety community. Please respond according to your interests; your input will be much appreciated!

1. New Public Safety Around Dams Committee Seeks Notices of Incidents at Dams - ASDSO's new Public Safety Around Dams Committee held its first face-to-face meeting at the ASDSO Annual Conference in Philadelphia. Committee members are working on a wide range of public safety issues at dams and need your help tracking incidents related to public safety at dams (of any size and type) - such as drownings, rescues, boating accidents, confined space incidents, unauthorized recreation activities, etc. - and request that notices of such incidents be sent to Committee Chair Paul Schweiger, The Committee will use this data to create a national database of public safety incidents at dams that will be made available to the dam safety community through ASDSO's website. The data will be used to analyze trends, prioritize needs, generate statistics, and serve as an educational resource for researchers and practitioners. Please email Paul with a brief description of the incident and attach any additional information you can provide such as photographs, links to news articles, etc. Your help is appreciated. 

2. Info Sought on "Year-7" Dam Failures and Incidents - ASDSO's Dam Failure and Incidents Committee is compiling information on the following "year-7" decade dam failures and incidents. If you have information to share on these events, please contact Dusty Myers,

2007 Sugar Creek L-44, Oklahoma 
2007 Ulley Dam, Great Britain
1997 Centennial Narrows Dam, Arizona
1997 Kerckhoff Dam, California
1977 Kelly Barnes Dam, Georgia
1977 Laurel and Sandy Run dams, Pennsylvania
1967 Clints River Fly Ash Dam, Virginia
1957 Crab Orchard Creek Dam, Virginia
1917 Tigra Dam Failure, India
1917 Mammoth Dam Failure, Utah

3. Responses Needed for National Information Sharing Survey - The FEMA National Dam Safety Program, Information Sharing Task Group is collecting the following information and requests ASDSO members' input. Please direct responses and inquiries to Alesia Za Gara, Outreach Process Partners -
1. Description of how your organization currently handles risk communications to outside entities.
2. Good examples of risk communications, aside from the typical inundation map.
3. Contact information for others who might have a good example or give a different point of view on this issue.

4. American Rivers Updating List of Dam Removals - American Rivers requests submissions for inclusion on their list of 2016 Dam Removals by Friday, December 16, 2016. If you have information to contribute, please contact Jessie Thomas-Blate,


ASDSO Calendar

December 8-9  ASDSO Board of Directors meeting in Colorado Springs, CO

December 13   Webinar: Introduction to Dam Decommissioning  


or more ASDSO Training News, watch for ASDSO's Training & Education Newsletter, sent on the 15th of each month.

ASDSO Transitions

Thanks to Our Outgoing and Incoming Board Members

L to R, front: Director Lori Spragens, Jim Pawloski, Dusty Myers, Jon Garton, Charlie Cobb, Ann Kuzyk. In back: Hal Van Aller, Shane Cook, Tom Woosley, Bill McCormick, Chuck Thompson, Nathan Graves and Roger Adams.

L to R, front: Lori Spragens, Jim Pawloski, Dusty Myers, Jon Garton, Roger Adams, Ann Kuzyk. In back: Trevor Timberlake, Brad Cole, Hal Van Aller, Tom Woosley, Bill McCormick, Charles Thompson, Nathan Graves, Yohanes Sugeng, Ken Smith, and Alon Dominitz.

The 2016-2017 ASDSO Board of Directors consists of returning members Dusty Myers (MS), Jim Pawloski (MI), Jon Garton (IA), Roger Adams (PA), Hal Van Aller (MD), Bill McCormick (CO), Tom Woosley (GA); "recalled" members Ken Smith (IN), Alon Dominitz (NY); and new members Trevor Timberlake (AR), Ann Kuzyk (CT), Yohanes Sugeng (OK), Brad Cole (NC). Board member profiles are posted on ASDSO's website.

New Committee Chairs

Erin Gleason (Denver Water) is the new chair of ASDSO's Committee on Education Outreach (CEO), having served on the committee since 2012.

Paul Schweiger (Gannett Fleming) is the new chair of the ASDSO Advisory Committee (AdCom) after having served as vice chair for the past two years. Greg Paxson (Schnabel) is the new AdCom co-chair.

ASDSO thanks former AdCom chair Eric Ditchey and CEO co-chairs Peter Nicholson and Vinoth Muthia for their dedicated service to these committees and to ASDSO.

"Over, Under, Gone" Premieres
Documentary Aims to Raise Awareness of Hazards of Low-Head Dams

Manuela Johnson and Ken Smith moderated a Q&A session. (Courtesy John M. Buckman III)
As a result of multiple deaths in Indiana in 2014 and 2015 at low-head dams, the Indiana Silver Jackets (ISJ) undertook a new voluntary multi-profession initiative: recreational Safety AT Dams. This topic crosses many professional disciplines, and concerns a wide variety of stakeholders including dam owners; manufacturing and retail organizations; federal, state, and local agencies; law enforcement; first responders; educators; nonprofit professional and recreational organizations; and anyone whose family members or friends engage in recreational activities in rivers or streams. 

As part of this effort, the Silver Jackets undertook an ambitious project: the making of a documentary entitled Over, Under, Gone - The Killer in Our Rivers, which premiered at a special event held November 16 at WFYI, the PBS station in Indianapolis. Roughly 80 to 90 people were on hand for a reception, the documentary showing, and a following Q&A session led by Manuela Johnson and Ken Smith, who spearheaded the making of the half-hour documentary.

The initial broadcast of the documentary aired on WFYI on November 21, with subsequent showings on November 22, November 30, and December 1. It will also be aired heavily in the spring just before 2017 outdoor water activities kick into high gear.  

The release of this documentary is a result of a two-year effort that began at the culmination of a prior successful documentary effort by the Indiana Silver Jackets team (When Every River Turned Against Us, about the Great Flood of 1913). The relationship with the PBS production group at WFYI began through a casual introduction by an Indiana Silver Jackets team member and grew from a team of people with an image of the desired outcome and an ability to convey that image to WFYI Vice President of Production Clayton Taylor. 
(Courtesy John M. Buckman III)

After the Silver Jackets Team's desire to advance education and awareness of the risks and hazards of low-head dams was expressed to Mr. Taylor and Producer Gary Harrison, a partnership was created with WFYI. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security Hazard Mitigation Program was able to secure a Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) 5% Initiative Grant to fund the documentary and social media outreach efforts geared at young water recreators. Over, Under, Gone, which can be viewed through the following link, is the first product of that partnership. 

Watch "Over, Under, Gone"

Please help the ISJ and WFYI spread the awareness that "low head" dams are #DamDangerous.

For further information about being safe around dams, please visit the ASDSO's Public Safety and Awareness pages and watch the website for further information and resources.

State Notes

Florida Dam Safety Workshop

Florida dam owners attended presentations by experts from state and federal agencies and the private sector.
In cooperation with FEMA, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Dam Safety Program hosted an annual dam safety workshop for dam owners on October 27th in Temple Terrace, FL. In attendance were 60 participants, including dam owners, regulators, engineers, and other professionals. Presentations highlighted the importance of keeping dams safe, with a focus on seepage and rehabilitation. Speakers from the National Resource Conservation Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and private engineering companies stressed the importance of keeping dams safe and focused on seepage and rehabilitation. Read more.

Maine Infrastructure Report Card Released

The Maine chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released the state's Infrastructure Report Card on November 28. ASCE graded the state's overall infrastructure at C-. Dams and Levees were graded at D+, on par with Transportation and Wastewater and faring slightly better than Roads (D).  Read more.

Maryland's November workshops attracted capacity crowds.
Maryland Holds Owner and EAP Workshops

The Maryland Department of the Environment's Dam Safety Division held two workshops at their headquarters in Baltimore in November. The workshops were designed to provide the latest information and guidance from experts in the dam safety arena to a relatively new cadre of dam site personnel. Both workshops attracted capacity crowds. Read more.  

Applications Available for ASDSO 2017-2018 Undergraduate Scholarships

ASDSO will award up to $10,000 in scholarships for the 2017/2018 school year. Recipients must be U.S. citizens enrolled full-time at the senior level during the 2017/2018 school year in an accredited civil engineering program, or in a related field as determined by ASDSO, and must demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in hydraulics, hydrology, geotechnical disciplines, or in another discipline related to the design, construction, and operation of dams.

Undergraduate students planning to graduate in May/December 2018 will be eligible for the 2017 scholarship. The application deadline is March 31, 2017.  Applications and further details are available here.

Research, Publications, and Resources

Survey on "Very Low Hazard" Classification

State responses to an information request on "Very Low Hazard" classification are now posted on the ASDSO Surveys page in the Members Section of the ASDSO website.

Colorado State Researchers Propose New Repair Method for Aging Steel Infrastructure  

Hussam Mahmoud, assistant professor in Colorado State University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and engineering master's student Bashir Ahmad Ahmadi, have researched new ways to repair deteriorating steel infrastructure, such as locks and dams. They say that welding is ineffective, as the process can initiate more cracks, and are currently studying the effectiveness of adhering carbon fiber composites to cracks in steel structures. Read more.

Hazus 3.2 Now Available

As part of the ongoing Hazus Modernization efforts, the Hazus team released Hazus 3.2 on October 31, 2016. This version includes several new features, including compatibility with ArcGIS 10.4, integration with the United States Geological Survey ShakeMap, enhanced reports and more.

Further details and a free download of the software are available through the FEMA Flood Map Service Center Hazus portal.

James K. Mitchell Legacy Website, with the support of the Shamsher Prakash Foundation, is pleased to launch the James K. Mitchell Legacy website in honor of Professor Jim Mitchell and his long-lasting career at the University of California at Berkeley and at Virginia Tech. The website is a repository of bio information, publications, photos, and testimonials related to Jim Mitchell's career in the geotechnical profession. plans updates to the site and invites contributions of resources related to Professor Mitchell's career. 

For additional dam safety resources, search 

Focus on Security
NTAS Bulletin Update

The current National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expired on November 15, 2016 and is being replaced with an updated bulletin which will expire on May 15, 2017. 

The issuance of the Bulletin reflects the continued concern of homegrown violent extremists who could strike the homeland with little or no notice. The Bulletin describes the government's counter-terrorism efforts, and how DHS is partnering with the private sector to provide risk assessments and coordinate enhanced security measures with business owners and operators. An important component of this approach is the Hometown Security Initiative, which encourages businesses to Connect, Plan, Train, and Report.

The issuance of this Bulletin does not mean there is a specific or credible threat against the United States; however, in this current threat environment, DHS urges Americans to remain vigilant, particularly during the holidays, and to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. 

Key takeaways from this webinar include:
  • Lessons from failures
  • Construction technologies for tailings dams and coal ash impoundments
  • Material characterization from in situ field investigations and laboratory testing
  • Construction conditions and seismic loading conditions
  • Instrumentation and the observational method

Member Price: $60

A compendium of technical papers presented at the 2016 ASDSO Annual Conference held September 11-15 in Philadelphia, PA. Contents.
Member Price: $54.00

Welcome New Members!
The following individuals joined ASDSO in November:

Lora Baumgartner, Dewberry, Gainesville, VA
Lori Books, North Lebanon Township, Lebanon, PA
David Donovan, MO Department of Natural Resources, Rolla, MO
Richard Farella, Dewberry, Gainesville, VA
Megan Hanifan, Dewberry, Atlanta, GA
Karl Helvik, Bureau of Land Management, Billings, MT
John Hohenstein, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Norristown, PA
Jake Lesue, Dewberry, Dallas, TX
Eric Love, Mead & Hunt, Inc., Sacramento, CA
Mike Mahowald, MT Department of Natural Resources & Conservation, Havre, MT
Nicholas Shimer, Dewberry, Gainesville, VA
Rick Sisson, Sisson GeoConsulting, Thornton, CO
Darren Weldon, Mead & Hunt, Inc, Middleton, WI



Visit the ASDSO Career Center to learn about the positions listed below, view student resumes, and post career and internship opportunities.

Dam Safety Engineer (Engineer 6DCL)
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Post Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Close Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016

GS 12/13 Civil Engineer, Multiple Positions
FERC/OEP/Division of Dam Safety and Inspections
New York, NY; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, Il; Portland, OR; San Francisco, CA
Post Date: Monday, November 28, 2016
Close Date: Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Intern-Student Trainee (Civil Engineer)
DOL - MSHA, Mine Waste and Geotechnical Engineering Division
Pittsburgh, PA
Post Date: Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Close Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016
[Note: This position is listed under Student Employment.]

Dam Safety Engineer
Colorado Division of Water Resources
Glenwood Springs, CO
Post Date: Friday, November 18, 2016
Close Date: Thursday, December 15, 2016

Civil Engineer - Dam and Reservoir Safety Program
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Rolla, MO
Post Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Close Date: Thursday, December 15, 2016

Civil Engineer
FERC/OEP/Division of Dam Safety and Inspections
New York, NY
Post Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Close Date: Friday, December 9, 2016

Dam Safety Engineer
Department of Ecology
Lacey, WA
Post Date: Monday, October 31, 2016
Close Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Dam Professional
Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd.
Various Locations
Post Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Close Date: Sunday, December 11, 2016

Attention Employers

View the latest resume posted on ASDSO's website: 

Partner News and Events

Best Practices for Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of Small to Medium Size Dams, a webinar taught by John France for Lorman Education Services, will be held December 21, 2016. This live webinar is designed for engineers, project managers, architects, developers, presidents, vice presidents, planners, property owners, environmental professionals, hydrologists and government officials.

E0431 Understanding the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), a course recently held at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, Maryland, will be held again May 8-11, 2017. This course enables emergency management personnel and response and recovery personnel from all political jurisdictions to more effectively understand, activate, implement, and use the EMAC system.



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Association of State Dam Safety Officials
239 South Limestone St.
 Lexington, Kentucky 40508
This newsletter is written and distributed by the Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 239 S. Limestone St., Lexington, KY 40508.  Contact ASDSO by phone (859.550.2788; toll-free: 855.228.9732), fax (859.550.2795), or email (

ASDSO 2016-2017 Board of Directors: Dusty Myers (President) - MS; Jon Garton (President-Elect) - IA; Roger Adams (Treasurer) - PA; Hal Van Aller (Secretary) - MD; Jim Pawloski (Past President) - MI; Trevor Timberlake - AR; Bill McCormick - CO; Ann Kuzyk - CT; Tom Woosley - GA; Ken Smith - IN; Charles Thompson - NM; Alon Dominitz - NY; Brad Cole - NC; Yohanes Sugeng - OK; Nathan Graves - WY. Advisory Committee Representative: Paul Schweiger - Gannett Fleming
Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 239 S. Limestone, Lexington, KY 40508
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