Citation
Tower times

Material Information

Title:
Tower times
Creator:
United States -- Army. -- Corps of Engineers. -- Rock Island District
Place of Publication:
Rock Island, IL
Publisher:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
Publication Date:
Frequency:
Monthly
regular
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 28 cm.

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Subjects / Keywords:
River engineering -- Periodicals -- Illinois ( lcsh )
River engineering -- Periodicals -- Iowa ( lcsh )
River engineering ( fast )
Illinois ( fast )
Iowa ( fast )
Genre:
Periodicals. ( fast )
serial ( sobekcm )
federal government publication ( marcgt )
periodical ( marcgt )
Periodicals ( fast )

Notes

General Note:
"Rock Island District's News Magazine"
Statement of Responsibility:
US Army Corps of Engineers, North Central Division, Rock Island District.

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
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This item is a work of the U.S. federal government and not subject to copyright pursuant to 17 U.S.C. §105.
Resource Identifier:
31949435 ( OCLC )
sn 95027137 ( LCCN )
ocm31949435

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Digital Military Collection

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes 2 Tower Times February 2008 Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District Spotlight on the District By Mark Kane Gary Swenson Chief, Natural Resource Management Section Mississippi River Project Office M any people who currently work near the Mississsippi River might not live in the same town or area they grew up in, but they have lived along the banks of the river for a good chunk of their lives. Those who can make that claim might feel the river is almost a part of them, which is the case with Gary Swenson, the chief of the Natural Resource Management Section at the Mississippi River Project Office. Swenson says he loves his job and that working next to the river is part of the reason he is working with the Corps. "It's a terrific resource – the Mississippi River," said Swenson. "It seems that if the river gets in your blood, you become opinionated – if you work for the river and can't be passionate about her, maybe you ought to re-examine your priorities … just my opinion." Swenson said, "Working with some really great people who are equally passionate," is another part of what he enjoys about his job. "There is always so much going on that there is never a chance to get bored." Swenson grew up on a family farm seven miles east of town near the Mississippi River bluff in Des Moines County, Iowa, graduated from high school in Mediapolis, Iowa, and now lives in LeClaire, Iowa. While his college education (a bachelor of science from Iowa State University in forest resource management with a minor in earth sciences in 1980) and other work related experiences took him away from the river, his footsteps in the end brought him back to Iowa, the Corps, and the river. "I'd been working for them as a temp (for the U.S. Forest Service) for several seasons out of college in Idaho and Colorado," said Swenson. "I got a call from a friend of mine with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources letting me know the Corps was doing some hiring. I ended up getting hired on at Lake Red Rock, where I'd done my senior project at Iowa State University. Three years at Lake Red Rock – also a terrific resource, by the way, and I got selected for the project forester position on the Mississippi River. Eighteen years doing that – I applied for one other job in all that time – which was cancelled. Then, in November 2007, I got this job." As the District's chief of the Natural Resource Management Section on the Mississippi River, Swenson said he and the employees in the section have the responsibility for operations and maintenance of natural resources and recreation areas on the District's reach of the Mississippi River Project. That reach includes 314 river miles, 22 counties, seven area codes, six Congressional districts, as well as 215,000 acres of land and water. "Out of 450 plus Corps civil works projects, we're the sixth largest by land and water acreage, and the only project within four states," said Swenson. "We're the eastern shore of Iowa and Missouri, the western shore of Illinois and Wisconsin. Of all the Corps civil works projects – we probably have the most globalreaching name recognition. Really my job is trying to ensure that the public gets quality, safe facilities when they visit; the staff gets the resources and support they need to execute our missions; and the river natural resources stay protected." During the time Swenson has worked for the Corps, he said it has been challenging and kept him busy, but along with working along the Mississippi River and with great people, that's exactly what he likes most about his job. "I've had excellent opportunities over the years," said Swenson. "A stint handling the Environmental Stewardship Business Line for Division, a four-year appointment to Headquarters Stewardship Advisory Team, and a 49-day deployment as a debris quality assurance specialist in Livingston Parish, La. I had the great fortune to spend 18 years working for the best boss I will likely ever have, and that doesn't take an iota away from how good I've got it now, either. Trust me when I say I know just how good of a situation this is." Swenson's hobbies include a lot of reading, television, sightseeing in the Rocky Mountain West, and collecting automobiles. "I seem to continue acquiring used vehicles in varying states of disrepair," said Swenson. "Four in LeClaire, 15 or so around the farm – depends on what you really count, and I lose track – and a 1960 Willys Jeep in Colorado – it's the lowest mileage vehicle I own – 43,000. Next lowest is a 1967 Galaxie with 48,000; then the 1967 Mustangs – two 390 GT fastbacks. I don't recommend it for everyone … neither does my mother." His advice to anyone reading this article is, "No matter what is hitting the fan – be it CEFMS, P2, NSPS, NESP, budget, whatever – you control your own reaction. Thick skin and a healthy sense of humor help me; that and keeping in focus what really is important. Try the challenge – the person you may astonish the most with your success may be yourself."

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes District Commander Col. Robert A. Sinkler Editor Mark Kane Chief, Corporate Communications Ron Fournier This newsletter is an authorized publication for members of the U.S. Army. Contents of the Tower Times are not necessarily official views of, or endorsed by, the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, Department of the Army, or the Rock Island District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. It is published monthly using offset press by the Corporate Communications Office, Rock Island District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clock Tower Building, Box 2004, Rock Island, IL 612042004. Phone (309) 794-5730. Circulation 1,500. Send articles to Editor, Corporate Communications Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Clock Tower Building, P.O. Box 2004, Rock Island, IL, 61204-2004.The Tower Times is printed on recycled paper. On the web, in living color, at: www .mvr .usace.army .mil/ PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes February 2008 Tower TimesContents February 2008 Tower Times 3Tower TimesU.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rock Island District Vol. 30 No. 3 February 2008 Employees Donate Through District CFC Campaign4Battle of the Bridges Competition Engages Engineering Groundbreaking Ceremony Completed for Mississippi River Project Office's New Building5 On the Cover Cranes are used at the dewatered lock chamber at Lock and Dam 11 to stack tools and equipment during a cold and snowy day of work on Jan. 17 as part of Stage 2 of the Major Rehabilitation Project taking place at the lock. Photo by Jodi Bausman, Engineering and Construction. See page 7 for more information about the project. 6Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission Blazing Forward8-9

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes 4 Tower Times February 2008 T wenty-three teams of families, friends and students gathered at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa, for the Battle of the Bridges Competition, sponsored by the Quad-City Engineering and Science Council and judged by council members who included Corps employees from Engineering and Construction. The Jan. 26 event took off on the display “Da Vinci: Man, Inventor, Genius” that includes some of Leonardo Da Vinci’s bridge designs. The teams secured their miniature bridges with an assortment of wires, different kinds of tape, hot glue and string. Up to three hours of work ended with Corps employees pushing all the structures to, or past, the brink of destruction. Atkinson’s family, team-named the Sonbeams for his sons Gordon, 12, and Graham, 10, fashioned a crossing, doublearched bridge, reinforced with twining wires. Under the team name “Funky Fresh Flamingos,” Rachael Barnes, Tessa James and Haley Smith, seventh-graders at Pleasant Valley Junior High School, built a tall, latticed construction that held more than 42 pounds before it dramatically snapped. Six-year-old Will Rolfstad of Davenport built a bridge with four lengthwise wooden support beams encased by cardboard. The structure held 101 pounds and still did not break. Rolfstad called to his parents when bricks were added for weight, “Look it! Look it!” Judges, who were engineering council members, expressed excitement. Scott Bullock, Engineering and Construction, said, “You’re hired, buddy. Report in for work Monday morning.” Bill Ashton of Ashton Engineering proudly announced that Rolfstad was his grandson, but the boy “had his own ideas,” his dad, Erik Rolfstad, added. “We just wanted to get people out of their house and to use their minds — and enjoy the museum a bit,” said Sally Peterson of the museum. The area used to put the bridges to the test had other displays, which included a lock model, as well as a dam model from the District. The event not only tied in well with the Leonardo Da Vinci theme of Man-Inventor Genius, but also put the profession of engineering in the spotlight in front of prospective engineering students. This was good timing for highlighting engineering in front of Engineering Week, which is taking place Feb. 17 through 23. Kathy Kuhl, Quad-City Times, contributed to this article. Battle of the Bridges Competition Battle of the Bridges Competition Battle of the Bridges Competition Battle of the Bridges Competition Battle of the Bridges Competition Engages Engineering Engages Engineering Engages Engineering Engages Engineering Engages Engineering Story and photo by Mark Kane Scott Bullock, Engineering and Construction, backs away after adding the last scoop of sand to a bucket attached to the underside of a newly constructed bridge built as part of the Battle of the Bridges contest held at the Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa. That last scoop spelled the end of the bridge as it exceeded its capacity.

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imesEmployees Donate Thr Employees Donate Thr Employees Donate Thr Employees Donate Thr Employees Donate Thr ough District CFC Campaign ough District CFC Campaign ough District CFC Campaign ough District CFC Campaign ough District CFC Campaign February 2008 Tower Times 5 R ock Island District employees gave more money per donor than any other agency participating in this year's Illowa Combined Federal Campaign with numbers reaching a per donor average donation of $369, which comes out to be more than $14.19 per pay period. The District's contributions of $44,649 this year was once again a notable chunk of the overall amount raised by the Illowa CFC, which was more than $625,000 for this year's campaign. "Help Our World Forward" was the theme for the 2007 Illowa Bi-State campaign, an annual fund drive that covers federal and postal employees on Arsenal Island and in a 12-county region of western Illinois and eastern Iowa. The area reaches many District sites including the Clock Tower Complex and Locks and Dams 13 through 19. The mission of the CFC is to support and promote philanthropy through a voluntary program that is employee-focused, costefficient, and effective in providing all federal employees the opportunity to improve the quality of life for all. For the 11th year, the District has raised money for charities through the CFC by participation in its Chili Cook-off; and for the sixth year the Corps has used the Internet and an online auction to raise money for CFC. The District's annual Chili Cook Off, once again drew a number of patrons ready to test some chili and spy the costumed chili masters. This year, the event raised more than $673 that will be contributed to the United Way of the Quad Cities charity through the CFC. Jody Schmitz, Engineering and Construction, was the chair of the event. Schmitz said the cook-off was a success and thanked everyone involved. "Once again, thank you to all who make this a total success," said Schmitz. "Especially the chili masters, the loaned executives help, the judges, and all those who help me run the show!" Judges for the cook off included Melissa Freidhof, 3rd generation chili chef, Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, Iowa; Jeff James, on-air personality, KQCS Star 93.5; Danielle Howe, on-air personality, WLLR FM 107.3; and Col. Robert Sinkler, District Commander. The winners for best chili were: First Place – Lily Quiones, executive assistant, Executive Office, "Lily Q Chililiy;" Second Place – Katie Nelson, Programs and Project Management, "Bears Blitz Chili;" and Third Place – Mike Mullinnix, Information Management, "Buy Fresh Buy Local." The winners for best costume were: First Place – Lee Matherly and Kathy Little, Association for Retarded Citizens (Arc) of Rock Island County, "Hot Chicks Chili." This year's People's Choice Award was awarded to Leslie Robinson, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Rock Island Arsenal, "B.R.A.C. II (Bubba Robinson's Astounding Chicken Chili)." The First Place winner of the best chili award, Lily Quiones, had her name added to the traveling 'Best Tasting Chili' pot. In addition, the District once again played host to an online auction to raise funds for the CFC, which raised a record setting amount of more than $7,210 between Oct. 29 and Nov. 14. George Hardison, Operations Division, once again chaired the District CFC event and said, "This is due to the generosity of the donators and the enthusiasm of the bidders. So if you donated an item, or items, or were a successful bidder, I say thank you. This effort is a labor of love for me." The results of the auction can be found on the Internet at: www2.mvr .usace.army .mil/CFC/default.cfm Joe Nobiling, Information Management, and Aimee Vermeulen, Office of Counsel, were the co-chairs of this year's District CFC. Nobiling said that even though close to 100 fewer District employees contributed to the campaign this year, the average pledge per donor amount increased over last year and the District's overall total contribution was very close to the same as last year. "The CFC is just one way in which District employees help to move forward our local, regional, national, and international worlds," said Nobiling. "The generosity, attitude, and characteristic of servitude District employees exhibit through CFC contributions and involvement in organizations outside of work bring meaning to our lives and move our world forward, often making a difference in ways we never imagine, are a credit to ourselves, the District, our country, and the world as a whole. May we, and those to follow, continue in similar fashion." Key people in this year's campaign included Joyce Byrd, David Dierickx, Matt Hann, Mary Anne Murray, and Jon Schultz, Operations Division; Diana Buck, Julie Fisher, Toby Hunemuller, Lynnann Smith, and Keith Wilson, Engineering and Construction; Joe Nobiling, Information Management; Aimee Vermeulen, Office of Counsel; Karen Hagerty, Programs and Project Management; Annette Bealer, Resource Management; Breanna VanDeWostine, Real Estate; and Angie Gilbraith, Internal Review. The CFC is the only authorized solicitation of employees in the federal workplace on behalf of charitable organizations. It continues to be the largest and most successful workplace fundraising model in the world. Online information regarding the Illowa Bi-State CFC can be found at www .illowacfc.or g .Story and photo by Mark Kane Sara Paxson, Strategic Planning, dishes up some of her chili for Jim Bartek, Engineering and Construction, during the District's CFC Chili Cook Off, while Jim Stiman, Engineering and Construction, waits in anticipation with his cup, spoon, and water at the ready.

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes 6 Tower Times February 2008 A mid cold temperatures and snow flurries, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Quad-Cities Mississippi River Project Office's new building took place in Pleasant Valley, Iowa, near Locks and Dam 14 on Jan. 14. The ceremony included Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa; Col. Robert Sinkler, District Commander, Nancy Mulcahey from the Quad-City Development Group, and Steve Swanson from Swanson Construction Co., the contractor for the project. Braley said the Mississippi River is the most important natural resource in the region in terms of its potential for economic development and job creation. "This shows what an enormous impact it can have on the area," said Braley. The $2 million structure is on federal property adjacent to Locks and Dam 14, a recreation area and the SmithÂ’s Island National Recreation Trail, all off 182nd Street in Pleasant Valley. It was chosen because the land was available at no cost to the Corps, said Sinkler. "This office will serve as a major planning and operations center for integrating federal, state and local government, and non-governmental efforts to maintain and improve 314 miles of the Upper Mississippi River," said Sinkler. "It will also give the Corps the technologies, facilities and capabilities to supervise 300 employees including lock and dam operators and rangers who operate and maintain 12 locks and dams and their pools, and manage 26 recreation sites on the Mississippi." The District is in charge of operations and maintenance of the river from Dubuque, Iowa, to Hannibal, Mo. These operations are run out of the Mississippi River Project Office. The project office's primary missions include navigation, recreation, natural resource management, and emergency response. The highest priority, navigation, involves approximately 60,000 commercial lockages and 40,000 recreational craft lockages per year, which navigate through the District's locks on the Mississippi River. From this office, the Corps supervises the lock and dam employees and rangers on the Mississippi River within our area of responsibility; operates and maintains the locks and dams and recreation sites within our area of responsibility; operates the Regional Structural Repair Center for maintaining river structures on the Upper Mississippi River; and, manages our forested resource program. Even though based in the Quad Cities, the Regional Structural Repair Crews work on projects from St. Paul, Minn., to New Orleans, La. "The office will also be responsible for managing 55,000 acres of federal forests and wetlands along the river," said Sinkler. The facilities currently being used are becoming old and antiquated. The office space is primitive, decades old, and spread out amongst a large area. This new facility will combine the separate functions of the project office and all of the employees into one building. The new facility will also be better able to meet the technology demands of employees, provide them with areas to have meetings, and provide them with a better area to meet with citizens to discuss Corps projects and programs. The facility is scheduled to be completed in December 2008 and will cost approximately $2 million. Tom Saul, Quad-City Times, contributed to this article. Groundbreaking Ceremony Completed for Mississippi River Project Office's New Building Story and photo by Mark Kane Participants in the Quad-Cities Mississippi River Project Office's groundbreaking ceremony put forward the first shovels of dirt officially kicking-off construction of the building. From left to right, Col. Robert Sinkler, Nancy Mulcahey, Rep. Bruce Braley, and Steve Swanson.

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes February 2008 Tower Times 7 L ock and Dam 11, located in Dubuque, Iowa, is under construction, the lock has been closed to traffic since Dec. 15, and the lock chamber dewatering was completed on Dec. 22. The joint venture of JF Brennan and Civil Constructors continues to progress with major onsite work. The lock miter gates have been removed, bulkheads installed, and perimeter cofferdams installed. The deteriorated concrete of the lock chamber has been removed by blasting and mechanical removal, and the lock chamber is being resurfaced with pre-cast concrete panels. The contractor has placed infill behind the lower row of pre-cast vertical panels along the land wall, installed the lower row of pre-cast panels on the I-wall, installed new miter gate machinery, removed existing tainter valve machinery, installed a new generator and compressor building, new electrical conductors/control wiring, control stand units, and a new bubbler system. The $32 million contract is 70 percent complete with a current completion date of Jan. 24, 2009. Repairs to the number two and number four miter gates from Lock and Dam 11 are proceeding on schedule. Stress bar installation is ongoing for both gates. The gates are scheduled to be re-installed at Lock and Dam 11 beginning March 4.(Top photo) Ongoing work inside the lock chamber two days after blasting and cleaning debris had taken place. (Right) One of 37 blasts to remove aged vertical wall concrete inside the lock chamber. The 9 days of blasting finished with zero accidents or incidents. (Center) Contractors encase the lock's downstream bubbler pipe in concrete, while Jake Cawiezell, Engineering and Construction, oversees the progress. Photos by Jodi Bausman, Engineering and Construction.Lock and Dam 11 Gets a FaceliftStage 2 of Major Rehabilitation Project OngoingBy Mark Kane

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes 8 Tower Times February 2008 B lazing out of control wildfires swept across southern California this fall, leaving in their path death and destruction. Twenty raging brush fires were fanned by strong winds that quickly spread to seven counties. Homes were burned to the ground, and hundreds of acres of forest destroyed, and thousands were left homeless including pets and hundreds of wild animals that called the forest their home. Needed was a precise method to help in locating and assisting displaced people. In response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency quickly sought the Corps’ Geographic Information System expertise and capability. The Corps has used its GIS expertise on several past missions including Hurricane Katrina and during 9/11 at the World Trade Center. The maps helped FEMA to identify territories in scorched counties affected by the fire, and to help locate displaced people requiring assistance, such as temporary trailers, and to protect the state from potential safety hazards that can result from these fires in the future. The mission continued to move forward in December, with the help of these GIS maps, which cover the 500,000 acres of land that was burned. Chad Markin, Technical Support Branch, Operations Division, is a geographer/GIS coordinator who deployed to California in support of the mission. “We used a lot of different data from a lot of different sources to Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission Wildfire Maps Kept FEMA Mission By JoAnne Castagna, Ed.D., New York Districtperform analyses and create GIS mapping products,” said Markin. “This included aerial photography -pre and post event, satellite imagery, commercial data sources, and vector data from varying sources in the field that includes things like fire perimeters, ignition points, and burn intensity data.” Stephen McDevitt, GIS expert with the Army Corps’ New York District is one of the national action officers responsible for deploying and managing GIS teams throughout southern California to assist FEMA and other federal, state and volunteer organizations. “GIS is a computer-based information system and tool for analysis of spatial data,” said McDevitt. “The GIS takes data from various sources, such as aerial photographs, drawings, and electronic geographic data and combines these layers of information in various ways as overlays to perform spatial analysis and produce an electronic map which depicts the results of that analysis.” T ypes of Geographic Information System Maps County and Damaged Structure Maps These maps identified counties that were adversely affected and were used to identify damaged homes and businesses. The information shows FEMA where they should set up Disaster Recovery Centers to enable residents to obtain FEMA assistance applications. Maps of the DRC locations were also created to direct the public to the nearest DRC. When FEMA receives assistance applications from residents,Chad Markin, Rock Island District (left), and John Ennis, Chicago District, (right), both geographers and GIS specialists, create a variety of GIS maps for FEMA's California Wildfire Recovery Mission. Photo by Sean Donovan, FEMA, GIS specialist. A GIS map depictes damaged structures in San Diego County, Calif., one of seven counties adversely affected by the wildfires. Graphic by Chad Markin, Operations Division.

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes February 2008 Tower Times 9 Blazing Forward Blazing Forward Blazing Forward Blazing Forward Blazing Forward they contact them to ascertain where their damaged home is located. FEMA then looks up the location on the Corps’ GIS maps and verifies that the county they live in was badly burned and that structures where damaged. This way FEMA knows they are providing assistance to someone who truly needs it. FEMA Individual Assistance Application Maps These maps are being used to locate where residents are submitting applications for FEMA assistance. “FEMA plots these maps with dots to show where clusters of residents are filling in applications,” said John Ennis, geographer/GIS with the Army Corps’ Chicago District, who also deployed to California to create maps. These dots also show FEMA where damage may have occurred and where a DRC may need to be set up. Demographic Maps These maps are being used by FEMA to locate where economically challenged individuals may live that do not have transportation to get to their nearest DRC. Once identified, FEMA sends a mobile DRC to the area. Flood Plain Maps In order for FEMA to set up temporary trailer parks for residents, they need to know where flood plains are located. Flood plains are areas of land that border rivers that are prone to flooding. FEMA doesn’t set up trailers where flood plains are located. Soil Burn Severity Maps Even after southern California gets back to normal, there are safety hazards that can result from these fires. Soil Burn Severity Maps show where the fires burned the valley the most and where there is the most soil erosion. This is important for FEMA to know because when fire “cooks” the soil it eventually breaks it up leaving chunks of soil, “like pottery.” When the rainy season comes this stuff washes down – like “chunks of tire.” These large pieces of hard earth can cause mud slides down hills, injuring people and damaging property. “In the 2003 fires in California, many people actually got killed due to this. They had a big rain and they had mud slides that buried and killed people,” said Ennis. “Besides FEMA, Corps maps are being used by different groups for different reasons,” said Ennis. “For example, the Environmental Protection Agency wants to see the burned areas to see what environmental impacts have occurred and emergency responders want to see them so they know where they need to evacuate people.” Markin added, “Our geospatial information and data products provide disaster emergency managers and responders at all levels of government, with the information that allows them to make more informed decisions ultimately reducing the risk to life, property, and the environment.” “I want to extend my thanks and appreciation for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s GIS assistance during this disaster,” said Jonathon Bartlett, GIS Lead, Multi-Agency Support Group, FEMA. “We look forward to continuing to work with the Corps’ GIS team because their ability to provide GIS support is vital to our success and education in the field.” The October 2007 California wildfires were a series of wildfires that began burning across Southern California on Oct. 20. At least, 1,500 homes were destroyed and more than 500,000 acres of land burned from Santa Barbara County to the U.S.–Mexico border. Nine people died as a direct result of the fire; 85 others were injured, including at least 61 fire fighters. More than 6,000 firemen worked to fight the blazes; they were aided by units of the U.S. Armed Forces, U.S. National Guard, almost 3,000 prisoners convicted of non-violent crimes, and 60 firefighters from the Mexican cities of Tijuana and Tecate. Major contributing factors to the extreme fire conditions were drought in Southern California, hot weather, and unusually strong Santa Ana winds with gusts reaching 85 mph. The fires had numerous sources.

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes 10 Tower Times February 2008 Around the District District Commander’s Award Investing In Our People Colleen Carlson Management Support Branch, Operations Division, received the December Commander’s Award. Carlson earned the award for her outstanding work during the period from July 2 through Sept. 30, where she personally led a regional team comprised of individuals from other districts and offices from the District in the research and development of the Mississippi Valley Division’s regional mandate to institute facility accounting for approximately 100 District, Operations Division maintenance crew employees.Engineers Week Feb. 17-23President Sends Best Wishes By harnessing the power of technology and science, engineers help transform and enhance the quality of life for people around the globe. Their work spurs innovation in many important areas such as manufacturing, defense, agriculture, and aviation. For nearly six decades, National Engineers Week has recognized engineers' contributions to society and encouraged young people to learn more about this exciting field. Through our combined efforts, we can motivate young Americans to become the next generation of pioneers in engineering. I appreciate America's engineers for working to develop the technology that makes our lives better. Your efforts are helping to build a more hopeful future for people everywhere. Laura and I send our best wishes. George W. BushSympathy ... Retirements ... Thomas Woodson maintenance worker, Coralville Lake, Operations Division, will retire Feb. 29, after dedicating 26 years and one month to the federal government. Charles Bates Jr. maintenance worker, Saylorville Lake, Operations Division, will retire Feb. 29, after dedicating 29 years, nine months, and 21 days to the federal government. Ferne McCandless 100, of Moline, Ill., died Jan. 29, at Friendship Manor Silver Cross Pavilion, Rock Island, Ill. McCandless worked for the District for 28 years and retired in 1969. The District employees who will participate in the 2008 Leadership Development Program were approved and announced by Col. Robert Sinkler in early February. Sinkler said those selected are among the best and brightest from a large, diverse group of applicants. "This year there were many more highly qualified applicants than positions available," said Sinkler. "This made the deliberation process all the more difficult for the Executive Steering Board. Congratulations go out to Charlene Cole, Todd Ernenputsch, Michael Kimbrell, Jonathan Perrault, and John Williams, Operations Division, Pam Dannacher and Tamara McCartney, Engineering and Construction, and Kyle Retzlaff, Security and Law Enforcement, as participants in Segment 2A; Cindy Klebe, Chad Markin, Monte McNall, and Mark Miller, Operations Division, Joe Dziuk and Chris Trefry, Engineering and Construction, Sandra Brewer and Angie Freyermuth, Programs and Project Management, Sarah Jones, Emergency Management, and Justine Barati, Corporate Communications, as participants in Segment 2B; and Dennis Shannon, Operations Division, Rick Nickel, Engineering and Construction, and Linda Wiley, Equal Employment Opportunity, as participants in Segment 2C. "I believe that leadership is all about positively influencing others to move in a direction that will ensure that the Corps, the Division and the District are thriving public service organizations in the future," said Sinkler.Participants for ‘08 Leadership Development Program Selected

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes February 2008 Tower Times 11 support, sacrifice for corps Thanks to our employees who are deployed or have completed duty in support of the Global War on Terrorism, as well as those who are deployed or have completed duty in support of Natural Disaster Relief Operations Thank You For Serving! Thank You For Serving! Thank You For Serving! Thank You For Serving! Thank You For Serving!A listing of all the current District employees who are, or have been, involved in supporting the Global War on Terrorism and Natural Disaster Relief Operations can be seen on the DistrictÂ’s Internet at: www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/ T owerT imes/support-for -corps/support-for corps.htm A screen shot of the front page of the CorpsÂ’ Natural Resources Management Gateway.District Recreation, Environmental Stewardship Employees District Recreation, Environmental Stewardship Employees District Recreation, Environmental Stewardship Employees District Recreation, Environmental Stewardship Employees District Recreation, Environmental Stewardship Employees Selected as Subject Matter Experts Selected as Subject Matter Experts Selected as Subject Matter Experts Selected as Subject Matter Experts Selected as Subject Matter ExpertsBy Mark Kane T he Corps' Natural Resource Management Gateway Initiative has formalized appointments of subject matter experts and coordinators of the recreation and environmental stewardship business areas, which includes five District employees. The SMEs will serve as an integral part of the NRM gateway, which was launched in April 2001. The NRM Gateway states it takes employees into the world of the Corps' recreation, environmental stewardship and environmental compliance programs. The tool was designed to improve communication within the NRM community and preserve the Corps' institutional knowledge. The District employees who earned NRM SME appointments include Sue Clevenstine, Technical Support Branch, Operations Division, for Recreation Use Fees; Kevin Ewbank, Illinois Waterway Visitor Center, for Recreation Network Questions and Answers; Scott Rolfes, Saylorville Lake, for the North American Waterfowl Management Program; Jeff Rose, operations manager, Saylorville Lake, for Recreation Facility Standards; and Gary Swenson, chief, Natural Resource Management Section, Mississippi River Project Office, for Forestry. The NRM Gateway can be accessed at http:// corpslakes.usace.army .mil/ Information about the SMEs can be found at http:// corpslakes.usace.army .mil/employees/gateway/sme.html

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www .mvr .usace.army .mil/PublicAf fairsOf fice/T owerT imes DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMYU.S. ARMY ENGINEER DISTRICT, ROCK ISLAND CLOCK TOWER BLDG. P.O. BOX 2004 ROCK ISLAND, IL 61204-2004 Presorted Standard U.S. PostagePAIDHelmer Printing, Inc.