October 28, 2022

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For Geosyntec, No Fieldwork is Too Remote or Challenging

While it's not rare for Geosyntec employees to spend a month in the field, the month of fieldwork completed by Senior Environmental Engineer Olga Stewart (P.E.), Senior Engineering Geologist Jared Warner (P.G., CEG, CPG), and Senior Geotechnical Engineer Jay Griffin (P.E.) last summer was truly exceptional. Last May, the three practitioners were part of a team of 25 who travelled to one of the most remote areas in Alaska's Aleutian Chain, Amchitka Island. There, the team set up a temporary camp and lived and worked together for a month.

As field lead, Olga executed all field work, orchestrating the work of the assembled team of technical experts. Jay, our geotechnical engineer, handled the overall investigation design and managed all data gathering. Jared, our on-site geologist and qualified environmental professional, also served as the project safety and health lead.

All three spent the month quite literally in windswept fields, using hand tools to collect samples and measurements at a Cold War nuclear testing site that had been damaged during a 7.9 magnitude earthquake. Geosyntec's goal at Amchitka was to investigate mud-pit cover damage, conduct a slope stability analysis, and plan for its repair. Our client for the project, RSI-Entech, was working on behalf of the United States Department of Energy.

Geosyntec teamed with Brice, an Alaskan Native corporation, to complete this work. The larger project included long-term monitoring and maintenance, in addition to the Geosyntec team's work planning for repair after a major earthquake on the seismically unstable island. The project, a model of successful collaboration, also incorporated RSI-Entech (our client), Brice, Hanagita, and several supporting subcontractors, including camp operations, barge and air transport, medics, analytical laboratory staff, and waste disposal personnel. A representative from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service joined us on site for visit from the passing Refuge vessel R/V Tiglax.

This fall, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management produced a video that showcases the office's work on the island. In it, Olga is seen walking and working in the austere landscape, as well as in the tent encampment. The video, with footage taken in May 2022, focuses on the achievements of the project, shows how the field team worked and lived together on the island, and celebrates the project as a DOE Office of Legacy Management success.

Olga focuses on large-scale site characterization in the Aleutians, often doing hands-on work in challenging locations. She champions mobile technology at remote sites so that teams can use historical, interactive maps to visualize long-since demolished sites as they work in naturalized areas with few landmarks. In recognition for her contributions across Alaska, Olga was recently named Alaska Engineer of the Year during National Engineers Week Anchorage.

Watch the Video

More Information

For consultation regarding contaminated sites, remote sites, and use of mobile technologies, contact Olga at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Olga: https://www.geosyntec.com/people/olga-stewart
Learn more about Jay: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jay-griffin-41636b22/
Learn more about Jared: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jjwarner/