AIA Conference

The 15th Annual AIA Conference “Agrology: Embracing Science and Technology” provides a professional development opportunity to discuss approaches and challenges to the environment and in agriculture. Join Golder’s Dennis O’Leary and Anne Sommerville who will lead a 3-hour Terrain Mapping workshop on Friday March 29th at 8:45 am in the Max Bell Theater.

Concurrent Continuing Competence Program Workshop

Terrain Analysis and Why Is It So Important?
Today more than ever there is a growing demand for terrain analysis. New pipelines, railways, transmission lines and roads are being built around the world at a pace never seen before. Governments and private industry are pouring money into infrastructure on an annual basis. And private sector energy and transportation companies have an aging infrastructure that needs to be maintained in order to reduce risk both to the environment as well as to their reputation. Forestry operations are continually harvesting slopes. And what about the challenges posed by climate change, rising sea waters and melting permafrost?
This three-hour workshop will focus on what is terrain analysis, why is it so important to get the right data up front in a project, the importance of scale, tools for terrain mapping and qualification for terrain mappers. Too often there is a heavy reliance of publicly available small scale data and this data is used by individuals who are not soil or terrain scientists to help make decisions on routing of linear infrastructure or the siting of facilities. Examples will be presented on where things went wrong and the importance of appropriately scaled data.

Dennis O’Leary, B.A.., P.Ag.
Dennis is a Principal and registered Professional Agrologist (P.Ag) in Alberta with over 39 years of soils and terrain mapping experience throughout Canada and around the world. Mr. O’Leary’s focus has been on terrain and terrain stability mapping in support of pipeline routing, design, construction and integrity management. He has led the terrain mapping efforts for most of Canada’s major large-diameter pipeline projects including Energy East, Coastal Gas Link, Prince Rupert Gas Transmission, Northern Gateway, Alaska Pipeline, Mackenzie Pipeline and Keystone pipeline projects.
Mr. O’Leary is considered a leading expert in the field of soils and terrain mapping. He was responsible for the spread of softcopy mapping technologies in the late 1990 and has been a huge promoter of these tools to this day. He currently provides all of his mapping at scale of 1:2,000 to 1:500. Dennis is currently working with an expert group of engineers and scientists at Golder looking at Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) for terrain mapping. He routinely presents at conferences and authors numerous journal publications.

Anne Sommerville, Ph.D., P.Ag.
Dr. Sommerville is a senior surficial geologist/terrain scientist with Golder Associates Ltd. . She has worked extensively across Canada on a number of pipeline, mining, oil sands and forestry projects, including projects in New Brunswick, Quebec, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Her work has included various routing projects for the selection of pipeline, road, transmission line and rail corridors using a combination of mapping using softcopy technology and field investigations. Anne has more than 15 years of experience within her discipline.

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Tags: Ground Engineering


Apr 01 2023


All Day


The Banff Centre
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Banff, Alberta T1L 1H5 Canada


Leah Harvey

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