February 2020 Print

President's Report

Mentoring Young Engineers for The Future

The civil engineering profession is responsible for repairing and upgrading America’s aging infrastructure. Our society and economy are dependent on our roads, bridges, airports, sewers, mass transit systems, and water reservoirs that civil engineers design, build and maintain. In order to secure the continuation of this profession and foster improvement, mentoring future generations of civil engineers is essential. 

Mentoring includes: helping set professional and academic goals, promoting technological development, encouraging the pursuit of postgraduate studies and creating ASCE opportunities for student involvement. Active involvement through guest speaking at colleges informs and provides support to engineering students. This motivation and mentorship from our industry and profession leaders facilitates the advancement of the civil engineering field. 

The ASCE 2020 CA Infrastructure Symposium in Sacramento on April 3rd, 2020 at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West, is a space in which student members and aspiring engineers can meet and be involved with industry leaders to gain an insight into the profession and learn about future projects and opportunities. Please go to the event website at https://caisregion9.org/ to find out how you can become involved with sponsoring student members and helping to create a setting for the growth of future engineers.


Tino B. Maestas, P.E.

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California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Banquet

2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Preview


Adam Killinger, P.E., G.E., M. ASCE
Region 9 Awards Committee Chair

The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner will be held in Sacramento at Hilton Sacramento Arden West on Friday April 3rd, 2020. The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium this year is a partnership between the ASCE Sacramento Section and ASCE Region 9. The Symposium will be an all-day event attended by engineers, educators, elected officials, professionals and the general public. Every year the attendees and participants of these conjoined events inform, educate, network, and honor influencers and decision makers of our built environment making this a must-attend event. This year's event is in our state capital's backyard, and you can expect legislators will be taking notice and joining in the conversation. So come out, learn something new, network, and celebrate civil engineering.

The Venue:  The Hilton Sacramento Arden West is located at 2200 Harvard Street in Sacramento. The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and the 2020 Awards Dinner will conveniently be held at the same location. Make sure you book your room early! http://www.caisregion9.org/

The Lineup:  The Symposium will be comprised of two infrastructure tracks with the following speaker topics:

Transportation and Development Track will Include:

  • Innovative Roadway and Aviation Solutions to Raise the Report Card Grades
    • 2019 ASCE Report Card for California's Transportation Infrastructure
    • Roadway Innovation in Contra Costa County
    • Roadway Innovations in Orange County
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Future Enhancements
  • Transportation, Economics, and Housing: Federal Government Perspectives
    • Federal Government Panel
  • Transportation, Economics, and Housing: California State Capital Perspectives
    • Transportation and Economic Development at the Intersection of Two Key Transportation Corridors
    • Addressing California's Grand Housing Challenge While Reducing VMTs and GHGs
    • Leveraging Transportation to Transform the Central Valley into an Economic Powerhouse
  • Transportation Innovations for Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Vehicle Miles Traveled
    • Urban and Rural Transport Connections to Meet Diverse Mobility Goals
    • Bringing ACE to Midtown and the Sacramento Airport through Active Legislative Engagement
    • SacRT Forward - Bringing Efficiency, Connectivity and Economic Prosperity to the Region

Water Resources and Environment Track will Include:

  • Future of Water Supply Management in California
    • Governor's Water Portfolio
    • Development of Water Supplies, and Impact of Changes to Delta Conveyance
    • Safe Drinking Water Plan 2020
  • Safeguarding Lives and Property in California's Central Valley
    • Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and Supplemental Funding for Levee Improvements
    • Oroville Dam Post-Repair Comprehensive Needs Assessment – What's Next
    • Update on Dam Safety Regulations in California
  • Solutions to California's Water, Energy, and Environmental Challenges
    • Addressing the Implications of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) on Public Water Supply
    • Impact of Cannabis Cultivation on Municipal Water Supply
    • Starting at the Source – Special Considerations for Foothill Water Agencies
  • Sustainable Surface and Groundwater Practices in an Uncertain Future
    • Recent Trends in Integrated Water Planning
    • Sustainable Groundwater Supply
    • Pure Water Monterey – Advanced Water Recycling Project

Speakers for the above topics will include many professionals from public agencies and companies across California. Keynote speakers will include:

  • Barry Broome – CEO, Greater Sacramento Economic Council
  • Felicia Marcus – Former Chair, California State Water Resources Board
  • Jean-Louis Briaud – 2019 President-Elect, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The Infrastructure Symposium will be immediately followed by a networking reception, and then the Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony.

The Party: Each year, the many members and individuals who form the foundation of the ASCE Sections, Branches, Institutes, Younger Member and Student chapter groups in Region 9, take the time to recognize the outstanding projects and the selfless efforts of their peers, who contribute to the growth and evolution of the civil engineering profession, and the improvement of the infrastructure we all depend upon. Each group's annual awards program nominates and recognizes praiseworthy individuals and projects within their geographic areas. Each Section's award winners (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles) are then nominated to Region 9 in October each year. Region 9 then selects and recognizes outstanding projects and individuals from across the State of California the following spring during the annual Awards Dinner Ceremony. Join the party and celebrate the individuals and achievements of our civil engineering community!

For more information and to register for the 2019 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony, please bookmark the California Infrastructure Symposium website, the Sacramento Section website, or the Region 9 website. Opportunities to get involved in the planning or to sponsor the Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner are available. We look forward to seeing all of you in Sacramento on April 3rd!

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Project Awards Call For Nominations

Deadline Extended!

he 2019 ASCE Sacramento Section Project Awards Nominations are now open! ASCE Sacramento Section Project Awards recognize outstanding Civil Engineering projects in the Sacramento Section geographic area that have completed construction within the last two (2) years.

The deadline to nominate a project is March 20, 2020! The Project Awards Banquet will be held on May 7, 2020 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Sacramento, CA. 

Nominate your project today by going to http://www.asceregion9awards.org/section-awards/nomination-project/sac or emailing nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Rice, Senior Director, at [email protected].

Project Categories

Airports & Ports
Architectural Engineering
Bikeways & Trails
Community Involvement
Environmental Engineering
Flood Management
Historical Renovation
Parks & Recreation
Road & Highway
Small Project (under $5M)
Sustainable Engineering
Urban/Land Development
Wastewater Treatment

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Save the Date

Important Upcoming Dates


April 2, 2020

Envision Sustainability Credential Version 3 Training Workshop
Registration coming very soon

April 3, 2020

California Infrastructure Symposium 2020

Region 9 Awards Dinner


May 7, 2020

2019 Project Awards Banquet
Nominations open until February 28, 2020

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Capital Branch Activities

Award Announcement

Dr. Bruce L. Kutter, Ph.D., M.ASCE  from the Capital Branch of the Sacramento Section habeen selected by the ASCE Geo-Institute to receive the 2020  H. Bolton Seed Medal for “important and sustained contributions to the physical modeling of geotechnical and soil-structure systems to earthquakes, centrifuge research and continuing leadership in the field.”


The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Civil Engineering Firms, Contractors and Vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly Luncheons. The sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format.  This opportunity will provide the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community.  For further information, please contact Ron Loutzenhiser.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn.

The Capital Branch has a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/asce-sac-section-capital-branch-b0148b87.


The Capital Branch has started a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to https://www.facebook.com/ASCE-Sac-Section-Capital-Branch-178312272707468/.   

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Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch, please contact Wilson Zhu.

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Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact Guy Hopes.

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Shasta Branch Activities

For information on the Branch and upcoming events, please contact [email protected].

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Younger Members Forum (YMF)

ASCE / YMF Mentorship Program

Also the UC Davis Student chapter has reach out for potential mentors for their 2019-2020 mentorship program.

If you are an interested professional interested in signing up, please fill out this form.
Mentor Questionnaire 2019-2020

Questions can be directed to
Aaron Liu
UC Davis Mentorship Chair
[email protected]

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The Law & Civil Engineering



Gene Bass


Most engineering is done pursuant to a written contract. The form of the contract, however, can vary from a simple letter to a multi-page document filled with legalese. Although everyone knows better, often the full contract is not read or understood before signing. It is obvious that such a practice can be dangerous both because of what the contract may say and what it may not say.

A well written contact serves to establish a clear understanding between the parties at the beginning of the engagement. It should define the rights, duties and responsibilities of the parties and should accurately describe the expectations of the parties.

Until one is fully comfortable with the language in a contract, including all of the small print, and understands the meaning and interpretation of the terms, it is advisable to have the agreement reviewed by your attorney and insurance advisor. There can be requirements in a contract for which there may be no insurance coverage. You need to know this. You or your attorney may not be aware of those provisions and an insurance review will be critical. Extreme or unfair provisions should be identified and negotiated out of the agreement if possible. As alternatives, indemnity and hold harmless terms could be included. In addition, additional fees could be added to compensate for the increased amount of risk involved. The option of not entering into the contract should always be maintained if compensation and terms commensurate with the risks cannot be negotiated.

Contracts can include provisions for the engineer to be indemnified and held harmless by the other party. Indemnity is particularly appropriate where the project involves an inherently high level of risk such as where there is a long-term potential for public injury or where the owner may reuse plans or where the contract may be terminated before completion of the engineer’s services.

Even if comprehensive indemnity and hold harmless provisions can be incorporated into the contract, the inherent limitations of such provisions must be borne in mind. They will not protect the engineer for damages arising out of sole negligence or willful misconduct. Finally, the promise of the other party to indemnify and hold the engineer harmless is only as good as the ability of that party to fulfill the promise if and when the time comes. If the owner is no longer financially viable, the best contract indemnity and hold harmless terms will be worthless.

Other contract pitfalls and advise will be discussed in future articles. Take time to read your contracts, try to understand everything and if you don't, ask for help.

This article is intended only to provide general information regarding legal issues. It is not to be relied upon for legal advice. Contact your attorney for advice and guidance on general and specific legal issues.

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Geo Institute

ASCE Geo-Institute Orange County Chapter


Mr. Michael Givens, Ph.D., P.E., P.G., Group Delta Chair, ASCE Orange County Geo-Institute (OC G-I)


The Geo-Institute (G-I) Chapter is part of the Orange County Branch that serves the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Los Angeles Section, its members and supporters by conducting periodic technical presentations, technical on-site tours, professional development events, and networking/fundraising social events. The G-I OC Chapter was formed in January 2013 to host various events to exchange knowledge and information with the goal of improving the Orange County geotechnical community. We have appreciated and found a tremendous benefit in expanding our members learning/networking opportunities by cohosting events with other ASCE Chapters and Organizations, such as events in the past year with G-I LA Branch, ASCE OC Branch, ASCE OC Professional Development Committee (PDC), and Cal-Geo.

Due to an active local geotechnical community, we have developed an annual tradition of holding a February half-day professional development event to kick off the year's events, gathering for technical Lunch/Dinner meetings typically in May, July, August/September, November and hosting a December Bowling Social that all proceeds are donated to either a charity or local Students participating in Geo-Wall competitions. Our activities from the past year are summarized below:

The OC G-I and PDC co-hosted a half-day seminar on February 22nd in Irvine, California. The seminar covered a wide spectrum of ground improvement methods and was attended by nearly 100 practicing engineers, academics, and students. Each of the three presenters provided a unique insight to their field of expertise. The seminar concluded with a panel discussion that provided attendees an opportunity to ask the presenters about how they could apply different ground improvement methods to their projects.

The OC and LA G-I Chapters co-hosted a dinner meeting featuring Professor Robert Kayen of UC Berkeley, UCLA, and USGS on May 28th. Dr. Kayen presented an 11-year project in which he collected new shear wave velocity data from 350 sites to develop and enhance seismic soil liquefaction correlations. The event was held at the Ayres Hotel in Costa Mesa and was attended by over 90 local geo-professionals.

The OC Branch and G-I co-hosted a luncheon featuring Professor Scott J. Brandenberg of UCLA, who presented on "Effects of Earthquakes to California's Water Distribution System" on July 18th. Professor Brandenberg discussed an extensive research study on the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta, which included field testing, centrifuge modeling, laboratory testing, development of fragility functions, and development of a system reliability analysis procedure. With Magnitude 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes occurring in Ridgecrest, California two weeks prior to the luncheon, this topic was particularly relevant to the 90+ local members who attended.

The OC G-I co-hosted an August dinner meeting with CalGeo in Santa Ana featuring a presentation by Dr. David A. Baska of Terracon Consultants. The presentation covered some of the changes that will be implemented in the 2019 California Building Code, such as a more widespread requirement for site-specific ground motion studies, enhancing site-specific procedures, and providing threshold values for differential settlement and lateral spreading, to name a few. The meeting was attended by over 110 local practicing engineers, academics, and students.

OC G-I held the 5th Annual Bowling Social & Fundraiser that was attended by 30+ geo-professionals and students that came together for a fun night of bowling at Irvine Lanes. Attendees enjoyed two hours of bowling, food and drinks, bonding with old and new friends, and were entered in a raffle at the end of the night. All net proceeds from the Bowling Social & Fundraiser will be donated to help our local universities' Student Chapters participate in the upcoming 2020 Geo-Congress Student Competitions.

The current G-I OC Board of Directors are:

CHAIR: Mr. Michael Givens, Ph.D., P.E., P.G., Group Delta
VICE CHAIR: Mr. Ali Bastani, Ph.D., P.E., G.E., GMU Geotechnical
TREASURER: Mr. Mohsen Mahdavi Kharanaghi, Ph.D., P.E., Group Delta
SECRETARY: Mr. Sunil Arora, P.E., Hayward Baker
FIRST DIRECTOR: Ms. Adeleine Tran, P.E., Jacobs
PAST CHAIR: Mr. Pavlo Chrysovergis, P.E., SPC Geotechnical

We are extremely appreciative of our local geotechnical community, student involvement, wiliness of speakers to contribute their time and all our wonderful corporate sponsorship throughout the year. To learn more about the ASCE OC G-I Chapter, please visit http://www.asceoc.org/committees/geoinstitute or contact Michael Givens, Chair, with any questions or suggestions for future events. We are looking forward to a productive 2020.

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Legislative Update

Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate


The Legislature reconvened in its last year of the two-year session on January 6. January was a busy month with only a few two-year bills moving out of their house of origin by January 31.

New Reports of Interest

The UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy & the Environment released Electric Vehicles and Global Urban Adoption: Policy Solutions from France and California. While California and France have been two worldwide leaders in policy support for electric vehicle adoption, there remains a large unmet need in access to battery electric vehicles. During a two-day symposium in June of this year, experts from California and France met to discuss the lessons learned thus far and consider the remaining challenges to EV adoption. The results of that discussion are now available as a Symposium Brief.

The Assembly Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee has distributed a report, “By the Numbers: Jeopardizing the National Benefits of Trade through America’s Busiest Port Complex,” conducted by economic consulting firm BST Associates for the Port of Los Angeles, which outlines the impact of tariffs on trade through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for 2018, finds that “tariffs threaten nearly 1.5 million U.S. jobs and more than $186 billion of economic activity nationwide.”

Public Policy Institute of California released its report, “A Path Forward for California’s Freshwater Ecosystems,” finds “they are changing in undesirable ways” due to “water and land use, pollution, introduction of nonnative species and a changing climate;” recommends that California “adopt the principles and practices of ecosystem-based management,” which are “transparent, collaborative and supported by science and secure funding.”

The Legislative Analyst released “Fiscal Perspectives: Tempered Expectations,” brings “California’s current fiscal position into perspective,” says general fund is on track for a $7 billion surplus made up of “$3 billion in ongoing and $4 billion in one-time components,” recommends “budgeting no more than about $1 billion of it to new ongoing commitments,” cites possibilities of a recession and changes in federal policy as reasons for not committing all $3 billion to new ongoing spending.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released “Preparing for Rising Seas: How the State Can Help Support Local Coastal Adaptation Efforts,” finds “California’s coastline could experience as much as seven feet of sea level rise by 2100,” recommends “making state contributions to support planning efforts and project implementation at both a local and regional scale, as well as establishing a statewide network for providing technical assistance and information on effective climate change adaptation practices.”

Caltrans released 2019 Advance Mitigation Program Biennial Report on its efforts since 2017 to accelerate delivery of projects by “proactively obtaining environmental mitigation in advance of – rather than during – transportation projects,” says “Department is in the process of integrating the work plan into Caltrans’ planning and project delivery organizational infrastructure, with completion targeted for the end of the 2019 calendar year.”

Governor’s Appointments

Meredith Williams of San Francisco has been appointed director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she has served as acting director since 2019 and as deputy director of safer products and workplace programs since 2013. Williams held several positions at the San Francisco Estuary Institute – Aquatic Science Center from 2006 to 2013, including interim executive director, deputy director, program director of the environmental data, information and technology program and senior project manager. She held various positions at Applied Materials from 1995 to 2005, including, business operations manager, product manager, new product development manager and senior process engineer. She was a senior research physicist at 3M from 1994 to 1995. Williams earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics from North Carolina State University.

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Continuing Education


ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!

To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants [email protected] and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to [email protected]


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.


  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal



Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2125/c/79 Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

Live P.E. and S.E. Exam Reviews 


  • Take the guesswork out of your study plan and build confidence for exam day
  • Learn from qualified experts in interactive courses 
  • Receive access to recorded webinars and reference material
  • Take advantage of group rates for 2 or more engineers preparing in the same location



On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2135/c/79. Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate

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ASCE LinkedIn Group


ASCE National's LinkedIn group has become a vital community of professionals like you that share ideas and knowledge. Here you can join your fellow civil engineers to network, interact and exchange ideas. To join, click here. If you are already a member of the group, learn more about networking and the benefits of ASCE membership.

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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Tino Maestas [email protected] 916-471-8210
President Elect   Megan LeRoy [email protected] 916-993-4613
Senior Director  Christine Rice [email protected] 530-559-4506
Junior Director Claudia Lewis [email protected]  
Secretary Isela Chavez [email protected]  
Treasurer Jafar Faghih [email protected] 916-679-8864
Past President Mike Konieczki [email protected] 916-840-5211
Executive Director Tony Quintrall [email protected] 916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Luke Miner [email protected]
[email protected]
Region 9 Chair Kwame Agyare [email protected]  
Region 9 Governor Elias Karam [email protected] 209-481-6857
Egrs. w/o Borders Levi Johnson [email protected]  
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia [email protected] 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Escott Anderson [email protected] 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Ron Loutzenhiser [email protected] 916-788-2884
Central Valley Branch Wilson Zhu [email protected] 209-946-0268
Feather River Branch  Guy Hopes [email protected] 530-864-1648
Shasta Branch John Martin [email protected] 530-223-2585 


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir [email protected] 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon [email protected] 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Dr. Derya Sumer [email protected] 916-978-5188 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  [email protected] 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst.

Niranjen Kanepathipillai

[email protected]ca.gov 916-227-4463
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily    530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew [email protected] 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan [email protected] 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Aafreen Latheef [email protected] 209-481-6857
Scholarship Eric Polson [email protected]  916-801-6290
Sustainability Cindy Harkness [email protected] 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento Harpreet Gill [email protected]  
University of the Pacific Nelson Tejada [email protected]  
University of California, Davis Darren Mack [email protected]  
California State University, Chico   [email protected]  


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