Message from the SEAOC President by Kelly Cobeen, SE

Kelly Cobeen, SEBy Kelly Cobeen, SE, SEAOC President

Happy New Year to all! One New Year spirit worth catching is the setting of new goals or reaffirming of old ones. This can be done across many aspects of our life and activities, including goals related to engaging in new ways in the engineering profession. We hope that the four member organizations (SEAOSD, SEAOSC, SEAOCC and SEAONC) as well as SEAOC offer you opportunities to engage and pursue your engineering-related interests. If you have not done so recently, you might want to look at what committees are meeting and what they are involved in, or sign up for a meeting, educational, or social event. If you think that there is something you and we should be engaging in that we are not already, let a board member at the local or state level hear from you. A listing of the SEAOC Committees can be found on the SEAOC website Many but not all of these SEAOC committees have counterparts at the local level; further, committees at any level are always happy to hear about interest and enthusiasm.  

Warming up Your Aloha for 2016 Convention

The Convention Committee continues its hard work planning the 2016 SEAOC Convention in Ka’anapali, Maui. Continuing from the last SEAOC Talk, here is a short snippet of information to help make sure that by next October you are ready to be a Kama’aina (local).


When in Hawaii you are likely to see lava from past flows. There are two primary types of lava seen in the Hawaiian Islands: ‘A’a and Pahoehoe:

ʻA'ā is a rough, rubble-like lava, created when partially cooled surface lava is pushed and broken by the moving molten lava below. It leaves a rough, sharp and irregular surface that can be very difficult to walk on.

Pictured to the left, glowing ‘a’ā flow front advancing over pāhoehoe on the coastal plain of Kilauea in Hawaii, United States (from Wikipedia).

Pāhoehoe in contrast has the appearance of rippled flowing water, and is very smooth and can form artistic sculptural formations.

There are two reasons why you should not take lava rocks home with you. The first is that if you are on national, state, or local park land it is illegal to take rocks or other natural items from the site. The second is because there is widely believed to be a curse from Pele that brings perpetual bad luck to persons taking rocks. The story of the curse has enough believers that the national parks get hundreds of rocks mailed back to them each year from all over the world from persons trying to shake the curse - try googling it, you will be amazed.

Pictured to the right is Pāhoehoe lava from Kīlauea volcano, Hawaii, United States (form Wikipedia)


If after spending a few days lazing on the beach you are ready for an adventure, one very popular destination is Haleakala National Park. First established as a national park in 1916 (within weeks of the establishment of the National Park Service), the park extends all the way from Haleakala Crater at the top, to the beach at Kipahulu. It encompasses the desolate other-worldly crater, and a wide range of other ecosystems including tropical forest. Included in its boundaries are many plant types found nowhere else in the world, and many native Hawaiian plants and animals that are being conserved. One notable plant is the Silversword that grows at high elevations. Also being conserved in the Nene Goose, Hawaii’s state bird. The Park has a wide range of day hiking trails. If you are making plans to visit the park start with the national park service web site: to find the many resources they have available. It is important to heed the NPS cautions regarding what to bring. The park is about a three hour drive from Ka’anapali, a good portion of which is spent climbing up the volcano. The park office is at an elevation of 7,000 feet, and the visitors center and crater rim are at 10,000 feet. It is quite popular to be at the visitor’s center to watch sunrise or sunset, both of which (weather cooperating) can be spectacular. If there for sunrise you can follow up with hiking, or tours that let you bike back down the volcano. If going for sunrise, type “photos of sunrise at Haleakala” into google, to see the beautiful pictures and to see the attire of people there to watch. It gets seriously cold and windy; those that don’t come prepared with warm clothing can be truly miserable.


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