Written By: Noe Santos
On March 30th, four Las Vegas ASCE YMF members and two ASCE Southern Nevada Branch practitioner advisors departed on a short road trip down to Long Beach, California. The trip’s goal was to support the University of Nevada, Las Vegas’s ASCE Student Chapter at the Pacific Southwest Conference (PSWC) and to talk to students about continuing with YMF after graduation.
The first day (Thursday) at the PSWC was filled with concrete canoe and steel bridge displays as well as technical competitions such as surveying and environmental engineering. The YMF representatives were able to talk to some of the students about their respective projects and talk about the role of YMF following graduation. The YMF representatives were also able to assist the steel bridge team by hunting down some equipment in Long Beach that was unfortunately left behind in Las Vegas and was required for Saturday’s big bridge building event.
On Friday, the YMF members used the sponsored funds from ASCE’s Committee on Younger Members (CYM) to purchase a wide spread of breakfast items to help fuel the UNLV ASCE student chapter as well as beverages to keep everyone hydrated under the warm Southern California sun. The sponsored food was overall a big hit! The students reacted very positively and were relieved to find that there would be food available for the super early beach day at the canoe races. The YMF representatives stuck around with the student chapter and helped to cheer on the UNLV Concrete Canoe Team to a couple overall wins in the race category (3rd in Men’s Sprints and 3rd in Coed Sprints).
The YMF members supported the student chapter through the closing banquet ceremony on Saturday and cheered on the student chapter’s wins in concrete canoe as well as other conference events.
The Las Vegas ASCE YMF group would like to thank the CYM for the ability to leverage the sponsored funds in return for providing a nutritional spread for the students. It was a very long and enjoyable weekend that definitely helped to educate the students about the role of YMF. Las Vegas ASCE YMF definitely looks forward to maintaining a strong connection/advisor role with the student chapter and ensuring the personal and professional success for the ASCE Student Chapter members!
Written By: Noe Santos
On March 4th, eight Las Vegas ASCE YMF members departed Las Vegas with the ultimate destination of touring the latest and largest seawater desalination facility in the Western Hemisphere. The Carlsbad Desalination plant cost $1 Billion to construct and ceremoniously began operations in December 2015. The plant has a current capacity of 56,000 acre-feet/year (50 million gallons/day) with the capability to expand in the future.
Upon arriving in Carlsbad, California, the Las Vegas YMF caravan rendezvoused with David Swallow, Director of Engineering at the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, and Kristina Swallow, Las Vegas’s own 2017 ASCE President Elect official nominee. The group was soon joined by over twenty Southern California YMF members. Upon checking in with the security team at Poseidon Water and being provided with the essential Personal Protective Equipment, the large group of curious engineers was split up into two groups to allow for a more manageable tour.
The tour groups were shown around the facility and presented with a ton of important background information. Some of the sights that were shown included the intake/outfall structures and the massive network of nanofiltration and reverse osmosis filters. The one-hour tour finished in the most appropriate manner by having a taste test of the final product - pure H2O. There was something to be said standing a mere half mile from the Pacific Ocean and consuming crystal clear water – a true testament to human ingenuity and the determination to maintain sustainable development with consideration and respect for the greater environment.
Following the technical tour, the Las Vegas YMF group met with the Southern California YMF members over pizza and beverages at a local craft beer facility. At the social get-together, the mixed group of YMF members socialized and discussed the role of YMF through different perspectives. The social get-together was very enjoyable and resulted in new professional contacts and opened the door for a future visit from the Southern California YMF to Las Vegas.
The trip was an overall success! Following a relaxing day at the beach on Saturday, the group of eight Las Vegas YMF members headed home Sunday morning with new beach tans and dreams of a more sustainable desert southwest.
Written By: Noe Santos
On April 16, 3 Las Vegas YMF members and employees from the engineering consulting firm Atkins volunteered their Saturday morning for the 2016 Spring Wash Green-Up. More than 350 volunteers in total signed up to plant approximately 3,000 trees and shrubs!
The Las Vegas Wash acts as a natural “filter” as it removes harmful contaminants such as fertilizers, oils, and other residual chemicals that are found throughout the Las Vegas Valley’s roads. These harmful substances are routed down the valley’s network of storm drains and into the Las Vegas Wash channel (and eventually to Lake Mead) due to landscape irrigation and storm events. The Las Vegas Wash benefits the valley by improving the quality of water flowing into Lake Mead and creating a desert oasis that sustains wildlife habitat and provides for outdoor recreational activities for local residents.
Upon arriving at 9:00 am, the volunteers signed in and were escorted to the Wash Green-Up Zone 3 to begin working on the beautification of the landscape surrounding the wash channel. Following a quick demonstration covering the proper way to plant the locally grown specimens, the volunteers worked together like a colony of bees to get all of the provided plants out of their containers and into their new home – the desert soil of Southern Nevada. The task was easier said than done at some locations due to the variability in the conditions on the ground. Volunteers took a gamble between digging up loose, soft soil or gravel ridden topsoil. It definitely made for a morning full of hard work!
Following three hours of digging and planting, the volunteers were all herded back to the staging area and treated to lunch consisting of BBQ sandwiches and delicious hot sides along with a cold lemonade beverage and chocolate chip cookie. The YMF group thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to have a positive impact on the local environment and share in the joys of manual labor. Las Vegas YMF definitely looks forward to participating in the next Las Vegas Wash Green-Up!