Blog
   September 21, 2016

Several Colorado WNR staff attended the 2016 Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado this past weekend. The conference included field trip touring the North St. Vrain watershed, starting at the upper reaches at the beaver ponds in Rocky Mountain National Park and ending at a reservoir near Lyons, Colorado that was severely impacted by the flooding that occurred in 2013. The theme of the conference was Connectivity in Geomorphology, and included presentations by many well-respected names in the geomorphology community, including Matt Kondolf, Stuart Lane, Gordon Grant, Gary Brierley, and Joe Wheaton.

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   September 20, 2016

For PARK(ing) Day 2016, Otak created a “Dream Lounge” to invite passersby to relax and enjoy a temporary parklette within the city.

To engage participants, we posted writing prompts on two whiteboards. One was a “continuous story” where each participant added a sentence. The resulting story was the following:

Everything was quiet. Too quiet. That’s when I noticed the dragon terrorizing the village. I pulled on the dragon’s tail to see what would come from its mouth. Instead of fire, there came confetti and candy! 

“We all have our own reality,” replied the wizard…

I woke in a cold sweat realizing I was late for work, hurried to the car, commuted 25 miles and realized I only have ONE shoe. So, I took off my other shoe. Then I remembered it was Saturday. I decided to visit the Farmer’s Market so I could hear the bard’s song, the famous and beloved ballad “The Merry Dance of the Sugar Daddies.” 

_____________

The other whiteboard asked, “If you could be anywhere right now, where would you be?"

PARK(ing) Day temporarily transforms metered parking spaces into community spaces. Bringing together citizens, artists, and activists, this global event collaboratively brings new forms to public space in urban contexts. We enjoyed sharing our parklette with the city and look forward to creating enduring community gathering places in our future projects.

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   September 19, 2016

Otak is proud to announce that Theo Malone has recently passed his Professional Engineering exam in water resources and is now officially a professional engineer! Theo has been working with Otak's water and natural resources group since 2013. He received his engineering license in Oregon. Congratulations Theo, on reaching this important career milestone!

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   September 1, 2016

Otakians Tammi Connolly, Matt Klym, Gary Wolff and Melanie McCandless helped to clean up Johnson Creek on August 29th.

105 volunteers worked in the creek to remove 269 bags of trash and lots of larger items that didn't fit into bags. By removing trash, water quality and habitat conditions improve for the wildlife including Steelhead and Chinook salmon that call the creek home. The clean-up extended from the creek’s confluence with the Willamette River up through I-205 in Portland.

After the clean-up volunteers enjoyed a barbecue and awards ceremony at Mill Park where the Golden Garbage Can award for strangest item found was given to team captain Paul for the child’s pegasus costume. Runners-up included a bowling ball on a chain, a slingshot, and complete apartment furnishings (desk, chair, toilet, bed, and countertop stove).


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   August 31, 2016

Otak hosted representatives of the Republic of Iraq earlier this month at our Portland, Oregon office. The Iraqi Delegation was visiting as part of the U.S. State Department International Leadership Program under the sponsorship of the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Republic of Iraq visitors were representatives of their country’s Ministry of Oil, Diwaniyan Governate, and Diyala Province.

Otak Director of Contracting Shawn Goodpaster and Vice President Brian Burby made a presentation to our Iraqi guests entitled American Professional Services Consulting and Construction Contracting: An Overview. A wide range and depth of questions were posed by our Iraqi guests posed and answered by Shawn and Brian benefitting all who participated.

Our thanks to World Affairs Council of Oregon Director Ms. Amy Barrs for the opportunity to engage with the Iraqi Delegation. We appreciate this and previous international visitor hosting opportunities (e.g., the Afghanistan and Pakistan Delegation visit to Otak in 2015) to exchange ideas with visitors from around the world!  

To find out more about the International Visitor Leadership Program, please click here.

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   August 26, 2016

Thirteen Otakians came out to participate in the eighth annual Kickball Without Borders kickball tournament fundraiser on Saturday, August 20th at Glen Haven Park in Portland. Team “Shark Otak” had an undefeated morning but just missed the point spread for the final game. Otak joined 22 other local A&E firms for a sunny day of kickball, a great barbeque, and a raffle to raise money for the Portland Chapter of Engineers Without Borders.

The fundraiser was the organization’s largest yet, raising $20,500 for their projects in Haiti, Ecuador, Honduras, and Tanzania.

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   August 15, 2016

Otak’s summer celebration at Punch Bowl Social brought our local team together for an afternoon of food, drinks, and fun! Ping pong and bowling brought out the competitive spirit, while our in-house talent rocked the karaoke room. Whether socializing inside or enjoying the sun on the patio, staff kept cool with root beer floats, chocolate shakes, and local microbrews and snacks.

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   August 15, 2016

After the summer party at the Punch Bowl, this cheerful group of Otakians made their way to Providence Park and saw Portland Timbers win their Champions League match against Salvadorian Club Deportivo Dragón. The final score was  2-1 on a 90th minute goal. #TeamBuilding

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   August 4, 2016

The Discovery Corridor Wastewater Transmission System (DCWTS) is Clark Regional Wastewater District’s 20-year, multi-phase program to provide for the conveyance of wastewater from the Ridgefield Urban Growth Area to the Salmon Creek Wastewater Management System. This project increases Ridgefield’s wastewater capacity and supports future economic development and growth in our region.

Otak helped the City of Ridgefield study wastewater treatment and conveyance options for more than six years, including performing studies to determine the best route, projecting population and flow, and determining the best connection point in Ridgefield. We developed an engineering report that met Washington Department of Ecology standards, as well as 30 percent plans and a design report. Otak led the team that developed construction documents for Phase 1 of the DCWTS. This $25 million project includes upgrades to two pump stations, construction of two new pump stations, and construction of eight miles of a 14- to 16-inch force main. 

After more than a decade of planning and two years of construction, the first phase of this major project connecting Ridgefield junction to the Salmon Creek Treatment Plant held a grand opening on Wednesday! The event was well attended.

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   August 3, 2016

On Tuesday, August 2nd the Architecture, Planning and Design Team kicked off their lunchtime sketching sessions with a trip to the Ira Keller Fountain. Sketching sessions will be held at a different downtown location each week.  The team is looking forward to enjoying Portland’s great urban spaces and the beautiful summer weather.

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