When I began the website-update project I was working overtime on my master’s degree, as well as serving as president of the University of Washington Geo-Institute Graduate Student Society (GIGSS) and Webmaster of the Seattle Geotechnical Group. Our website was having compatibility issues with updates to our host and server, and the group was faced with an update. This seems like a decade ago with the changes we have witnessed taking place the last six months. We have experienced a global pandemic, global protests against racism and race-bias in policing, as well as the protection of LGBTQIA+ identities in the workplace by the Supreme Court of the United States. To say the least, we are all learning how to be better stewards of our communities and better neighbors with integrity, dignity, and grace for ourselves and others.
I have been inspired by community and have taken inspiration from various professional group websites with the goal to make the website a more user-friendly portal to connect geotechnical professionals in the Puget Sound and beyond. This website update will last for many years so the group can focus on providing greater services for the membership moving forward. After all the less energy we spend on administrative tasks, the more energy we have for creating progress, connecting with each other, and experiencing innovation in the organization.
Seeing these goals come to fruition is very encouraging. We have had success integrating younger members into the group via GIGSS (another one of my goals as GIGSS president). Thanks to leadership in the members as well as some support from University of Washington faculty and students, we have been able to help young professionals enter our community without intimidation or fear while being among the best professionals in the nation for geotechnical engineering. I believe this website update will continue to propel the Seattle Geotechnical Group into the future and continue to connect multiple generations of geotechnical professionals. I am very excited to share the website and the new face of the group with you. If you have any questions, comments, or constructive feedback, I am always willing and open to discussing ways to make the group more successful. I’m looking forward to the 2020-2021 season!
Dustin R. Taylor, PE
2020-2021 ASCE/Geo-Institute Seattle Section President