Sponsored Field Trips 2016

The Energy and Environment Specialty Group is pleased to announce that we are sponsoring the following field trips at the American Association of Geographers Meeting in San Francisco!

Tour San Francisco’s Unique Infrastructure - Sunset Solar Reservoir, Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant, Crystal Springs Reservoir, Pulgas Water Temple

Thursday, March 31, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Organizer: Drew Lehman (Environmental Consulting and Education)

Leader: Betsey Lauppe Rhodes (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission)

Trip Capacity: 25

Cost/person: $35.00

Sponsored by: AAG Jobs and Careers Theme

Located at the tip of a peninsula, with a highly variable Mediterranean climate, growing population and close by the seismically active San Andreas Fault - San Francisco faces unique geographic challenges to ensure essential water, power, sewer services. This tour is led by SF Public Utility Commission experts and provides unique access to its innovative Sunset Solar Reservoir, Oceanside water pollution control plant, scenic Pulgas Water Temple and Crystal Springs Reservoir - with a talk about ongoing bioregional habitat restoration – all astride the San Andreas.  This is a rare chance to learn first-hand about the City’s $10 billion systemwide infrastructure upgrades and programs to further enhance system reliability.  

The tour routes through world-famous Golden Gate Park to Sunset Solar Reservoir - terminus of a 167-mile regional gravity-fed water supply system bringing pristine Tuolumne River water (and clean energy) from Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to San Francisco.

Next, ride along the Pacific to Oceanside Treatment Plant for an overview of the City’s combined waste-and-stormwater system (and possible ocean photo-op). Finally, the 15-mile drive along Route 280 to Crystal Springs reservoir is scenic in itself and parallels the San Andreas. SFPUC experts will brief us on water system upgrades including ongoing bio-regional habitat remediation.

We lunch at the (1934) Pulgas Water Temple - built to celebrate completion of the Hetch Hetchy Water Supply system.  Box lunch provided.

Sunset Solar Reservoir

Oceanside Treatment Plant

Pulgas Water Temple

Crystal Springs Reservoir


This tour builds on Wednesday’s session on San Francisco infrastructureby leading Bay Area professionals. A half-day tour of Recology’s San Francisco Total Urban Recycling Facilities follows on Friday, April 1st.    


San Francisco's Road to Zero Waste - Tour Recology’s Total Urban Recycling Operating Facilities    

San Francisco Field Trips

Friday, April 1, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

Organizer: Drew Lehman (Environmental Consulting and Education)

Leader: Deborah Munk (Recology)

Trip Capacity: 25

Cost/person: $30.00

Join this tour and learn about recycling and sustainability in San Francisco - a city that diverts more than 80 percent of waste from landfilling and which, in partnership with the City’s trash contractor (Recology) has a goal of “zero waste” by 2020. The tour starts at Recology’s 47-acre/1,100 ton per day Tunnel Avenue waste transfer station and recycling complex (5 miles north of SFO) and includes a stop at the Household Hazard Waste Facility, a viewing of the transfer station, the organics annex for green and food waste – and other recycling areas. This is also an opportunity to see antique garbage trucks and to meet Artists in Residence – a unique program providing Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large, on-site studio space.

The tour then heads to “Recycle Central” an operating materials recovery facility where plastic, glass, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, tin cans, paper and cardboard are sorted mechanically and by hand. The facility sorts 750 tons of incoming residential and commercial wastes into marketable commodities.

Closed-toe, sturdy shoes are required; pants are recommended. As active industrial recycling sites, the tour may include walking on uneven surfaces and hills.


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