Santa Barbara North

la noticera

Terry leading the invocation and pledge
Guest Nobeel Masri with Dennis
Meeting Responsibilities
April 4th
Plege Invocation Scribe
Waid, Dennis
April 11th
Pledge Invocation Scribe
Young, Steven
Date: 3/28/18 - meeting led by Santa Barbara North Rotary President Ken Oplinger
Pledge & Invocation: Terry Straehley                                                                     Reporter: Michael Conte
Song Leader & Song: no song today
Visiting Rotarians:
-Larry Thompson (E-Rotary Club)
-Henry Siegel (Purcellville, VA Rotary Club)
Rotary Guests:
-Nobeel Masri, guest of Dennis Boneck (IT specialist working with Dennis in the design lab at Adams School)
-John O’Neill, guest of Joe Dobbs
-Mary, guest (and wife) of Blas Garza
-upcoming Program Chairs: April – John Holehouse; May – Terry Straehley; June - Marti Correa de Garcia
-upcoming pledge/invocation/scribe duties, please sign up to fill in the 6 remaining gaps (Ken has the sign-up sheet; thank you to all who stepped up to help!)
-RYLA coming up April 19th; Tim Bigelow will need a volunteer to drive 2 young participants up to Ojai on Friday (4/20), and returning Sunday (4/22) for pickup (it looks like one of our guests today, Nobeel, will be able to volunteer to drive; thank you Nobeel!)
-Tom Jacobs: reminder that the April 11th meeting (2 wks from today) will be at Adams school
-at the 4/11 meeting, we will be giving out the awards for the essay contest winners from Adams
-at the 4/18 meeting, we will be giving out the awards for essay contest award winners from La Cumbre
-John Holehouse: 2 MB for upcoming birthday (3/29)
-Gil Garcia: 1 MB for upcoming birthday (3/31)
-Blas Garza: 1 MB for grandson’s being awarded a 4-year scholarship to Manhattan School of Jazz
Ed Keller, professor of Earth Science and Environmental Studies at UCSB
Program Information:
Tom Jacobs introduced our speaker today, Ed Keller, professor of Earth Science and Environmental Studies at UCSB. Professor Keller provided the group with a geological perspective on the Montecito Debris Flow of January 9th. He has been studying debris flows in the region for decades, and after this recent debris flow he has put together a team of researchers at UCSB to gather and analyze data from this event to allow for better understanding of how these debris flows occur and perhaps how to better predict their area of effect in the future.
Professor Keller described how a large debris flow is a relatively rare event that comes as a “one-two punch”. More specifically, there are three stages that need to occur for such an event to take place. First, there needs to be an accumulation of debris (i.e. boulders) in the canyon floor, which may take hundreds of years. Second, a wildfire needs to burn through the area (which occurs every 30-50 years) and form water-repellant soil. Lastly, intense precipitation (such as 0.5 inches in a 5-minute period, which occurs every few hundred years) must take place. After all three stages are met, a debris flow may occur only minutes later.
Debris flows have a viscosity about 200 times that of water. The unit weight of the debris flow mud is about 120 pounds per cubic foot, while the debris flow boulders have a unit weight of about 150 pounds per cubic foot (only a 30 pound difference!). As a result, boulders “bob like corks” and are carried along near the surface at the front or the sides of a debris flow. When the flow slows down, the mud moves out from under the boulders, leaving behind a boulder field.
Much of Santa Barbara and surrounding areas are built on old debris flows. For instance, Rocky Nook Park sits on just a small portion of the Mission debris flow (which occurred about 1,000 years ago), which in total is about 10 times larger than the Montecito debris flow.
For any further questions, you can contact Dr. Keller by email ( He also was most kind and offered a PDF copy of his paper, “The Natural History of Misssion Creek A Story of Earthquakes and Debris Flows: A Walk Through History”, as well as a PDF copy of his 2011 book (currently sold out), “Santa Barbara Land of Dynamic Beauty: A Natural History” to any of those who are interested. If you would like a copy of either document, please email Mike Conte (
50/50 Drawing:
Visiting Rotarian Henry Siegel drew a silver marble from the bag, and Dr. Young won the fruit basket.
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